WEEKEND GETAWAY FROM PARIS | WEEKEND TRIPS FROM PARIS
Paris, France is one of the most romantic cities in the world is also one of the most visited cities on earth. Not only Paris mesmerizes you but its neighborhoods are also worth visiting. Paris trip is incomplete without doing some of the unique day trips to nearby towns. There are many unique day trips from Paris or you can say weekend getaway from Paris comprising of wonderful castles, enchanting gardens, majestic fortified towns, beautiful countryside towns, art-museums, lovely gardens and all at 1 to 3 hours drive from Paris. In this article, I and my friends will take you to Wonderful Day trips from Paris.
Best Day trips from Paris | Weekend Trips from Paris | Unique day trips from Paris
CHATEAU DE CHENONCEAU BY VANESSA From Wanderlust Crew | Best Day Trips from Paris
As much as I love Paris, I have been many times, and sometimes a break from the city is a necessity, especially if you’re visiting Paris with kids! We love to explore the outskirts of the city and visit as many castles as we possibly can! What better place to see castles than in France and what better location to see them than in the Loire Valley, which is known as the Garden of France due to its lush abundance of fruit orchards and vineyards.
Our favorite castle in the Loire Valley is Chateau de Chenonceau, whose iconic bridged gallery spans the river Cher. This ancient castle was first mentioned in the 1100s and has been expanded and remodeled several times over the last 900 years. The interior of the chateau is truly spectacular. You can wander through rooms once inhabited by French royalty like Diane de Poitier and Catherine de’ Medici. This castle was mainly ruled by women and the touches on the inside show that with the first spiral staircase ever recorded, a feminine decor and incredible floral arrangements spread throughout! You can even take a flower arranging workshop on the grounds of the chateau. Chateau de Chenonceau has a fascinating history during the Second World War as well. The river Cher divided Nazi-occupied France and the Free Zone, so the castle gallery built on a bridge was often a means of escape! The gallery was also used as a hospital during the war.
The exterior and gardens of Chenonceau are just as beautiful as the interior, with verdant flower and vegetable gardens, and an ancient hedge maze to get lost in. Kids will enjoy the children’s playground and the gourmet l’Orangerie Restaurant next door is a delicious treat.No visit to Paris is complete without a day trip to at least one castle and nothing is more delightful than Chenonceau
HOW TO REACH – Chateau de Chenonceau can be easily reached from Paris in 2-3 hours by car or train. The train stops almost directly in front of the castle, so it makes for an easy day trip!
OR Click here to book your full day tour to Loire Valley from Paris in advance.
Click here to purchase Chenonceau Castle Admission Ticket in advance.
ROUEN BY BRADLEY WILLIAMS From Dream Big, Travel Far | Best Day Trips from Paris
Having traveled across much of France, one of my favorite places I have so far visited has to be Rouen. This charming city is home to some of France’s quirkiest and most interesting buildings. And I’m not talking about the magnificent cathedral there which was built more than 800 years ago!
Instead, one of the things I loved most about Rouen was the quirky wooden buildings built all across the city. It’s true that you will find these sorts of buildings across all of Normandy, but it is oftentimes strange to see that they are still standing, as many seem to be incredibly slanted!
Other great things to do in Rouen include visiting the Church of St Joan of Arc, wandering through public gardens and eating in classic French cafes and restaurants. The best way to enjoy Rouen is by taking a walking tour that follows the route laid out on tourist maps which you can pick up from the tourist information center located opposite the cathedral.
HOW TO REACH – It’s a great spot for a day trip from Paris as its located only about 135 km away. If you don’t have a car, then the best way to get to Rouen from Paris is by train. It only takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and allows you to avoid much of the unbearable traffic you experience when driving in and out of the capital.
Or Book your Full day small Group tour to Rouen with skipping the line option.
AMIENS BY HELENE From Masala Herb |Best Day Trips from Paris
Amiens is a city in northern France, situated between Paris and London. The city is known for the largest cathedral in France, for the gorgeous gardens, the quaint inner city, and the real French flair. Discover the local flair, the history of this medieval city, the fascinating green side and its locals. Amiens is lively and has a lot to offer and is quite an insider tip for those travelers who seek the real soul of the region.
