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Best side trips from Paris

Best Day Trips from Paris

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10/18/20

Top Paris Day Trips

Paris is an incredible city with many things to see and do. But if you have any more than three days in Paris, take the opportunity to get out of the city and see more of France as there are some great day trips from Paris.

The list of wonderful day trips from Paris is very long. However, if you visit Paris for the first time, we suggest sticking to the top day trips from Paris: there must be a reason to be that popular!

We won’t deny that popularity means more crowds but it also means better connections with public transportation for DIY travelers. Also, the best day trips from Paris are proposed by all the tour operators which means more competitive prices in case you decide to book a day tour.

Here’s the definitive list of best day trips from Paris, featuring historic cities, seaside towns, world heritage wonders, and adventures in the great French countryside.

TIP: Do you have more time available? Check out the best weekend getaways from Paris

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Top Day Trips from Paris – Best Way to Visit

train station in Paris

Day Trips from Paris By Train

Most of the best day trips from Paris are easy to plan by train. The French rail network links all the major towns and cities while also linking up many small towns in rural France. If you know a few simple tips about how to use trains in France, then it’s an absolute breeze.

Generally, trains are on time, comfortable, relatively cheap, and definitely more eco-friendly than traveling by car.

By Guided Tour

A day guided tour is not the cheapest option but it is definitely the most effective and comfortable way to enjoy day trips from Paris, especially if the distances are long or there are no direct train connections.

The day tours from Paris proposed below are small group tours that include skip-the-line tickets and a very knowledgeable English speaking guide, which makes the place or attraction even more interesting.

Forget about planning, entrance tickets, or train schedules, just hop on a coach or minivan and get the most out of your day out of Paris!

These are the Best Day Tours from Paris

TOURDURATIONLOCATIONSUBJECTTRANSPORTPRICE
Versailles day tour9 hrsVersaillesHistory, Architecture, GardensPrivate MinivanView
Giverny day tour4 hrsGivernyArts, MonetPrivate MinivanView
Mont Saint-Michel day tour14 hrsMont Saint-MichelHistory, Architecture, ReligionPrivate MinivanView
Euro Disney tickets + shuttle1 dayEuro DisneyFun, magic, familyShuttle BusView
Loire Castles day tour12 hrsChambord, Chenonceau, AmboiseHistory, Architecture, French gardensPrivate MinivanView
D-Day Landing Beaches day tour12 hrsNormandyHistory, LandscapePrivate MinivanView
Champagne Region day tour10.5 hrsEpernay, Hautvilliers, Reims, Moët ChandonHistory, ChampagnePrivate MinivanView

TIP: Check what’s in our backpack for exploring the surroundings of Paris

Best Day Trips from Paris

1. Versailles (Ile de France)

Versailles Palace

Versailles is the most popular day trip from Paris, and for a reason!

The Palace of Versailles is one of the world’s biggest and most beautiful palaces, with spectacular rooms and halls. Not only it was home of King Louis XIV and his court, but it was also the witness of important events like the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (June 28, 1919) which marked the end of the First World War.

The Gardens of Versailles are as amazing as the palace itself. They are beautifully decorated with fountains, water games, and grooves. The impressive 5.57 km wide Grand Canal is also a beautiful place for a stroll or for a picnic lunch by the water.

How to Visit Versailles On your Own

If you want to visit Versailles on your own, it is important to plan in advance. Things to consider when planning your trip to Versailles from Paris are the best day to go, how to travel, or what to see in your limited time. Check out this ultimate guide to Versailles, which covers all these topics, and also comes with our best tips.

Also, buying a Versailles skip-the-line ticket online in advance is paramount to avoid the longest lines at Versailles Palace or at the Trianons.

Paris to Versailles by Public Transportation: Versailles is located 17 kilometers south-west of Paris. Different trains leaving from Paris Left Bank and Paris Right Bank connect Paris to Versailles. Click here for all the transportation options.

Best Day Tours from Paris to Versailles


2. Giverny & Monet’s Gardens (Normandy)

Giverny, France

Giverny, in the region of Normandy, is another of the most popular day trips from Paris. Giverny is where Impressionist painter Claude Monet lived and worked from 1883 until his death in 1926. Every year thousands of visitors go from Paris to Giverny to visit his house-studio and admire the water lily pond that inspired Monet’s paintings.

