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Day trips from Paris are almost always on the traveller’s radar. One can easily fill day upon day exploring Paris, especially if one chooses to flâner, but Paris is the perfect base for investigating further afield. And, oh, what discoveries there are to be had!
Most of the following are day trips from Paris by train, but not all. Some of these 16 best day trips from Paris are close to the city and others are more of a concerted travel effort. All are fabulous destinations.
17 Best Day Trips From Paris
1. Auvers-Sur-Oise And Van Gogh
If you are an art lover, this is one of the best day trips from Paris. When Vincent Van Gogh called Auvers-sur-Oise “seriously beautiful,” he nailed it. Auvers-sur-Oise is a lovely place to pass the day and even more meaningful if you love the art of Van Gogh. He must have painted furiously in Auvers-sur-Oise, as he completed 80 paintings in 70 days.
Many artists painted in Auvers-sur-Oise and the town has laid out an Artists’ Pathway to follow. Reproductions of paintings are displayed where the artists stood and created their masterpieces.
Paris Day Trips: How To Get To Auvers-Sur-Oise
From the Gare du Nord in Paris, take the Transilien H to Pontoise. From Pontoise take another Transilien H to Auvers-sur-Oise.
There are direct trains from the Gare du Nord in Paris to Auvers-sur-Oise on weekends and holidays from April to the end of October.
See the Transilien Schedule
2. Day Trip From Paris: Barbizon
Situated at the edge of Fontainebleau Forest, Barbizon, a charming painter’s village, is one of the most delightful day trips from Paris. If you have a longing to spend time in a quaint French village that was once an artist’s colony, Barbizon is a great choice.
Theodore Rousseau and Jean-Francois Millet settled in Barbizon in the mid-1800s started a movement in realism painting. They became an inspiration and a school for landscape and animal painters. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir also came to Barbizon as young painters.
Wander along cobbled lanes, through art galleries and museums and be sure to take a table for two in a restaurant garden. Barbizon is an enchanting day trip from Paris.
How to Get To Barbizon:
The best choice for getting to Barbizon is by car. This Paris day trip is also doable by train. Take the train from Gare de Lyon Station to Fontainebleau. Take the #21 bus to Barbizon (about 20 minutes). Alternately, take the RER D to Melun and a 25-minute taxi to Barbizon.
3. Best Day Trips From Paris: Bordeaux
Bordeaux is the city in France that at one point was second in importance only to Paris. But Bordeaux became forgotten and nicknamed “Sleeping Beauty.” In the 1990’s Bordeaux literally got a makeover! Buildings were restored and tram lines were added as part of a grand plan to return Bordeaux to its former glory.
Bordeaux has 350 buildings recognised as historical monuments and 3 Unesco World Heritage sites. Stroll past the cathedral and ancient gates to the city, along the Garonne River banks, and see the largest water mirror in the world. Visit a vineyard and sample Bordeaux’s world-famous wine.
Take an early train to make the most of this day trip from Paris!
How To Get To Bordeaux From Paris:
This Paris day trip is a simple, direct 2-hour and 15-minute train trip from Gare Montparnasse to Bordeaux. Buy your train tickets here.
4. Day Trip From Paris: The House of Gustave Caillebotte
The house in which impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte and his family lived from 1860-1879 is just outside the city, making it an easy day trip from Paris. Restored in the 19th-century style, the billiard room, parlour and Caillebotte’s atelier give insight into this painter’s life and works. Although none of Caillebotte’s original paintings hang here there are many reproductions to study and enjoy.
Stroll the 11 hectares of parkland, see the exhibitions in the Orangerie, and paddle down the Yerres River in a canoe, just like in one of Caillebotte’s paintings. Plan a picnic on the grounds or to pause for lunch at the “L’Orée du Parc” tearoom – restaurant. This day trip from Paris is a relaxing getaway.
Visit the official site for further information.
How To Get To The Caillebotte House:
Take the RER D from Paris to Yerres ( 25 minutes). Walk 15 minutes to the property at 52 rue de Concy, Yerres.
5. Best Day Trips From Paris: Chartres
I first visited Chartres, 91 km southwest of Paris, many moons ago and remembered it was one of the best day trips from Paris. I made my way back to Chartres on a day trip from Paris in the summer of 2020. The massive Notre-Dame Cathedral soars skyward with its two, unmatching pointed spires, flying buttresses and intricate sculptures. Inside, the incredible stained-glass rose windows are worth the day trip themselves. The Cathedral also has one of the most famous labyrinths in the world. I went especially to walk the labyrinth but access was restricted due to Covid-19.
