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Table of Contents
- Most Popular Day Trips out of Paris
- Top Paris Day Trips – Best Way to Visit
- 1. VERSAILLES (Ile de France)
- 2. GIVERNY & MONET’S GARDENS (Normandy)
- 3. MONT SAINT-MICHEL (Normandy)
- 4. DISNEYLAND PARIS (Ile de France)
- 5. LOIRE CASTLES (Centre – Val de Loire)
- 6. D-DAY LANDING BEACHES (Normandy)
- 7. CHÂTEAU DE VAUX-LE-VICOMTE (Ile de France)
- 8. WINE TASTING IN THE CHAMPAGNE REGION (Grand Est)
Most Popular Day Trips out of Paris
Paris is an incredible city with many things to see and do. But if you have any more than three days in the city, take the opportunity to get out of Paris and see more of France as there are some great day trips out of Paris.
The list of wonderful day trips around Paris is very long. However, if you visit Paris for the first time, we suggest sticking to the most popular Paris day trips: 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, popularity means more competitive prices in case you decide to book a day tour.
Here’s the definitive list of best Paris day trips, featuring historic cities, seaside towns, world heritage wonders and adventures in the great French countryside.
Top Paris Day Trips – Best Way to Visit
Paris Day Trips By Train
Most of the day trips outside Paris proposed below are easy Paris day trips by train. There are many interesting places to visit near Paris by train and 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 our favorite way to explore the surroundings of Paris. If you are also concerned about your carbon footprint and you want to reduce it, trains are the best way to go around.
Click here to Book your Train Tickets from Paris
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!
Some people have a negative image of guided tours. Guided tours don’t necessarily mean herds of people following a yellow umbrella. There are also private tours or small-group tours and these are the kind of tours that we propose. A one day trip from Paris with a small group can be a great idea for solo travelers who want to know other people during their trips.
Usually day tours from Paris 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
|Versailles day tour||9 hrs||Versailles||History, Architecture, Gardens||Private Minivan||View|
|Giverny day tour||4 hrs||Giverny||Arts, Monet||Private Minivan||View|
|Mont Saint-Michel day tour||14 hrs||Mont Saint-Michel||History, Architecture, Religion||Private Minivan||View|
|Euro Disney tickets + shuttle||1 day||Euro Disney – Marne la Vallée||Fun, magic, family||Shuttle Bus||View|
|Loire Castles day tour||12 hrs||Chambord, Chenonceau, Amboise||History, Architecture, French gardens||Private Minivan||View|
|D-Day Landing Beaches day tour||12 hrs||Normandy||History, Landscape||Private Minivan||View|
|Vaux-le-Vicomte Private day tour||6 hrs||Vaux-le-Vicomte||History, Architecture Gardens||Private Minivan||View|
|Champagne Region day tour||10.5 hrs||Epernay, Hautvilliers, Reims, Moët Chandon||History, Champagne||Private Minivan||View|
1. VERSAILLES (Ile de France)
Versailles is one of the most popular day trips outside Paris, and for a reason!
Château de Versailles is one of the world’s biggest and most beautiful palaces but it is also a place with an important historical role. 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.
Versailles French-style Gardens are as amazing as the palace itself. They are beautifully decorated with fountains, water games, and grooves. Due to the long distance from the Seine, Versailles fountains were fed thanks to an ingenious machine that pumped the water from the Seine. The impressive 5.57 km wide Grand Canal was the object of naval battles by the King and his court.
How to Visit Versailles On your Own
Versailles is the most popular day trip from Paris, with nearly 10 million visitors every year, so get ready for the crowds. The Versailles Estate is also a huge place (800 hectares) with different buildings to visit.
If you want to visit Versailles on your own, it is important to plan in advance. Buying skip-the-line tickets online in advance is also an excellent idea for visiting Versailles.
» From March to October, Versailles hosts a Musical Fountain Show where you can enjoy the spectacular fountains, usually off, spouting to the rhythm of the music.
» Transportation to Versailles. There are many direct trains traveling from Paris to Versailles (40-minutes ride). You can check here the best ways to travel to Versailles.
Best Paris Tours to Versailles
Visit Versailles Palace and Gardens, with the Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s farm, on a private or a small-group tour with a professional guide. The tours proposed below include transportation to/from Paris.
2. GIVERNY & MONET’S GARDENS (Normandy)
Giverny, in the region of Normandy, 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 admire the water lily pond that inspired Monet’s 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 there’s also an Impressionist Museum.
READ MORE – Chasing Claude Monet in Paris (& beyond)
How to Visit Giverny and Monet’s House and Gardens On your Own
Giverny is an easy day trip to do on your own. If you want to visit Giverny to enjoy the gardens and take some pictures, you don’t need to plan that much apart from learning the train and bus schedules.
