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Paris Day Trips: Last updated on the 7th of May 2022 by Lena
When you spend more than 3 days in Paris, you have enough time to see all the top sights and plan a day trip from Paris to see a bit more of France. Because France is actually the most visited country in the world! 83 million visitors can’t be wrong, and if you’re having a spare day during your Paris city escape, take a one-day tour from Paris and explore this beautiful country.
Before diving into all of your day trip options, see below the most popular day trips from Paris:
Highlights: the most popular Paris Day Trips
★ Loire Valley & Castles
History, Gardens & Wine
★ Monet’s Gardens in Giverny
Art, Nature & Countryside
★ Champagne Region & Reims
History, Champagne & Countryside
★ Normandy Landing Beaches
History, Landscape & Seaside
The 10 Best Day Trips from Paris
Paris is a sleepless city with more fantastic things to do than you can possibly squeeze into one trip. But with all its buzz, beauty, and density of highlights, it can be suffocating at times.
Probably you will be needing some air at one point, or maybe you are simply keen on seeing a bit more of France than just its capital. Either way, the best way to escape the city is by planning a day trip outside of Paris.
Luckily, Paris is close to many stunning and interesting destinations. So many, that it can even be challenging to find the best day trip from Paris.
The options are endless, but to save you from decision paralysis, I asked around and compiled a list of the best Paris day trips for you.
1. Château de Versailles
The Versailles Palace is a castle you must visit if you are spending a few days in Paris. It takes around 30 minutes to travel by train from Paris to the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. If you are not comfortable taking the train to Versailles on your own, you can also join a tour. Click here for more information and prices.
Honestly, you could easily spend a day or more exploring the Castle and the beautifully landscaped gardens. But if you are short on time, you can also easily make it a quick half day trip from Paris. It is still enough time to visit the Château and parts of the gardens.
To save time queuing, I strongly advise booking your tickets in advance. I use GetYourGuide.com for my travels because the 24h cancellation policy saved me already more than once when my plans changed last minute.
2. Reims & the Champagne Region
Only an hour’s train ride to the northeast of Paris, Reims is a MUST on your next visit to the City of Lights. While the small town is undoubtedly known for its Champagne houses, the capital of France’s Champagne region is also complete with a world-class fine-dining scene, historical monuments, and incredible Art Deco architecture, too.
That said, the Champagne was the real reason I made the day trip from Paris to the Champagne region — and I loved it!
|★ The (by far!) most popular Day Trip to Champagne
If you are more interested in Champagne and less in Reims: This tour is the most efficient and complete Champagne experience you can have in just one day. It contains:
Keep these important tips in mind to make this Paris day trip worthwhile:
- Avoid Sundays or Mondays when most of the town is closed.
- Be sure to reserve tastings when visiting Tattinger, Veuve Cliquot, and Pommery — where else are you going to get to taste those Champagnes at a fraction of the price of the bottle?!
- Your day is sure to be filled with multiple bubbly flutes and several cellar staircases, so remember, you do not need to finish all the Champagne given to you (although you should definitely try!).
- be sure to make reservations ahead — some Champagne Houses require it!
Favorite day tour from The Globe Diary Blog
3. Giverny, the Gardens of Monet
Take a look at our complete guide on how to visit the Gardens of Monet from Paris
Giverny is the perfect one-day trip from Paris, and you don’t need to be a great fan of Monet and Impressionism to enjoy the beautiful gardens.
Giverny’s single attraction is the house in which Claude Monet lived from 1883 until his death in 1926. He created splendid gardens that served as a source of inspiration for his paintings.
Giverny (half day)
Giverny and Versailles
Giverny & Bike Tour (full day)
Visiting the gardens feels like an invisible door opens to one of his paintings, and you enter the magic world of flowers, water lilies, wisterias, and the play of sunlight on the water surface. Besides the home of Monet, you can also visit the Museum of Impressionism in the village. There are also lovely art galleries and cafés.
The house of Monet is open for visitors from the end of March until the beginning of November. Although it can be very crowded on a sunny day, the beauty of the gardens is so immense that it is worth visiting it! Just make sure you are booking your tickets ahead of time!
This actually happened to me despite better knowledge. It took us an hour to find a parking place and when we finally arrived the queue was so long and did not move at all, that we just went back to Paris.
4. Dieppe in Normandy
Sweating in Paris in the summer? Hop on a train to Dieppe to enjoy the food and beaches of Normandy! The water’s incredibly blue, the limestone cliffs are an artist’s dream, and a galette with 4 types of local cheese is surely life-changing. A day trip to Dieppe is the perfect escape!
For the practical part: Dieppe is around 200 km north of Paris in the region of Normandy. The best way to get there is by train, from Paris Saint Lazare. It costs 19-36 Euros each way and takes around 2 hours. (Book your tickets here) If you’re on a really tight budget, there’s also a bus service to Dieppe through Flixbus.
Once you’re in Dieppe, throw away your detailed itineraries because this is a location to be wandered without a plan. The winding streets of the little port town are filled with adorable restaurants, boutiques, colorful houses, and Canadian flags (to honor the fallen from WWII).
You can’t miss the gorgeous beach, which is pebbly at high tide and sandy at low. Make sure to bring water shoes to explore cliffside caves and forgotten bunkers.
Bored of the beach? Head to the castle, hike the topside of the cliffs, enjoy some pastries, or learn about WWII history.
5. Loire Valley & Loire Castles
One of the best things about visiting Europe is getting to see the castles. France in particular has many fantastic castles that are not to be missed. If you find yourself in Paris, a day trip to the Loire Valley is a must! Here you’ll find many incredible castles that will make you feel as if you’re back in medieval times.
From Paris, you can rent a car and give yourself a self-guided tour or opt for a paid group tour that will take you to the most popular castles in the area.
