More than ever, people planning a trip to Paris are happy to block a couple of days of their holidays to explore the surroundings of the capital and find a French adventure of their own. So it’s time to get out of your comfort zone, grab a train, and visit more about this beautiful country on a weekend trip from Paris. Because Paris is always a good idea, but France is much more than Paris.
Where to travel from Paris by train? What are the best weekend trips from Paris by train? The proposals below are easy train trips from Paris, with train journeys of 3.5 hours maximum (one way). These towns or cities close to Paris by train are great destinations for weekend getaways from Paris or longer stays.
EasyTrain Trips from Paris
Getting around France by train couldn’t be easier. The French rail network connects all the major cities and towns in France while also linking up many small towns in the countryside. With good planning, you can enjoy wonderful trips from Paris by train.
The trains in France are fast, efficient, and relatively cheap if booked in advance. If you’re a first-timer coming to France and need some assistance with understanding train travel in France, then you’ll want to read this France Train Travel Guide.
Paris is very well connected with all of France, and thanks to TGV trains, some of the best train trips from Paris are possible in 3.5 hours or less!
Gare du Nord is the main train station in Paris, and with around 214 million travelers per year, it is also the busiest railway station in Europe. However, the city has other train stations, and we will tell you the main destinations served from the different train stations at the end of the post.
Overnight Train Trips from Paris
If you want to save time and money during your French holidays, taking a sleeper train is a good option. There are a few night routes served by Intercités trains:
• Paris-Toulon-St Raphael-Cannes-Antibes-Nice
• Paris-Toulouse-Latour de Carol
Reservations are usually required on most Intercités services, and you can choose from a Couchette, Standard, or Premium cabin to travel in.
1. Weekend Trip from Paris to Marseille by Train
- Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
- Best for: sightseeing, sailing, gastronomy
- Weekend Guide to Marseille
Why you Should visit Marseille
If you are looking for a sunny weekend trip from Paris, Marseille is the place to go. Many people visit Marseille quickly on their way to Corsica Island, but Marseille is a cool place to explore on its own, and the city can keep you busy for two days or more.
The best things to do in Marseille are in the city center, such as the picturesque Le Panier neighborhood, the Cathedral, the Abbey of Saint-Victor, or the colorful Old Port.
Thanks to its designation as the European Capital of Culture in 2013, Marseille also upgraded its museums and cultural agenda. Top museums like the Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (MuCEM) and the Villa Méditerranée were inaugurated in 2013 for the event.
If you prefer something other than city sights, you are also in the right place! The stunning Calanques de Marseille, between Marseille and Cassis, are never far. During the Provence lavender season, you can also consider a half-day tour to visit the lavender fields of Provence.
How to Do Paris to Marseille by Train
Marseille is located 773 km south of Paris, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. This is one of the easy train rides from Paris, and TGV trains leave from Paris Gare de Lyon train station. Count on taking 3.5 hours from Paris to Marseille (one way).
If you are traveling to Marseille on summer weekends, we recommend booking the train tickets well in advance.
2. Train Trip from Paris to Bordeaux
- Region: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
- Best for: Sightseeing, gastronomy, wines
- Weekend Guide to Bordeaux
While it is possible to visit Bordeaux on a day trip from Paris, we always recommend spending at least a couple of days. Bordeaux is one of the best cities near Paris to visit by train for wine lovers. Bisected by the Garonne River, Bordeaux is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, world-famous for its wines
The inscription of the historical center and the Port of the Moon on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007 was the perfect excuse for a total lifting, and now the city appears to visitors more seductive than ever.
The historical center has a beautiful collection of 17th-century private mansions. Since 2006, Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux’s most beautiful square, is reflected in the world’s biggest water mirror, where kids and adults like to refresh themselves in the summer.
The city is also an excellent base to explore the Bordeaux Wine Regions and the western coast on half-day or full-day trips.
How to Do Paris – Bordeaux by Train
Trains between the two cities are direct, fast, and affordable. In a matter of no time, you can start your weekend getaway in Bordeaux.
There are around 25 trains from Paris to Bordeaux per day, most of them direct. Trains depart from Paris Gare Montparnasse station and arrive at Bordeaux-Saint-Jean. The travel time is only around two to three hours.
