13 COOLEST Day Trips from Paris [July 2019]

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13 COOLEST Day Trips from Paris [[date]]

An iconic world city, Paris is a beautiful place to visit. Complete with stunning architecture, small lanes to explore as well as grand boulevards, there’s amazing sights to see and tasty food to try.

But easily reached from the French capital are an amazing amount of things to do and see; chateaus dot the countryside and famous towns and cities are just a simple train ride away.

So why spend all of your time in the city? With this handy guide to the best day trips from Paris, you don’t have to! We’ve selected the perfect day trips for everyone from couples to families, so it’ll be easy for you to plan your Paris excursions.

From artist’s homes and wine tasting to modern history and charming medieval villages, there’s a lot to do. So let’s see what’s on offer…

P.S If you’re looking to travel around France, check out our in-depth guides to Lyon (best things to do, where to stay and the best hotels to stay in!). Marseille has some stellar things to do, places to stay and more awesome hotels to stay in! Plus, our epic local guide to the 45 best things to do in France is designed to help you find an amazing day trip – no matter who you are travelling with!

Quick Answer: Best Day Trips from Paris

#1 – London

Day Trips from Paris by Train

London-by-Eurostar-Train-from-Paris

  • Get to travel on the Eurostar
  • Experience a global capital city
  • Cruise on the River Thames

Go on the ultimate day trip from Paris, all the way to the capital of the United Kingdom itself – and all in one day! And it’s easily done by travelling on the speedy Eurostar train that connects the two cities via a tunnel under the sea.

You’ll get to enjoy all of the sights that this global city has to offer on this cool day trip from Paris by train. Make the most of your trip by using a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus, which will mean you’ll get to see the top sights of London within a day.

You can also take a trip on the famous River Thames as you cruise along before lunching London style.

There’ll be time for a spot of shopping in the centre of the city as well, before heading back to St Pancras station and catching the Eurostar at 7pm and whizzing back to the sparkling lights of Paris.

Make sure to pack your passport and wrap up warm in the winter – it can get chilly! But during the festive season, London looks beautiful with all the Christmas lights and atmosphere to soak up. Enjoying two of the world’s most famous cities makes for a pretty amazing day out.

#2 – Monet’s Garden

Giverny-and-Monets-Garden-with-Train-Tickets-from-Paris

  • Perfect for Monet fans
  • Picturesque gardens to explore
  • Famous setting

Easily reached on a day trip from Paris by train, you can chug along through the beautiful countryside to the picturesque town of Giverny, where you’ll be able to step inside the actual world of a painting.

That’s right. This town is famous for Claude Monet, where he lived from 1883 until his death in 1926, and his house, as well as its gardens, are the main attraction here. In front of the house are the flower gardens, which spread out across a hectare in an array of beautiful colours and borders, and feature flowers from tulips and peonies to oriental poppies.

Most famous, however, are the water gardens – complete with its replica Japanese style bridge. These gardens are most famous for being portrayed by Monet in his Water Lilies series of paintings. The gardens themselves are peaceful to walk around and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore at your leisure.

Return on the train to the French capital after a refreshing day in the beautiful countryside. A great day trip from Paris by train – it’s simple.

#3 – Strasbourg

Strasbourg

photo credits:France.fr

  • Marvel at charming old houses
  • Eat delicious local food and drink Alsace wine
  • Historic old town to explore

Strasbourg, located in the east of France in the Alsace region, is easily visited on a day trip from Paris by train. You can get a high-speed train and be in this interesting city in just over two hours of zooming through the French countryside.

Once you arrive, the charming old centre of town is just a ten-minute walk from the train station – make sure to visit the impressive gothic cathedral, with its ornate facade and magnificent interiors.

You can also take a boat tour in Strasbourg, along the charming River Ill and see the higgledy-piggledy old houses overhanging the water.

After your boat ride, make sure to enjoy some local speciality cuisine, such as flammekuche – a pizza-like tart – alongside other delicious dishes. And then you can wash it down with a glass of Riesling or Gewurztraminer.