» Transportation to Giverny: There is no direct train connection from Paris to Giverny. First, you need to take a train from Gare Saint Lazare in Paris 8 to Vernon train station (1 hr, hourly) where you can take a shuttle which drops you in front of Monet’s House. You can see the trains schedule and all the transportation options here
Best Paris Tours to Giverny
Paris day tours to Giverny are a very interesting option because Giverny is not very easy to reach (and not very cheap either) by public transportation. The tours proposed below always have great reviews. The private tour proposed comes with an Art Historian Guide!
3. MONT SAINT-MICHEL (Normandy)
With spectacular Gothic architecture, rich history, religious significance, and wonderful setting, there’s no doubt why the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is one of the best Paris Day Trips.
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 first structures of this religious site were built in the 10th century. Since then, magnificent monastic buildings were added through medieval times. 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.
How to Visit Mont Saint-Michel On your Own
To get the most out of your visit to Saint-Michel, we recommend reading about the site and its history in advance. Each year roughly 2.5 million people visit the stunning hilltop abbey so buying skip-the-line tickets in advance will definitely help to deal with the crowds.
» Mont Saint-Michel sees the highest tides in Europe. If you are flexible with your dates, choose one of the days with the highest tides for a more spectacular view of the Abbey surrounded by water.
» Public Transportation to Mont Saint-Michel: there is no direct transportation to Mont Saint-Michel. You can reach Mont Saint Michel by 2 trains + shuttle or by bus + shuttle. In both cases, it’s around 6-7 hours ride (one way).
The closest train station is Pontorson, which can be reached via the following train lines:
- TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes train station or Dol de Bretagne train station, then take a coach from Rennes or Dol de Bretagne to Mont-Saint-Michel.
- Trains from Paris Saint-Lazare to Caen train station, then a TER train from Caen to Pontorson, then the shuttle bus from Pontorson to Mont-Saint-Michel.
Blabla bust and Flix bus also travel to Mont Saint Michel (Place des Navettes) where you can take the shuttle to the Abbey.
» Private Transportation to Mont Saint-Michel: if you want to visit Mont Saint-Michel on a day trip to Paris, renting a car is a good idea. Recently, the visitor car parks have been relocated away from the shoreline, to preserve the Mont-Saint-Michel’s exceptional surroundings. The new car parks stand approximately 2.4 km (1.5 miles) away from the island. Once you have parked, head for the Place des Navettes, to take the shuttle to the Abbey.
Best Day Tours from Paris to Mont Saint-Michel
A Paris day tour to Mont Saint-Michel is a very good idea. It avoids you the transportation hassle, you can spend more time on-site plus you are going to learn many interesting things with your knowledgeable guide.
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 and co. for a wonderful day in the magical world of Disney.
The park has many child-friendly rides on offer. 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
In Disneyland Paris, there are two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. If you only want to visit Disneyland Paris on a day trip from Paris we recommend to stick to Disneyland Park. If you decide to have a taste of both parks, pay less with the Disney combo tickets.
The park has more than 50 rides. We recommend reading about the main attractions and preparing your Disneyland Paris bucket list.
On weekends, when the weather is good, expect 1-hour lines (2-hour lines for the most popular attractions). There is a separate fast line for fast pass tickets. The waiting time in fast lines is around 10 minutes.
» 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.
» Private Transportation to Disneyland Paris: this bus leaves to Euro Disney from three departure points in Paris. For the maximum comfort and flexibility book this private transfer Paris – Euro Disney
Best Day Tours from Paris to Euro Disney
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)
The Loire Valley is full of magnificent Rennaissance castles, known as Châteaux de la Loire or Loire Castles. Home of Kings and nobles, these castles are great architectural achievements, usually surrounded by beautiful French-style gardens.
The Loire Valley is perfect to explore by bike whilst visiting some of its most beautiful castles. Famous Châteaux like Chambord, Blois or Chenonceau are also easy to reach on a day trip from Paris.
How to Visit the Loire Castles On your Own
» The best way to explore the Loire Castles is by renting a car. Getting around by car saves you a lot of time so you can visit more sites. Also, you can reach lesser-known castles (but not less beautiful than the most popular ones!) if you have your own car.
» A few châteaux like Blois, Amboise or Chambord relatively easy to reach by public transportation. Chenonceau is also possible but the transportation options are less convenient. Choose one castle or two and plan in advance.
Amboise: There’s no direct train Paris-Amboise. 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 time of the day, there’s a change in Orléans (2 hrs ride).
Chambord: Take a train to Blois train station. There, there is a bus shuttle (la navette) which 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 Loire Valley Tours from Paris
The Loire Valley Tours from Paris are an excellent way to explore some of the best Loire Castles. Optimize your time and get the most out of the Loire Valley on a day trip from Paris. It’s a long day out from Paris but well worth the time!
