From wine connoisseurs to art enthusiasts and nature lovers, these day trips from Paris offer a world of experiences that appeal to every type of traveler. We will evaluate the best day trips from Paris.
A trip to France is, without a doubt, on everyone’s bucket list. The country is known for its cultural beauty and picturesque locations that appeal to art enthusiasts, nature-lovers, and history buffs alike.
Table of Contents
- Best Day Trips from Paris, France
- The Palace of Versailles
- Disneyland Paris
- Mont Saint Michel
- Domaine de Chantilly
- Beaches of Normandy
- Loire Valley
- Château de Fontainebleau
- Can you do a day trip from Paris to Normandy?
- How long is the train ride from Paris to Normandy?
- Is there a fast train from Paris to Normandy?
- What cities can you visit from Paris by train?
Best Day Trips from Paris, France
While Paris is at the heart of everyone’s French experience, there are a variety of destinations that are just a day’s trip away from here. Each place is unique in its own way and is ideal for the perfect getaway.
Here’s your guide to the best day trips from Paris.
The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is an architectural wonder and was once the capital province of the Kingdom of France. The palace is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris and attracts nearly 8-10 million visitors a year due to its fascinating history.
It was built in the late 1600s and has a rich history, spanning over five years. In addition to its cultural significance, many consider the Palace of Versailles to be a work of art.
This incredible structure in true classic French style features 17th-century European architecture and contains 2,300 rooms – the most famous of them being the Hall of Mirrors. The grounds of the palace are just as impressive as the inside.
The Gardens of Versailles are spread over 230 acres and have more than 210,000 flowers. On a day trip from central Paris to Versailles, you can even take a guided tour of the palace and the gardens.
This is one of the best things to do in Paris with kids. Your kids will get a chance to learn history, see unbelievable architecture, and get some of their energy out by playing in the garden that Marie Antoinette so truly adored.
How to get there
The Château De Versailles is 20 km outside Paris and there are a number of ways to get there:
- Train – A great way to enjoy Paris’ natural beauty on your way to Versailles is to take the train. You can choose from one of the three train stations in Versailles but the most convenient one would be the Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche. You can catch the train at Gare D’ Austerlitz in Paris every 15 minutes. A one-way ticket costs €7.
- Bus – You can take bus number 71 from Pont de Sevres in Paris to Versailles.
- Car – Alternatively, you can always opt to drive to the Palace of Versailles. It is a 45-minute drive approximately.
The Palace is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM from April to October and 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM between November and March.
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In addition to the culture, art, and food that Paris has to offer, a huge attraction in Paris is Disneyland. The Happiest Place on Earth is just a short trip outside Paris and is home to two major parks – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park with five theme areas.
The highlight of the park is Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Castle). The intricate architecture and detailing of the castle are pure magic. The park also contains various stimulation experiences, roller-coasters, and haunted houses for the whole family to enjoy.
For an instant adrenalin rush, make sure to check out Big Splash Mountain. You can even get a multi-day entrance ticket for the full Disney experience. Visit GetYourGuide to learn more about the different experiences available at Disney World.
How to get there
Disneyland Paris is located 60 km outside Paris. There are two ways to get there:
- Train– The train from Paris to Disneyland departs from Charles De Gaulle Etoile station and arrives at Marne-la-Valle. There is a train that leaves the station every 15 minutes and a one-way ticket costs €15.
- Bus– Your first option is to get the Express Bus ticket also includes a ticket to Disneyland Park. However, if you leave straight from the airport, take the Magic Shuttle Bus for €23.
- Disneyland Park is open from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM
- The Walt Disney Studio Park is open from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM
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Mont Saint Michel
A true architectural feat, the Mont Saint Michel in Normandy is a location that’s straight out of a fairytale. A stunning abbey with towering spires sits on the edge of the cliff as the tides wash against its shore. Nearly 3 million people come to the island every year to admire the majestic abbey built in the 8th century.
The Grand Degre Steps, the stairs that lead to the abbey, add to the beauty of this stunning structure. The strategic architecture of the cathedral has withstood numerous attacks over the years, making Mont St. Michel a military masterpiece. A short trip to this UNESCO World Heritage Site is well worth your time.
How to get there
A trip to Mont Saint Michel should take approximately 3-4 hours from Paris. You have three options to get there.
- Train – Since Mont Saint Michel is an island you will first need to find your way to Rennes and then head to the abbey. The train goes from Gare’ Montparnasse to Renne. From there hop on the bus that takes you to the mainland. You can either walk across the 900m Pont Passerelle or take the shuttle for €2.
