10 Best Day Trips From Paris

Although the capital of France has thousands of cultural sites to visit, there are many incredible destinations for day trips from Paris. From imposing castles to medieval cities and port villages, there’s a little bit of everything within a short distance from the “City of Light”.

Still, remember that the French capital always has new things to see and do, whether in a museum, monument, park, or neighborhood. In fact, I lived in Paris for more than 2 years and I know it would take me a lifetime to get to know the whole city!

But if you have a few extra days and want to experience more of the country or region, I have a solution for you. I’ve already tried these tours (some even more than once) and they will undoubtedly be worth the detour and enrich your trip!

So, do you want to know more about the 10 Best Day Trips From Paris? Keep reading!

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Best Day Trips from Paris
Best Day Trips from Paris

Best Day Trips from Paris

1. Versailles

The city of Versailles was, for more than a century, the center of the power of the Ancien Régime in France. Located in the suburbs of Paris, it became a royal residence in 1682, as soon as King Louis XIV decided to leave the capital.

What started as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, quickly became one of the largest palaces in Europe and the symbol of the Absolute Monarchy. The Palace and Park of Versailles were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 and are one of the most visited places in France, with 10 million tourists per year!

In my opinion, you spend a full day in the Versailles domain – after all, it’s more than 800 hectares of land! Visiting times are variable, but consider 2-3 hours for the Palace, 1-2 hours for the Gardens, and 2-3 hours for the Trianon domain.

Departing from Paris, take the RER C suburban train at one of the main stations: Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel, Musée de Orsay, or Saint Michel – Notre Dame. The journey takes about 35-45 minutes and the terminal station is the one where you should leave: Versailles Château – Rive Gauche. As for tickets (Billet Ile-de-France), prices are fixed at two rates: €3.65 (adults) and €1.80 (children aged 4-10 years).

Regarding schedules, the Palace is open every day from 9 am to 5:30 pm, except on Mondays. The Trianon domain – which comprises the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Hameau de la Reine – operates from noon to 5:30 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday. The Gardens and Park are accessible free of charge from 8 am to 6 pm, all year round (except on the days of the “Grandes Eaux Musicales et Jardins Musicaux” shows).

Admission is free for children under 18 and young people under 26, residing in the European Economic Area. For the rest, there are all-inclusive passports for €25-€27 and individual tickets for €12-€18. I strongly recommend that you buy tickets at the online ticket office of the Palace of Versailles, in order to avoid the long queues (especially in the morning).

Read my complete guide to Versailles, one of the best day trips from Paris!

2. Giverny

Giverny is a lovely village mostly known as the location of Claude Monet‘s home and gardens, including his famous pond of water lilies. Wherever your look, you’ll notice a fairytale-like essence, which was so beautifully captured on a canvas by Monet and by some other Impressionist painters.

Located in the Normandy region, Giverny is definitely a must-visit destination from Paris, since it’s less than 60 minutes away from the French capital. You’ll love the bucolic landscapes, the massive flower fields (that bloom almost all year round), and basically the overall atmosphere.

Although I’ve arrived in Giverny by car, you can visit the village by taking a train from Paris. To do this, you only have to go to the Gare Saint Lazare and choose as destination the Gare de Vernon (check the timetable here). This trip takes about 45-50 minutes and costs €32 (roundtrip).

Once in Vernon, there’s a shuttle that takes you to Giverny, leaving the station 15 minutes after the arrival of each train (check the timetable here). The ticket price is €10 (roundtrip) and it can be purchased near the driver or through the SNgo app.

The Fondation Claude Monet-Giverny – that is, the house and gardens – is open every day, from 9:30 am to 6 pm, with the last entry taking place at 5:30 pm. The ticket costs €9.50 (adults) and €5.50 (children and students), but children under 7 years old don’t pay for admission.

The foundation itself advises buying the tickets online, in order to avoid long queues, especially during high season. There’s similarly an online shop, which sells the products of the physical gift and book shop – built on the old Atelier des Nymphéas.

Read my complete guide to Giverny, one of the best day trips from Paris!

3. Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel is, by far, the most indescribable place I’ve ever visited in France. But it’s also one of the most popular destinations in the country, so it’s essential that you plan your trip in advance!

In my opinion, traveling to Mont Saint-Michel by car is convenient, as it’s about 4 hours from Paris. Once on-site, there’s a car park, which costs €9.80 (from October to March) or €14.90 (from April to September). The ticket is valid for 24 hours and includes transportation to/from the island.

In 1979, Mont Saint-Michel and its Bay were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, which contributed to the recognition of their historical and architectural value. The main attraction is the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, although you can visit the village itself, which has several museums, the Parish Church of Saint-Pierre, the Gabriel Tower, and the medieval walls.