3. Weekend Getaway from Paris to Rouen by Train
- Region: Normandy
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy
- Weekend Guide to Rouen
Why you should visit Rouen
Rouen is one of the most beautiful places to visit near Paris by train. Due to its short distance from the French capital, many people visit Rouen on a day trip from Paris, but this city deserves more than a few hours.
Located by the River Seine, Rouen is the administrative capital of Normandy. Nicknamed “‘the city of 100 bell towers,” Rouen has a rich history, interesting museums, and good gastronomy.
WHERE TO STAY IN ROUEN:
- Best Western Plus Hotel Litteraire Gustave Flaubert (mid-range)
- Hotel de la Cathédrale (mid-range)
- Le Vieux Carré (budget)
Rouen owns one of the most beautiful medieval centers in France. Get lost in its pedestrian streets and admire its beautiful timber frame houses. Rouen’s Old Market Square is the place where Jeanne d’Arc was burned alive, and a visit to the History Museum is a good opportunity to learn more about the Saint Patron of France.
Notre Dame Cathedral is one of France’s Grandes Cathédrales and a jewel of Gothic architecture. This is Monet’s beloved cathedral, the one that inspired his ‘Cathedrals’ series.
Last but not least, enjoy Rouen’s gastronomy, visit its various markets displaying delicious local produce, and taste some of the city’s specialties, particularly the seafood.
How to Do Paris – Rouen by Train
Rouen is located 126 km northwest of Paris. This is one of the best train rides from Paris, short and without connections. Trains from Paris to Rouen leave from Paris Saint Lazare train station hourly. The journey takes 1h 15 min to 1h 45min, depending on the train.
4. Weekend Trip from Paris to Lyon by Train
- Region: Auvergne-Rhône Alpes
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy
- Weekend Guide to Lyon
Why you should visit Lyon
Lyon, the third-largest city in the country, is one of the top cities to visit in France and one of the best Paris weekend trips by train. The city is well known for its quality of life, its beautiful heritage from Roman times to Contemporary architecture, and good gastronomy.
The Fourbière Hill offers beautiful panoramic views of the city, and it is a great place to start your visit. Explore Le Vieux Lyon, the city’s historical center and its beating heart, with interesting medieval and renaissance architecture and a wonderful atmosphere. The Lyon City Card, for 1 to 4 days, offers access to 23 museums in Lyon, unlimited transportation, and a guided tour!
After getting a taste of Lyon’s famous cuisine, it is time to head to La Presqu’Ile (Lyon’s river-bound peninsula) for more beautiful architecture and some good shopping.
How to Do Paris to Lyon by Train
Lyon is located 463 km south of Paris. Trains from Paris to Lyon leave Paris Gare de Lyon train station hourly for a journey of around 2 hours, depending on the train.
5. Train Trip from Paris to Strasbourg
- Region: Grand Est
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy, wine tasting
- Weekend Guide to Strasbourg
Why you should visit Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital of the former region of Alsace. It is one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with its historic center listed Unesco Heritage site.
This train trip from Paris has everything, from historical sights to excellent foods and wines. Strasbourg’s Cathedral is one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in France, and from its bell tower, when the sky is clear, it is possible to see the Vosges and the Black Forest in Germany!
Also, Strasbourg is the home of international institutions like the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament, both buildings with interesting contemporary architecture.
How to Do Paris to Strasbourg by Train
Strasbourg is located 487 km east of Paris. Despite the distance, this is one of the short trips from Paris by train.
TGV trains from Paris leave from Paris Gare de l’Est train station and reach Strasbourg in only 1 hr 45 min, making Strasbourg one of the best places to visit from Paris by train.
6. Weekend Getaway from Paris to Lille by Train
- Region: Hauts-de-France
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy
Why you should visit Lille
If you are looking for where to go from Paris by train, far from the crowds, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Lille in Northern France. Lille is the capital of the region of Hauts-de-France and an interesting cultural hub with a large student population.
During the middle ages, Lille was a prosperous merchant city part of the County of Flanders (today Belgium); that’s why there are so many Flemish influences in architecture and gastronomy.
