13 Best Day Trips From Paris, France

The elegant boulevards, iconic architecture, beautiful parks, and delicious food make Paris such a magical city that it’s easy to say you won’t get enough of it even if you have a day or two to spare. Maybe you’d rather spend long hours strolling in the Luxembourg Gardens, wandering around Louvre or hanging out at Shakespeare and Company; but France and its neighboring countries have so much to offer that there are several day trips from Paris that you can do as well.

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Fairytale castles surrounded by water, dramatic Gothic churches, stunning seaside villages, important historical sites, gardens and vineyards, and even chocolates to entice you to get out and explore.

Here’s a list of best day trips from Paris, France.

13 Best Day Trips From Paris, France

1.Versailles

Versailles Chateau Jardins

Versailles sounds like a given when you’re in Paris, but there are countless reasons why people flock here. Stay for a day, and you’ll never run out of things to do. Situated on the western side of Paris, Versailles is a significant place for several historical events. The château was formerly a hunting lodge built by Louis XII and nowadays it holds the Museum of France’s history.

Less than an hour from the capital, make sure you include Versailles when planning your Paris day trips. Here you can walk around the grounds, rent a bike, or even better, a golf cart. Explore the huge palace and gardens and experience some of the most opulent interiors and intricate gardens in the world. Make sure you visit the Hall of Mirrors, the stunning opera house and the new court of scents where you can learn all about perfumes and their history.

Versailles also has a great food market with a variety of options like wine, fish, fruits, cheeses and so much more to spend some time at, and where you can get lunch dinner or snacks when you get hungry from exploring.

Opening Hours

Castle
from 9h to 18h30
closed on Monday

Domaine de Trianon
from 12h to 18h30
closed on Mondays

Gardens
from 8h to 20h30

Galerie des Carrosses
from 12:30 to 18:30
closed on Mondays

Admission Fee

Passport ticket – € 27 -This ticket gives access to the whole area of ​​Versailles and Trianon.
Castle ticket – € 16 

Free with conditions:
under 18s (under 26 if residents of the European Union),
teachers assigned to a French institution with their Education Pass,
people with disabilities and their companion,
jobseekers in France and beneficiaries of social minima on presentation of proof of less than 6 months.

Guided Tour-€ 10 

Contact Information

Address: Place d’Armes  78000 Versailles France

Phone:01 30 83 78 00 

To book, click here. 

2.Giverny

Claude Monet's Garden in Giverny, France

Located just 80 kilometers to the west of France, the village of Giverny was the home of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. The village and its surroundings inspired many of Monet’s paintings so if you love art, a visit to Giverny is a Paris day trip that you must experience.

In this tiny village is Monet’s home, now known as the Claude Monet Museum, where much of his belongings and how the rooms were arranged were pretty much untouched. This is also where you can see the elaborate gardens, the iconic Japanese Garden, which has the famous water lily ponds and Japanese Bridge. Giverny is also home to the Musée des Impressionnismes where you can discover more about the Impressionist painters.

Opening Hours

Museum of Impressionism

Museum, boutique, and restaurant open from March 22nd to July 14th and from July 27th to November 11th, 2019
every day, including public holidays, from 10 am to 6 pm (last admission to the galleries at 5:30 pm)

Admission Fee

Adult € 7.50
Child from 12 to 17 years/student € 5
Child from 7 to 11 years € 3.50
Person with disability € 3.50
Child – 7 years free
st Sunday of the month free for individuals
Family package: For 3 tickets bought, 1 child’s admission is offered
Audioguide 4 €

Contact Information

Address: 99 rue Claude Monet  27620 Giverny 

Phone:+33 (0) 2 32 51 94 65 

Email:contact@mdig.fr

To book, click here. 

3.Amsterdam

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam, Netherlands takes about 3 to 4 hours by train from Paris, but the long haul ride is worth it once you start exploring this charming, historic city. Its city center is easy to explore by foot, making it an ideal day tour from Paris.

While in Amsterdam, make sure you explore the canals either by foot or boat, especially the three main canals Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht. All dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, they are surrounded by some of the most beautiful traditional Dutch houses that Amsterdam is famous for.

A must visit are the Dam Square with the Royal Palace with its impressive buildings,  the Begijnhof where you’ll see one of the two original wooden houses in Amsterdam, and the floating flower market.

If you must be at a museum, make it either one of the three:

Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, or Anne Frank House, or all if you booked tickets in advance. If you fancy a beer or just want to learn its history, check out Heineken’s oldest brewery, now converted into an interactive museum. For some unique, stroll along the Nine Streets, the area is famous for independent boutiques, specialty stores, and vintage shopping.

