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Best Weekend Trips from Paris by Train


2021 France Travel Update


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09/25/21

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 train trips from Paris.

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.

Best Weekend Trips from Paris

Paris is very well connected with all of France and thanks to TGV trains some of the best weekend trips from Paris by train 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.

Best Weekend Getaways from Paris by Train

Paris may be the heart of France, but the country abounds in beautiful places worth exploring. From oceanview hideaways to picturesque small towns or wine tasting trips, there are easy overnight trips from Paris for every kind of traveler.

More than ever, people planning a trip to Paris are happy to block a couple of days of their holidays for exploring the surroundings of the capital and find a French adventure of their own. So it’s time to get out of the comfort zone, grab a train, and visit more about this beautiful country on Paris weekend trips. 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 train trips from Paris? The proposals below are easy weekend getaways from Paris, with train journeys of 3.5 hours maximum (one way). These towns or cities close to Paris are great destinations for weekend trips from Paris or longer stays.

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Best weekend trips from Paris by train, best overnight trips from Paris by train, short trips from Paris by train, getaways in France, top cities to visit in France, top places to visit in France, travel to France, #france #francebucketlist

Weekend Trip from Paris to Marseille by Train

Visit 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.

Central Marseille concentrates most sights, such as the picturesque Le Panier neighborhood, the Cathedral, the Abbey of Saint-Victor, or the colorful Old Port.

WHERE TO STAY IN MARSEILLE:

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 while during the Provence lavender season, you can also consider a half-day tour to 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. TGV train rides from Paris to Marseille leave Paris Gare de Lyon train station, count on taking 3.5 hours.

If you are traveling to Marseille on summer weekends we recommend booking the train tickets well in advance.

Book your train tickets to Marseille


Weekend Getaway from Paris to Rouen by Train

  • Region: Normandy
  • Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy

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.

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 know 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. Trains Paris to Rouen leave from Paris Saint Lazare train station hourly. The journey takes 1h 15 min to 1h 45min, depending on the train.

Book your train tickets to Rouen


Overnight Trip from Paris to Lyon by Train

France Bucket List - 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.

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.

TIP: the Lyon City Card, offers access to 23 museums, unlimited transportation, and a guided tour!

WHERE TO STAY IN LYON:

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.

Paris to Lyon by Train

Lyon is located 463 km south of Paris. Trains Paris to Lyon leave Paris Gare de Lyon train station hourly for a journey of around 2 hours, depending on the train.

Book your train tickets to Lyon


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Weekend Trip from Paris to Strasbourg by Train

France Bucket List - 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.

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!

WHERE TO STAY IN STRASBOURG:

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.

You can visit Strasbourg’s top sights in one full day. Use your second day to explore beautiful Colmar and other picturesque Alsatian villages such as Riquewhir or Eguisheim.

How to Do Paris to Strasbourg by Train

Strasbourg is located 487 km east of Paris. Despite the distance, Paris to Strasbourg is one of the easiest train rides from Paris.

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 travel from Paris.

Book your train tickets to Strasbourg


Weekend Getaway from Paris to Lille by Train

Lille - France
  • Region: Hauts-de-France
  • Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy

Why you should visit Lille

If you are looking for pretty cities near Paris by train, 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.

WHERE TO STAY IN LILLE:

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.

TIP: Lille’s city pass 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 trip from Paris.

Trains from Paris to Lille leave from Paris Gare du Nord train station hourly.

Book your train tickets to Lille


Overnight Trip from Paris to Dijon by Train

France Bucket List - Dijon
  • Region: Bourgogne-Franche Comté
  • Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy, wine tasting, countryside

Why you should visit Dijon

If you are looking for weekend getaways from Paris 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.

WHERE TO STAY IN DIJON:

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.

Book your train tickets to Dijon


Weekend Trip from Paris to La Rochelle by Train

France Bucket List - 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.

WHERE TO STAY IN LA ROCHELLE:

Finally, don’t miss to visit the city’s beautiful markets and taste its local produce, with special mention to 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.

Book your train tickets to La Rochelle


Overnight Trip from Paris to Chartres by Train

Chartres Cathedral France
  • 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.

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.

Apart from the magnificent Cathedral, Chartres has a picturesque Old Town with some timbered houses and other historical buildings. There is the high-town (or Ville Haute) around the cathedral while the lower town or Ville Basse follows the river Eure.