- Car – you can also drive to Mont St. Michel where you can park your car 1.5 miles from the mainland. From the parking spot, you can take the free shuttle that drops you off 450 m from the edge of Mont St. Michel.
- Guided tour – A third option would be to book a guided tour and most trips start from Paris. You will not need to worry about transport since pick up and drop-off is always included with the ticket. Many tours also include a tour guide who can give you information on the history and culture behind the glorious Mont St. Michel.
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Domaine de Chantilly
Domaine de Chantilly is a beautiful Renaissance castle situated in a unique setting. The castle is covered by forests and swampy marshes and floats over its own pond and canal system.
The interiors of the castle are lavish Rococo decorations and beautiful furniture. Located in the Château Musée Condé, exhibits an extensive selection of historical paintings, two important pieces of Louvre art. The galleries are filled with many masterpiece pieces, namely Botticelli, Raphael, Titian Poussin Ingres, and Delecroix.
The best way to get to Domaine de Chantilly from Paris is by car. The drive takes about an hour, and there is plenty of parking on site. You can also take the train, which is a little slower, or the bus, which is the cheapest option but also the slowest.
Book a small group tour to get the best hands-on experience in visiting this amazing castle.
Champagne-lovers will definitely want to make a wine day trip from Paris out to Reims. The region is known for its Champagne trail- the Montagne de Reims which is the birthplace of world-famous champagne brands like Veuve Cliquot and Moet and Chandon.
In fact, a region of Reims is actually called Champagne which is where the name came from. In addition to a rich champagne history, Reims also has five wine-producing districts and a famous cathedral where the French King was coronated.
This champagne region is a must-see for its rich cultural history that’s over two millennia old and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
How to get there
- Train – The quickest way to get to Reims is by train. You can catch the train from Gare de Est station in Paris and arrive at the Champagne-Ardenne station in Reims. The high-speed train can get you there in 45 minutes.
- Bus – A more economical option would be the bus. The bus leaves from the Bercy-Seine station in Paris and arrives at the Champagne-Ardenne station in Reims. While the trip can take 2-3 hours, it costs less than €1.
- Guided tour – For the full Reims experience, consider taking a guided tour. This gives you access to an array of local attractions and a tour guide who can impart some knowledge on your favorite champagne.
- Car – if you choose to drive to Reims, make sure to avoid the rush hour. A road trip can take 2 hours from Paris to Reims.
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Travel back in time on your day trip to the beautiful city of Giverny. This quaint town is a haven for art lovers because it is the home of the world-renowned artist, Monet.
A tour of the city will take you across the beautiful gardens, the Japanese bridge, and the Musee des Impressionnismes which is a tribute to Monet and includes some of his best pieces. You can even visit Monet’s house and Monet’s gardens.
If you are looking to splurge on a luxury meal during your visit to Giverny, make a stop at Le Jardin des Plumes, a Michelin star restaurant.
How to get there
Giverny is 75 km from Paris. You can take the train to Giverny via Vernon.
- Train – You can catch the train to Vernon from Paris at the Saint Lazare station. This takes you a town called Vernon. This trip should take 45 minutes. At Vernon, you can hop on a shuttle to Giverny. When returning to Paris, take the SNCF line from Saint Lazare- Rouen Rive Droite in Giverny which brings you to Vernon. Take the train back to Paris.
- Guided tour – A second option would be to take a guided tour. Many tours provide transport from Paris to Giverny.
Beaches of Normandy
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Parisian city life, head to the beaches of Normandy for a day of relaxation. One of the best sights here is the D-Day landing beaches.
The beach was the scene of some of the worst battles fought in World War II. Today, the beach is synonymous with calm and serenity and provides an incredible view of the oceans and cliffs along with incredible World War II history.
You can even take a guided tour of the memorials and museums on your way to this pristine beach including the Caen Memorial, Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, and the ruins of the artificial harbor at Arromanches. While you’re there, make sure to taste the Camembert cheese which was invented in a place in Normandy by the same name.
How to get there
There are a couple of ways to get to Normandy from Paris. These include:
- Train– If you are on a budget, your best option is to on this day trip from Paris by train. You can catch the train at Gare Saint Lazarre in Paris which takes you straight to Bayeux, Normandy. Early birds can get a first-class ticket for the price of a 2nd class ticket. The trip takes 5 hours.
- Bus– Another economical way to get to Normandy is by bus. You can take the bus from Gare de Lyon in Paris to Caen Train Station in Normandy. This trip takes you 3.5 hours followed by a 20-minute bus ride from Caen to Bayeux.