A few of the top castles that should be on your list are the Chateau d’Amboise, Chateau de Chenonceau, and the Chateau de Chambord. If you’re a Beauty and the Beast fan, be sure to check out the Chateau de Chambord – it was the inspiration for Beast’s castle! A day trip from Paris to the Loire Valley is sure to add a bit of magic to your trip.
It is as well a great experience to travel to the Loire if you are looking for day trips from Paris in December. The castles are Christmassy decorated and are beautiful to see.
6. D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy
Around two hours northwest of Paris lies the Normandy region. Although well-known for its quaint coastal villages, old stone cottages, ancient wars, and the famous Bayeux Tapestry, it is the World War II D-Day Landing Beaches that wrote Normandy into the modern history books. This history makes Normandy one of the most popular Paris day trips.
It is on these five beaches – code-named Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword – that the Allied Forces began the liberation of France from German occupation on June 6, 1944. Doing so helped bring an end to the war in Europe.
Tip: Also read our post about the French Resistance Museum in Paris!
Today, the area is part memorial to those soldiers who were killed during this operation, with a number of war cemeteries and museums. You can also visit some of the German bunkers and garrisons still existing at Pointe du Hoc with their bullet-pocked and bomb-scarred walls.
Visiting the landing beaches is a great day trip and best done with a tour guide who can explain the history and significance of the area.
Normandy is also known for its delicious cuisine, so be sure to visit one of the many restaurants around this area. And while there, also sample some Calvados – the region’s famous apple brandy.
→ Read our detailed guide on how to take a day trip from Paris to Bordeaux
You may not realize that other French cities, like the stunning and incredible Bordeaux, are only a couple of hours away from Paris via train. So, even if it’s quite far in distance, the fantastic train coverage in France makes it possible, that a day trip to Bordeaux from Paris is actually something that you do!
Bordeaux is a great city for a day trip from Paris. The train station isn’t far from the city center, and the center of Bordeaux is easy to get around on foot and by tram, so there’s no need to worry about a rental car.
Bordeaux actually reminds many of a smaller version of Paris. It’s equally enchanting. A large part of Bordeaux has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its impressive architecture of the city.
Wondering what to do in Bordeaux on a day trip? There are many great restaurants and museums, and the city is surrounded by world-famous wineries and vineyards that you can visit.
What to do in Bordeaux?
For example, during a 4h tour of the beautiful medieval wine village of St. Emilion (click here for more info). You can also take an open-top bus tour to discover Bordeaux, walk around the Place des Quinconces or admire the Monument aux Girondins. A visit to the Place de la Bourse should also be on your itinerary and be sure to save time for some wine at one of Bordeaux’s many wine bars.
Thanks for the ideas, Savored Journeys
8. Disneyland Paris
→ Read our quick tips to visit Disneyland Paris here
Sure, France is full of real life fairy tale castles, but there’s something extra magical about being at Disneyland’s, perhaps it’s the fire breathing dragon underneath.
Disneyland Paris, formerly Euro Disney, is easy to get to from central Paris by car, train, or even a Disney bus. Certainly, the easiest and most cost-effective option is the train. Disneyland Paris is located directly beside the Marne-la-Vallee/Chessy train station, only a 35-minute ride outside of Paris.
Once there you can expect all the Disney magic you’ll find at the other parks around the world, but in my experience, about ¼ of the crowds. Of course, Disneyland Paris is a great place to take the family, but it’s fun for adults too. It has exciting rides for every age and unlike its American cousins, at Disneyland Paris you can grab a beer or wine to enjoy while you stroll through the park.
Just don’t have so much fun that you lose track of time. There are occasions when the last bus and train back to Paris leaves before the parks close, and that’s an expensive Uber.
Thanks Mags on the Move for the tips
9. Chateau Vaux le Vicomte
Favourite day trip from Paris from a World to Travel
This impressive Château is more than three centuries old and home to stories I won’t reveal here, but are absolutely worth listening to from someone in the know when visiting. If the architecture seems familiar, it’s not by chance: the Château Vaux le Vicomte inspired many other famous paces and gardens, like those of Versailles for example.
All in all, this château was one of the prettiest at the time. So, if you are in love with classic architecture, decadence and grandeur, do not forget to put this palace on your list of things to do near Paris. It’s a lovely day trip from Paris and you can look forward to a day among renaissance gardens, perspective games, decadent high ceiling rooms and hidden pools.
Furthermore, make sure to pay a visit to the rooftop lookout. Your best pictures of the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte await you there!
How to get there best: Most conveniently, you can book a tour that covers both castles, the Château Vaux le Vicomte and the Palace of Fontainebleau. The most popular tour includes transportation by coach from Paris, entrance fees and also an audio guide click here for more info, prices and bookings
Not that kind of castle you’re looking for? What about a trip to Villa Savoye!
Where is the Mont St. Michel, and what is it? The Mont Saint Michel is an Island about 1 km offshore and is home to a monastery and abbey. This UNESCO World Heritage Site lays 360 km east from Paris.
How to visit the Mont Saint Michel:
If you are looking to take a road trip, renting a car is a good idea. (you can see prices of rental cars from Paris here) But given that it’s quite a ride and rental cars are rather pricey, I’d advise to simply book a guided Mont Saint Michel day tour from Paris.
This tour has great reviews and is only a bit more expensive than renting a car, but way more relaxing.
I know it’s nevertheless utterly far for a day trip, but it’s so worth it! Taking a day trip from Paris to Mont St. Michel is clearly one of the best day tours from Paris that you can take.
If you need any clarification about the best day trips from Paris or need some advice and how to plan your trip, don’t hesitate to reach out! I created a Facebook group for this matter, and I am available to help you out! Click here to join the Salut from Paris Facebook group!
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