The perfect time to visit Strasbourg might just be during December. In the festive season, there’s a Christmas market which is full of hearty food and good drinks.

 

Want to see the best of Paris?!? Check out our guide to the best museums in Paris!

#4 – Mont Saint Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel-Full-Day-Bay-Tour-from-Paris

  • See the iconic island
  • Explore the medieval streets
  • Learn about the natural ecology

From Montparnasse station in central Paris, take a guided tour and jump on a high-speed train that will whisk you all the way to the Rennes. Here you can hop into a minibus that will whisk you all the way to the magical Mont Saint Michel.

Once you’re there you’ll be stunned by the stark beauty of the beaches, and enjoy the feel of sand between your toes, as you learn about the natural ecology and the unique environment of Mont Saint Michel. There’s even the chance to see some of the mysterious quicksand that dots this area!

On this top day trip from Paris, take some time to snap some pictures of the village and monastery on the rocky outcrop of the island, and enjoy a tour of the winding medieval streets that wind around the fortified walls of the island.

There’s a whole lot of history packed into this tiny island, and a lot of fascinating facts to learn and stories to be told. Soak up the ambience of the gothic abbey and take in the views from the top of the rambling village below.

#5 – Champagne

Romantic Day Trips from Paris for Couples

From-Paris-Luxury-Small-Group-Champagne-Day-Trip

  • Learn the history behind champagne
  • Taste some of the bubbly itself
  • Eat delicious French food with a view

It wouldn’t be a romantic day trip from Paris without visiting some of the finest wineries in the world. That’s right, we’re talking about champagne. So take a trip with your partner and head to the Champagne region.

Fans of the fizzy stuff will, of course, love this tour – and so will history enthusiasts. Make a stop on your way to the Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers, which is where champagne is thought to have been invented by the famous Dom Perignon himself.

Tour the abbey and see where Perignon worked and developed his methods, especially how he stopped the wine bottles exploding, and how it all led to the champagne we all enjoy today.

Have fun at your next stop, a family run winery that has been producing champagne for over three generations. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch surrounded by picturesque countryside and sip on champagne itself. Afterwards, you get to walk inside the cave of Moet et Chandon for a tour and tasting of this iconic brand of bubbly.

Taste one of the most popular vintages and then be whisked back to Paris in time for dinner.

#6 – Bruges

Bruges-Full-Day-Trip-From-Paris

  • Try classic Belgian cuisine
  • Stroll around the beautiful old town
  • Buy yourself some chocolate

Why not take a trip with your other half all the way to Bruges in Belgium, where you can spend the day walking around medieval buildings and strolling along pretty canals. Bring your passport, as you’ll have to cross the border from France into Flemish Belgium.

Taking a tour makes the day run smoothly, plus you’ll arrive in the UNESCO World Heritage city with a guide who’ll take you around the historical sites.

There’s plenty to see on this romantic day trip from Paris – from the Place du Bourg with its stunning Renaissance architecture and the gothic style city hall, to the Basilica du Sant-Sang which dates back to the 12th century.

Luxuriate with lunch at a local restaurant moule frites – mussels and French (or Belgian!) fries – and refresh yourself with a Belgian beer or two.

After lunch, visit the Groeningemuseum, where you can see stunning works of art by famous Flemish painters from Van Eyck to Hieronymous Bosch. Or there’s always time to explore the shops, selling handmade lace and – of course – try out some Belgian chocolate!

#7 – Provins

Full-Day-Trip-To-Medieval-City-Of-Provins-From-Paris

photo credits:PARISCityVISION

  • Explore a charming town
  • Watch medieval shows
  • Learn about French history

Take a trip back to the middle ages on this fantastic romantic day trip from Paris for couples, you and your partner will simply fall in love with the utterly charming streets of Provins.

After a road trip on a comfy coach, you’ll arrive at this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Ile de France region. Here you can enjoy medieval shows, complete with falconry and equine displays.

