Paris, the city of love, is one of the world’s most recognised tourist destinations. It is, however, an excellent starting point for exploring other nearby attractions. A day trip from Paris can take you to many interesting and beautiful places. There is something for everyone, whether you want to explore the countryside, visit a historic castle, or go on a wine-tasting tour.
“Step out from Paris and enter a world of breathtaking architecture, breathtaking landscapes, and fascinating history.These day trips are ideal for seeing the best of France.”
Best Day Trips from Paris
REIMS CHAMPAGNE TASTING
- FAMOUS FOR – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 130 KMS
Reims is a charming town in the Champagne region, where the majority of the top champagne brands have their headquarters. It also has one of Europe’s largest and most beautiful cathedrals, where many kings were crowned. Champagne houses such as Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot, and Pommery offer tours that will take you through the process of making champagne, the history of the brand, and even a complimentary glass of bubbly! They all have gift shops with tonnes of champagne as well as bags, collectibles, and various branded souvenirs.
You can take a train from Paris’s Gare de l’Est train station to Reims. There are trains almost every hour of the day, and it only takes an hour to get to Reims. Most champagne houses are only a 10-20 minute walk from the Reims train station. The Champagne GH Martel & Co is one of the most popular houses to visit.
Nearby attractions: Maison Ruinart, My wine break – champagne, Champagne Tours by La Vigne du Roy.
- FAMOUS FOR – THEME PARK
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 43.7 KMS
Okay, so we waited a long time on this one, but Disneyland Paris continues to improve and has begun to offer more for adults. We love how they combine French and American food and folklore, referencing French fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, as well as more modern French tales such as Ratatouille. Then there are the classic Disney (American) attractions and rides.
Disneyland Paris is one of the world’s largest Disney parks, with two theme parks: Walt Disney Studios Park and Disneyland Park. While Disneyland Park is similar to the original Magic Kingdom theme park (sleeping beauty castle, adventure land, frontierland, etc.) and geared towards children, it also has ‘adult-friendly’ rides such as Indiana Jones Temple du Peril. The majority of rides at Walt Disney Studios are not suitable for young children, such as the Star Wars 3D Star Tours simulated ride and the Tower of Terror in Studios Park (note: avoid this ride on an empty stomach!).
Nearby Attractions: Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney Village, Celestia Spa.
THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES
- FAMOUS FOR – ARCHITECTURE
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 30.2 KMS
Versailles should not be missed. Versailles, one of the largest castles ever built, is a testament to the prowess of France’s monarchy, particularly Louis XIV, the Sun King. The Château de Versailles is not only an architectural marvel, but it also bears witness to hundreds of fascinating stories that will leave you speechless. And if history and fancy castles bore you, the gardens will undoubtedly impress. In a single day, you can visit Versailles’ formal gardens, forests, mazes, follies, theaters, Marie-mini Antoinette’s farm, and a massive lake accessible by row boat.You can even ride a horse through the Versailles gardens!
The best way to get to Versailles is by RER commuter train. Many people travel to Versailles from all over Paris, so we recommend finding the nearest RER station or using an app like Google Maps to plan your route. There are also numerous fun tours available both inside and outside the palace.
Nearby Attractions: The Water Parterres, La Galerie des Batailles, The Hall of Mirrors
GIVERNY, MONET’S HOME
- FAMOUS FOR “TEA-GARDEN” BRIDGE AND WATER-LILY POND
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 77 KMS
Claude Monet, the French Impressionist superstar, lived in Giverny for over 40 years. Needless to say, his home and surroundings inspired countless masterpieces, so we are confident you will find it charming, if not inspiring! His house has been miraculously preserved, and if you visit on a sunny day, you will feel as if you are right in one of his paintings.
Monet was inspired by his gardens and worked on them for years, planting thousands of flowers. He believed that it was essential for him to be in nature and paint outside. He painted many scenes from his home and gardens, including water lilies in a pond, a Japanese bridge, and a weeping willow tree.
