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5 best day trips from Paris
1. Day trip to Versailles
Visiting Versailles is considered a must for most travelers on a visit to Paris. Best known for the grand and opulent Palace of Versailles, it is one of the finest places to take in the splendor of the Bourbon kings. On the grounds, make sure to visit the historic Hall of Mirrors, the Trianons, and the immaculate, expansive gardens. Beyond the palace, take in the Royal Stables and the Royal Tennis Court.
How far is Versailles from Paris?
At just under 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Paris, getting to Versailles takes just around 30 minutes. Taking the train is usually the most popular option, as there is a station just a five-minute walk from the palace.
2. Day trip to Giverny
The most striking choice for a quick getaway from the city, a day trip to Giverny from Paris is guaranteed to satisfy any art lover. The charming village is most recognized as the home of impressionist master Claude Monet. You can visit Monet’s home, his famed gardens and water lilies, and the Museum of Impressionism before taking a break at the period-decorated Hôtel Baudy.
How far is Giverny from Paris?
Only 75 kilometers (46 miles) from Paris, your day trip to Giverny should take just about an hour, whether by train or by car.
3. Day trip to Reims
Taking a day trip to Reims from Paris is a perfect choice for exploring beyond Paris. Dating back to 80 B.C., this historic city has much to see and do in a day. The city’s grand, gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims has been the site of the coronations of most of the kings of France and is one of the city’s top attractions. As part of the Champagne region, travelers may want to take the time to taste some bubbly at Maison Ruinart or Veuve Cliquot-Ponsardin.
How far is Reims from Paris?
Located about 144 kilometers (89 miles) from Paris, Reims is an easy day trip however you decide to travel there. The journey takes just about 45 minutes by train, thanks to high-speed rail. By car, the journey should take around 90 minutes.
4. Day trip to the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is one of the most picturesque destinations in France, and a sublime choice for a day trip from Paris. Known for its stunning chateaus and vineyards, it’s no wonder that the Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit grand palaces like the Chateau de Chambord, the Chateau de Chenonceau or Chartres Cathedral.
How far is the Loire Valley from Paris?
Traveling to the Loire Valley from Paris should take about an hour by train. At just over 200 kilometers (124 miles) away, allow a bit more time if you’re making the journey by car. Renting a car for the day is always a smart idea once you’re in the Loire Valley.
5. Day trip to Fontainebleau
To journey into the heart of Royal France, take a day trip to Chateau de Fontainebleau, historically home to the kings of France and the French Court. Travelers can also visit the beautiful Forest of Fontainebleau and experience the royal treatment at the ornate Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte.
How far is Fontainebleau from Paris?
Getting to Fontainebleau from Paris is easy as it’s only 55 kilometers (34 miles) away. The trip takes about 40 minutes by train, while driving takes just about one hour.
Paris day trip FAQ
Which transportation method should I use?
• Paris day trips by train
Greater Paris and France, in general, have an extensive high-speed rail network, often making train travel the most efficient method of travel. Paris has seven main train stations, each serving a different direction and headed to different regions, so which station you use will depend on where you’re going.
• Paris day trips by bus
Public bus transportation in the Paris area is more common in cities and in more rural areas. Many guided day tours from Paris will include bus transportation, often with pickup directly from your hotel.
• Paris day trips by car
Traveling in your own personal vehicle is always popular for day trips. A car allows you to truly customize your own schedule and itinerary, and to travel more quickly in more rural areas where buses or trains may be less frequent.
Should I take a guided tour?
Guided tours are always excellent options for day trips. They save you the stress of planning an itinerary and, in some cases, your transportation, and often include special perks not available to the general public. Whether it’s skipping the line at Versailles or exclusive wine tastings in the Loire Valley, a guided tour for a day trip is always a good idea.
What do I bring on my day trip?
What to pack on your day trip can change depending on many factors. The season, where you’re going, and your method of travel will all affect what to bring. Some guided tours will provide everything you need for the day. As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to bring extra spending money and a light coat or shawl for unexpected chilly weather and visiting religious sites, regardless of the season.
Other Sightseeing Options in Paris
Want to discover all there is to do in Paris? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Paris
This tour was exceptionally well organized. Directions were perfect, the bus was extremely comfortable, Isabelle our guide was knowledgeable and friendly, making the experience so much more meaningful. I visited Versailles 25 years ago and learned so much more this time. Having this private tour also helped us relax after a trying day navigating around the strikes around Paris on March 15. I can’t recommend this enough - no line, comfortable transportation so you can nap to and from. Tip: Angelina Cafe is in Versailles. You can skip the long line for the dining room and just get sandwiches and beverages - including the famous hot chocolate - and then go eat in the garden outside. What a beautiful and relaxing experience. The goat cheese and honey sandwich has spinach and is on a sesame baguette. So delicious!
Our guide was very knowledgeable, funny, kind and caring. The tour was small, so highly personalized. It was clear she had developed strong relationships with the local wineries and as a result the tour felt elevated--the guides were kind to us, funny, and gave us generous tastings! We went to one big winery that made Chablis (petit chablis, chablis, premiere crus, and grande crus) and then another smaller winery that has been around since 1577 and is still run by the same family (19 generations!). We stopped for lunch and chose a great restaurant as per her recommendation (one of my favourite lunches on our trip). We ended our tour by stopping at another quick sparkling wine tasting which was interesting since it wasn't in Champagne. Would recommend this trip to anyone!
Schloss Versailles - Menschenmassen und Chaos
Our tour guide Alex was phenomenal! The entire day exceeded our expectations. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to experience the Champagne region’s villages and countryside. We visited 3 wineries (each very unique) with Alex who is an expert on wine and champagne (my husband also enjoyed the French history discussions!)
The tour was excellent! I would definitely recommend it for people who enjoy champagne and learning about the region where it is made. It was also quite entertaining!
The guide Laura is the best in business .. she is so much passionate about the palace and the history. I learnt a great deal and thanks to her energy levels .