Afterwards, spend some time together exploring the charming historic buildings and streets. Make sure you visit the covered market Tour Cesar and the old Tithe barn, as well as the 11th-century ramparts of the town.

Walk around the 12th-century merchant house Grange au Dimes, complete with an audio guide, where you can learn all about the Champagne fairs of the middle ages!

There’s actually an upper and a lower town to explore in Provins; the upper is called Chatel, and the lower Val. There are a huge amount of historic monuments and heritage buildings here to learn about, all showcase various parts of French life in the middle ages.

 

Stay close to the action! We have an article specifically for the TOP hotels near the Eiffel Tower!

#8 – Fontainebleau Castle

Fontainebleau-Castle

photo credits:Visit-Paris.org

  • Less busy than Versailles
  • Ornate house to explore
  • Fantastic photo opportunities

Easily by car (with no toll roads either) the beautiful Fontainebleau Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What was once a hunting lodge surrounded by lush forests in an area enjoyed by French royals since the 8th century, is now the site of a grand, ornate castle dating back to the 16th century.

Less busy than Versailles, this makes for a great romantic day trip from Paris. It has an iconic symmetrical staircase leading up to the main doors – a great photo opportunity viewed from the entrance gate – as well as meticulously maintained landscaped gardens.

Fontainebleau is one of the largest French royal chateaus. Here you can walk around the opulent interiors and hark back to the times when French monarchs used to walk the corridors, from Louis VII to Napoleon III.

At this beautiful castle, you can even visit the former throne room (the only one in France complete with original furnishings). You can also visit the king and queen’s bedrooms, and many grand rooms besides, featuring interesting and luxurious furniture to gaze at. The artwork here is incredible, too.

#9 – Disneyland Paris

Day Trips from Paris with Kids

Disneyland-Paris-Full-Day-Ticket-with-Transportation

  • Iconic rides
  • Fun for everyone
  • Meet your favourite characters

How can you go wrong with a visit to the icon that is Disneyland when you’re thinking about a day trip from Paris with kids in tow? An easy trip out from the French capital, spend your day with your family having the best time ever in a world of magic and enchantment.

If you take a tour, this top day trip from Paris is even simpler and will be stress-free: you’ll be picked up from your hotel, whisked all the way to Disneyland in a private car, and then you can decide whether you’d like to go to Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios, or both!

Give your children a day they will not forget as they have fun in the five themed fairytale lands here, all packed full of classic rides from their favourite films.

They’ll bound to be enchanted by meeting their favourite characters at the Street Parade – you’ll get the chance to get up close and personal with princesses, pirates and other friendly familiar faces.

At Walt Disney Studios there are five production areas where you can learn about life behind the lens of a camera. There are endless options for entertainment and colourful shows to be enjoyed.

A family day trip from Paris that everyone will love, that’s for sure.

 

That’s not all! We have more hotels around Charles de Gaulle Airport for you to check out!

#10 – Normandy Beaches

Normandy-D-Day-Beaches-Day-Trip-from-Paris

  • Learn about WWII history
  • Great for older children
  • Poignant scenery

An educational day trip from Paris with kids, especially older children, learning about World War II history in Normandy is sure to spark young imaginations, too.

Leave Paris early on a coach as you travel through the French countryside as you travel to the Caen Memorial Museum to get a good understanding of the background to the Battle of Normandy and other stages of World War II.

You’ll also get the chance to see real-life objects dating back to life under Nazi occupation in France, from maps to military vehicles. Watch a short film to further understand the situation.

Head to poignant landmarks such as the Point du Hoc, with views over the D-Day Landing beaches of Utah and Omaha, as well as a sombre visit to the American cemetery and its 9,387 marble headstones.

Afterwards stop off in Arromanches, a town which played an important role in the strategy behind the D-Day Landings.

Bound to be an interesting day trip from Paris, this is a poignant lesson of war and world history.

PS If you’re looking to travel around France, our epic local guide to the 45 best things to do in France is designed to help you find an amazing day trip – no matter who you are travelling with!