Apart from Monet’s house, Giverny has a main street with some cute shops, cafes, and there’s also an Impressionist Museum.

How to Visit Giverny On your Own

A day trip from Paris to Giverny is very easy to plan, you only need to learn the train and bus schedules.

Paris to Giverny by Public Transportation: There are no direct trains from Paris to Giverny. First, you need to take a train from Gare Saint Lazare to VernonGiverny train station (1 hr, hourly) where you can take a shuttle bus that drops you in front of Monet’s House.

Click here to book your train tickets to Giverny-Vernon

Best Day Tours from Paris to Giverny 


3. Mont St. Michel (Normandy)

Mont Saint-Michel - France

With spectacular Gothic architecture, rich history, and incredible setting, the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is one of the best day trips from Paris.

Mont Sain-Michel is located on a rocky island about one kilometer off the coast of Normandy. The area is known for its high tides which let the Abbey inaccessible for some hours.

The abbey dedicated to Saint-Michel became a renowned center of pilgrimage and learning, attracting some of the greatest minds and manuscript illuminators in Europe. Today, this awesome site listed Unesco World Heritage is one of the most visited places in France.

How to Visit Mont Saint-Michel On your Own

Mont Saint-Michel is one of the longest day trips from Paris. To get the most out of your Mont Saint Michel day trip, we recommend planning your trip in advance. You can find all the information on this quick guide to Mont St Michel from Paris with our best tips.

If you decide to visit Mont St Michel on your own, be sure to buy your Mont St Michel skip-the-line tickets online in advance.

Public Transportation to Mont Saint-Michel: you can take a TGV train from Paris to Rennes or Dol de Bretagne. From there, there are shuttle buses to Mont St Michel.

Click here to book your train tickets to Mont St Michel

Best Day Tours fro Paris to Mont St. Michel


4. Disneyland Paris (Ile de France)

Disneyland Paris (or Euro Disney, as it is known in France) is one of the top family day trips from Paris. Escape the hassle of the city and join Mickey Mouse & Co. for a wonderful day in the magical world of Disney.

In Disneyland Paris, there are two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. Both parks have many child-friendly rides on offer but adults without kids will also have lots of fun thanks to Disney’s full-on thrill rides for the adults.

How to Visit Disneyland Paris On your Own

For a day trip from Paris, we recommend visiting only one park because the waiting lines for the most popular rides are usually very long. You can also decide to stay one night on-site and visit the two parks (check out our selection of best hotels around Disneyland Paris).

If you decide to visit Disneyland Paris on your own, be sure to buy your Disneyland tickets for 1 or 2 parks online in advance.

Public Transportation to Disneyland Paris: take the RER A train from Paris to Marne la Vallée Chessy train station. It is a 44-minute ride.

Best Day Tours from Paris to Disneyland Paris

There are no guided tours to Euro Disney from Paris. However, booking platforms like Get Your Guide or Viator offer interesting packs of tickets + transportation which save you money and time.


5. Loire Castles (Centre – Val de Loire)

Château de Chambord - Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is dotted magnificent Rennaissance castles, known as Châteaux de la Loire or Loire Castles. Home of Kings and nobles, the best Loire Valley castles are great architectural achievements, usually surrounded by awesome French-style gardens.

Famous Châteaux like Chambord, Blois, or Chenonceau are very easy to combine on a day tour or day trip from Paris.

How to Visit the Loire Castles On your Own

The best way to explore the Loire Castles on a day trip from Paris is by car. Getting around by car saves you a lot of time so you can visit more sites. Also, you can reach lesser-known castles (sometimes more beautiful than the most popular ones!) if you have your own car.

Click here to rent a car for your Loire Castles trip

A few châteaux like Blois, Amboise, or Chambord are relatively easy to reach by public transportation. Chenonceau is also possible but the transportation options are less convenient. If you decide to visit the Loire Castles by public transportation on a day trip from Paris, you will only have time for 1 or 2 castles maximum.