HOW TO REACH – If you take the national highway from Paris, you would take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The journey takes only about 1 hour by train. I totally recommend the train ride because you get to see the landscape and it’s less hassle to get around.
LUXEMBOURG City BY MEI AND KERSTIN From Travelwithmk | Best Day Trips from Paris
As someone who grew up in Luxembourg City, I can assure you that the capital of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, and totally worth exploring. Founded in 963, Luxembourg City has numerous historic monuments, and the entire Old City is actually classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. In the lower quarters of Luxembourg City, you can stroll through cobbled alleys and charming medieval houses. Beneath the former castle of Luxembourg, you can also explore the underground galleries dating back to the 17th century, that we call the Casemates du Bock. In the upper town of Luxembourg’s capital, there’s the Grand Duke’s palace and several museums to visit such as the MNHA, the Mudam, the Lëtzebuerg City Museum or the Villa Vauban, as well as a panoramic view to enjoy from the Adolphe Bridge built in 1900.
If you love food, make sure to taste some local specialties in one of the Michelin-starred restaurants in the capital. Since Luxembourg City is home to several European institutions, there are over 150 different nationalities here. So there are also tons of different cuisines in the capital of Luxembourg. By the way, did you know that one-third of Luxembourg City is covered in green spaces?
HOW TO REACH – So if you’re tired of the hustle and bustle in Paris, then just jump into a TGV at the Gare de l’Est in Paris, and 2 hours later you’ll arrive in Luxembourg City’s main train station!
In Luxembourg, you can book your Hop-on Hop-Off tours to go around this wonderful city.
ETRETAT BY VARSHA KULKARNI From Varshas Travel 360 | Best Day Trips from Paris
Have you heard of chalky cliffs of Davor in the UK? Ever wished to visit there? No problem, you can easily visit while in Paris. Etretat is a small coastal town in Normandy which has similar chalky cliffs and you can visit there as a day trip from Paris.
HOW TO REACH – Etretat is about 2.5 to 3 hours from Paris by car, so you should start early. Roads are nice and will be mostly empty as no one knows about this place. (But now you know!). There is plenty of paid parking near the beach. On both sides, you will see steep rising cliffs with narrow winding hiking routes going up. Take this trail and please, stay on it. The cliffs are extremely dangerous and tallest in this region. There are signs everywhere warning about not to leave the marked route. You can go as far as you wish along the cliffs admiring white steep cliffs going deep up to the turquoise waters below. During low tides, one can walk along the beach looking up the cliffs. On this route, you can walk under the iconic arches which are otherwise only looked upon from the trail above. Make sure to check the tidal timetable and avoid any inconvenience.
Back in the town, there are lots of restaurants serving local seafood. One must try Lobsters and Mollusks with fries. In the central market area, some vendors also sell fresh catch of the day.
One can stay here for 1 or 2 nights and explore the surrounding area. Sunset is best viewed from these cliffs.
Book your Etretat Small Group Tour from Paris in advance by clicking here.
LOIRE VALLEY BY ELOISE From My Favorite Escapes | Best Day Trips From Paris
The Loire Valley was once French king’s favorite holiday destination. But not only: it’s the place Edward Prince of Wales chose for his wedding. And it’s still popular nowadays as the current French President, Macron, celebrated his 40th birthday there. Plus, it’s also a reputed wine region. Do really need to add more to convince you it’s one of the best day trips from Paris?
The main activity around the Loire Valley is visiting castles. Whether you’re interested in history, royal gossips, fairy tales, architecture, art or stunning gardens and views, you’ll find something to your tastes in the Loire Valley. There are more than 300 castles in this UNESCO world heritage listed region. Your main problem when visiting the Loire Valley as a day trip from Paris will be to select only a handful of them. The most famous ones are Chateau de Chambord, Chateau de Chenonceau, Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau and Chateau d’Usse.
HOW TO REACH – A day trip from Paris to the Loire Valley is a long day, so it’s best to join a tour to optimize your time in the region and not worry about transport between castles or driving. However, it’s still possible to visit the region by yourself if you wish. It only takes two to three hours to drive from Paris to the Loire Valley. You can also catch a train from Paris to Tours (35 minutes), Blois (1.5 hours) or Amboise (1h40) and then a bus to visit the popular castles.
