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15 Amazing Day Trips from Paris

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Whether you’re looking to escape the crowds and hustle and bustle of the city, or you’re on the hunt for another unforgettable experience nearby, take one of these 15 unique day trips from Paris!

If you’re just in the planning stages of your trip, or you’re sitting in a hotel room in Paris feeling a bit bored after knocking out the sights in one day like me and my husband were on our recent trip to the City of Light, a day trip may be just the ticket to make your visit even better.

It’s no secret that Paris can be intense – there’s a lot (a lot) of people that visit the city at all times of the year. And it can be good to get away from the chaos, or exciting just to see somewhere else that’s an easy day trip away! From medieval villages to romantic wine country to foodie paradise, there’s a day trip for every kind of traveler on this list!

We’ll start our list with the usual suspects Versailles and Mont Saint-Michel. After all, they’re classic day trip options for a reason! But if you’re looking for a more unique option, read more for one of our super memorable ideas or off-the-beaten path destinations!

Palace of Versailles, France

As the most famous royal chateau in France, this incredible estate sits just 45 minutes from central Paris. Built in 1631, the palace was originally a hunting lodge that was reconstructed by King Louis XIV.  It was later transformed into a museum devoted to “All the Glories of France” in the 1800s.

This massive ornately-decorated palace is blanketed in opulence. From golden ceilings and chandeliers dripping in crystals to its manicured 2,000 acre grounds, it’s no wonder the estate is one of France’s crown jewels.

While a spectacular place to tour, the Palace of Versailles is notoriously packed with people year-round. Over 15 million people visit the palace each year, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, this probably isn’t going to be #1 on your list.

What to Do Here: Take a tour of the massive palace and its gardens, either guided by an expert or on your own with these entrance tickets.

Mont Saint-Michel, France

As one of France’s most recognizable silhouettes, this Normandy castle feels almost surreal at first glance. As one of the most visited day trip sites from Paris, this medieval marvel is one tour you won’t soon forget.

Mont Saint-Michel was originally known as Mont Tombe, and (as the legend goes) was built as a sanctuary in the name of archangel Michael that appeared in a dream to Saint Aubert, a bishop in a nearby town at the time. At the same time, a village began to develop on the island below the Mount. 

Due to its strong fortifications and frequent changing tides, this island eventually became an undefeated fortress and it remained uncultured during the 100 Years War. As such, it became a symbol of French resilience and an iconic French landmark.

What to Do Here: Discover Mont Saint-Michel with a guided tour that includes transportation from Paris – we recommend this tour!

Brussels, Belgium

Looking to explore another vibrant European city, without having to move all of your luggage? Brussels might be the perfect day trip for you!

Just 1.5 hours away by train, Brussels is a convenient and exciting day trip option for those looking to get a taste of Belgian culture. Brussels boasts stunning architecture, famous museums, and culinary indulgences that will excite any foodies (hello, Belgian waffles and beer, don’t mind if we do!). 

What to Do Here: Explore the city with a hop-on hop-off bus tour, visit one of Brussels’ most iconic landmarks: the Atomium, and immerse yourself in the world of Banksy art at the Banksy Museum.

Auvers-Sur-Oise, France

Enjoy this lovely underrated town along the banks of Oise River, known as one of the most beautiful towns in northern France. In addition to its beauty and quaint charm, Auvers was once the home of famed artist Vincent Van Gogh. The village inspired the artist, with him spending the last 70 days of his life creating 70 paintings of Auvers-Sur-Oise, before he was buried in the village.

Walk in Van Gogh’s footsteps as you explore the town, and enjoy the view of the Roman-Gothic Church of Auvers. Built in 1137-1227, this ancient church is instantly recognizable from some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings. You’ll find various art exhibits throughout the town, making this day trip an art-lover’s paradise!

What to Do Here: Explore the many places that inspired Van Gogh’s paintings (they’re well marked throughout the village), and visit Chateau d’Auvers to enjoy a multimedia exhibition about Van Gogh and French art at a beautiful 17th-century estate.

Bruges, Belgium

Another Belgian option on the list. While a little bit longer of a train ride than Brussels (2.5 hours), this medieval town is still well worth a day trip from Paris!

Known for its picturesque canals and relaxing atmosphere, visiting Bruges feels like stepping back in time. Take a canal tour to see all of the historic waterways and buildings throughout the town, or a Brewery tour at Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan, the oldest brewery in Bruges – they’ve been brewing beer for almost 500 years!

What to Do Here: Marvel at medieval architecture and explore this incredibly charming town on foot, by open-air bus, or by water with a canal tour. After you work up an appetite climbing the Belfry Tower for incredible views of the city, get some world-famous Belgian Waffles at a local cafe or restaurant. If you’re a beer lover, visit the Bruges Beer Museum complete with a tasting!

Lille, France

Even though Lille is France’s fourth largest metropolis, it’s still one of the country’s best kept secrets. Situated close to the Belgian border, this historic town has clear architectural and cultural influences from Belgium and France.

The old city, Vieux Lille, has two gorgeous town squares for you to explore: Le Grand Place and Le Place du Theatre. With charming cobblestone roads and lovely shops and restaurants sprinkled throughout, this is one underrated city that will surprise you with how much you enjoy it!

