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These are the Best Small Towns near Paris that you cannot miss!

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The Most Beautiful Towns Near Paris

Paris is a great city, with countless things to see and do. But it can also be a busy and crowded city and after some days of sightseeing from dawn till dusk, you may need a break.

Luckily, there are many cute towns near Paris worth visiting, perfect to get out in the fresh air and see a different side of France. Most of these towns around Paris make excellent day trips from Paris by train.

So if you are doing great visiting Paris and have a spare day in the city, why don’t you give these beautiful villages near Paris a chance? Here’s the list of the best small towns near Paris (completed with a couple of small cities near Paris) that you cannot miss.

TIP: Check what’s in our travel day bag for exploring the Paris countryside!


Best Way to Explore the Small Towns & Cities Near Paris

train station in Paris

By Train

Most of the Paris countryside day trips proposed below are very easy to reach by train. SNCF, the French rail network, links all the major towns and cities while also linking up many small towns in rural France.

Generally, trains are on time, comfortable, relatively cheap and definitely our favorite way to explore the towns and cities around Paris. If you are also concerned about your carbon footprint, and you want to reduce it, trains are the best way to go around.

TIP: Check our France by Train Guide


By Guided Tour

A Guided Tour is not the cheapest option but it is definitely the most comfortable one. Forget about planning, entrance tickets or train schedules, just hop on a coach or minivan and enjoy your day!

Usually Guided Tours include skip-the-line tickets and a very knowledgeable English speaking guide, which makes the place or attraction even more interesting. Also, half-day guided tours are perfect for people with not much time to spend in Paris but who still want to see more than the capital.


These are the best day tours from Paris

Fontainebleau Half Day 5 hrs Fontainebleau History, Castles Private Minivan View
Auvers-Sur-Oise Half Day 5 hrs Auvers-Sur-Oise Arts, Van Gogh Private Minivan View
Versailles Afternoon 4 hrs Versailles History, Castles, Gardens NO. Meeting in front of the Palace in Versailles View
Chantilly Castle and Great Stables 7 hrs Chantilly History, Castles, Horses Private Transportation View
Giverny Half Day 5 hrs Giverny Arts, Monet Air-conditioned Bus View
Chartres Town and  Cathedral 5 hrs Chartres History, Cathedrals Private Car (1-3 pax) or Minivan View
Champagne Day Trip with Moët 10 hrs Epernay & Hautvilliers History, Champagne Private Minivan View


By Car

Despite this is not our favorite means of transportation, we won’t deny the advantages of exploring the Paris countryside by car.

Having your own car gives you a lot of freedom plus cars are great to go off the beaten path. If you need to rent a car, we recommend choosing a car rental office located on the outskirts of Paris: they usually have better prices and you avoid the hassle of driving through the city. Reach the rental office by metro and avoid the traffic jams of Paris!

We use and recommend Rentalcarscompares 900 companies at over 53,000 locations to guarantee you the best price.

Click here to book your car with


Map of Best Small Towns Near Paris

We have classed the list of small towns outside Paris by region. Head here to read more about the Regions of France.

  • Small towns in Ile de France Region are marked in red
  • Small towns in Hauts-de-France Region are marked in green
  • Small towns in Normandy Region are marked in blue
  • Small towns in Centre-Val-de-Loire Region are marked in violet
  • Small towns in Grand Est Region are marked in yellow


Best Day Trips from Paris, Paris Day Tours, Cute Small Towns Near Paris, Day Trips from Paris, Paris Day Trips, Best Places to Visit in France, Beautiful Towns Near Paris, Medieval Towns Near Paris #france #francebucketlist


Best Small Towns Outside of Paris (Ile de France Region)


Provins Medieval City

Provins Medieval City

Provins is one of the best medieval towns near Paris and it makes a great day trip from Paris by train. This fortified town is well known for its medieval fairs, usually held in June.

A long time ago Provins was the capital of the powerful Counts of Champagne. Thanks to the counts’ protection and its strategic position, the town became one of the main actors of the early development of international trade fairs and the wool industry in Europe during the 9th to 18th centuries.