Book your Chateau de Chambord day tour from Paris in advance by clicking here. Or click here to book a Loire Valley castle trip with a wine tour.
FONTAINE BLEAU BY ANN MARIE From Eco-Conscious Traveller | Best Day Trips From Paris
What I love about Chateau de Fontainebleau as opposed to more popular castles in Paris such as Versailles is that it’s a lot less crowded and in this case makes any visit there simply feel that bit more authentic. It’s incredibly beautiful and once at the castle, you can spend a few hours walking around while listening to the detailed audioguide. You’ll learn about the history of the various French monarchs who lived in the splendid castle and can view the beautiful paintings of the famous Bonapart family and really feel like you’re being transported back in time.
If you’re not super interested in history or would rather not pay the entrance fee you can also just visit the gardens and view the magnificent castle from the outside. It’s the perfect place for a quiet picnic on a summer’s day. You can spend a while walking around and there’s also a forest.
HOW TO REACH – The castle is 60km from Paris and if you’re not driving the best way to get there is to take the train (called the RER) from Gare de Lyon in Paris. You can reach Gare de Lyon by metro. Once you arrive at the RER train station in Fontainebleau you take a shuttle bus to the castle. Or click here to book your Fontainebleau & Vaux-le-Vicomte Châteaux Day Tour from Paris.
VERSAILLES BY MAYURI KASHYAP From To Some Place New | Best Day Trips From Paris
Versailles makes for an ideal day trip from Paris. Located only 20 kilometers away from the capital city of France, Versailles Palace is a magnet for thousands of tourists every year. Geographically and demographically Versailles is located in the Ile-de-France region and the town has about 88,000 residents.
Versailles was built by King Louis XIV in the 17th century. He was in search of a new seat of governance and administration, and Versailles made for a perfect match. The Palace of Versailles became a symbol of grandeur and power for the French monarchy. This palace has also marked the outbreak of the French Revolution and ultimately the fall of the monarchy in France. Versailles also witnessed many important treaties, including the Treaty of Versailles that ended the first World War in 1919.
HOW TO REACH – The best way to get to Versailles from Paris is to take the train. The train ticket costs about 7 euros. If you are not taking the train, then another way to reach and explore Versailles is to take a day tour to the Palace and its neighboring areas. The town of Versailles is a gorgeous French suburb – relaxing, classy and very luxurious. Versailles is full of history, so definitely visit a museum or two, and also enjoy the palace gardens on your visit.
Click here to purchase Versailles Tickets with Garden full access in advance. Or you can also purchase Versailles & Gardens Skip a Line Ticket with Audio Guide.
GIVERNY BY JAMES IAN From Travel Collecting | Best Day Trips From Paris
Giverny makes a perfect day trip from Paris. It is the site of Claude Monet’s home, and the beautiful house and gardens feature in many of his paintings. The house is not that large, and all day there is a line of people winding its way through the rooms. Join the line first thing, as it will likely only get longer. The house is colorful and clearly evokes Monet’s life and his paintings. You can then take your time to enjoy the gardens. The Water Garden has the very water lilies that inspired Monet’s iconic paintings that hang in L’Orangerie in Paris. If you like Monet, you will also almost certainly recognize the Japanese bridge and weeping willows that surround the lilies. The other main section of the garden is the Norman Wall (Clos Normand) garden, where, again, you will recognize the classic view of a path with metal hoops and the house at the end. Your trip to Giverny ends at the workshop where the waterlilies were painted. The large airy space is now the gift shop, where there is no shortage of Monet souvenirs to buy.
HOW TO REACH – To get to Giverny, take a train from Paris Gare Saint Lazare to Gare de Vernon (about 45 minutes). A shuttle bus meets the train and takes you straight to Monet’s house and gardens. Giverny can get very crowded, so it is best to get there early. The 8:20 am a train from Paris gets you there just before it opens at 9:30 am. The house and gardens are open daily from mid-March to late-October until 6:00 pm.
Or click here to purchase Half day trip to Giverny and Monet House from Paris.