#11 – Loire Valley

From-Paris-Castles-of-the-Loire-Valley-Full-Day-Tour

  • Amazing countryside
  • Stunning castles to explore
  • Fascinating history

A great opportunity to take you and your children on a family day trip from Paris to visit some amazing castles. Take this tour through the awesome scenery of the Loire Valley and discover a whole host of grand architecture and history.

There’s Chateau de Chambord with its 440 rooms, 14 staircases and a whopping 800 turrets; a whole lot of extravagance is waiting for you at this intricately sprawling castle. There’s even a staircase that’s said to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci himself.

Be wowed at Chateau de Cheverny, featuring sophisticated and sumptuous interiors. Here you can step back in time on this day trip from Paris with kids as you explore the old chateau with its 17th-century furniture and refined paintings. You can even lunch in the castle restaurant!

With full tummies, visit Chateau de Chenonceau, built over the River Cher like something out of a fairytale, you and your children will be in awe of this incredible building with its arches delving into the river itself.

With all of these castles freshly in your imaginations, arrive back in Paris via luxury coach.

#12 – Beauval Zoo

From-Paris-Day-trip-Transfer-to-Beauval-Zoo

  • The chance to learn about different animals
  • See rare creatures
  • Lunch in a medieval village

Picked up from wherever you’re staying in the city, you’ll then be whisked safely and securely to the Beauval Zoo. You can take a pit stop along the way for some breakfast (if you’re hungry).

Beauval Zoo is amongst one of the ten best zoos in the world. On this fun day trip from Paris with kids you’ll get to see some amazing creatures – there are 3,000 animals all spread out across 35 hectares!

See if you can spot white tigers, tree kangaroos, or even a giant panda. Inside one of the zoo’s four greenhouses, you’ll find great apes, reptiles and Indian rhinos, and your children will get to learn about all the animals, too.

Take a break for lunch outside the park in the charming medieval town of St Aignan sur Cher – and then you can explore the streets of the old town yourself.

Or return back to the park because there’s so much to see here! There’s a Californian sea lion show as well as performing parrots and birds of prey displays.

For a slice of cuteness, check out the La Reserve des Hippopotamus, home to a small pod of hippos – including little ones.

#13 – Forest of Rambouillet

Forest-of-Rambouillet

photo credits:The Telegraph

  • Get out into nature
  • Spot wildlife
  • Easy to reach from Paris

Located between Versailles and Chartres is 200 square kilometres of dense woodland: the Forest of Rambouillet. Here you’ll find the Chateau de Rambouillet, the summer residence of the French President.

But it’s not all about history. This is a great day trip from Paris with kids (and easy too – only 66 kilometres away) because it’s a chance to spend time in nature walking around the various trails in the forest.

This magnificent forest is beautiful year round and is great for a winter walk or a summer stroll. There are cycle paths and observation points where you can your children can see if you can spot stags or wild boar living in their natural environment.

You may even be able to spot one of 150 wild wallabies that have lived in the south of the forest since the 1970s after a few escaped from a nearby zoo!

That’s it!

There’s so much to see on an easy day trip from the hustle and bustle of the French capital that you will be spoilt for choice for what do to. Check out our guide to 15 amazing things to do in Paris and if you’re looking for accommodation, check out 17 unbelieveable hotels in Paris and our guide to where to stay in Paris for the best neighbourhoods in this iconic world city. Plus, if you’re heading around Europe, check our 131 amazing things to do in Europe and see how many you can tick off!

There are so many amazingly romantic day trips from Paris; just imagine sipping champagne with your partner in sun-drenched vineyards, or taking the train from the centre of the city all the way to the iconic Mount Saint Michel.

Imagine seeing the look on your kids’ faces when you take them on a day trip to Disneyland Paris!

Have the best trip to the always spectacular city of Paris – and enjoy a big slice of what the rest of France has to offer as well.  

Bon Voyage!

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About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.

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