With short train trips from Paris 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 the gardens of Château de Chantilly.

How to Do Paris to Chartres by Train

Chartres is located 89 km southwest of Paris. Trains Paris to Chartres leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse train sttation for a train ride of 1h 15 min.

Book your train tickets to Chartres


Weekend Getaway from Paris to Nantes by Train

Passage Pommeraye - Nantes
© France Bucket List

Why you should visit Nantes

If you are looking for lively places to visit near Paris 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 was also the former capital of the Dukes of Brittany, and history buffs will enjoy their medieval castle, the gothic cathedral, and other interesting historical buildings.

WHERE TO STAY IN NANTES:

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!

TIP: buy the Nantes City Pass, 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 Paris. Trains from Paris to Nantes leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse train station hourly. Count on it taking 2 hours.

Book your train tickets to Nantes


Weekend Trip from Paris to Deauville by Train

Deauville France
  • Region: Normandy
  • Best for: relax, beach walks, gastronomy

Why you should go to Deauville

Who doesn’t want to add a little bit of Normandy to his France bucket list? The seaside town of Deauville is one of the best beach places to go from Paris, 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 do beautiful walks by the sea.

WHERE TO STAY IN DEAUVILLE:

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.

Book your train tickets to Deauville


Train Stations and Trains from Paris 

Gare du Nord
Time to explore France

These trains from Paris serve some of the main destinations in France. They leave from different train stations in Paris, depending on where they go:

» Gare du Nord: Northeast France, Lille, Valenciennes, Calais, London (Eurostar), Brussels, Cologne, and Amsterdam (Thalys),

»  Gare de l’Est: Nancy, Metz, Reims, Strasbourg, Germany, and Luxembourg

» Gare de Lyon: 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: Tours, Poitiers, Limoges, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Biarritz, western Spain.

» Gare Montparnasse: All TGVs to West of France  (Brittany, Brest, Rennes, Nantes)

» Gare St. Lazare: Caen, Cherbourg, Rouen, Le Havre

So there you have it, our selection of the best weekend trips from Paris by train. Which weekend getaway from Paris tempts you the most?

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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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Best weekend trips from Paris by train, best overnight trips from Paris by train, short trips from Paris by train, getaways in France, top cities to visit in France, top places to visit in France, travel to France, #france #francebucketlist

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  • Meagan
    05/18/2018 at 5:43 pm

    Reims was our favorite trip from Paris, and we spent a few days there getting to know this city (so charming!). We also visited Dijon and Strasbourg on the same trip and found tons to love there, too. Definitely need to visit each place for longer because there’s so much to do! Beautiful shots and great writeup!!

  • Renada
    05/18/2018 at 3:19 am

    Thank you for this! I didn’t realize that Strasbourg could be a weekend trip from Paris. I really like your blog and have shared it with others.

  • Kreete
    05/17/2018 at 12:14 pm

    I have always wanted to go to Lyon, but the other spots sound nice too! I am especially excited for the Gothic architecture and the charming streets! I think I would much rather discover France outside of Paris when I finally make it there.

  • Corinne
    05/17/2018 at 4:52 am

    I want to go to Dijon and Lyon, for sure. They are known for the good food in their areas. I agree that if you are based in Paris, they would be great weekend trips.

  • Maggie
    05/16/2018 at 1:34 pm

    I still haven’t been to France. But the towns like these are much more appealing to me than Paris for some reason! They look so quaint and beautiful!

  • Josh
    05/15/2018 at 9:17 pm

    Nice to have a list of handy daytrips, really useful if you’ve moved to a city and have the weekends to travel!

  • Tif
    05/14/2018 at 7:39 pm

    Wow!! I would of loved to know about this 3 years ago while I was there! I can’t believe I never thought about getting out of the city to the nearby towns!!

  • prabhu
    05/14/2018 at 6:52 am

    it seems you enjoyed a lot your trip, paris one of the most romantic place. I would go there next year for honeymoon. Already i planned everything about tour and your posted article is really helpful, thanks for sharing your trip experience.

  • Candy
    05/14/2018 at 4:05 am

    I would love to rent a bike and explore. La Ville Blanche. Harbor cities are so picturesque and I’m sure the food and markets are amazing! Hope you go soon so I can read about you experience there 🙂