Most people know that Paris is the most amazing city in the world. The City of Lights, as it is known by tourists, offers many options for sightseeing, food and wine experiences and cultural exchange. But, did you know that there are some epic day trips from Paris available?
Most of these trips from Paris can be easily done by yourself with the help of trains or other modes of transport, but going on an organized tour is definitely more comfortable. Here is our list of the best Paris day trips.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Discover Paris
13 Best Day Trips from Paris
1. Normandy D-Day Battlefields and Beaches Day Trip
In the northwest of France, this coastal area that faces the south of England was systematically invaded by barbarians, Saxon pirates, Germanic tribes and Vikings. Hence, it holds great importance and many historical sites.
What made the region known worldwide was the episode known as “D-Day,” on June 6, 1944, when Allied troops landed on these shores under the heavy artillery of the German army, which marked the beginning of the end of World War II.
A 4-hour drive from Paris, this day trip will allow you to visit the Omaha Beach, American Cemetery and Caen Memorial during your 4 hours of tourism in Normandy. Another attraction on this tour is the drive along Gold Beach and Juno Beach, where the Arromanches’ artificial harbor and Canadian Memorial are located.
Another beach around the area worth visiting is Deauville Beach, with its fancy resorts and cute boutiques.
Our top recommended tours of Normandy:
- Normandy D-Day Beaches Day Trip with American Cemetery and Lunch
- Small-Group Normandy D-Day Beaches Day Trip
- Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Tour
- Small-Group Normandy D-Day Battlefields
2. Versailles Guided Tour
The Château de Versailles, at just 40 minutes from Paris, is the symbol of the Absolutist Monarchy and the Old Regime in France. Due to its importance and beauty, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another highlight is its stunning huge gardens. Due to the fact that it is one of the most famous day trips from Paris, the visitation of this attraction is very popular so long queues should be expected.
After your 1.5h guided tour of Château de Versailles, take a walk around its gardens all the way to Maison de Marie-Antoinette. Also called Le Petit Trianon, this is where the last Queen of France, before the French Revolution, used to live.
Our top recommended tours of Versailles:
- Best of Versailles Day Trip from Paris including Skip-the-Line and Lunch
- Palace of Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters
- Versailles 4-hour Private Guided Tour
- Small-Group Day Trip to Giverny and Versailles from Paris
3. Mont Saint Michel
A little over 3h away from Paris, Mont St Michel is a unique example of a medieval urban community based on the integration and balance of religious and profane components. Located in Normandy, it houses one of the most amazing religious buildings of the Middle Ages, the wonderful Gothic Abbey.
This village is also known for its tidal setting since it can only be accessed at low tide. If you have some time to spare pay a visit to the town of Avranches on the way there; some tours already include it.
Our top recommended tours of Mont Saint Michel:
- Mont Saint Michel Day Trip from Paris
- Small-Group Mont Saint-Michel Day Trip with Abbey Entrance and Cider Tasting
- Private Guided Day Tour of Mont St-Michel from Paris
- Mont Saint Michel Full Day Trip from Paris
4. Champagne Region Tour from Paris
The Champagne region which is a 1.5h drive from Paris is one of the most charming regions in France. It is a tour that will delight even those who do not enjoy champagne. The Route du Champagne Touristique in the region between Reims, Epernay, and Châlons-en-Champagne.
It is where you will find excellent family wineries where you can experience champagne (at lower prices than in the city) in the company of those who manufacture it. The day trips from Paris to the Champagne region include a tour of the famous Reims Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Cartier Cellars.
It is also possible to taste the most famous champagne in the world at Mumm Cellars.
Our top recommended tours of Champagne Region:
- Small-Group Wine-Tasting Trip to the Champagne Region from Paris
- Wine Day Trip from Paris to Champagne
- Small-Group Champagne Tasting Day Trip from Paris with Moet et Chandon and Reims Cathedral Visit
- Champagne Private Day Trip from Paris with a Wine Expert
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Discover Paris
5. Loire Valley
The Loire Valley, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a region of fairy tales, with numerous castles and historic towns located along the Loire River. It is less than 3 hours from Paris and has several castles to visit.
Some of the castles in the Loire Valley include Chambord, Cheverny, Villandry and Chenonceau and its gardens. On the same day, you can visit the university town of Blois and the cultural city of Amboise, where its castle (Château d’Amboise) offers incredible views.
In the same region, you can also visit the house where Leonardo da Vinci lived at the end of his life, Clos Lucé.
Our top recommended tours of Loire Valley:
- Small-Group Loire Valley Three Top Castles Day Trip with Wine Tasting
- Small-Group Wine-Day Trip from Paris: Chambord Castle and Loire Valley Wines
- Loire Valley Castles Audio Guided Tour
6. Châteaux de Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte
Filled with real stories, the palace, and the forest of Fontainebleau was home to the 13th-century French monarchs. An excursion to the Chateaux de Fontainebleau will provide visitors with history and beautiful architecture, not to mention miles of trails in the park and forest that surround it.
Barbizon, a city that gained fame as the home of painters like Millet, is also situated in the forest of Fontainebleau and is worth the walk to get there. The excursion to Fontainebleau is a 1-hour drive south of Paris and it usually includes a visit to Vaux le Vicomte Castle.
Our top recommended tours of Châteaux de Fontainebleau & Vaux le Vicomte:
7. Chantilly Estate Full-Day Guided Tour
Chantilly is a historical monument located in one of the largest forests near Paris. The culinary recipe for the cream of Chantilly was created right here in the estate, which comprises two main buildings: Grand Château and Petit Château.