In terms of restaurants, I had lunch at a creperie called La Sirène Lochet. If you’ve never eaten a Galette Normande, you really have to try it! When it comes to accommodation, the best-known hotel is the historic La Mère Poulard. However, it’s very expensive to sleep in Mont Saint-Michel and I advise you to choose nearby locations such as Beauvoir or Avranches.

Read my complete guide to Mont Saint-Michel, one of the best day trips from Paris!

4. Honfleur

Honfleur is a picturesque and photogenic town in Normandy, France. If you’re looking for a day trip from Paris, then Honfleur might be the perfect option for you. It’s right on the seaside, in addition to being full of buildings and monuments, which look like they came out of a true fairy tale.

With more than 1000 years of history, the town of Honfleur invites its visitors for coastal walks and walks in the historic center, eventually attracting many tourists from the surrounding area in Lower Normandy. Still, I recommend taking advantage of the town’s proximity to other places worth visiting, such as Trouville-sur-Mer, Deauville, or Le Havre.

If you choose this destination during the summer, you can also include it as a road trip stop through Normandy. However, don’t forget that Honfleur is a very popular and touristy destination, which means inflated prices, especially in restaurants and accommodations. Just to illustrate, a simple stop for a coffee or a cider in front of the port can cost you at least €5!

If you want to stop for a complete meal, try the fish or seafood dishes from the various typical restaurants. Or, do like me and try the famous galette Normande, filled with everything you can imagine! Also, make sure you visit the Vieux Bassin, Église Sainte-Catherine, Musée Eugène Boudin, Église Saint-Léonard, or the Maisons Satie, among others.

Read my complete guide to Honfleur, one of the best day trips from Paris!

5. Fontainebleau

In the center of a huge forest in the Île-de-France region, the Palace of Fontainebleau has been the hunting residence of the kings of France since the 12th century. Expanded and remodeled during the reign of Francis I, this palace was inspired by Italian models, a cross between Renaissance art and French traditions.

During the French Revolution, the general structure of the Palace of Fontainebleau was spared almost in its entirety, but the monument underwent a profound interior remodeling when Napoleon I decided to make it his imperial residence.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, the Palace and Park of Fontainebleau are just 40 minutes from Paris. From Gare de Lyon, all you have to do is take the Transilier R train towards Montereau or Montargis. Tickets cost €8.85 (adults) and €4.40 (children) and, once on board, you must get off at Fontainebleau / Avon station (zone 5).

The Palace is open every day, except on Tuesdays and holidays on January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th. The opening hours are from 9:30 am to 5 pm (from October to March) and from 9:30 am to 6 pm (from April to September). The Courtyards and Gardens (freely accessible) are open every day of the year but with different seasonal schedules: 9 am to 5 pm (from November to February), 9 am to 6 pm (March, April, and October) and 9 am to 7 pm (from May to September).

The entrance ticket to the Palace of Fontainebleau can be purchased for €12 (full rate) or €10 (reduced rate), through the online ticket office of the Palace of Fontainebleau. It includes access to the Napoleon I Museum, the Pope’s Apartment, and the Grand Apartments.

However, admission is free for all minors under 18 and young people under 26, residing in the European Economic Area. In that case, you must simply present an identification document. Or, you can do like me and visit the palace for free, on the first Sunday of the month (excluding July and August)!

Read my complete guide to Fontainebleau, one of the best day trips from Paris!

6. Rouen

Rouen is the capital of Normandy and one of the most beautiful cities in this French region. But Rouen is much more than a picturesque and photogenic destination: it’s a place with centuries of history, dating back to the beginning of the Roman Empire!

If you visit the historic center of Rouen, you’ll find a little of everything: typical German-inspired wooden houses, monuments reminiscent of the Hundred Years’ War, and religious buildings, which are true masterpieces of Gothic architecture!

Like other destinations in this region (such as GivernyHonfleur, or Mont Saint-Michel), Rouen is one of the best day trips from Paris. Or you can always visit it on a road trip through Normandy! Why not use the city as a base to discover the historic villages and towns nearby?

But if you don’t have a car, don’t worry! Rouen isn’t far from the French capital and there are several public transportation options. From Gare Saint-Lazare, you have direct trains with Oui.sncf to Rouen-Rive-Droite. And at the Paris La Défense and Paris (Bercy Seine) bus stations, there are also direct buses from Flixbus to Rouen (Avenue Champlain).

Read my complete guide to Rouen, one of the best day trips from Paris!

7. Provins

Provins is proud of being a surprisingly well-preserved town since the Middle Ages, with almost 60 places classified as historic monuments. Although it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, I confess that I only got to know this destination when I moved to Paris in 2018!