Vieux Lille is the city’s historic center, with beautiful 17th-century buildings and cobbled pedestrian streets. The elegant Grande Place, Lille’s beating heart, is a wonder.
Other interesting sights in Lille and around are the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Old Stock Exchange, the Citadel designed by Vauban, and, a little bit further, the Musée de l’Art et de l’Industrie de Roubaix with its beautiful Art Déco swimming pool. The Lille’s city pass, for 24 or 48 hours, comes with unlimited transportation and skip-the-line access to the main attractions, the Piscine-Museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix included.
How to Do Paris to Lille by Train
Lille is located 215 km north of Paris. Its direct and fast train connection with the French capital (only 1 hour by TGV) makes Lille an attractive destination for a weekend getaway from Paris.
Trains from Paris to Lille leave from Paris Gare du Nord train station hourly.
7. Weekend Trip from Paris to Dijon by Train
- Region: Bourgogne-Franche Comté
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy, wine tasting, countryside
Why you should visit Dijon
If you are looking for overnight trips from Paris by train to enjoy good wine, head to Dijon in the heart of the Burgundy Wine Region.
Dijon was the home of the Dukes of Burgundy, and it’s a city with an interesting history, beautiful medieval architecture, tasty local produce, and good wine. Dijon’s historical center is like a trip back in time with the impressive Ducal Palace, medieval architecture, and religious buildings.
Dijon is also known for its mustard, the best mustard in France! There are other local delicacies like gingerbread too. Being Dijon in the Burgundy Wine Region, world-famous for its wines, don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about Burgundy wines and buy one bottle or two (click here for the best ways to pack them).
You can visit the best of Dijon in one day and use the second day to explore one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy.
How to Do Paris to Dijon by Train
Dijon is located 311 km southeast of Paris. Direct trains from Paris to Dijon leave from Paris Gare de Lyon train station, and the journey takes around 1 hr 35 min.
8. Train Trip from Paris to La Rochelle
- Region: Nouvelle-Aquitaine
- Best for: sightseeing, countryside
Why you should visit La Rochelle
If you are looking for relaxing overnight trips from Paris, La Rochelle, on the west coast of France, is the place to go. Known as La Ville Blanche (the White City) because of its limestone architecture, La Rochelle is a beautiful harbor city with a long trading vocation.
La Rochelle has a long history and beautiful heritage. Enjoy the ocean breeze and the city’s atmospheric Old Harbor, with its charming arch-covered streets. Also, La Rochelle is a great place to explore by bike, with long and flat rides along the coast and surrounding parks and marshes.
Finally, don’t miss visiting the city’s beautiful markets and tasting its local produce, with special mention of the seafood!
If you want to visit La Rochelle during the summer, book your hotel well in advance, as the best accommodation is sold out very soon!
How to Do Paris to La Rochelle by Train
La Rochelle is located 469 km southwest of Paris. Direct TGV trains from Paris to La Rochelle leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse train station and reach La Rochelle in only 3 hours.
9. Weekend Getaway from Paris to Chartres by Train
- Region: Centre-Val de Loire
- Best for: sightseeing
Why you should visit Chartres
If you are looking for easy weekend trips from Paris by train, you will love Chartres, in Central France. Chartres is best known for its impressive Gothic Cathedral, one of the Grandes Cathédrales de France, and (like Amiens Cathedral or the Basilica of Saint-Denis) an important milestone in the evolution of Gothic Cathedrals in Europe.
Apart from the magnificent Cathedral, Chartres has a picturesque Old Town with some timbered houses and other historical buildings. There is the Ville Haute (high town) around the cathedral, while the lower town or Ville Basse follows the Eure River.
TIP: visit the Cathedral on Fridays, when the famous Chartres labyrinth can be clearly seen. Pilgrims still come from around the world to walk on it.
With short trips from Paris by train like this one, people tend to visit Chartres for the day. However, it is a good idea to spend at least one night on-site so that you can enjoy the Chartres Light Show at night (from April to October after dusk).
Use the second day to visit the spectacular Gardens of Maintenon Le Château, where King Louis XIV’s second wife lived. The gardens were designed by André Le Notre, the same landscape architect who designed the Gardens of Versailles and also the Gardens of Château de Chantilly.