6. D-DAY LANDING BEACHES (Normandy)
The D-day landing beaches, in the region of Normandy, is a memorable and sometimes moving day trip from Paris. Indeed, this was the definitive battle which led to the victory of the Allies in WWII.
Visit Caen’s memorial museum to explore the history behind 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 memorials and smaller museums around which are well worth a shortstop.
The invasion of Normandy meant thousands of losses of young soldiers. The military cemeteries located not far from the beaches receive every day thousands of visitors who want to pay their respects to these courageous people who once fight for freedom.
READ MORE – Our day Trip from Paris to D-Day Landing Beaches
How to Visit the Normandy Landing Beaches On your Own
This is a long way trip with many interesting stops. Plan the trip in advance by reading about the D-Day and the different sides and do your D-Day Bucket List. We recommend renting a car to optimize your transportation times and to stop wherever you want.
Best Day Tours from Paris to D-Day Landing Beaches
This is the best way to explore the D-Day Landing sites on a day trip from Paris. This Paris day tour is a long and exhausting trip but it’s a must trip if you are interested in WWII or history in general. The tours below have great reviews and they include private transportation and tour guide.
7. CHÂTEAU DE VAUX-LE-VICOMTE (Ile de France)
If you are looking for short trips from Paris, Vaux-le-Vicomte is a wonderful place to visit. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (17th century) is together with Versailles, Fontainebleau, and Chantilly one the most beautiful castles to visit near Paris.
The first owner was Nicolas Fouquet, Chief Minister to the young King Louis XIV, who brought together an architect, Louis Le Vau, a painter, Charles Le Brun, and a landscape gardener, André Le Notre, to execute jointly the entire project. The result was an amazing château surrounded by wonderful French-style gardens.
How to Visit Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte On your Own
The visits to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte can be taken freely, with or without an audio guide. Take your time to admire the artworks collected by Nicolas Fouquet during his life and explore the beautiful Gardens. From the dome, the highest point of the château 25 meters high, you will be able to admire a 360° view around the estate.
Apart from the restaurants on-site, there are picnic areas in two locations: next to the Grand Canal and opposite the ticket office, on the far side of the road.
» Public Transportation to Vaux-le-Vicomte: you can reach Vaux-le-Vicomte by train + shuttle. Take the train at Paris Gare de l’Est, line P in the direction of Provins to Verneuil l’Etang train station. At the train station exit, there is a “Châteaubus” shuttle to the Château (1 hr ride in total).
Best Day Tours from Paris to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
» Vaux-le-Vicomte is well-known for its costumed celebrations and candlelit evenings. The candlelit evenings with dinner (on Saturdays, from May to early October) are a great way to spend a romantic soirée out of Paris.
Alternatively, the private guided tour during the day here below has great reviews.
8. WINE TASTING IN THE CHAMPAGNE REGION (Grand Est)
If you are looking for wine day trips from Paris and a little bit of French countryside, Épernay and the surrounding small towns are the places to go. The Champagne region is a very beautiful area to explore on a one day trip from Paris. This is the countryside, far from the hustle and bustle of Paris, with rolling hills and stone villages with their characteristic bell towers.
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.
How to Visit the Champagne Region On your Own
Usually, people visiting the Champagne Region like to book a champagne guided tour with champagne tasting at the end. The most popular tour is the Moët-Chandon champagne tour (April to November) and this tour must be booked well in advance as it tends to be sold out fast.
We did a last-minute Paris to Champagne day trip and we could visit the cellars of De Castellane. We bought our tickets on-site for the first champagne tour of the day. It was an interesting tour!
Also, it is a good idea to visit some small champagne producers for champagne tasting and champagne shopping.
TOP TIP: If you are planning to bring a few bottles home (who could resist?!), make sure you pack your wine properly so it arrives safely home!
» Public Transportation to Épernay and Reims: trains to Epernay leave Paris from Paris Gare de l’Est (1h 15 min, every 2 hours). If during your Epernay trip you want to visit Hautvillers as well, we recommend taking a taxi (5km, 10 minutes drive). You can see the trains schedule and all the public transportation options here
Direct trains to Reims leave from Paris Gare de l’Est (46 min ride). From Reims, you can take a train to Épernay (22 min ride) and then a train from Épernay – back to Paris.
» Private Transportation to Épernay and Reims: this is the easiest way to visit the Champagne Region. 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.
Best Day Tours from Paris to Champagne Wine Region
The biggest advantage of these wine tours, apart from the comfort, is that you can drink as much champagne as you want and then take a good nap on the minibus. These Champagne tours from Paris usually come with a wine expert guide.
We hope to have inspired you to go out of Paris for the day. What is your favorite Paris Day Tour?
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