Opening Hours

Van Gogh Museum

29 April – 20 June 2019 – 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays 9 am to 9 pm

21 June – 1 September 2019- 9 am to 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 9 am to 9 pm

2 September – 27 October 2019-9 am to 6 pm, Fridays 9 am to 9 pm

28 October – 22 December 2019-9 am to 5 pm, Fridays 9 am to 9 pm

23 December – 31 December 2019*9 am to 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 9 am to 9 pm *With the exception of public holidays

Public holidays-Christmas (25 December) and New Year’s Eve (31 December) 9 am – 5 pm. New Year’s Day (1 January ) 11 am – 7 pm

Admission Fee

Adults€ 19

Visitors under 18free (school groups excluded)

Museumkaart holders- Free

Contact Information

Address:  Museumplein 6 1071 DJ Amsterdam

Phone: +31 (0)20 570 5200

Email:info@vangoghmuseum.nl

4.Loire Valley Castles

Loire Valley Castles France

Known as the “Garden of France”, and only two to three hours from Paris, Loire Valley is an area known for its opulent castles of the ancient nobility of France. It is one of the prettiest day tours from Paris if you want that feeling of being in a completely different world or era.

Loire Valley is also known for its architectural heritage and historic towns such as Amboise, Montsoreau, Orléans, Saumur and Tours, and particularly for its stunning châteaux.

Two castles you must visit are Chateau Chambord (often referred to as the “Beauty and the Beast” castle) and Chateau de Chenonceau (from the movie “Ever After”). Go in and wander around, marvel at its details both inside and outside on the grounds and in the gardens.

Aside from the castles, Loire Valley is also known for its wineries, many of which offer tours for wine tasting.

Opening Hours

From 17th February to 31st March: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
From 1st April to 30th September: 10.00 am – 7.00 pm
From 1st October to 11th November: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Last admissions 1hour before closing.

Admission Fee

Adult (+ 16 yrs): € 14
Children from 8 to 16 yrs: € 4
Children (- 8 yrs): Free
Audio-guide: € 3
Groups of adults (more than 20 people): € 8
Groups of children (under16 yrs): € 3.50
Free entry for group organizers and coach drivers

Contact Information

Address: Château d’ Ussé 37420 Rigny-Ussé

Phone:+33 2 47 95 54 05

Email: chateauusse@gmail.com

To book, click here.

5.Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel France

A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most stunning places you’ll ever see during a Paris day trip Mont Saint-Michel is surely worth the few hours train ride and the hike. From afar, Mont St Michel is a picture-perfect mound, surrounded by a wall, covered in a grey-roofed medieval village and topped with a dramatic gothic abbey.

Its main attraction is the spectacular Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Michel, which sits on the peak of the rocky island, completely surrounded by its medieval town.

To fully appreciate and explore Mont Saint-Michel though, make sure you enter through the original gates.  Walk through the main street as it winds around the island up and past souvenir shops and restaurants. Stop and visit the small but interesting historical and maritime museums then continue up and wander through the narrow corridors of the abbey.

Still, one of the best parts about the visit to Mont Saint-Michel is the view from afar so stay until sunset and nightfall to see the lights twinkling, making the place look like something out of a medieval fairytale.

Opening Hours

The abbey is open every day except the 1st of January, the 1st of May and the 25th of December.
2 May to 31 August: 9 am to 7 pm, last admission at 6 pm.
1 September to 30 April: 9.30 am to 6 pm, last admission at 5 pm.

Admission Fee

Prices for 4 museums
Adults from 25 years old: 18 €
Adults between 18 and 25 years old: 12€
Under 18 years old: Free of charge

Prices for 2 museums (valid during winter closure)
Adults from 25 years old: 12€
Adults between 18 and 25 years old: 9€
Under 18 years old: Free of charge

1 museum
Adults from 18 years old: 9 €
Adults between 18 and 25 years old: 4 €
Under 18 years old Free of

Groups

Prices for 4 museums: Adults from 18 years old: 9 €
Less than 18 years old: Free of charge
Prices for 2 museums: Adults from 18 years old: 6 €
Less than 18 years old: Free of charge
1 museum: Adults from 18 years old: 4 €
Less than 18 years old: Free of charge

Contact Information

Address: Michel Normandy Boulevard de l’Avance 50170

Phone:02 33 89 80 00

Email: tourisme.lemontsaintmichel @ msm-normandie.fr

To book, click here.

6.Brussels

Brussels

Known for its history, the baroque architecture, and some of the world’s best chocolate, Brussels offers a wide variety of things to do and see, even if you’re only going to be here for a day. Only an hour and twenty minutes by rail, Brussels is one of the best day trips from Paris, as it gets you out of France completely and allows you to see another country and back in under 24 hours.

Start exploring Brussels at the magnificent gold tipped Grand Palace. This is one of Europe’s most impressive squares where you can marvel at some of Brussels’ famous baroque architecture. Visit the 14th Century Gothic cathedral The Notre Dam Du Sablon, and the Palais Royal which remains the official residence of the royal family.