How To Get To Chartres From Paris:
Take the train from Paris Montparnasse. Make sure you choose a direct train as the journey should only take about an hour. The Cathedral is within easy walking distance of the station.
6. Paris Day Trips: Colmar
If you like charming fairytale villages then this is one of the best day trips from Paris for you! Colmar is a quaint village situated in the Alsace region of France. Wandering through Colmar is a bit like time-travelling. Lopsided, colourful, half-timbered medieval houses line the cobblestone streets. Boats slowly paddle along the canals which give Colmar its treasured nickname, Little Venice. Red geraniums flourish at every turn. Add in a 13th-century convent housing the famous Issenheim Altarpiece and the fact that Bartholdi, who designed the Eiffel Tower, was born in Colmar. This day trip from Paris will suit everyone in the group!
How To Get To Colmar From Paris:
Take the train from the Gare de l’Est to Colmar. The duration of the train trip ranges from 2h and 45 minutes to 3h and 15 minutes, depending on the train selected. Head out early in the morning and return a bit later in the day to make the most of this day trip.
7. Day Trips From Paris: D-Day Beaches In Normandy
For WWII history buffs and those wanting to pay their respects, visiting the D-Day Beaches in Normandy is a mandatory day trip from Paris. Operation Overlord, the Allied Invasion of France, on June 6, 1944, changed the course of history.
For me, standing right there on the D-Day beaches and amidst the gravestones in the American and Commonwealth cemeteries, I came to a new level of appreciation and understanding of what transpired here.
How To Get To The D-Day Beaches in Normandy From Paris:
This is one of those day trips from Paris that is difficult to do by train in a single day. It is best done by car or with an organized trip. There are many organized day trips from Paris such as this one and this small group one. Interested specifically in the Canadian sites? This tour might be for you.
8. Paris Day Trips: Deauville And Trouville-sur-Mer
Feeling like the perfect seaside get away from Paris? When a heatwave hits Paris in the summer, Deauville and Trouville-sur-Mer are one of the best day trips from Paris to cool off! This easy day trip from Paris can be spent strolling the wide, sandy beaches, walking the famous boardwalks, or relaxing under a parasol. Yes, you can rent one of these colourful beach umbrellas on the beach at Deauville. Equally colourful and fun parasols are available on Trouville Beach. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit and go for a swim!
These two towns sit side by side and it is easy to walk between them or take the little shuttle boat. Casinos and high-end shopping are more the style in Deauville, while the older village of Trouville-sur-Mer is more laid back. Both offer fabulous dining experiences.
How To Get To Deauville And Trouville-sur-Mer From Paris:
From Paris, head to Gare Saint-Lazare from where all the trains going to Normandy leave.
There are some direct trains to Deauville, but many require a change of train in Lisieux. This is an easy change. Follow the crowds over the bridge to another platform. The second train is often ready to board or there is a short wait until it arrives.
The train arrives at the Gare de Trouville Deauville. As you exit the train station, follow the crowds to the left and you will arrive at Deauville Beach. Follow the people over the bridge to the right and your Paris day trip will begin in Trouville-sur-Mer.
Book an organized tour to Deauville, Trouville and Honfleur HERE
9. Best Day Trips From Paris: Disneyland
I never thought I would ever go to Disneyland Paris. But touted as one of the best day trips from Paris and a dear friend who had never been were the key factors in getting me to Disneyland Paris. There is a lot of Disney magic waiting for you an easy train ride from Paris. If you are familiar with Disneyland or Disneyworld, Disneyland Paris is, well, pure Disney. Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins appear along with all of your favourite Disney characters. The parade is awesome and the rides are fun, despite the long waits. This day trip from Paris is for the kid at heart, the true Disney fan, and for families!
Book In Advance:
Book your one-day ticket to Disneyland.
Book a multi-day ticket to Disneyland.
Book express tickets and shuttle transport from central Paris.
Best Day Trips From Paris: Getting To Disneyland Paris
Marne-La-Valée/ Chessny is your final destination when heading to Disneyland Paris by train. Take the RER A which can easily be found at metro stops Chatelet-les-Halles and Nation.
