14 Excellent Day Trips from Paris to Book on Your Next Trip

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Are you looking for the best day trips from Paris, France? Read on for our top picks! 

Paris is packed full of things to do, from visiting world-class art museums to eating at delicious restaurants to strolling along the Seine and checking out iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. You can spend days – or weeks! – in Paris and still find new things to do.

But there’s so much to discover in France beyond Paris, and if you have more than a couple of days in the City of Love, there are a number of great day trips you can take.

Day trips from Paris: Map

The map below contains all the day trips from Paris mentioned in this post so you can best plan your travels. To save this map, click on the star ⭑ next to the map’s title. To use it, open Google Maps on your phone, click “Saved,” then click “Maps.”

14 of our favorite day trips from Paris

From exploring opulent chateaux to wine-tasting in the countryside to visiting World War II sites in Normandy, these are the best day trips from Paris.

1. Versailles

Distance from Paris: 15-50 minutes

Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles | Day trips from Paris
Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

Versailles is one of the easiest and most popular day trips from Paris. This town just outside of Paris is home to the magnificent Château de Versailles, an opulent palace built by King Louis XIV in the 17th century.

Aside from touring the grand rooms of the palace on your Versailles day trip, there are also acres of beautiful, perfectly landscaped gardens and several smaller residences to explore, including the Grand Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet.

Since the gardens and grounds are so large, we highly recommend renting a bike or hopping on the Little Train to explore! These are available when you exit the palace into the gardens. (Read more about our Versailles day trip tips here.)

After spending the morning and afternoon visiting the Château de Versailles and its gardens, you can enjoy lunch or shopping in the town of Versailles before returning to Paris.

PRO TIP: The Palace of Versailles is closed every Monday, so that’s the one day of the week you won’t want to plan your visit.

Palace of Versailles Gardens
Gardens at Versailles

How to get to Versailles from Paris 

You can easily visit Versailles independently from Paris, and the train is the easiest way to do it. You can either take the RER Line C train from central Paris to the Versailles Château-Rive Gauche station (cheaper journey that takes about 40 minutes), or the SNCF Line L train from Gare Saint-Lazare or La Défense to Versailles Rive Droite train station (more expensive, but only a 12-minute journey).

You can purchase tickets from machines or the ticket desk at the stations. The entrance to the chateau is about a 10- or 15-minute walk from the station in Versailles, depending on which one you arrive into.

Guided tours of Versailles:

2. Giverny

Distance from Paris: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Pink tulips in front of Monet's House in Giverny
Monet’s House

Claude Monet is one of the most famous French Impressionist painters (you literally can’t go to any art museum in Paris without seeing his work), and he spent the second half of his life living in the village of Giverny outside of Paris.

This charming country village is an easy day trip from Paris, with the highlight being a visit to Monet’s former home and gardens. You can wander through Monet’s cheerfully colorful house, and see many of the same scenes that inspired some of his most iconic paintings, like his beloved water lily pond.

PRO TIP: The house/gardens are only open April-October, so there will always be things in bloom. Expect tulips and wisteria in April/early May, and water lilies blooming in July and August.

Wisteria blooming on a bridge above the water lily pond in Giverny
Wisteria blooming at the water lily pond

How to get to Giverny from Paris 

To get to Giverny from Paris on your own, take the TER train from Saint-Lazare in Paris to the Vernon-Giverny station, a total travel time of about 50 minutes. You can buy tickets for this regional train at the station.

From the town of Vernon, you can catch a shuttle bus or tiny train to Giverny which is €10 round-trip (there are signs all over the train station pointing you to the shuttle, and the shuttles are scheduled to coincide with all the trains to/from Paris). You can also rent bikes or even take a leisurely one-hour stroll to the village where Monet’s house is.

Note that if you choose this option, you’ll want to pre-book your entry ticket to Monet’s house in order to avoid long ticket lines! You can pre-book timed entry tickets here.

Guided tours:

Water lilies at Monet’s house

3. Château de Chantilly

Distance from Paris: 45 minutes

Chantilly is a beautiful chateau that doesn’t get nearly as many crowds as Versailles. This is a great day trip to do if you’ve already been to Versailles, or if you just want to avoid the crowds. (Ever been in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles on a summer weekend? Yeah, you don’t want to be.)

The original chateau at Chantilly dates back to the 14th century, but it was almost entirely destroyed during the French Revolution. It was restored in the 19th century, and today you can visit the chateau, wander through 3 different gardens, and visit the Great Stables and Horse Museum to learn about Chantilly’s importance in the equestrian world. There are also horse demonstrations and shows daily.

And don’t leave town without trying some Chantilly cream, the most delicious whipped cream in the world which can be enjoyed with hot chocolate or cake, or even on its own! You can even book a special whipped cream workshop here!