It is only 30 minutes by train from Paris and definitely worth your time to get away from the busy city and be surrounded by the amazing Chantilly Forest.
Our top recommended tours of Chantilly Estate:
8. Disneyland Paris
If you are looking for fun, with or without children, and do not want to venture too far from Paris, a day or two at Disneyland Paris could be the answer. There are 2 theme parks – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios, and the best way to get there is by train, with the journey being just 40 minutes from Paris.
But, there are also many organized Disneyland day trips from Paris to get you and your family there with ease.
Our top recommended tours of Disneyland Paris:
- Disneyland Paris Park Entrance Ticket with Round-Trip Train from Paris
- Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket
- Disneyland Paris Multi-Day Ticket
9. Monet’s Gardens in Giverny
The house where Claude Monet lived for 43 years is now a museum in the town of Giverny. It is easily accessible by train in a 1-hour trip from Paris or by joining one of the guided tours, also from Paris.
The special aspect of this visit is not only the house but the gardens where Monet created many of his famous paintings. The scenery of the Japanese Bridge and the Lake of Water Lilies are still there to be admired. Be aware that the gardens cannot be accessed during winter.
Our top recommended tours of Monet’s Gardens:
- Giverny including Monet’s Gardens and Gravesite Small-Group Half-Day Trip
- Small-Group Tour of Giverny: Claude Monet’s House and Gardens
- Skip the Line: Giverny and Monet House Half-Day Trip from Paris
- Giverny and Monet’s Garden Small-Group Day Trip from Paris
The tiny country of Luxembourg is one of the smallest in Europe and it has only 115 thousand inhabitants. The historical center of the capital is in the upper part of the city, which is very photogenic and pleasant to get to know on foot. In addition, it has ruins from the Middle Ages.
It is possible to visit Luxembourg on a day trip from Paris since it’s very easy to get there using the fast train, which takes only 2 hours. There are plenty of things to do in Luxembourg to keep you busy for the day and it is well worth the trip.
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Only 1 hour by train from Paris, Lille is a cute little city. With its pretty brick houses, beer culture and mussels with fries, Lille is a fascinating place to visit from Paris. It is a dynamic city with a young population of college students, many bars, restaurants, and concerts all year round.
During a 1.5-hour walking tour of Lille, you’ll get to explore sights such as the Grand Place, the Old City, the Town Hall, and the Fine Arts Museum. If you are in the mood to travel a little further, be sure to visit La Piscine in nearby Roubaix; you will be amazed by this museum.
Our top recommended tours of Lille:
Lyon, the third most populous city in France (nearly 500,000 people) is located in the Alps and can be reached in just 2h on a train from Paris. Founded by the Romans 2,000 years ago, Lyon has many preserved historical areas of interest.
With the help of “Funiculaires de Lyon” (Lyon’s cable car), you will be able to reach the top of Fourvière hill and admire the stunning views of the city, including the two rivers that cut through Lyon – the Saône and the Rhône.
Make sure to head to St John’s square to explore all the Renaissance architecture of the city and discover several courtyards such as Place Bellecour, Place de la République and Place des Terreaux. Try adding to your day trip a visit to Vieux Lyon, a neighborhood in Lyon worth visiting, and a boat trip to Confluence.
Our top recommended tours of Lyon:
- Lyon Electric Bike Tour with Food Tasting
- Beaujolais Gourmet Wine Tour with Tastings from Lyon
- Half-Day Food Tour Old Town Lyon
13. Paris in a Day
Day trips from Paris could also include a tour around the city itself! There are many options of how to experience the capital of France. You can choose to book a guided full-day tour, buy a 1-day or 2-day Hop-On Hop-Off bus pass or do it on your own using the subway.
Regardless of what you choose, you are in for a day full of history, culture, good food and shopping. The main Paris highlights you will witness are the iconic Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Moulin Rouge cabaret club, Cathédrale Notre-Dame and Montmartre with its Place des Artistes and Basilique du Sacré-Coeur.
Our top recommended tours of Paris:
- Moulin Rouge Show Paris
- Skip the Line: Louvre Museum Walking Tour including Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa
- Big Bus Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
- Eiffel Tower Priority Access Ticket with Host
Recommended Multi-Day Tours of France
- G Adventures Paris & Normandy Highlights– History lovers and culture connoisseurs will delight in this exploration of France’s Norman villages and World War II sites. Stroll Claude Monet’s evocative garden, marvel at the medieval cities of Bayeux and Rouen, and visit the Paris studio of acclaimed National Geographic photographer and explorer Reza. Cap off the experience in Paris toasting la vie en rose.
- G Adventures Highlights of France– Anyone familiar with the French knows they’ve perfected the “art de vivre” (art of living) but, for those that don’t know, they’ll just have to see on this tour. Check out the highlights of Paris, like the Louvre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and the Eiffel Tower. Then visit the famed wine region of Burgundy, where medieval villages and rolling countryside show a different side of French living. Head to Provence to relax the seaside on the French Riviera. Live like the French, and enjoy every minute of it.
- G Adventures France & Italy Adventure– Sip wine in Burgundy, feast on local delicacies in Provence, experience fashionable Milan, float down the canals of Venice and raise your glass to the best of France and Italy. Over 15 well-paced days, travel from Paris to Rome and savor the region’s cultural and natural highlights. Your expert CEO will take the hassle out of travel and leave you with plenty of free time to explore. Witness the charm of Beaune and Florence’s great masterpieces, relax on the beach, and fall in love with the beauty of this region.
|Paris & Normandy Highlights|
Paris to Paris
|Highlights of France|
Paris to Nice
|France & Italy Adventure|
Paris to Rome
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