Public transportation to the Loire Castles:

Amboise: There’s no direct train Paris-Amboise so you will have to change trains somewhere. Take a train from Paris Montparnasse to Amboise via Saint Pierre-des-Corps train station (Tours). Alternatively, take a train from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz to Amboise via Orleans (2 hrs ride).

Blois: Take a train from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz to Blois (1.30hrs). Depending on the train that you take, there’s a change in Orléans (2 hrs ride).

Chambord: Take a train to Blois train station. There, there is a shuttle bus that takes you to Chambord in 25 minutes.

Chenonceau: Take a train to Saint Pierre-des-Corps train station (Tours). From Tours, take a second train to Chenonceau (2.10 hrs ride).

Best Day Tours from Paris to the Loire Castles


6. D-DAY Landing Beaches (Normandy)

Landing Beaches Normandy - Omaha Beach

The D-day landing beaches, in the region of Normandy, is one of the most memorable day trips from Paris. Indeed, this was the definitive battle that led to the victory of the Allies in WWII.

Visit Caen’s Memorial Museum to learn more about the D-Day and the Second World War in general before heading to the main beaches where the Americans, Canadians, and British landed. These places are dotted with military cemeteries, memorials, and smaller museums, all well worth a stop.

How to Visit the Normandy Landing Beaches On your Own

This is a long trip with many interesting stops. Plan the trip in advance by reading about the D-Day and the different sites and do your D-Day Bucket List. We recommend renting a car to optimize your transportation times and to stop wherever you want.

Click here to rent a car for your D-Day Landing Beaches trip

Best Day Tours from Paris to the D-Day Landing Beaches


7. Wine Tasting in Champagne (Grand Est)

Hautvilliers France

If you are looking for wine day trips from Paris and a little bit of French countryside, the Champagne region is a very beautiful area to explore.

Visit Épernay, the capital of the champagne wine and the cute small town of Hautvilliers. It was in Hautvilliers Abbey where the monk Dom Perignon developed the method of champagnisation of wine. Add Reims to the program for some city sightseeing.

TIP: If you are planning to bring a few bottles home make sure you pack your wine properly so it arrives safely home!

How to Visit the Champagne Region On your Own

The easiest way to visit the Champagne Region is with your own car. The rolling hills and vineyards are so beautiful with the fall colors that you will want to stop everywhere for taking pictures! Paris to Epernay by car is a 140 km drive which lasts about 1 hour 15 min.

Click here to rent a car for your Champagne wine region trip

If you want to do a Champagne day trip from Paris, you can take the train to Epernay and do a Moët-Chandon or a Mercier champagne tour with tastings. Then, you can take a taxi to Hautvilliers to visit the village and taste /buy more champagne or you can take another train to Reims to visit the city in the afternoon.

Public Transportation to Épernay and Reims: trains to Epernay leave from Paris Gare de l’Est (1h 15 min, every 2 hours). Direct trains to Reims leave from Paris Gare de l’Est (46 min ride). The train connection Epernay – Reims is only a 22 min ride.

Click here to book your train ticket to Reims or Epernay

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Best Day Tours from Paris to Champagne Wine Region


8. Fontainebleau (Ile-de-France)

HorseShoe-Shaped Staircase at Château de Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau is best known for the Château de Fontainebleau, the “true home of French Kings” but there’s also a beautiful forest great for hiking or climbing and some pretty small towns around far from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

How to Visit Fontainebleau On your Own

Trains to Fontainebleau Avon leave from Paris Gare de Lyon (39 min, hourly). There’s no need to book train tickets in advance for Fontainebleau.

Walkers will find some hiking trails not far from the train station whilst sightseers need to take a shuttle bus to reach the Château. The bus stop is just outside the train station.

Best Day Tours from Paris to Fontainebleau

The most popular tours to Fontainebleau combine the Château de Fontainebleau and the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte on a full-day trip. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is another beautiful castle near Paris worth visiting.

So there you have it, our selection of best day trips from Paris. Which Paris day trips would you like to take during your next visit to Paris?

Join France Bucket List – The France Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join France Bucket List our France Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Paris or France!

France Bucket List - Facebook Group

Click here for more Side Trips from Paris

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