PRO TIP: Château de Chantilly is open every day of the week except Tuesday.

How to get to Chantilly from Paris 

Chantilly is an easy independent day trip from Paris. You just need to take the TER train from Gare du Nord to Chantilly-Gouvieux. You can buy tickets at the station.

From the train station, follow the signs to the chateau. It’s a pleasant 20-minute walk down a tree-lined path through the forest to the grounds of the chateau. 

Pre-booking tickets for independent visits is recommended. More info here.

Guided tours:

4. Reims (Champagne)

Distance from Paris: 1 hour

Reims is the de facto capital of France’s Champagne region, making it a must-visit destination for anyone who loves some French bubbly. One of the best things to do in Reims is touring the champagne houses and enjoying plenty of samples. 

Two of the best champagne houses to visit are Veuve Clicquot and GH Martel & Co, both of which offer tours and tastings.

Even if you’re not that interested in champagne, Reims is still a lovely city to explore. Don’t miss the impressive Gothic cathedral which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How to get to Reims from Paris 

To get to Reims on your own, take the TGV from Paris Est to Reims. Since this is a high-speed train, it’s best to book your tickets in advance to lock in the lowest price. You can typically expect to pay around $60 round-trip. (We like Trainline for pre-booking train tickets in Europe.)

Guided tours:

5. Disneyland Paris

Distance from Paris: 45 minutes

For travelers with kids or those who are just kids at heart, Disneyland Paris is a really fun day trip that is easily accessible from central Paris. If you’ve been to Disney theme parks in the United States, you’ll find that Disneyland Paris is significantly smaller than Disney World in Florida, but about the same size as Disneyland in California.

There are two theme parks at Disneyland Paris: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. With just one day, we recommend visiting only Disneyland Paris, which is the larger and better of the two, featuring lots of great rides and attractions.

PRO TIP: You can book your ticket on the Disneyland Paris website, but it’s actually about $10 cheaper to book tickets through GetYourGuide instead. This also allows you the flexibility to cancel or reschedule for no additional cost.

Ashley’s a big Disney parks fan

How to get to Disneyland Paris from Paris 

Getting to Disneyland Paris is very quick and easy. Just take the RER A train from central Paris to Marne-La-Vallée Chessy, which is the last stop. Tickets are around $12 round-trip and can be purchased from the ticket machines inside any station. 

From Marne-La-Vallée Chessy, the entrance to Disneyland Paris is just a 3-minute walk.

Guided tours:

6. Fontainebleau

Distance from Paris: 1 hour

Another of the best day trips from Paris is Fontainebleau. This is a small town south of Paris that’s home to the extremely impressive Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s a good Versailles alternative if you’ve already been there or just want to avoid the crowds. Château de Fontainebleau is also a fascinating place to visit for history buffs.

Dating all the way back to the 12th century, Fontainebleau was originally a royal hunting lodge. Over the years, French kings added to and expanded the chateau, putting their own mark on it. This royal residence was favored by many French kings, including Louis XIV, who used it as his summer hunting retreat. It was later used as the imperial residence by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Today, you can tour the chateau (which is beautifully furnished and home to the only original throne room preserved in France from Napoleon’s days), see the stunning Imperial Theatre, and stroll through the acres of landscaped gardens.

PRO TIP: Château de Fontainebleau is closed on Tuesdays, so that’s the one day of the week you should avoid this day trip.

How to get to Fontainebleau from Paris 

If you’re wondering how to get to Fontainebleau from Paris, it’s fairly simple. All you have to do is take the TER train from Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon. You can purchase your tickets at the station and they don’t need to be booked in advance since it’s a regional train.

The Fontainebleau-Avon train station is on the edge of town, so you can either walk about 35 minutes or take a 10-minute bus ride to get to the chateau at the center of Fontainebleau.

Guided tours:

7. Loire Valley

Distance from Paris: 2.5 hours

Amanda at Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley
Amanda at Château de Chenonceau

Speaking of incredible castles you can visit, have you heard of the Loire Valley? Located southwest of Paris, the Loire Valley is one of the most picturesque regions in France. It’s known for its stunning chateaux (that’s the correct plural of “chateau,” by the way), historic towns, and winemaking tradition.

A few of the best chateaux to visit are Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, and Château d’Amboise, though there are literally hundreds in all shapes and sizes to choose from.

You can hit a couple of these fairytale-like castles in a day, but you’ll definitely need your own car to get around in this region unless you take a tour that provides transportation between chateaux.

Amboise Castle
Amboise Castle

How to get to the Loire Valley from Paris 

The Loire Valley is tricky to visit without a car from Paris. You can get to the larger cities in the region by train, but not any of the smaller towns or chateaux. Check out the best local rental car deals here.