Walking around Provins is like a step back in time: visit the Tour César and the impressive fortress, admire the medieval architecture made of half-timbered houses along cobbled streets, and some interesting historical buildings. Provins is especially known for its unique “underground town”. Click here to read more about the medieval town of Provins.



  • 70 km south-east of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


What to Do in Provins

  • Medieval Architecture
  • The Medieval Ramparts
  • Provins’ Medieval Fairs and Medieval Christmas Market
  • The Underground Town


How to go from Paris to Provins 

By Train: Paris to Provins is one of the easiest Paris day trips by train. Direct trains leave from Paris Gare de l’Est train station to Provins (1 hr 22 min, hourly).

By Car: Paris to Provins is a 91 km drive which takes around 1 hr 13 min, depending on the traffic.



Château de Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau is a small town near Paris with a beautiful historical center and surrounded by a huge forest. During many centuries Fontainebleau was the Kings of France’s favorite hunting place and they built a magnificent castle to get the most out of Fontainebleau.

Le Château de Fontainebleau is one of the most beautiful castles near Paris and the eternal rival of Versailles Palace. Its different rooms and halls are grand and magnificent!

After visiting the castle, explore the surrounding gardens. The gardens’ main highlight is the Grand Parterre, the largest formal garden in Europe and Louis XIV’s greatest architectural achievement at Fontainebleau.

Fontainebleau Forest is Parisians’ favorite place for hiking and climbing. The 25 bosses de Fontainebleau hike (an area with many sandstone boulders) is one of the most famous hikes in the region. The forest of Fontainebleau is especially beautiful during the fall.



  • Fontainebleau is located 25 km south-east of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


What to Do in Fontainebleau

  • Château de Fontainebleau and Gardens
  • Hiking and rock climbing in Fontainebleau Forest
  • Hot air balloon over Fontainebleau Forest


How to go from Paris to Fontainebleau 

By Train: direct trains leave from Paris Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon train station (40 min, every 20 min). Once you arrive at Fontainebleau train station, there is a bus shuttle waiting outside to reach the château (12 min ride).

By Car: Paris to Fontainebleau is a 69 km drive which takes around 48 min, depending on the traffic.


Best Day Tour from Paris to Fontainebleau

For those who prefer the comfort of a tour, this Paris-Fontainebleau half-day private guided tour is a great option. This 5-hour private tour visits the Château of Fontainebleau and the gardens with a professional English guide. The tour includes pick up and drop off at your accommodation in Paris (8 am or 2 pm), transportation in a luxury van and skip the line entrance tickets for Château de Fontainebleau.

Click here to book your Fontainebleau half-day tour



Auvers-sur-Oise, France

If you are looking for Paris countryside day trips, Auvers is the place to go. Auvers-Sur-Oise is a small village near Paris with some interesting things to see and do.

This beautiful and peaceful village is also known as the Impressionists’ Village because by the end of the 19th century it attired many artists, especially the Impressionists. People like Cézanne, Pissarro, Sisley, or Monet lived or frequented Auvers-Sur-Oise and painted the village on some of their masterworks.

But most of all Auvers-Sur-Oise is known for being Vincent Van Gogh’s last home. Van Gogh discovered the village by the end of his life and although he lived in Auvers less than two months he painted 70 works in Auvers, most of them related to the village and its landscapes.

In Auvers-Sur-Oise there is a nice self-guided walk, The Painters’ Pathway, which visits a number of views appearing on some Impressionist paintings. Also, you can visit the artist’s room at Auberge Ravoux where Van Gogh died and his tomb in the local cemetery.

READ MORE – Day Trip from Paris to Auvers-Sur-Oise



  • Auvers-sur-Oise is located 35 km north of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


What to Do in Auvers-sur-Oise

  • Sightseeing
  • Nature walks
  • Great for Van Gogh’s fans!


How to Go from Paris to Auvers-Sur-Oise 

By Train: Trains from Paris to Auvers-sur-Oise leave from Paris Gare du Nord. It is a 41-minute ride.