STRASBOURG BY MYSELF From Travel with me 24 x 7 | Best Day Trips from Paris
Strasbourg a beautiful quaint town and also a capital of Alsace region of France is located on the borders of France and Germany. You can see a beautiful blend of German ancient history and modern French culture in this cosmopolitan city. Here you can stroll across the river/canals, cross the bridges, wander around the timber houses (popularly known as Petite France), walk on narrow cobbled stoned streets, check some impressive cathedrals, have lunch at Riverside or streetside open cafes and boutique restaurants. You can see Petite France, Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, Centre de Ville Strasbourg, Place Kleber, Muse Alsacein, European Parliament, River Boat cruise and many more during your Visit to Strasbourg from Paris. Christmas markets of Strasbourg are one of the best Christmas markets in the world and are truly worth visiting during winters.
HOW TO REACH – You can catch a train from Paris Est. The station which takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach Strasbourg. If you are staying in Strasbourg, you can book some interesting day trips from Strasbourg like Black Forest Tour or purchase Strasbourg Pass which covers some of the boat rides, museums, and other attractions.
ANTWERP BY SINJANA GHOSH From Backpack & Explore | Best Day Trips From Paris
Antwerp, the world’s diamond capital is a fascinating city in itself. The grand architecture and fashion consciousness remind you of Paris, but it has a unique culture of its own. The joyous amalgamation of Christians, Jews, and Jains will make you love the city. It will take you between two to three hours to reach Antwerp by train from Paris, depending on the route.
HOW TO REACH – The first train leaves at 6:01 and there are 41 trains between the two cities on an average day. You can explore the best of Antwerp in one day entirely by walking or renting a bike. Book your private walking Tour in Antwerp with private transportation.
The moment you step into the central station you will be awed by the interiors of what has been ranked among the top 5 most beautiful train stations in the world consistently. Then you can head to the famous diamond quarter of Antwerp. This is the place through which 70% of the world’s diamond go through. The prices will make it hard for you to resist making a whimsical purchase. You can then walk to the Grote market to marvel at the medieval architecture as well as treat yourself with some fine Belgian chocolate. Some of the most iconic structures to watch out for in Antwerp are the Brabo’s fountain at the Grote Market, the OLV Cathedral and the Steen castle at the banks of Scheldt river. You can end your day at the Steen while watching the sunset and windmills across the river.
DEAUVILLE BY ROOBENS From Been Around the Globe | Best Day Trips From Paris
Visiting Paris is great, but a lot of travelers feel like Paris is missing one thing to be the perfect city: the beach. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to the south of France (way too far!) to enjoy the beach. Deauville is only two hours away from Paris, and you can easily go there on a day trip (many Parisians do it, which is why Deauville is often referred as the 21st arrondissement of Paris). It’s definitely worth the trip, the beach over there is not crowded and charming, there are nice restaurants serving delicious food from Normandy, and it’s not too hot over there. Walking along the beach is enjoyable. You can also visit this little town, the architecture of the buildings is wonderful, making the visit interesting. If you’re into sailing, you can hop on a boat for a small tour of the surroundings, and you can even take sailing classes! Deauville is also known for being home to some major equestrian events. Believe me, horse racing is big in Deauville! Go to the Hippodrome to see the races, the atmosphere is awesome! You can even bet some money! Even if you’re not into gambling, you have to go to the casino there, Casino Barriere. It opened in 1864, and it’s wonderful!
HOW TO REACH – Convinced now to go to Deauville? The easiest way is by train. It’s a two-hour ride, and it’s not expensive (around 50€ the two-way trip). You can buy your tickets online. Or book your Full day small Group tour to seaside French Towns by clicking here.
Intercity Trains from Paris to nearby towns/cities or regions are very convenient, safe and easy to use. Book your Train tickets in advance during peak seasons or on weekends as there is a lot of crowds and you may not get the tickets for desired time.
Hope you enjoyed Unique Day trips or Best day trips from Paris with a beautiful combination of historical sites, forts, gardens, lakes, rivers, quaint towns, and many things. I would love to hear your favorite Day trip from Paris or Weekend getaway from Paris in the comments section. Till then Au revoir.
Suggested Read – 5 Days in Paris.
Note- This is a guest collab post, so if you have any queries regarding these Wonderful Day trips from Paris then you can always check more with guest writers.
So, until then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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