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Easy Train 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.
Paris is very well connected with all France and thanks to TGV trains some of the best weekend trips from Paris by train are possible in 4 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 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 taste.
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 a weekend getaway from Paris by train. 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 train trips from Paris of 3.5 hours maximum. These towns or cities close to Paris by train are great destinations for weekend getaways from Paris or longer stays.
READ MORE: Things to know before Traveling to France
Paris to Marseille by Train
Why you should visit Marseille
- Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
- Best for: sightseeing, sailing, gastronomy
- We recommend: explore the Calanques of Marseille with this catamaran cruise
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 a day or two.
Central Marseille concentrates most of the sights, such as the picturesque Le Panier neighborhood, Marseille’s Cathedral, the Abbey of Saint-Victor, or its colorful Old Port.
Thanks to its designation as the European Capital of Culture in 2013, Marseille also upgraded the museums and cultural agenda and the top museums Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (MuCEM) and the Villa Méditerranée were inaugurated in 2013 for the event.
If you are looking for more than city sights, you are also in the right place! The awesome Calanques de Marseille, between Marseille and Cassis, are never far…
How to Do Paris to Marseille by Train
Marseille is located at 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 for a journey of 3.5 hours.
If you are traveling to Marseille on summer weekends we recommend booking the train tickets well in advance.
Paris to Rouen by Train
Why you should visit Rouen
- Region: Normandy
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy
- We recommend: combine Rouen with an excursion to Giverny or Etretat
Rouen is one of the most interesting quick trips from Paris. Due to its short distance from the French capital, many people visit Rouen on day trips from Paris but this is a city that 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, and in particular, the seafood.
How to Do Paris – Rouen by Train
Rouen is located 126 km north-west 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.
Paris to Lyon by Train
Why you should visit Lyon
- Region: Auvergne-Rhône Alpes
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy
- We recommend: buy the Lyon City Card, with unlimited transportation, a guided tour, and access to 23 museums!
Lyon, the third-largest city in the country, is one of the top cities to visit in France and one of the best places to visit from Paris 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 nice atmosphere.
After getting a taste of Lyon’s infamous 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 at 463 km south of Paris. Trains Paris to Lyon leave Paris Gare de Lyon hourly for a journey of around 2 hours, depending on the train.
Paris to Strasbourg by Train
Why you should visit Strasbourg
- Region: Grand Est
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy, wine tasting
- We recommend: this day tour from Strasbourg to explore the Alsatian villages of Colmar, Riquewhir, and Eguisheim has excellent reviews.
Strasbourg is the capital of the former region of Alsace. It is one of Europe’s most attractive cities, with its whole 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!
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.
Strasbourg’s top sights can be easily visited in one full day. Use your second day to explore beautiful Colmar, and other charming Alsatian villages such as Riquewir, or Eguisheim.
How to Do Paris to Strasbourg by Train
Strasbourg is located at 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 and reach Strasbourg in only 1 hr 45 min which makes of Strasbourg one of the best places to travel from Paris.
Paris to Lille by Train
Why you should visit Lille
- Region: Hauts-de-France
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy
- We recommend: buy Lille’s City Pass, with unlimited transportation and skip-the-line access to the main attractions.
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, that’s why there are so many Flemish influences in the 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.
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 of Lille an attractive destination for a weekend trip from Paris.
Trains from Paris to Lille leave from Paris Gare du Nord hourly.
Paris to Dijon by Train
Why you should visit Dijon
- Region: Bourgogne-Franche Comté
- Best for: sightseeing, gastronomy, wine tasting, countryside
- We recommend: this half-day Wine Tour from Dijon always gets excellent reviews.
If you are wondering where to go 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.
Dijon is also known for its mustard, the best mustard in France!, and other local goodies like gingerbread. 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).
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 and the journey takes around 1 hr 35 min.
Paris to La Rochelle by Train
Why you should visit La Rochelle
- Region: Nouvelle Aquitaine
- Best for: sightseeing, countryside
- We recommend: a bike ride to explore the countryside.
If you are looking for relaxing overnight trips from Paris, La Rochelle 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 located on the West Coast of France and 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 to visit the city’s beautiful markets and taste its local produce, especially 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 south-west Paris. Direct TGV trains from Paris to La Rochelle leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse and reach La Rochelle in only 3 hours.
Paris to Chartres by Train
Why you should visit Chartres
- Region: Centre-Val de Loire
- Best for: sightseeing
- We recommend: visit the Cathedral on Fridays, when the famous labyrinth can be clearly seen. Pilgrims still come from around the world to walk on it.
If you are looking for short train rides from Paris, 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 cute historical center with some timbered houses and beautiful parks inside the city and on its surroundings. The Gardens of Maintenon Le Château, for example, were designed by André Le Notre, the same landscape architect who designed the gardens of Château de Versailles and the gardens of Château de Chantilly.
Finally, you may want to take a stroll along the path down to the river Eure, which is dotted with picturesque houses. Some of these houses have their private boats.
With short train rides from Paris like this one, people tend to visit Chartres on a day trip from Paris. However, it is a good idea to spend at least one night in Chartres so you can admire the Chartres’ Light Show at night, from April to October.
How to Do Paris to Chartres by Train
Chartres is located 89 km south-west of Paris. Trains Paris to Chartres leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse for a train ride of 1h 15 min.
Paris to Nantes by Train
Why you should visit Nantes
- Region: Pays de la Loire
- Best for: sightseeing
- We recommend: buy the Nantes City Pass, with skip the line access to Les Machines de l’Ile, Château, and many more attractions.
If you are looking for interesting places to visit near Paris by train, Nantes by the Loire River is a very good option. Traditionally an industrial city with the biggest shipyards of the country, its owners invested their fortunes in elegant mansions and houses around the beautiful squares of the city.
Don’t miss the beautiful Passage Pommeraye, in Quartier Graslin, very similar to the covered passages of Paris,
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 constructions.
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!
How to Do Paris to Nantes by Train
Nantes is located 385 km south-west of Paris. Trains from Paris to Nantes leave from Paris Gare de Montparnasse hourly and the train ride takes 2 hours.
Paris to Deauville by Train
Why you should go to Deauville
- Region: Normandy
- Best for: relax, beach walks, gastronomy
- We recommend: to switch off your mobiles
Who doesn’t want to add a little bit of Normandy to his France bucket list? 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 big city.
Deauville is an upscale seaside town with a 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.
Deauville is also famous for its American Film Festival (Festival du cinéma Américain de Deauville) in September and every year a couple of American cinema stars come to Deauville to say hello and 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.
Travel to France from Paris by Train
Here are some of the main destinations served from the stations in Paris.
» 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 destination tempts you the most?
Join France Bucket List – The France Travel Planning Facebook Group
You are also welcome to join France Bucket List our France Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Paris or France!
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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