By Car: Paris to Auvers-Sur-Oise is a 33 km drive which takes around 28 min, depending on the traffic.


Best Day Tour from Paris to Auvers-Sur-Oise

Choose this half-day private guided tour, to escape the hustle and bustle of Paris and enjoy a bit of the countryside. Walk in the footsteps of one of the world’s most iconic painter, Vincent van Gogh, and explore the places that inspired him in Auvers-Sur-Oise. This small-group tour by minibus includes hotel pickup and drop-off, skip-the-line tickets, and an English speaking guide.

Click here to book your half-day tour to Auvers-Sur-Oise



Marly Le Roi, France

Marly-le-Roi is one of the beautiful villages near Paris worth visiting. Marly was the location of Château de Marly, the famous leisure residence of King Louis XIV, more intimate than Versailles and far from the court etiquette. Only a few people had the honor to be the king’s guests at Marly and they were appointed directly by Louis XIV a few days before the departure.

The Château was totally destroyed after the French Revolution and there are few remains left but the park surrounding the Château has been carefully restored with its waterways, lawns, and sculptures. The famous sculpture group the Marly Horses that you can see today at Louvre Museum, were located at the entrance of the Château.

In Marly-le-Roi, you may also want to visit Alexandre Dumas’ home, the Château de Montecristo, and its park. This beautiful and intriguing castle is a good opportunity to know more about the writer’s life and work.



  • Marly-le-Roi is located 20 km west of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


Things to Do in Marly-le-Roi

  • The Gardens and the remains of the Royal Palace
  • Château de Montecristo


How to Go from Paris to Marly-le-Roi

By Train: Marly-le-Roi is one of the easiest Paris day trips by train, with many direct trains from La Défense to Marly-le-Roi. To reach La Défense train station, take the RER A or the Parisian metro line 1. Then take train L towards St Nom la Bretèche train station (1hr, every 20 min).

By Car: Paris to Marly-le-Roi is a 25 km drive which takes around 23 min, depending on the traffic.



Bougival - France

If you are looking for cute towns near Paris easy to reach by train, Bougival by the Seine River is a good option. During the 19th century, the Impressionists chose this peaceful place as their favorite open-air workshop. People like Monet, Sisley or Berthe Morisot spent long periods in this village trying to catch the beauty of the river and its banks and soon Bougival’s landscapes became the subject of some of their masterworks.

Visit Bougival’s picturesque historic center, with its beautiful Romanesque-style church, before heading to the Seine River’s banks to follow the Impressionist Walk. This walk has real scale panels showing the reproductions of famous Impressionists paintings at the exact point where they put the easel and found the inspiration.

In Bougival you will also find the remains of the Machine of Marly. This amazing machine, built under the rule of King Louis XIV, transported water from the Seine River up to Versailles to feed the Palace’s fountains! La Machine de Marly was considered at that time the eight world wonder.



  • Bougival is 17 km west of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


Things to Do in Bougival

  •  Sightseeing
  • Seine River walks
  • The remains of the Machine of Marly


How to Go from Paris to Bougival

By Train: Bougival is the train station before Marly-le-Roi so you can visit both places on the same day.

There are many direct trains from La Défense to Bougival train station. To reach La Défense train station, take the RER A or the Parisian metro line 1. Then take train L towards St Nom la Bretèche (1hr, every 20 min).

By Car: Paris to Bougival i is a 15 km drive which takes around 14 min, depending on the traffic.



Montfort l'Amaury, France

Montfort l’Amaury is one of the most beautiful small towns near Paris. We visited Montfort L’Amaury for the first time following Victor Hugo’s steps. He discovered this place when he was 23 and he wrote a beautiful ode to Monfort’s ruins (Tour d’Anne de Bretagne) “Aux Ruines de Montfort l’Amaury”:

Je vous aime, ô débris ! et surtout quand l’automne | Prolonge en vos échos sa plainte monotone.
Sous vos abris croulants je voudrais habiter, | Vieilles tours, que le temps l’une vers l’autre incline,
Et qui semblez de loin sur la haute colline, |Deux noirs géants prêts à lutter.