Pro Tip: Purchase a metro ticket at the dispensing machine with the destination of Disneyland. If you are using the regular T1 metro tickets, it is not sufficient to get you to Disneyland.
10. Day Trip From Paris: Domaine de Chaalis
The Domaine de Chaalis was an unexpected discovery en route to the lovely town of Senlis, France. At the Domaine de Chaalis, 40 km from Paris in the Oise, crumbling ruins of a Cistercian Abbey are a photographer’s dream along with a magnificent rose garden and ancient glorious frescoes in the tiny Sainte-Marie Chapel. Of course, the Domaine of Chaalis has an interesting history with royal beginnings founded in 1136 by Louis VI.
The Chateau on the property houses artworks from the collection of Nellie Jacquemart-André. If that name sounds familiar, there is a museum in Paris of the same name.
Check the official site for further information: Domaine de Chaalis
How To Get To The Domaine de Chaalis From Paris:
This day trip from Paris is most easily accessed by car. Take the A1 and exit #7 in the direction of Saint-Witz and Ermenonville.
11. Best Paris Day Trips: Giverny
Giverny France is the perfect day trip from Paris, just a short train trip away. Giverny, the home of Impressionist painter Claude Monet will take your breath away. The gardens that Monet created are a riot of colour in every season, except in the winter when the site is closed. The star of the show is Monet’s water lily ponds of which he painted over 250 canvasses entitled Water Lilies or in French, Les Nymphéas.
How To Get To This Paris Day Trip In Giverny France:
From Paris, take the train from Gare Saint Lazare to Gare de Vernon, which is 6.5km (4 miles) from Giverny. It is a 55-minute train journey on a direct trip. Check schedules here.
Upon arrival take the shuttle that leaves the train station, Gare de Vernon, directly to Giverny. Buy your ticket onboard. Here is the schedule. Cost: 10€ return
12. Best Paris Day Trips: Le Mans
Perhaps you have heard of the international sporting legend of the Le Mans 24 Hours Race which started in 1923. This major event motorsport event takes place in the entire city and the surrounding area with all the greatest car brands – Porsche, Ferrari, Peugeot, and Audi included! The 100th race event takes place June 10 and 11, 2023.
But, Le Mans is not only about car racing. This is one of the best day trips from Paris to walk through a charming medieval centre where cobbled streets are lined with more than 100 colourful half-timbered houses. Saint Julien’s Cathedral, one of the largest in France, is a beautiful combination of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Don’t miss The Ascension stained glass window nor the Chapel of the Virgin where 47 musician angels are painted on the ceiling. Le Mans, steeped in history, has incredibly well-preserved Roman walls built in the 280s.
La Nuit des Chimères, a magical sound and light show, illuminates the monuments in the ancient city each summer and runs from July 2, 2002, to September 11, 2022.
How To Get To This Paris Day Trip In Le Mans
From Gare Montparnasse, take a TGV (high speed train) direct to Le Mans. The trip is approximately one hour.
13. Best Day Trips From Paris: Mont-Saint-Michel
One of the most visited sites in France, Mont-Saint-Michel is an unforgettable day trip from Paris. Really, Mont-Saint-Michel has to be seen to be believed. Leave early in the morning so that you have time to wander the village, visit the Abbey and also find a tour to walk the seafloor when the tide is out. Mont-Saint-Michel is witness to some of the most powerful tides in Europe so do not attempt a hike on the seabed on your own.
How To Get To This Paris Day Trip: Mont-Saint-Michel
Paris Montparnasse to Rennes: A day trip to Mont-Saint-Michel requires taking a train and a bus. Take a 90-minute TGV (high speed)train to Rennes. Buses run at regular intervals from Rennes to Mont-Saint-Michel.
Paris Montparnasse to Dol-de-Bretagne: Another route is to take the train to Dol-de-Bretagne where the regional bus will take you to Pontorson to catch the shuttle to Mont-Saint-Michel. The train times vary, depending on how many stops there are. Check the train and bus schedules carefully when planning your day trip to Mont-Saint-Michel.
Paris Montparnasse to Pontorson: Take the train directly to Pontorson and then the shuttle from the station to Mont-Saint-Michel. The train to Pontorson usually requires a change in Rennes. Thus, you will have to decide whether to take the bus from Rennes or continue on to Pontorson by train.
