AMAZING DAY TOURS FROM PARIS
Paris is one of my most favorite cities – and I am sure I am not the only one who is totally in love with the beautiful city. However, France is much more than Paris and there are some great places to visit – so here are best 5 day trip from Paris. If you are looking for a Paris itinerary click here and find out how to spend time in Paris before you are heading to beautiful places nearby.
So, without further ado, here are the best day trips from Paris recommended by travel bloggers.
Day Trip from Paris to Versailles
by Surfing the Planet
Who hasn’t heard about Versailles, one of the most luxurious palaces in the whole world and one of the most famous day trips from Paris. Since Louis XIV of France constructed it, this giant palace complex has become the model of palaces that every king and emperor wanted to copy.
There are many palaces in the world that have been built as a clone of the residence of the French kings, but most of them can only be a shadow of the Palace of Versailles and its gardens.
Therefore, we don’t exaggerate if we say that a day trip to Versailles is a must-do when you visit Paris. The easiest way to get there is by taking the RER C train from the city center to Versailles Rive Gauche.
There are many kinds of entrance tickets, but it’s interesting to know that the gardens of the palace can be visited for free.
You need to dedicate at least one full day to visit the whole palace complex. The main Versailles Palace requires at least a couple of hours to visit, the apartment of the King and that of the Queen are precious, but the main highlight is the Hall of Mirrors with an incredible concentration of gold on the walls between huge mirrors.
There are other palaces in the Versailles, the most important ones being The Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon Palaces.
While the palaces itself are outstanding, Versailles Gardens are not less spectacular. The gardens cover more than 800 hectares with a huge amount of sculptures, wonderful fountains and beautiful flowers.
The lawn is always manicured to perfection, and when the fountains are on, you can imagine being in the era, when this garden was to represent the power of the French Royals.
A Day Trip From Paris to Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint Michel is an ancient monastery dating back from the 8th century and a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of France’s most visited attractions, the really incredible thing about this giant monastery is that it actually sits on an island off the coast of Normandy and was traditionally cut off daily by the large tidal movements here.
Nowadays there is a bridge across to this monastery-island, however, that doesn’t make arriving at the foot of this ancient place even less awe-inspiring.
Often shrouded in sea mist, the huge Abbey seems to rise eerily out of the sandy landscape around and ascend to the heavens via its towering spires.
Stepping inside the abbey walls is like going back in time, as cobbled streets and hundreds of steps allow you to climb up and inside to explore this unique place.
Essentially a fortified Medieval town, there are shops and cafes to explore at MontSaint-Michell, as well as a parish church, several museums, delightful ramparts and of course the Abbey itself.
Definitely a full day trip, getting to Mont St Michel is best done via bus from Paris. The Ouibus from Paris to St Malo passes Mont Saint Michel and can drop you off in the morning, before collecting you in the afternoon.
Alternatively get the train from Paris to Rennes and then change onto the Keolis bus.
The third option is to drive yourself from Paris, but please be aware the car park is situated quite far from Mont Saint Michel and can attract large queues.
Whichever way you go, Mont Saint Michel is a long and full day trip from Paris, but don’t worry, this sensational attraction is more than big enough and more than impressive enough to make it worthwhile.
A Day Trip From Paris to Giverny
You can see spectacular Monet paintings at the Louvre or Orsay museums while visiting Paris, but why not take a day trip to the beautiful town that inspired his magnificent works of art?
The town of Giverny is one hour by car or 45 minutes by train from Paris. If you take the train you can walk or bike to Monet’s paradise on Earth.
Besides the vibrant Monet garden in Givernchy with ponds filled with every shade of green and flowers of every hue, you can visit Monet’s home to see how the painter lived. Depending on the time of year, different varietals will be blooming. Even if it rains, the grounds are so peaceful you will feel transported.
It’s easy to imagine Monet painting in the gardens or while sitting on one of the many bridges. The serenity in these surrounding is undeniable and it’s the perfect escape from Paris.
I highly recommend you visit early and on a weekday in order to maximize your opportunity to be alone in the gardens and to enjoy them in the manner that Monet did.
Giverny is utterly charming. After you visit the grounds, I recommend walking around the little town of Giverny. If you visit in the spring you will see splendid fields of red poppies (coquelicots in French) that beg for you to photograph them. There are several small cafes to have a coffee or meal.
For a real treat, visit the Monet grounds in the morning and make reservations at Le Jardin des Plumes, run by a Michelin-starred chef.
