Paris is a magical city, full of art, culture, and amazing food. You could spend years exploring its enchanting streets, but there’s more to France than the City of Lights! When I lived in Paris, I was always taking day trips to explore towns and sights located just outside the city, so I decided to compile this list of the 8 best day trips from Paris! Taking day trips from Paris during your trip to the French capital can be a great way to see more of the beautiful country and experience aspects of French culture that can’t be found in the city. From royal palaces to esteemed wineries, there is so much to see in the areas around Paris! I’ve included a range of attractions and destinations in this list, so there’s something for everyone, including family travelers, history buffs, and food and wine lovers!
Check out my guide to visiting France for the first time if this is your first trip to France!
My Top Day Trip Picks
Versailles is probably the most popular day trip from Paris, and it’s easy to see why once you visit this beautiful palace! The Palace of Versailles was the main royal residence in France from the late 1600s to the start of the French Revolution. The palace is known for its opulent rooms and stunning architecture. Over 7 million visitors go to Versailles every year, making it one of the most popular attractions in the region surrounding Paris, so I recommend buying tickets ahead of time! The palace is so beautiful, and it’s gardens are perfectly manicured. The trip from Paris to Versailles takes about an hour on public transportation, so it’s a perfect day trip destination for people visiting Paris!
Number 2 on this list is another super popular tourist destination among families with children and kids at heart – Disneyland Paris. This Disney resort opened in the 1990s, and it’s home to two theme parks- Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. When I visited Disneyland Paris, I bought a ticket that included both parks and explored them over the course of the day, ending my day trip with fireworks over the castle before heading back to Paris. You can take the RER train straight from central Paris to Disneyland Paris, and it takes just under an hour.
Read all about my trip to Disneyland Paris for more details and recommendations for visiting the parks!
If you’d like to take a day trip to see a French palace but want to avoid the crowds at Versailles, visit the Chateau de Fontainebleau! A palace has existed on these grounds since the 1100s, and various kings have lived here and added to it since then! The palace is beautiful, with stunning halls, bedrooms, and gardens! When I visited this palace, there were hardly any other visitors, so I got to take my time and enjoy my visit without the hordes of tourists and tour groups that you would find at Versailles. It takes just under an hour to get to the Chateau de Fontainebleau from Paris on public transportation!
Use this guide to compare Fontainebleau and Versailles to decide which you should visit!
If you love champagne and wine, you should visit Reims on a day trip from Paris! This small city is known as the capital of France’s Champagne region, and it is home to some of the world’s most prestigious champagne houses! I took an overnight trip to Reims when I lived in Paris, but it’s also perfect for a quick day trip. I enjoyed wandering through the city, visiting the cathedral, and tasting lots of champagne when I visited Reims! I recommend taking a tour of a champagne house so you can learn all about how it is made- I loved the tour I took at the Pommery Champagne house. You can also find tours that take you out into the vineyards around the city. You can get to Reims from Paris by train in about 45 minutes.
Located on an island in the middle of Normandy marshland, Mont Saint-Michel has attracted pilgrims and tourists for hundreds of years. This island commune was built around the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, and for years, it was only accessible at low tide. Now, tourists can visit any time thanks to the new infrastructure. Mont Saint-Michel is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, and I highly recommend going at least once during your lifetime. Many people try to see Mont Saint-Michel during a day trip from Paris, and it is possible, although it is pretty far to travel for just one day. It takes about 4 hours to get to Mont Saint-Michel by car, and it takes even longer by train. If you want to take a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel while visiting Paris, I recommend joining a guided tour that will transport you to and from the island! Of course, if you have more time, I highly recommend staying on the island or staying close by so you can fully enjoy this incredible sight.
Normandy D-Day Beaches
Like Mont Saint-Michel, the Normandy beaches are an ambitious day trip choice, but if you’re set on visiting them, it is possible. There are 5 D-Day beaches where the Allied forces invaded Normandy to liberate France during World War II: Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach, and Sword Beach. Omaha Beach is about 3 hours from Paris by car. If you want to travel by train, you’ll have to take a 3-hour train to Bayeux and then take a bus to Omaha beach from there. Several tour operators offer tours from Paris or from Bayeaux to the D-Day beaches.
If you love art, you might want to take a day trip to Giverny. Famous impressionist painter Claude Monet lived in Giverny, and you can visit his home and gardens (where he painted his iconic Waterlillies), as well as an Impressionist museum in this town. The train from Paris to Giverny takes around 45 minutes to an hour.
For a taste of Normandy, head to Rouen, a beautiful city in northern France. The city is home to a stunning cathedral, and its half-timbered buildings and cobblestone streets look like they’re straight out of a fairytale. Rouen is only an hour and a half from Paris by train, so it’s a perfect day trip destination if you want to get out of the city!
French Day Trips for Every Traveler
From Rouen to Reims and Fontainebleau to Disney, there are so many options for day trips from Paris. I personally loved visiting Disneyland Paris during the offseason when there weren’t many visitors (I’m a total theme park nerd), and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about (and tasting) champagne in Reims! Which of these Paris day trips will you take?