Despite its size, Monfort l’Amaury has very interesting sights such as the remains of the 12th-century fortified castle (Tour Anne de Bretagne), the impressive Saint Pierre Church (15th – 16th centuries), and its incomparable collection of Renaissance stained glass windows.

The historical center still keeps its medieval layout and you can see many beautiful half-timbered houses populating the streets near the church. Finally, the town’s old cemetery (15th – 16th centuries) is also very interesting to visit and it is surrounded by a covered gallery, like if it was a  medieval cloister.



  • Montfort l’Amaury is located 45 km west of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


Things to Do in Montfort l’Amaury

  • Sightseeing (medieval town)


How to Go from Paris to Montfort l’Amaury 

By Train + Bicycle: there are direct trains from Paris Gare de Montparnasse to Montfort Méré train station. From this train station, there is a 3.6 km walk to Montfort l’Amaury. Alternatively, you can bring your own bicycle or (rent it in Paris) and explore Monfort by bike starting at the train station.

Click here to rent your bike in Paris


By Car: the car is the easiest way to visit Montfort l’Amaury. Paris to Montfort l’Amaury is a 50 km drive which takes around 35 min, depending on the traffic.



Vallée de la Chevreuse, France

La Haute Vallée de la Chevreuse is a hikers paradise, with the perfect combination of nature walks and cultural heritage. Nestled in this beautiful valley there’s Chevreuse, one of the best villages near Paris to enjoy the countryside.

Chevreuse is dominated by the Château de la Madelaine, a beautiful fortified castle (11th century) on the top of a hill with panoramic views of the village and the valley. The village is also known for its Chemin des Petits Ponts (walk of the small bridges) along one of the legs of the Yvette River. This cute pedestrian walk is full of old laundries, tanneries, and watermills.



  • Chevreuse is located 28 km southwest of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


Things to Do in Chevreuse

  • Nature walks
  • Sightseeing


How to Go from Paris to Chevreuse 

By Train: We usually visit Chevreuse on an (18 km) day hike, starting at La Verrière train station and ending at St Rémy La Chevreuse train station. If you want to visit the town of Chevreuse only, take RER B to Saint Rémy La Chevreuse train station (45 min, hourly) and from there, there is a 3 km walk to Chevreuse.

By Car: Paris to Chevreuse is a 34 km drive which takes around 40 min, depending on the traffic.



La Roche Guyon France

If you are looking for quaint small villages near Paris, La Roche-Guyon is the place to go. La Roche-Guyon is the only village in the region of Ile de France with the label «Les plus beaux villages de France» (the most beautiful villages in France) so it would be a pity if you miss it! La Roche Guyon was in the 19th century a holiday resort which saw many celebrities of the arts and letters.

Located on the right bank of the Seine River, La Roche-Guyon is known for its impressive (and original) castle. The castle’s keep, built during the 12th century on the top of the hill, is connected to the main building through a 100 step underground staircase dug in the side of the plateau. The keep offers panoramic views of the village and the Seine Valley.

Another interesting sight to visit in La Roche-Guyon is its formal kitchen garden, located just in front of the castle. This French-style vegetable garden was created in the 18th century by La Rochefoucauld family, the owners of the castle. This family, who shared the ideas of the physiocrats and encyclopaedists, wanted for their château a scientific and experimental garden, rather than a pleasure garden.



  • La Roche-Guyon is located 72 km north/west of Paris, in the Ile de France region.


Things to Do in La Roche-Guyon

  • Sightseeing
  • Nature walks


How to Go from Paris to La Roche-Guyon

By Train+Bus: to reach La Roche-Guyon from Paris by public transportation is not easy but nothing is impossible! Take a train from Paris Saint Lazare Train Station to Gare de Bonnières (47 min, every 4 hours). The next step is to take a bus from Gare Routière Bonnières to Petit Pont station (9 min, every 4 hours).

By Car: Paris to La Roche-Guyon is a 72 km drive which takes around 53 min, depending on the traffic.