Don’t miss the Manneken Pis, the small bronze sculpture of a naked boy peeing into a fountain which has now become a national symbol. In between visiting every attraction, enjoy some Belgian delights like waffles, pomme frites (chips/French fries), beer and don’t forget the fabulous hand made chocolates which you can bring back to Paris.

7.Great Stables of Prince de Conde & Palace Chantilly

Chateau de Chantilly France

Located in Rue du Connétable and built in the middle of the waters, is the Chantilly Estate. It is around 7800 hectares of forest and only 25 minutes away from the French capital, making it an ideal day tour from Paris if you want to venture into something unusual.

The Chantilly Estate has the castle, the Condé museum, the park, the Grandes Ecuries, and the Musée du Cheval. Take a tour inside the Chateau de Chantilly, built by Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, son of Louis-Philippe, the last king of France. The Chateau de Chantilly is a well-known French château and it houses the Musée Condé, one of the finest art galleries in France which own the second biggest collection of ancient paintings after the Louvre.

The Grandes Ecuries hold the Musée du Cheval and horse shows where you can watch the country’s most famous racers, get lost in a fascinating history lesson about the estate’s culture, architecture, cuisine and more.

Outside in the huge grounds, enjoy a stunning view of the gardens, and make sure you enjoy a delicious meal at the Chantilly Domain, and sample some delicious goat’s cheese.

Opening Hours

High season
From March 30, 2019, to October 27, 2019, inclusive
Open 7/7 including holidays
10h-18h / 20h for the park

Exceptional closure :
Wednesday, July 17, 2019: the entire Domaine de Chantilly is closed to the public.Thursday, July 18, 2019: Les Grandes Ecuries, the exhibition Joconde Nue at the Jeu de Paume and the English Garden will not be open to the public.

Low season
From October 28th, 2019 to March 27th, 2020 included
Every day except Tuesday
10h30-17h / 18h for the park

Annual closure :
From January 06 to January 24, 2020

Admission Fee

Park
Adult – €8
Children from 7-17yrs old- €6
Children under 7- Free

Domain
Adult – €17
Children from 7-17yrs old- €13.50
Children under 7- Free

Equestrian Show
Adult – €21
Children from 7-17yrs – €17
Children under 3years- Free

Domain Equestrian Show

Adult – €30
Children from 7-17yrs – €24
Children under 3years- Free

Domain Family Ticket
Adult /Children from 7-17yrs – €48
Children under 7years- Free

Contact Information

Address: 7 rue du Connétable 60500 Chantilly

Phone: +33 (0) 3 44 27 31 80

To book, click here.

8.Cologne

Cologne Cathedral Paris

Cologne doesn’t always come to mind when planning for a day trip from Paris, but at only a little over 3 hours by train from the French capital, this German city is slowly becoming a must-visit for travelers.

The tour often starts at the Cologne Cathedral, which towers at almost 160 meters over the houses and is the city’s main landmark. If you’re up to it, climb the 509 steps to the top of the tower, pass by the church bell, called “Dicker Pitter” and enjoy the scenic view over the city and the Rhine.

Adjacent to the Cathedral is the historic center with old, colorful houses, where you’ll see Tünnes und Schäl, two figures that represent the original Kölsch inhabitants, and marvel at the town hall and tower. When you get hungry, try some Cologne dishes such as “Himmel un Aed” or “Halve Hahn”.

Go museum hopping and check out some modern art at the Ludwig Museum or art from the Middle Ages to the Impressionist era in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, while you can learn about the city’s Roman past at the Roman-Germanic Museum. Before going back to Paria, relax with a cup of coffee along with a piece of cake at the 150-year old Café Reichard for a wonderful view of the Cathedral.

Opening Hours

Cologne Cathedral
Monday -Saturday
10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Sunday and Feastday
2:30 p.m.

Admission Fee

Adults: €8
Children and Students:€8
In the case of special events, short term changes are possible.

Contact Information

Address: Kölner Dom Domkloster4  50667 Köln

Phone: +49 221 – 17940-200

Email:domseelsorge@metropolitankapitel-koeln.de

9.Rouen and Honfleur

LeVieux Bassin Pord de Honfleur

Both a haven for painters and artists from all around the world, a visit to Honfleur and Rouen is one the best day tours from Paris that’s bound to have you snapping pictures at every turn. Close to each other and within a few hours from the capital, both Places are regarded as some of the prettiest places in France.

Honfleur’s major attraction is the LeVieux Bassin (Pord de Honfleur), and the port itself is surrounded by rows of colorful 17th and 18th-century narrow houses which provide a perfect backdrop for hundreds of picture-perfect scenery. It is also home to delicious French and Mediterranean cuisine, pretty cobblestone streets, and impressive architecture.