- Guided tour– If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding a ride, you can take a guided tour of Normandy’s beaches. The tour covers various memorial sites and beaches like D-Day and Juno. Learn more about Normandy’s history as you explore.
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If you are looking to splurge on a getaway during your trip to Paris, you can visit Loire Valley, a winery close to Paris. This vast piece of land is located between the North and South of France and was famous for its strategic location during the world war.
In addition to tasting the wines of the region, visitors can also get a glimpse into the rich cultural history of France. This picturesque place has over 300 stunning castles, the Chateau de Chambord and Chateau de Chenonceau, being the most famous ones.
After a tour of the castle, you can visit the Musee des Beaux-Arts which is home to some notable works of art. You can end this fun day trip from Paris to Loire Valley day at one of the many roadside cafes.
How to get there
The journey from Paris to Loire Valley can take 1.5-3 hours depending on your mode of transport
- Guided tour– The journey to Loire Valley from Paris includes numerous stops and transfers so the best way to get there would be with an organized tour. The tour will take care of your accommodation and also provides a local guide.
- Train– You can take the train from Montparnasse in Paris to the St. Pierre Des Corps station. Here, you will need to catch a bus at the St. Pierre Garr Station which takes you to Jericho in Loire Valley.
- Bus– You can take a number of buses from the Bercy Seine station in Paris to Loire Valley. The trip takes around 3 hours.
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Château de Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau is a magnificent castle located just 1 1/2 hours from Paris. The Château Fontainebleau, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been the residence of France’s sovereigns since the 8th century and contains lovely woodland and soaring hills.
The original medieval castle was nearly completely rebuilt after François I ordered renovations in 1528. François I built a beautiful palace in Italian style and was the patron of the arts. He hired top Italian craftsmen to decorate his house.
The best way to get to Château de Fontainebleau is by car. It’s located just 1 1/2 hours from Paris.
Catch a break from busy Paris life with a day trip to beautiful Provins. This place lets your travel back to medieval times in France and provides visitors with a dose of the country’s rich history.
The town was built between the 11th and 17th centuries and had a population of 80,000. Given its location, it was once the center of trade in the region. Some must-see attractions include the Le Legend Le Chaveliers which features a variety of medieval comedy sketches.
The Remparts and La Tour Cesar are beautiful structures that can take you back to France in the Middle Ages.
How to get there
There are three ways to get to Provins from Paris
- Guided tour – The most convenient way to get to Provins is with an organized tour. The tour will provide transport from Paris and take you on a guided tour of the city. You get to enjoy the historical beauty of some of the region’s best wines.
- Train – You can catch the train from the East Railway Station in Paris to Provins. The trip should take 1.5 hours.
- Bus – The N4 bus in Paris will get you to Provins in 1.5 hours.
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Given Paris’ central location, visitors can also take a trip to one of its neighboring countries. The stunning Medieval town of Bruges in Belgium is just a short trip from Paris.
The city got its claim to fame after the movie ‘In Bruges’ starring Colin Farrell. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful brownstone architecture that dates all the way back to the 12th century.
You can take a boat ride through the city’s canals and visit the famous Groeningemueseum. You can also taste one of the city’s many delicacies like chocolate and beer. This is hands down one of the best day trips from Paris.
How to get there
- Train– the best way to get to Bruges from Paris is by train. You can take the train at the Paris Nord station which takes you directly to Bruges. The whole trip will take 2.5 hours.
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How to get there
The trip from Paris to Lille takes an hour.
- Train (TGV)- The best way to get to Lille is by high-speed TGV. You can catch the train at Gare du Nord which will either take you to Gare de Lille Flandres or Gare de Lille Europe located in the heart of Lille.
While Paris may be the center of Paris and the cultural capital of the world, there’s a lot more to France than just this city. These best day trips from Paris can give you a much-needed break from the fast-paced city life.
From an incredible culinary experience to theme parks and palaces, each place has something unique to offer. What are your favorite day trips from Paris?
Can you do a day trip from Paris to Normandy?
Yes, this is a pretty straightforward trip from Paris. The train ride takes about 1.5 hours.
How long is the train ride from Paris to Normandy?
About 1.5 hours.
Is there a fast train from Paris to Normandy?
LVV Normandie will connect Paris with Normandie through the high-speed rail system. Train trains are scheduled to run at 155mph and 250 mph with an additional TGV station in Rouen.
What cities can you visit from Paris by train?
You can visit a number of different cities by train from Paris. Some of the best day trips include Versailles, Chartres, and Giverny. There are also several other great options depending on what interests you most.
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