During the Middle Ages, Provins became a European reference through the famous Foires de Champagne. The region frequently received merchants and traders, not only from other parts of France but also from Flanders, Germanic territories, and Mediterranean countries.

To get to know all the points of interest in Provins, I think you should dedicate a day to sightseeing. Therefore, board the Transilien P train at Gare de l’Est and go to Provins (zone 5), the terminal station of the railway line. The trip takes less than an hour and tickets cost €11.35 (adults) and €5.65 (children).

In this medieval town, if you want a single fare ticket at a reduced price to visit the main monuments, then there’s the Pass Provins at €11 (adults) or €7.50 (children, from 4 to 12 years old). This pass includes tickets to the Tour César, Grange aux Dîmes, Souterrains, and the Musée de Provins et du Provinois.

Read my complete guide to Provins, one of the best day trips from Paris!

8. Étretat

Étretat is a unique natural landscape with huge limestone cliffs – the most impressive on the French coast! And every year, more than a million tourists visit this small French commune to hike the winding paths that connect the beach to the surrounding green hills.

The fishing town of Étretat is located in the Seine-Maritime department – which in turn belongs to the Normandy region (in French, Normandie). In summer, it’s a particularly popular destination, due to its white pebble beach with privileged views over the English Channel.

It’s important to note that Étretat is a popular destination for Parisians, especially during the summer holidays. In other words, if you’re thinking of visiting the town at this time of year, be prepared for the inflated prices of accommodation, restaurants, and shops in town!

There are countless ways to get to Étretat from Paris, whether you decide to explore the town on a day trip or a weekend getaway. I traveled by car on the A13, then on the A131 Rouen/Caen (Pont de Tancarville exit), and finally on the D39. ⁣⁣It’s the most convenient and fastest way and it took me 2h45 to do around 215 km.

If you prefer to travel by public transportation, Flixbus has direct buses from Paris to Étretat, but this service is seasonal. The option for the rest of the year is to leave Paris La Défense towards Le Havre (2h20) and then take bus 24 to Étretat (1h05).⁣⁣

There’s also a direct train from Gare Saint-Lazare (in Paris) to Le Havre (2h15), after which you must take bus 24. You can also travel from Gare Saint-Lazare to Rouen Rive Droite (1h30), change trains to Bréauté-Beuzeville (40 minutes), and then take bus 17 to Étretat (30 minutes).

Read my complete guide to Étretat, one of the best day trips from Paris!

9. Meaux

Meaux is probably the least-known destination on this list, but it’s the perfect city for a complete cultural and historical tour! As a member of the Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire network since 1988, Meaux is nationally recognized both for the important heritage it has and for the care that local authorities have in preserving and distinguishing it.

About 40 km from the center of Paris and a short train ride away, you can take the opportunity to visit Europe’s largest museum about the Great War, stroll through gardens à la française, and even taste typical food such as the delicious Brie cheese, just to exemplify!

To get to Meaux, head over to the Gare de l’Est, where the Transilien P train leaves for La Ferté Millon or Château Thierry – any destination stops in the historic center of Meaux. Tickets cost €8 (adults) and €4 (children under 10).

I recommend starting your day with a visit to the Musée de la Grande Guerre and then continuing in the old town. You can explore the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne, Maison du Brie de Meaux, and the Musée et Jardin Bossuet, among other monuments and exterior landmarks.

Read my complete guide to Meaux, one of the best day trips from Paris!

10. Disneyland Paris

No list of the “Best Day Trips from Paris” would be complete without the iconic Disneyland Paris! From Paris central stations (Charles de Gaulle – Étoille, Châtelet – Les Halles, Gare de Lyon, etc.) start by boarding the RER A suburban train.

The journey takes approximately 45 minutes and the station where you must leave is called Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy, at the end of branch A4. As for tickets, prices vary between €7.60 (adults) and €3.80 (children from 4 to 9 years old).

In the land of Mickey Mouse, you can not only enjoy the dozens of themed attractions for all tastes (check out my posts “10 Must-Do Attractions At Disneyland Paris” and “4 Types Of Attractions At Disneyland Paris”) but also watch the Disney Stars On Parade, the night show Disney Illuminations, and the musical Mickey And The Magician.

If you’re a fan of the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars protagonists, you can also consult my guide “How And Where To Find Characters At Disneyland Paris”. The entries for a single park range from €56-€87 (adults) and €51-€80 (children). On the other hand, if you want to join the two parks, expect prices between €76-€107 (adults) and €71-€100 (children). Verify all the practical information at the Disneyland Paris online ticket office.

Read my complete guides to Disneyland Paris, one of the best day trips from Paris!

Map of the Best Day Trips from Paris

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