Nearby Attractions: The Clos Normand – Fondation Claude Monet, Maison de Claude Monet à Vétheuil.
- FAMOUS FOR “PILGRIMAGE DESTINATION”
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 231 KMS
Rouen is the capital of Normandy as well as the gateway to the region from Paris. It’s a lovely medieval city known for its half-timbered architecture. This is undoubtedly one of France’s most under-appreciated and overlooked cities, and given its proximity to Paris, it’s surprising it isn’t included in every guidebook! There is a beautiful cathedral, a famous clock, and, best of all, the beautiful Seine river that snakes through the city, giving it world-class charm to rival Paris. Aside from the landmarks and unique architecture, there is delicious Norman food and a museum dedicated to Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake for her role in defeating English forces during the Hundred Years War.
Etretat is another option. The White Cliffs of Dover are located in England. Etretat exists in France. Both are breathtaking and have been photographed countless times, but the scenery never gets old. Etretat itself is a hidden gem, brimming with charm and Norman character. Les Jardins d’Etretat (Etretat Gardens) is another intriguing option because it is an award-winning formal garden right on the coast with quirky sculptures and eccentric shrubs. Etretat’s best feature is that it is one of the closest coastal towns to Paris. The best way to get there is to take a Flixbus from La Defense, in the west of Paris. It takes approximately 3 hours and stops in Rouen and Fecamp before arriving in Etretat.
Nearby Attractions: Mont Saint-Michel, Rouen Gros-Horloge clock tower, Honfleur harbor, Caen Memorial Museum Mémorial de Caen
- FAMOUS FOR “CASTLES”
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 237 KMS
Blois is the closest town in the Loire Valley to Paris, only two hours by train. If you decide to go, we recommend doing more than just looking at castles and drinking copious amounts of wine. Why not, for example, take a hot air balloon ride over rolling hills? The Loire Valley is well-known for hot air ballooning, but it’s also a great place for outdoor activities like cycling – and not the uphill Tour de France kind. The Loire is ideal for leisure cyclists who appreciate scenery and gentle slopes.
Rent bikes and ride through the lush valley, stopping at fortresses in Amboise and Angers, the UNESCO-listed Chartres Cathedral, and Nantes’ Gothic cathedral. The Musee Jules Vernes houses replicas of the futuristic author’s inventions. Pay your respects to other former residents: the Romans in Tours, the cave dwellers of Touraine, and Joan of Arc, the liberator of Orleans.
Nearby Attractions: Château du Petit Thouars, cave Monplaisir, Plou et fils, Caves Louis de Grenelle, Cathedrale Ste-Croix.
MEDIEVAL CATHEDRAL IN CHARTRES
- FAMOUS FOR “NORMAN ARCHITECTURE”
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 92 KMS
The 13th-century Cathédrale Notre Dame in Chartres is France’s best preserved medieval cathedral. It was built on the site of a Romanesque cathedral that was nearly destroyed by the 1194 fire that ravaged Chartres, and it is revered for its 176 luminescent, deep-blue stained-glass windows. The striking structure also houses a number of sacred relics, including the Sainte Voile (Holy Veil), which is thought to have been worn by the Virgin Mary during the birth of Jesus.
Visit the nearby : Centre International du Vitrail, housed in a half-timbered former granary, and admire the fine-arts collection at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, housed in the 18th-century Palais Épiscopal (Bishop’s Palace).
- FAMOUS FOR ” MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE”
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS – 92 KMS
Provins is a charming medieval town in the Seine-et-Marne department of France, about 80 kilometers southeast of Paris.Its well-preserved architecture and rich history have earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.Visitors to Provins can explore the fortified walls and gates, stroll through the old town’s narrow streets, and see landmarks like the Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church and the Tour César, a medieval tower with panoramic views of the town.