Best Small Towns Around Paris in Hauts-de-France Region


Chateau de Chantilly, France

Looking for easy day trips from Paris by train? Head to Chantilly to visit the Grand Stables and Château!

Château de Chantilly was built in the 16th century for the House of Montomercy and later it was owned by the princes of Condé, cousins of the King of France. In the beginning, Chantilly was just a few hamlets scattered outside the Château which turned with the years into a cute small town.

In the 17th century, Les Grandes Ecuries (the Grand Stables) were built for the Prince of Condé, a horse passionate, and they could host 240 horses and 500 hounds. Today Les Grandes Écuries host the Horse Museum and they are a very reputed center of dressage for the most expensive horses in the world.  The ticket to the Horse Museum includes a very entertaining dressage show.

Since the construction of Les Grandees Écuries, Chantilly’s world turns around horses and today Chantilly and the surrounding villages are home to the largest racehorse-training community in France. The Chantilly Racecourse (Hippodrome de Chantilly) hosts one of the most prestigious horse races in the world.



  • Chantilly is located 38 km north-east of Paris, in the Hauts-de-France region.


Things to Do in Chantilly

  • Attend one of the chic racecourses in the Hippodrome de Chantilly
  • Sightseeing
  • Château de Chantilly
  • Grandes Écuries and Horse Museum
  • Drink a cafe or hot chocolate topped with crème chantilly


How to Go from Paris to Chantilly 

By Train: Paris to Chantilly by train is very easy, with direct trains from Paris Gare du Nord to Chantilly-Gouvieux train station (30 min, hourly). From there, it’s a pleasant walk to the Château and the Stables.

Click here to book your train tickets to Chantilly

By Car: Paris to Chantilly is a 42 km drive which takes around 40 min, depending on the traffic.


Best Day Tour from Paris to Chantilly

Enjoy a day out of Paris visiting the Château of Chantilly and the Great Stables with an English speaking licensed guide. The tour includes private transportation from /to Paris, skip the line tickets to the Horse Museum and the Château, a horse show in the Great Stables (subject to availability) and a 3-course meal at the Château’s pretty restaurant.

Click here to book your half-day tour to Chantilly



Senlis, France

Senlis is one of the best towns near Paris to visit, with a very rich history. Senlis is a royal town, cradle of the Capet dynasty. Indeed, Hugh Capet was lord of Senlis before becoming the first king of House of Capet in 987. Since then and until Henry IV, all his successors lived in the royal palace of Senlis.

Today the historical center of Senlis still keeps its medieval layout, with picturesque cobbled streets and a beautiful architecture dating from the 10th century to the 18th century. Senlis Cathedral may not be one of our favorite cathedrals in France but no one can deny that it is very impressive and maybe the best remaining witness of Senlis’ power.

Senlis is also well known for its Roman past and you can still see some remains of the Roman fortress and towers (3rd century) and a Gallo-Roman arena (1sr century).



  • Senlis is located 42 km north of Paris, in the Hauts de France region.


Things to Do in Senlis

  • Sightseeing
  • Ruins of the Royal Palace
  • Medieval streets


How to Go from Paris to Senlis 

By Train + Bus: If you want to go from Paris to Senlis by public transportation take the train from Paris Gare du Nord to Chantilly-Gouvieux train station (30 min, hourly) and then take the bus #15 to Senlis (20 min ride every 30 min). The bus schedule changes often so we recommend checking the tourism website here.

Click here to book your train tickets to Chantilly

By Car: Paris to Senlis is a 51 km drive which takes around 35 min, depending on the traffic.



Gerberoy, France

Gerberoy is one of the best villages near Paris to visit and it is a dream destination for flower passionates, especially rose lovers. A walk in this picturesque village and its gardens is a real delight, with its narrow cobbled streets, 17th and 18th-century houses, climbing roses, wisterias, plants, and flowers.

Gerberoy is one of the villages in Hauts-de-France with the label «Les plus beaux villages de France». It is the perfect place to flâner, wander aimlessly looking at the flowers, and the small details.

Gerberoy is best known for its Rose Festival (the third weekend of June) when all the houses are covered by roses and hortensias in full bloom.