While in Honfleur, make sure you visit the famous Saint Catherine’s Church, Saint-Leonard’s Church, Notre-Dame de Grace, Normandy Bridge, and the amazing Jardin des Personalities.

Rouen is a charming town in the Normandy region of France, and on the train ride going here, way you’ll pass through the gorgeous countryside of the Seine Valley. Here you’ll find brightly colored half-timbered buildings, a gorgeous cathedral, and a fancy astronomical clock tower. Rouen is also home to the site of Saint  Joan of Arc’s execution and La Tour Jeanne d’Arc, the tower where she was held.

Like Honfleur, Rouen was a source of inspiration for many known French artists, including Pissarro and Monet. A must see is the Museum of Fine Arts considered as one of the best of its kind in the region.

To book click here.

10.Normandy

Omaha Beach Normandy

Whether you fancy yourself as a bit of a history nut or simply into setting out into something different and memorable during a day trip from Paris, Normandy is the perfect place to explore.

Only a few hours by rail from the French capital, the entire area of Normandy, located north-west of Paris, is rural and scenic and visiting the D-Day beaches is something that will stay with you even after you’ve left the place.

Apart from being the site of the infamous D Day landings, Normandy is also a picturesque place for a day out, despite its poignant history. Make sure you visit the Arromanches’ artificial harbor, Colleville-sur-Mer’s American military century, Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc for a full understanding of the events of the war.

Walk around the extensive Memorial de Caen which explores the history behind D Day and the Second World War. Both moving and beautiful, a visit to Normandy is definitely something worth considering when you wish to venture out of Paris for a day.

To book, click here.

11.Frankfurt

Frankfurt old town

This old imperial city on the River Main is mostly known as an important commercial and economic center. Frankfurt is considered a global city and frequently ranks in the top ten best cities to live and do business. Less than four hours from Paris via the fastest train route, Frankfurt is also a hub for cultural and tourism activities such as the Frankfurt Book Fair (the world’s most important publishing event).

It also has a number of fine museums, impressive architecture, huge garden parks, and a stunning gothic cathedral — making it a worthwhile day trip from Paris if you’re keen on venturing to a different country.

In the heart of Frankfurt’s Old Town is the Römerberg,  with the Justice Fountain at its center,  surrounded by open-fronted shops, and the Römer, which is made up of 11 lovely buildings, faithfully reconstructed in 1954 from original 15th- to 18th-century floorplans.

Make sure you spend time at the Museum District, with its collection of separate museums, such as the Museum of World Cultures, Museum of Ancient Sculpture and The Icon Museum. Relax at the Palm Garden, the 54-acre botanic garden in Germany, and afterward, visit the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, one of the most modern museums of natural history in Europe. Slow down at the end of your Frankfurt tour at St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, built of red sandstone in Gothic style and at 95 meters, still manages to stand out in this city of skyscrapers.

12.Bruges

Bruges Belgium

Often cited as one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. picturesque Bruges (in Belgium)  is one of the easiest city to get to across the border if you’re in Paris and want to be in a different country for a day.

With its flower-lined canals, colorful Flemish architecture, quaint side streets and delicious gourmet food, Bruges has that postcard prettiness visitors often look for when going to Europe.

A UNESCO world heritage site, Bruges has a charming historical center, lined with impressive architecture from as early as the 12th century. Another must visit is the Groeningemuseum, that features the works of Flemish painters such as van Eyck and Bosch. While in Bruges, make sure you try local dishes such as Moules-Frites (mussels and chips) for lunch, accompanied by locally brewed Belgian beers, and, of course, chocolate.

To book, click here.

13.London

London Eye

Thanks to the Eurostar — Europe’s ever-reliable high-speed underground train, a day trip from Paris to London is not just possible, it’s actually very manageable. It only takes three hours, and if you leave Paris early you’ll get to thoroughly enjoy London even if you only have a day to spare.

Explore London’s many famous landmarks from either side of the Thames: the London Eye, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament the Tower of London, Trafalgar Square and more.

London’s best sights are usually within walking distance from each other,  so spend the day wandering through political and historical points of significance, also with the help of the well-connected London Underground or the massive London buses.

In between, head to Spitalfields or Borough Market for a taste of lunch from around the world, or visit any of the tiny shops and stalls for some fish and chips or an elaborate afternoon tea. Slow down at the end of the day with a visit to the Kew Gardens or the ‘secret garden’ at Battersea Park.

And before you know it, you’ll be heading back to Paris to sleep.

Opening Hours

1st – 31st May
Open daily 10:00 – 20:30

Contact Information

Address: The London Eye Riverside Building County Hall Westminster Bridge Road London SE1 7PB

Phone: +44 870 990 8881

Email:londoneye@stripecommunications.com

To book, click here

 


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