It’s only a 10 minutes walk and worth every inch of the walk, when you see the gorgeous Art Deco tile floor. The food is superb and you will enjoy your nice digestive stroll to return to your car or train station for your trip back to Paris.
A Day Trip to Disneyland Paris
by Arzo Travels
Another of the top trips from Paris is Disneyland Paris. However, I can´t believe it myself: I have never made it to Disneyland Paris, even though I have visited Paris many times and it has been on my list since I was a little child. Blame it on the limited time I always have in Paris (normally a max of 3-4 days), or my extreme love for Paris, but visiting Disneyland is actually a bucket list activity for Paris.
I do not believe that Disneyland is only exciting for children. Disneyland is for everyone, the young and the young at heart.
To visit one of the world´s most famous theme parks, I would plan for at least a full day (meaning you wake up early to be one of the first on at the gate), or even stay overnight.
I am a bit afraid that it will be very crowded, so I would probably need a Fast Pass because Disneyland is not just about seeing Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I would love to ride all the roller coasters and visit the different parks. And what would a day at a theme park be without eating your weight in delicious food?
Day Trip to Château de Chantilly
by All About Castles
The château’s gardens include Le Nôtre – a formal French garden, the Grand Canal a 19th-century English-styled garden, and a late 18th-century Anglo-Chinese garden. This is a popular garden because there are five miniature houses there serving delicious food made with Chantilly cream! There is a vegetable garden and an animal park. Everyone enjoys visiting the Life Museum of the Horse which has 200 exhibits and has regular horse shows.
Day Trip to Chartres
By Explore Now or Never
Day Tour to Fontainebleau
By Knycx Journeying
Fontainebleau is a popular destination among Parisian for a weekend getaway, and a day trip for tourists because of its location, festivities and historic value.
Fontainebleau was developed around the historic Château de Fontainebleau, and it is actually a hidden gem in Paris backyard – this UNESCO World Heritage Site houses nothing less but an abundance of magnificent work of art and a beautifully crafted Italian Renaissance garden of Château de Versailles. The palace was served as a residence for many French monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III. Don’t forget to take a walk in the Gallery of Francis I, the impressive chapels and the Turkish boudoir designed especially for Marie Antoinette.
Fontainebleau is also no lack of greeneries, surrounded by a natural forest. This is a great place to take a hot air balloon ride and prepare to gasp gliding through the farmlands; or, simply bring a picnic with a glass of champagne for some fresh air.
If you visit Fontainebleau during summer, check out the Django Reinhardt Festival. It is a highly respected jazz music festival with a long history in the city, now expanded to music in a wide range of genres and performances. Soak in the festive vibe at night where you could have some good food and wine in a local joint, dance and see performances on different stages set up in the city’s streets.
It’s merely a 45-minute train ride away from the center of Paris, better yet, rent a car so you have the flexibility to explore the beautiful fields and forests in the outskirt area.
Day Trip to Loire Valley
By Offbeat France
It may seem like a stretch but in fact it is not: you can quite easily visit the Loire Valley chateaux on a day trip from Paris.
Day Trip from Paris to Vaux-le-Vicomte
by Cartography and Cloture
Another popular day trip from Paris is this one: Ah, the whimsy of French royalty. Nowhere is it more evident than Versailles, the irresponsibly magnificent royal chateau responsible for French revolutions and once the largest collection of guillotines (okay, I made up the guillotine part).
What most people don’t know is that the Palace of Versailles has an older (smaller) sibling in the Vaux-le-Vicomte that makes for an excellent day-trip for those itching to get out of the French capital.
The drive to ‘Vicomte takes you an hour southeast of Paris to the town of Maincy, meandering through a countryside speckled with adorable little cottages and signs to towns renowned for their role in World War One along the way.
Upon arrival, you’ll realize that ‘Vicomte is the more welcoming of the two palaces. While Versaille is opulent and inconceivable, Vaux-le-Vicomte is quaint (by French monarchy standards) and warm, beckoning guests to imagine themselves taking up residence and entertaining Kings; just be wary of backstabbing, or else you’ll end up rotting in a French dungeon alongside the bones of original owner Nicolas Fouquet.
Fouquet was Louis XIV’s Superintendant of Finances before succumbing to a plot hatched and executed by his soon-to-be-successor (and arrestor), Jean-Baptiste Colbert. The entire event (and the literal party surrounding it) make for a fascinating tale that unravels as you explore the chateau.