Provins is also known for its annual Medieval Festival, which features jousting, falconry, and other medieval-themed entertainment. Overall, Provins is a must-see for history buffs and anyone looking for a unique and scenic day trip from Paris.
Nearby Attractions: La Tour César, La Roseraie de Provins, La Grange aux Dîmes.
- FAMOUS FOR ” OLD FASHIONED ARCHITECTURE AND TRADITIONAL CLOTHING”
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS: 554 KMS
With its labyrinth of cobbled lanes, flower-lined canals, and timber-framed houses painted in a rainbow of pastel hues, Colmar is a photographer’s dream. It’s a classic Alsatian town, full of traditional restaurants and surrounded by vineyards and medieval castles.
Colmar is frequently included on most France itineraries because of its many churches with stained glass windows and narrow, winding streets lined with cafes on every corner, endless old-fashioned architecture, traditional French clothing, authentic cuisine, vibrant streets, and wonderful people.
The town is also known as “Little Venice,” an area where you can enjoy canal boat rides similar to those found in Venice, Italy, as well as several churches, museums, and castles!
Attractions nearby include the Unterlinden Museum, the Toy Museum, Taste the Alsatian Gastronomy, the Bartholdi Museum, and the Colmar Christmas Market.
CHÂTEAU DE VAUX LE VICOMTE
- FAMOUS AS A ” LANDMARK AND HISTORICAL BUILDING”
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS: 62 KMS
The magnificent Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, located in the small village of Maincy just 35 miles outside of Paris and built in the 1600s by a team that included the top architect, top painter, and top landscape artist of the time, inspired King Louis XIV to hire the same team to transform a rustic hunting lodge into his splendid Château de Versailles.
Today, privately owned Vaux le Vicomte rivals Versailles in terms of beautiful and harmonious design, magnificent gardens and fountains, and lavishly decorated rooms – but without the crowds.
Since 1968, the castle has been open to the public, and it now offers tours, a carriage museum, water and fountain shows on the second and last Saturday afternoons of each month, and romantic candlelight evenings (with optional dinners) from May to October. From mid-November to early January, Vaux le Vicomte’s spectacular holiday decorations make the castle a popular winter destination. The castle then closes for the rest of January and into late March.
Attractions nearby include L’allée des platanes, Musée de la Gendarmerie Nationale, Eglise Saint Martin.
- FAMOUS AS A “MEDIEVAL FLEMISH ARCHITECTURE”
- DISTANCE FROM PARIS: 300 KMS
With its medieval Flemish architecture, quaint cobblestone streets, winding tree-shaded canals, and photo-worthy bridges, Bruges looks like it stepped out of a Middle Ages film.
You can get there and back in one day with this comfortable coach tour from Paris, leaving plenty of time to explore the compact city. A guide leads you through the city center, pointing out the famous cathedral, museums, and other important sites.
Then you can take a boat cruise along the picturesque canals (the ticket is included with your tour), photograph the famous Grote Markt (market square) lined with colorful neo-Gothic buildings, admire the fabulous architecture of City Hall and other administrative buildings in the Burg, eat a bucket of steamed mussels with fries and a mug of Belgium beer for lunch, and buy some Belgium chocolates or other souvenirs offered by the many small shops before heading back.
Nearby Attractions: Zeebrugge Dunes, Ostend Harbor, Blankenberge, Zwin Nature Park Owl.
Finally, day trips from Paris provide an excellent opportunity to visit some of France’s most beautiful and historically significant destinations. These trips are ideal for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience something new. There’s something for everyone, from the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles to the idyllic gardens of Giverny. So why confine yourself to a single city?
Paris is surrounded by a number of beautiful and interesting destinations that make for excellent day trips. There is something for everyone within easy reach of the city, whether you are interested in history, art, architecture, or nature. Step outside of Paris and explore the magic that awaits you just a short distance away. These day trips will undoubtedly be a highlight of any trip to France, with so much to see and do.