14. Best Day Trips From Paris: Provins
Provins, France is one of the best day trips from Paris especially if you love medieval villages and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visiting Provins is like stepping back in time to the XI and XII centuries when it was a centre for trading fairs. Marvel at the fortified city walls, the ramparts and the half-timbered medieval buildings.
If you love medieval fairs, plan your day trip from Paris for the June festival in Provins!
Day Trips From Paris: Getting To Provins
From the Gare de l’Est in Paris, take the Transilien P directly to Provins. The trip is about 90 minutes and costs about €11.
Please note that in 2022, the Transilien P line is undergoing work, so check carefully your route and timing.
15. Best Day Trips From Paris: Strasbourg
What finally got me to do another one of the best day trips from Paris was the famous Christmas Market in Strasbourg, Christkindelmärik. France’s oldest Christmas market which started in 1570 has over 300 stalls set up in the city’s squares. The twinkling lights and Christmas decorations make for a magical experience.
But, Strasbourg is not only one of the best day trips from Paris during the Christmas season. Strasbourg, in the Alsace region, combines the best of France and Germany and its centre island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Strasbourg boasts cobbled lanes, half-timbered houses, and a stunning cathedral. Don’t miss the astrological clock in the Strasbourg Cathedral that dates from the 1500s. Stroll through the quaint area of La Petite France where half-timbered houses line the canals and three towers that date from the 1300s add to the charm.
Best Day Trips From Paris: Getting To Strasbourg
From Paris Gare de l’Est, take a TGV (high-speed train) direct to Strasbourg. The trip is just less than two hours.
16. Best Day Trips From Paris: The Chateau de Versailles
Best days trips from Paris are just not complete without a journey to the Palace of Versailles. Steeped in history, the Palace of Versailles was France’s royal residence for over 100 years until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. At the end of WWI European leaders signed the Treaty of Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors.
The lavish 2000-room Palace is beautifully maintained and the world-famous gardens and fountains are unforgettable. Wander through Marie Antoinette’s “Petit Trianon” past donkeys and chickens, rent a bicycle or golf cart to really investigate the expansive gardens and book a ticket to watch the musical fountain shows. Plan this day trip from Paris as a full day’s adventure.
The Chateau is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Check the official Chateau de Versailles site for further information.
How To Get To This Popular Day Trip From Paris: The Palace of Versailles
Versailles is easily accessible by train or car.
There are quite a few ways to get to Versailles by train. The most common way to get to Versailles from Paris is to take the RER C . Find the Metro station closest to you that also has RER C trains. Take the RER C to Versailles Château Rive Gauche. There are several train stations in Versailles so it is important to make sure you buy a ticket and get on the correct platform for this destination.
TIP: When buying the ticket to Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche, you do not need to buy separate tickets for the Metro and RER.
Once you walk out of the station, Versailles Château Rive Gauche, there is a Starbucks and an ATM directly across from the station. Cross the street and turn right towards the traffic light. Then turn left onto Avenue de Paris and the palace is straight ahead. It is about a ten to fifteen-minute walk to the Chateau from the station.
Another way to get to Versailles: from Paris Saint-Lazare take the train L. This time your destination is Versailles Rive Droite. You will arrive on the other side of the Chateau within a ten-minute walk to the Chateau.
17. Best Day Trips From Paris: Veules-Les-Roses
If you have a car and a craving to spend a day in one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France head to Veules-Les-Roses in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy. En route, you may want to stop at La Roche-Guyon. It is the closest Plus Beaux Village de France to Paris. There are 161 villages with the designation of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. Keep them on your radar.
Veules-les-Roses is a quaint village brimming with roses of all colours. The scent of roses mixed with the salty ocean air is the perfect combination to relax on this day trip from Paris. Add in the River Veules running past ancient mills, the oceanside beach, dramatic cliffs rising in the distance and, of course, a little French gastronomy. Dive into the French seafood favourites such as a platter of oysters or a steaming pot of mussels. You might wonder if a day is really long enough…
How To Get To Veules-Les-Roses:
You’ll need a car for a day trip from Paris to Veules-les-Roses. Sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular Normandy scenery. It is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Paris to Veules-les Roses along the toll highway A13. Alternately, take the A13 and D929.
Which of these 17 best day trips from Paris is at the top of your bucket list?
Let me know what fabulous day trips from Paris you have done!
Until next time,