  • Gerberoy is located 105 km northwest of Paris, in the region of Hauts-de-France


Things to Do in Gerberoy

  • Flâner
  • The Rose Festival


How to Go from Paris to Gerberoy

By Car: Paris to Gerberoy is a 105 km drive which takes around 1 hour 15 min, depending on the traffic.


Best Small Towns Near Paris in Normandy Region


Giverny, France

If you are looking for beautiful day trips around Paris, Giverny in Normandy is the place to go. This small village near Paris is where the 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 Monet’s House and Garden (click here for a quick guide) to admire the water lily pond that inspired Monet for many of his paintings. However, Monet house and studio are as interesting as the gardens, they are a visual experience of different spaces, colors, and materials where Monet left nothing to chance.

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



  • Giverny is located 80 km northwest of Paris, in the Normandy region.


Things to Do in Giverny

  • Sightseeing
  • Monet’s House and Garden


How to Go from Paris to Giverny 

By Train + Shuttle: There is no direct train connection from Paris to Giverny. First, you need to take a train from Gare Saint Lazare to Vernon train station (1 hr, hourly) where you can take a shuttle which drops you in front of Monet’s house.

Click here to book your train tickets to Vernon


By Car: Paris to Giverny is a 74 km drive which takes around 54 min, depending on the traffic.


Best Day Tour from Paris to Giverny 

If you’d rather not drive to Giverny yourself, you can take this tour that will drive you there and back in comfort and let you explore on your own or with an audio tour once you are there.

The tour includes transportation from /to a central point in Paris, the admission tickets, a tour escort, and the audio guide as an option. Once inside Monet’s House and Garden, you are free to tour them as you want.

Click here to Book your Independent Tour to Giverny



Les Andelys Normandie

Les Andelys are two small towns connected by a nice canal promenade, located in one of the meanders of the Seine River.

The towns are surveyed by the splendid ruins of Château-Gaillard, a medieval fortress built in the 12th century under the orders of King Richard Lionheart, who was also Duke of Normandy, to protect his lands against the French King Philippe Auguste. The view from the castle (picture above), over Les Andelys and the Seine River, is amazing.

Les Andelys (and Chäteau Gaillard) make a nice stop, perhaps on your way to Giverny or Rouen. Apart from the ruins of the Château, the towns have different religious buildings from the 13th century and beautiful family houses from the 16th to 19th centuries.



  • Les Andelys is located 90 km north-west of Paris, in the region of Normandy.


Things to Do in Les Andelys

  • Sightseeing
  • Château Gaillard


How to go from Paris to Les Andelys

By Car: There are no good train connections to Les Andelys so your car is your best option to visit this picturesque town. Les Andelys is a 90km drive which takes around 1 hour, depending on the traffic.



Best Towns Near Paris in Centre – Val de Loire Region


Chartres Cathedral France

Chartres is one of the most beautiful cities close to Paris worth visiting, with a small-town feeling. Chartres is best known for its impressive Gothic Cathedral, one of the Grandes Cathédrales de France and (like Amiens Cathedral or Saint-Denis Basilica-Cathedral) an important milestone in the evolution of Gothic Cathedrals in Europe.

The cathedral is also famous for its 13th-century labyrinth designed on the pavement, the largest one built in France! Pilgrims used to walk this labyrinth seeking healing or meditation.

Apart from the magnificent cathedral, Chartres has a cute historical center with some timbered houses. We suggest walking down to the river Eure where you can see picturesque small houses, some of them with their private boats.



  • Chartres is located 96 km south of Paris, in the region of Centre-Val de Loire.


Things to Do in Chartres

  • Sightseeing
  • Chartres Cathedral
  • Chartres en Lumières (sound and light show)


How to go from Paris to Chartres 

Chartres is one of the easiest short day trips from Paris by train. Direct trains leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse to Chartres Train Station every 30 minutes (1h 10min ride).

Click here to book your train tickets to Chartres


By Car: Paris to Chartres is an 88.5 km drive which takes around 53 min, depending on the traffic.