If you’re fortunate enough to visit during the Christmas holiday, as we were, you’ll be treated to winding corridors brimming with aromas of cinnamon and vanilla and adorned in shimmering lights, trees, and crackling fires. Try to resist curling up in a corner for a nap.
Those planning to enjoy a meal on the grounds will find three dining options (four if you count picnic areas) on site, running the gamut from a self-serve cafe perfect for families to an elegant restaurant with a price fixed menu and a view overlooking one side of the formal gardens made famous by Versailles but originating at ‘Vicomte.
These things, plus a cheaper ticket price and more opportunities for exploring at your own pace, make ‘Vicomte an ideal alternative to Versailles and a prime destination for those seeking to a day-trip outside of Paris.
DAY TRIP TO ROUEN
By Dream Big, Travel Far
Rouen is a really charming town and capital of the Normandy region in France. It teems with some of the country’s most unique culture and beauty while providing a nice mix of modern and old.The Cathedral, a remnant from the 12th century, is a must as it exhibits fine craftsmanship of Gothic architecture. It’s free to visit, like the Church Of Saint-Maclou. Pay special attention to the details in the church structure that are extremely intricate and grand at the same time.
This town also has its share of wonderful gardens brimming with botanics, flowers and water fountains. Jardin des Plantes de Rouen is probably one of the best in the town – it boasts a magnificent boating lake and plants from all five continents.
There is no best time to visit Rouen, as the town has its own allures in each season. If you are looking for sunshine, then summer would be a great time to be there. However, winter is usually less crowded and calls for plenty of snow and Christmas markets.
The good news is you can experience most of it in one day, and an excellent destination for a day trip from Paris. In one day, you might not do explore everything but the best things in RouI can be done in 1 day.
Rouen is really easy to reach from Paris and takes around 90 minutes by train. If you want a classic tour and witness the essential sights, stop by the tourist information center and follow their 2-hour walking route!
DAY TRIP TO NORMANDY D-DAY BEACHES
By World In Paris
The Normandy D-day Beaches is one of the most popular day trips from Paris. This day trip explores some of the sites related to Landing on the Beaches of Normandy and the battles that followed, one of the most critical chapters in modern history that led to Western Europe‘s liberation from the Nazis.These places are best explored on a Normandy road trip, but all the tour operators in Paris squeeze the main WW2 sites in Normandy on a long day trip from Paris.
Usually, day tours from Paris start with a visit to the Caen Memorial Museum. This relatively new museum is an excellent introduction to the topic, the place where visitors can see a vast collection of objects related to the Second World War. The museum’s ticket also includes the access to General Richter’s command bunker and the three memorial gardensdedicated to the three leading allied nations involved in liberating France.
Then, the tour explores the beaches stormed by the Allies: Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach, and Sword Beach.
However, the most moving site is the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer. The site contains the graves of 9,388 American victims of the landings and the ensuing battles. The French government gave this land to the United States, so this is considered American soil.
Day Trip to Provins
By Wyld Family Travel
Day Trip to Reims
Spend a day in the heart of France’s champagne region – it´s a trip well worth taking. Stop by the main tourism office to book tickets for champagne house tours and tastings. If you only have time to visit one, choose Taittinger, one of a handful of houses right in town.
You’ll get a glimpse of the champagne maker’s vast underground caves and enjoy some champagne in its stylish tasting room.
Visit Reims’ Notre Dame cathedral to see the modern stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall and Imi Knoebbel, which blend in to the Gothic architecture remarkably well. It’s easy to find an attractive café around the main square for lunch. But you can also walk back toward the train station to admire the Gallo-Roman Mars Gate and shop at the Halles du Boullingrin, a 1920s-era covered market with gorgeous vaulted ceilings sheltering cheese, pastries, coffee and more.
If you love vintage and sporty cars head to the Musee Automobile Reims. World War II history fans will absolutely want to explore the Museum of the Surrender, which was Dwight Eisenhower’s headquarters and the site of the Nazi surrender.
Both museums are away from the center of town, so visiting them takes a bit of planning. Leave time to enjoy a last glass of local bubbly near the station before you board your train back to Paris. Santé!
It only takes a 45-minute train ride from Paris to Reims.
Hopefully, these tips on the best day trips from Paris have helped you planning your Paris trip and especially which places to visit near Paris.