What to Do Here: Explore the winding cobblestone roads and beautiful buildings throughout this lovely city, then head to the Palis des Beaux-Arts de Lille for some amazing artwork – it has the largest collection in France, after the Louvre in Paris.

Reims, France

If drinking champagne right at its source is a dream for you, look no further than Reims, France. This countryside town is a dream, filled with rolling hills, a stunning cathedral, and a plethora of wineries where you can tour the cellars and enjoy a tasting.

Reims is also full of Michel-starred restaurants for anyone looking for incredible cuisine to end their day trip to this French countryside gem.

What to Do Here: Wander through the town of Reims, making stops at the Reims Cathedral and the Palace of Tau, before venturing to the wineries. Join this tour for a day to enjoy all of the highlights of Reims with transportation to and from Paris, as well as a champagne tasting – it makes it so easy to explore and enjoy without worrying you’ll miss your train back!

Lyon, France

Just two hours away by train, Lyon offers a totally different big-city experience than the City of Light. As the unofficial food capital of France, you’ll find some of the best restaurants and cuisine here, with many serving traditional Lyonnaise cuisine like coq au vin and paté. 

Explore the city’s hidden passageways throughout Vieux Lyon (the old quarter), and visit the Basilique de Fourvière at the top of a hill, that’s accessible via a funicular.

What to Do Here: Get your key to the city with a Lyon City Card to access 23 museums, free public transport, a guided walking tour and a river cruise.

London, England

Looking for a major adventure in your day trip from Paris? Explore another iconic European city after being on a high-speed train for just 2.5 hours. While London is a huge city that probably warrants more than a day trip, this is a great way to get a little taste of this legendary English city!

Jump on a tour bus to easily see all of the sights: the Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and of course, the London Eye.

What to Do Here: With so much to see and so little time, we recommend jumping on a hop-on hop-off tour bus to see all of London’s more iconic sights. Then, if you have time before your train back to Paris, grab a bite of English favorites like fish & chips or a steak & ale pie.

Strasbourg, France

Nestled right on the border of France and Germany, you’ll find the beautiful and very German-esque city of Strasbourg. Explore the fairy-tale neighborhood of Petite France along the Rhine, and take a boat tour to really have a unique view of this beautiful city.

If you’re visiting France in the winter, be sure to put Strasbourg on your list as its Christkindelsmärikis one of the country’s best holiday markets!

What to Do Here: Visit the Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg, then take a boat tour of this beautiful town, or experience all of its culture via cuisine with a food tour! 

Fontainebleau, France

Similar to the Palace of Versailles, but with less of the crowds, you’ll find the stunning, old-world Château de Fontainebleau with tours and exploration that will take up most of your day! Only 50 minutes from Paris, you can admire the golden interior of this estate, walk along its canal, and enjoy the gardens throughout the property. You can even take a rowboat out onto Carps Pond when the weather is nice!

What to Do Here: Tour Château de Fontainebleau. We recommend this tour that includes transportation from Paris!

Chantilly, France

Known for its Chantilly lace exports and whipped cream, Chantilly is a gem located just 30 minutes from Paris. Here you’ll also find the Chateau of Chantilly, a 1500s-era castle with all the beauty of Versailles, and way fewer tourists. 

This relaxing town is the perfect escape from the busy hustle and bustle of Paris, without having to venture away too far from the city.

What to Do Here: Explore Chateau de Chantilly and its gardens, and even take a whipped cream workshop while you’re on the grounds!

Bordeaux, France

Wine lovers, this is your ideal day trip destination! Take a two hour train ride to Bordeaux, a city with the same name as its famous red wine. With over 350 historical buildings and monuments to explore, as well as a wine museum, you’ll have a day full of adventuring ahead of you (and likely some spectacular wine, if you choose).

What to Do Here: Visit the world’s largest reflecting pool, the Mirror d’Eau on a hot day or just for a moment of tranquility, then join a bike tour to explore all of the city’s sights (and food!) For our wine lovers, this full-day wine tour is perfection.

Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Another quick jaunt out of the country, Luxembourg is a fabulous day trip from Paris. Just over 2 hours by train, you’ll find this charming city full of cobblestone streets and fascinating underground tunnels. 

Visit the Grund area of the city to see the base of the former fortress that once surrounded the city, then go to Casemates du Bock (one of the city’s most famous tourist sites) to tour the city’s underground defense system made up of miles of tunnels that also served as bomb shelter during World War II. 

What to Do Here: Explore all of the top sights in Luxembourg with a bus tour that makes your adventure a breeze, we recommend checking out this one. If you prefer to explore with your stomach, you’ll love this Luxembourg food and wine tasting tour!

Meaux, France

Less than a half hour from Paris, this is every Brie-lovers ideal destination. Famous for its Brie and mustard, you have to try the charcuterie offerings in Meaux, France. 

After you devour all of the Brie you can handle, take a walk through the Parc du Pâtis or the Jardin Bossuet for beautiful scenery and a brief escape from city life. Visit the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Meaux for a taste of history before heading back to Paris.

What to Do Here: Visit the Musee de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux war museum, then have your fill of charcuterie before heading back to Paris.