An organized tour is a good option if you’re a solo traveler or you don’t feel comfortable renting a car and driving in France. If you don’t mind driving and have a few people to split the rental car cost with, self-driving will be the most cost-effective option (and give you more flexibility).

This is one of the longer day trips from Paris, and you can expect about 2.5 hours of driving each way, plus driving time between the chateaux and towns. But it’s such a magical part of France!

Guided tours:

8. Strasbourg

Distance from Paris: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Strasbourg at Christmas at night
Strasbourg at Christmas

Located in the Alsace region of France on the border with Germany, Strasbourg has a strong German influence that makes it unique compared to other French cities. 

With its colorful half-timbered houses and impressive cathedral, Strasbourg is a great place to visit at any time of year. But it’s especially magical in December when the city is filled with Christmas markets and transformed into a winter wonderland. (It calls itself “Capitale de Noël,” or Capital of Christmas.)

PRO TIP: The smaller city of Colmar is another destination you can visit in the Alsace, and it’s an additional 35-minute train ride from Strasbourg. (Colmar is also extra magical around the holidays.)

How to get to Strasbourg from Paris 

You’ll definitely want to take the train if you plan on visiting Strasbourg as a day trip from Paris. It takes about 5-6 hours to drive, but it’s only 1 hour and 45 minutes on the train!

To get to Strasbourg, you’ll take the TGV or ICE train from Paris Est. These high-speed trains can get pricey if you wait until the last minute to book your tickets, so this is something you’ll want to reserve as far in advance as you can. (Again, check out Trainline for pre-booking train tickets.)

Guided tours:

You won’t find many guided day tour options to Strasbourg from Paris simply because it’s too far to drive there and back in one day! This is one you really need to do on your own by train.

9. Sceaux

Distance from Paris: 35 minutes

This is one of the easiest day trips to take from Paris, and one of the most underrated! Sceaux is a small town in the southern suburbs of Paris. It’s home to Château de Sceaux, a beautiful chateau with impressive gardens (and none of the crowds of Versailles).

Since it’s so close to Paris and not particularly large, Sceaux is a great half-day day trip from Paris. You really only need a few hours here to explore the chateau and its gardens, and maybe enjoy a picnic lunch in the park. 

PRO TIP: The gardens are open every day, but the chateau is closed on Mondays, so we wouldn’t recommend visiting on a Monday. It’s also worth noting that the chateau doesn’t open until 2 p.m., so this makes for an ideal afternoon trip!

How to get to Sceaux from Paris 

This is a really easy day trip to do by public transportation. Just take the RER B train from Paris to Parc de Sceaux. This is one of the regional commuter trains in Paris and tickets can be purchased from any Metro station ticket machine for around $10 round-trip. 

From Parc de Sceaux, it’s a 15-minute walk to the chateau.

Guided tours:

This is another one you can do on your own; no guided tour necessary!

10. Normandy

Distance from Paris: 3.5 hours

Normandy D-Day Museum on a Paris day trip

The Normandy region of northern France is a great day trip for World War II history buffs. This is where the famous D-Day landings occurred, and you can visit monuments and museums at Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, and more.

The American Cemetery in Normandy is also a moving place to visit, and we (mostly Ashley) highly recommend the informative Mémorial de Caen, a museum dedicated to World War II history.

Visiting Normandy is doable as a day trip from Paris if you have limited time and can’t spare any extra days – just keep in mind it’s going to be a long day with a lot of time spent in transit. (Read more of Ashley’s tips on taking a D-Day related day trip to Normandy from Paris.)

D-Day memorial on Omaha Beach
Memorial on Omaha Beach

How to get to Normandy from Paris 

Unless you take a guided tour, you will need a car to visit Normandy. You can get to Rouen or Caen, two of the main cities in Normandy, by train from Paris in under 2 hours, but then you’ll need to drive to reach the smaller towns and beaches along the coast.

If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself or just don’t want to worry about the logistics, a guided tour to Normandy is the best way to experience this destination.

Guided tours:

11. Rouen

Distance from Paris: 1.5 hours

Busy street in Rouen, France
Hanging out in beautiful Rouen

Rouen is the capital of Normandy and definitely one of the most visually stunning of the days trips from Paris. Besides being home to one of the tallest and most world-famous cathedrals in the world, Rouen also boats a medieval historic center you’ll love to stroll through. (Monet was obsessed with Rouen’s cathedral and painted it several times.)

Rouen is also famous for being the location of where Joan of Arc was held prisoner and eventually burned at the stake. You can visit the historic castle tower, St. Joan of Arc’s Church, and the monument that stands at site where she was executed.