Best Day Tour from Paris to Chartres 

Spend an informative and relaxing day exploring the Chartres Cathedral and the medieval houses along the Eure River with this 5-hour tour. The tour includes the hotel pickup and drop-off, transportation on a private vehicle and a private and knowledgeable English guide. The price depends on the number of people and it is available from 1 person (definitely not cheap) to 7 people (very convenient!).

Click here to book your day tour to Chartres


Cute Towns Near Paris in Grand Est Region


Hautvilliers France

If you are looking for a little bit of countryside not far from the capital, Epernay and Hautvillers are cute towns near Paris worth visiting.

Located in the heart of the champagne vineyards, Epernay is the capital of the champagne wine. It is here where the most luxury champagne brands, like Moët-Chandon, Vranken, Mercier, Pol Roger, or Perrier-Jouët, have their headquarters and champagne cellars.

Epernay’s main avenue, Avenue de Champagne, is considered the most expensive avenue in the world. This avenue is occupied by private mansions on the surface while below the ground some 100km of galleries have been dug to house millions of bottles of the best champagne.

Five kilometers north of Epernay, there’s the village of Hautvillers to visit. It was in Hautvillers Abbey where the monk Dom Perignon developed the method of champagnisation of wine. Dom Perignon is buried inside this abbey, just in front of the main altar.



  • Epernay is located 140 km southwest of Paris, in the region of Grand Est.


Things to Do in Epernay & Hauvtillers

  • Sightseeing
  • Nature walks
  • Champagne tasting and shopping from small producers
  • Champagne tours


How to go from Paris to Epernay

By Train: trains to Epernay leave Paris from Paris Gare de l’Est to Epernay train station every 2 hours (1h 15 min). If you want to add Hautvillers to your Epernay trip, we recommend taking a taxi (5km, 10 minutes drive).

Click here to book your train tickets to Epernay


By Car: Paris to Epernay by car is a 140 km drive which lasts about 1 hour 15 min.


Best Paris Day Tour from Paris to Epernay

Explore the Champagne wine-producing region with this small-group guided tour with private transportation and some tastings included. Learn the basics of champagne, from the growing to the tasting and tour the House of Moët Chandon, the world’s largest producers of Champagne.

The tour also includes the visit of Reims Cathedral, the place where the Kings of France were crowned.

Click here to book your Champagne tour with champagne tastings


Did you like our list of small towns around Paris? If you can go further, check out this France Travel Guide


Click here for more Side Trips from Paris

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Some interesting articles in the blog

  • Read our Paris for the First Time Quick Guide here
  • Find things to eat in Paris here
  • Explore the Paris Districts here

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  • Robert
    12/19/2017 at 10:03 pm

    I always believe in taking a side trip outside of major cities when I am traveling and blogging. There really are some hidden gems to visit just outside of metropolitan cities and you did an excellent job highlighting many of those close to Paris.

    • WorldInParis
      02/18/2018 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks! There are many more so it was hard to come up with a top 10 list 🙁

  • peter
    12/18/2017 at 1:25 am

    Hi guys,
    thanks for creating this article, i have searched hundreds of blogs and most of them always mention the same day trips from Paris. Very boring, but not this one. Well done guys!
    I’m going to Paris in two weeks and i’m printing this blog entry write now which i will use.
    Thanks heaps guys

    • WorldInParis
      12/20/2017 at 4:01 pm

      Glad that you enjoyed the post, Peter! And Bon voyage 😉

  • Francesca Murray
    12/04/2017 at 10:41 pm

    I’m going to pin this! A few of these were on my list to visit, but you also introduced me to a few. I used to live in Haut de France (formerly known as Picardie) years ago and loved it

    • WorldInParis
      12/06/2017 at 1:51 pm

      Did not know that Picardie does not exist anymore! :-O Glad that you found some new inspiring small towns on our article

  • Lauren
    11/29/2017 at 7:58 am

    It’s interesting because I haven’t been to France yet, but Paris has never really appealed to me. Although…these small towns do! I’m always drawn to the smaller towns anyway. These ones have so much to offer and I’d love to explore them!