How to Do Paris to Chartres by Train
Chartres is located 89 km southwest of Paris. Trains from Paris to Chartres leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse train station for a train ride of 1h 15 min (one way).
10. Train Trip from Paris to Nantes
- Region: Pays de la Loire
- Best for: sightseeing
- Weekend Guide to Nantes
Why You Should Visit Nantes
If you are looking for lively places near Paris to visit by train, Nantes by the Loire River is an excellent option. Traditionally an industrial city with the biggest shipyards in the country, its owners invested their fortunes in elegant mansions and houses around the city’s beautiful squares.
Nantes is one of the best train trips from Paris for a cultural weekend. The city was the former capital of the Dukes of Brittany, and history buffs will enjoy their medieval castle, the Gothic cathedral, and other interesting historical buildings.
For some shopping and local delicacies, don’t miss the beautiful Passage Pommeraye, in Quartier Graslin, very similar to the covered passages of Paris,
Jules Verne, the famous French writer, was born and raised in Nantes, and some of his novels inspired Les Machines de l’Ile, a quirky attraction set in the former shipyards on the Isle of Nantes. There are few places in Europe where you can take a stroll around the city on the back of a mechanical elephant! To get the most out of the city and save money, buy the Nantes City Pass, for 1 to 7 days, with skip-the-line access to Les Machines de l’Ile, Château, and many more attractions.
How to Do Paris to Nantes by Train
Nantes is located 385 km southwest of the French Capital and is one of the easy train rides from Paris. Trains from Paris to Nantes leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse train station hourly. Count on it taking 2 hours (one way).
11. Weekend Trip from Paris to Deauville by Train
- Region: Normandy
- Best for: relaxation, beach walks, gastronomy
Why you should go to Deauville
If you are wondering where to go from Paris by train to enjoy the ocean breeze and perhaps a bath, Deauville in Normandy is a good option. Nicknamed Paris’ 21st Arrondissement, the seaside town of Deauville is one of the best beach places to go from Paris by train, plus it is chic! Deauville is the perfect place to disconnect and relax, far from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
Deauville is an upscale seaside town with beautiful Norman architecture, a pretty marina, and sumptuous hotels. Deauville has long been home to French high society’s seaside houses and is often referred to as the Parisian Riviera. Go to Deauville to relax, eat good seafood, and beautiful walks by the sea.
This seaside resort in Normandy is also famous for its American Film Festival (Festival du cinéma Américain de Deauville). Every year in September, a couple of American cinema stars come to Deauville to promote their films. Don’t miss Deauville’s iconic Promenade des Planches, where the beach closets are dedicated to famous actors and moviemakers that visited Deauville.
How to Do Paris to Deauville by Train
Deauville is located 220 km west of Paris. Direct train rides from Paris leave Paris Saint Lazare train station hourly, and the train journey lasts 2 hours.
Train Stations and Trains from Paris
Trains from Paris serve some of the main destinations in France, most of the time with direct connections. They leave from different train stations in Paris, depending on where they go:
» Gare du Nord (Paris 10, Right Bank): Northeast France, Lille, Valenciennes, Calais, London (Eurostar), Brussels, Cologne, and Amsterdam (Thalys)
» Gare de l’Est (Paris 10, Right Bank): Nancy, Metz, Reims, Strasbourg, Germany, and Luxembourg
» Gare St. Lazare (Paris 8, Right Bank): Caen, Cherbourg, Rouen, Le Havre
» Gare de Lyon (Paris 12, Left Bank): South of France. Lyon, Dijon, Besançon, Clermont-Ferrand, Marseille, Nice, Montpellier. Mulhouse in the East of France. Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich), Italy, and Catalunya (Girona, Barcelona)
» Gare d’Austerlitz (Paris 13, Left Bank): Tours, Poitiers, Limoges, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Biarritz, Western Spain
» Gare Montparnasse (Paris 14, Left Bank): All TGV trains to Western France (Brittany, Brest, Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux, Toulouse).
So there you have it, our selection of the best weekend trips from Paris by train. Which overnight trip from Paris by train tempts you the most?
Some interesting articles in the blog
- Read our Best Tips for Visiting the Louvre here
- Learn about the Districts of Paris here
- Check what to eat in Paris here
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