Beyond that, Rouen is simply the perfect place to walk, shop, hang out at a café and watch the people go by amidst some of the loveliest half-timbered architecture.

Square with half-timbered houses in Rouen
Lovely squares like this all over the place here in Rouen

How to get to Rouen from Paris

By far the easiest and fastest way to get to Rouen from Paris is to take the train which takes just about an hour and a half. Take a look at the latest schedule options here.

Guided tours:

12. Mont Saint-Michel

Distance from Paris: 4 hours

View of Mont Saint-Michel from the bridge
The view from the bridge

Finally, this is the longest day trip from Paris that we would recommend attempting: a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel. This is another long day, but it’s worth it if you want to experience this bucket list destination and are short on time. (We get it; not everyone can plan multiple trips to Europe, and you might want to squeeze in as much as possible!)

Located in northwestern France near the border of Normandy and Brittany, Mont Saint-Michel is a striking tidal island rising up from seemingly the middle of nowhere. This small island is one of the most unique sights in France and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979.

Historically, the island was only accessible at low tide (now, though, there’s a bridge that makes it accessible any time of day). Its remote, rugged location made it a good choice for a monastic settlement, which was established as early as the 8th century. Today, the historic Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel dominates the small island.

Drawbridge entrance into Mont Saint-Michel
Heading into the town

How to get to Mont Saint-Michel from Paris 

There is no easy way to get to Mont Saint-Michel by public transportation that is doable as a day trip, so you will either need your own car for this one or book one of the guided day tours.

Guided tours:

13. Brussels

Distance from Paris: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Brussels Grand Palace square
Brussels Grand Place

If you want to visit a whole other country on your day trip from Paris, Belgium is the closest option! A high-speed train links Paris and Brussels in less than 1.5 hours, making it easy to spend a day exploring Belgium’s capital city.

Be sure to stroll around the Grand Place (Brussel’s main square) and visit the Royal Palace, which is free and open to visitors. And of course, you can’t forget the food (and drinks!) in Brussels. Belgian waffles, Belgian (not French) fries, Belgian chocolate, Belgian beer… it’s truly heaven for foodies.

From Brussels, you can also quickly and easily visit some other destinations in Belgium by train. Bruges, Ghent, or Leuven are charming little towns that pair well with a day trip to Brussels. Check out what you can see and do in each of these destinations in this guide to a quick Belgium trip.

Cobbled street in Brussels
Strolling Brussels streets

How to get to Brussels from Paris 

Getting to Brussels is very easy! Take the Eurostar from Gare du Nord in central Paris and you will arrive in Brussels in just under 1.5 hours. (It would take over 4 hours if you drove!)

Tickets start at $60 round-trip and booking as far in advance as you can will get you the best price.

PRO TIP: For a day trip especially, you really don’t need to book anything more than the cheapest “Standard” class ticket on the Eurostar. These trains are already nice and comfortable, and you don’t *really* need the extras like a meal and drinks on shorter journeys.

Guided tours:

14. London

Distance from Paris: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Amanda next to a red phone box with Big Ben in the background in London
Amanda in London

Another cross-border day trip you can take from Paris is to London! Yes, you can travel beneath the English Channel all the way to London on a day trip from Paris! The ride on the Eurostar takes roughly 2.5 hours, meaning you can fit a lot into a day.

We recommend taking an early train to London so you have time to fit in lots of sightseeing. If you’ve never been to London before, start out with a morning visit to the Tower of London (be sure to join a free guided tour with one of the Beefeaters), take an Uber Boat up the Thames, snap photos in front of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, enjoy an afternoon tea, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, and explore the markets and shops in Covent Garden before catching the Eurostar back to Paris.

Keep in mind that, since Brexit, you do need to have your passport with you for this trip, and you’ll need to clear immigration at both ends before you board the train. It all runs pretty smoothly, though, and no visas are necessary for most travelers.

Afternoon tea setup at The Swan, with views of the Thames river in London
Afternoon tea at The Swan in London

How to get to London from Paris

Take the Eurostar from Gare du Nord in central Paris, and you’ll arrive at London’s St. Pancras station in 2 hours and 35 minutes (or less). From there, it’s easy to get anywhere in London using public transit. You can tap to pay with a credit card on the underground, buses, and boats; no tickets or transit cards needed.

Eurostar tickets for this route start at $102 round-trip, and booking as far in advance as you can will get you the best price.

Guided tours:

This is another instance where we wouldn’t recommend a guided tour. The Eurostar is your only option for a Paris-London day trip, so you may as well save some money and just book it on your own!

More resources for your day trips from Paris

Like this post? Have more questions about taking day trips from Paris? Let us know in the comments below. Have fun in France!

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