    • WorldInParis
      11/30/2017 at 4:57 pm

      That’s great! There are many small towns around Paris I am sure you would love 🙂

  • Paige W
    11/29/2017 at 6:21 am

    Oh my gosh. This is like cute town porn! I want to see them all! I’ve only been to Chartres, so I think a tiny town road trip is in order! Giverny is a must for me (as with many others) because of Monet. That’s on my wanderlist for my next trip to France.

  • Megan Jerrard
    11/28/2017 at 3:53 pm

    Some great trip ideas! I love the sound of Chartres for unique history, and Le Chateau the Fontainebleau has been on my list of places I want to visit for a while now.

    Is Rouen a close enough day trip from Paris? I haven’t looked too much into it yet, though have a very keen interest in Joan of Arc. Thanks!

    • WorldInParis
      11/30/2017 at 4:59 pm

      Yes, Rouen is close to Paris (1 hour aprox by train) but I would not say it is a small town . . that’s why Rouen is not on this list 😉

  • Jennifer
    11/27/2017 at 12:07 pm

    I’d really like to see Monet’s Gardens in Giverny. Good to know what time of year the lilies blossom, so perhaps I’ll make the trip up this summer. And Chartes has been on my radar since I read this book that partially took place there. It was fiction, but even so it really made me want to visit and see the town that inspired the setting in the book.

  • Kirstie
    11/27/2017 at 11:35 am

    Your photo of Fontainebleau looks like it’s from a postcard! I wonder what medieval fairs in Provins are like! It must be a really fun experience!

  • Cathy
    11/27/2017 at 8:42 am

    I haven’t been to Paris. This is beautiful to know that there are pretty lovely towns that we can go on a day tour. And I’d like to choose MONTFORT L’AMAURY. This place looks like a fairy tale to me. Seems pretty calm and cozy, too! I love how green this small town is!

    • WorldInParis
      11/30/2017 at 5:08 pm

      Beautiful and calm, yes! I suggest not to go on Sunday, it may be too calm for visiting . .

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman
    11/26/2017 at 11:07 pm

    What a beautiful post. My mind is racing with escaping to the French countryside, perhaps with a loaf of bread and some cheese for a picnic and bike ride. First on the list would be the chateau at Chantilly and next would be Fountainblue. Hopefully in each, we could find a little bike ride and explore, not only the beautiful architecture but the town beyond the beaten path.

  • Silke
    11/26/2017 at 6:47 pm

    That’s a great list of very interesting day trip destinations. I would probably want to see them all but I would start with the small medieval villages. Senlis and Chevreuse both look very picturesque and quaint, I’d love to walk along the canal and picture medieval life with mills and tannery along the waterfront. The chateaus look equally stunning but of course in a different way. Fontainebleau and Chantilly ring a bell… there must be a lot of history here. Hopefully, I get to explore France some more in the next couple of years.

    • WorldInParis
      11/30/2017 at 5:09 pm

      Yes, lots of history in France, not only in Paris . . 😉

  • Linda de Beer
    11/26/2017 at 12:32 pm

    It’s so true. France is much more than Paris. Your ten towns have sparked the wanderlust in me! I’ll start with the Chevreuse High Valley. I like small towns that can be reached by train, and I don’t even consider a hike if there’s no beer at the end of it!

    • WorldInParis
      11/26/2017 at 5:44 pm

      Great pick! All the small towns on this post can be reached by train so no worries about it! For Chevreuse it is better to wait for next spring 🙂

  • Danijela
    11/25/2017 at 11:06 am

    Fontainebleau sounds like the place I’d go nuts about! Beautiful chateau, a lot of history. And you say – the former largest garden in Europe? Oh, that would be nice to see.
    I’ve been to Rouen and Giverny, but I have to say that I don’t often consider that I could do day trips from Paris when coming to the city. And here, you’ve pointed out to few very good reasons to do just that! 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      11/25/2017 at 12:28 pm

      Well, now that you know Paris a little bit why don’t explore its surroundings? There are nice surprises out there . . 😉