Best Day Trips from Paris
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
If you’ve booked a longer stay in the City of Lights, consider breaking up your stay with one or more day trips outside of the city. Whether you’re an art/design lover, gourmand or history buff, there is something for every type of traveler within just a few hours of Paris. Here we explore some of the best day trips around Paris.
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La Caserne Chanzy Hôtel & Spa
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Day 1: Feel like a King (or Queen!) in Versailles
Located just 12 miles to the West of Paris, you’ll find the town and Palace of Versailles, former home to many French kings, most notably Louis XIV. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Versailles is undeniably one of the most popular day trips from Paris.
To beat the crowds, consider booking an off peak tour at the end of the day, or consider a private tour to skip the lines and see areas that are normally blocked off to the public. The gardens surrounding the palace are spectacular and you can easily spend the majority of the day exploring them.
If you’ve already toured Versailles proper, consider returning for a bike tour of the surrounding park, giving you time to explore the Grand and Petit Trianon chateaux and Marie Anoinette’s hamlet and estate, which are very much worth a visit!
The town of Versailles is also quite lovely and a visit to the local Notre-Dame Market should be your first stop, especially if you’re planning a picnic in Versailles!
Day 2: Admire Monet’s Gardens at Giverny
After admiring Monet’s waterlilies at Musee de l’Orangerie, head to Giverny to see the real thing! You can travel via car, bus, train or even boat, to Giverny for a tour of Monet’s former residence and gardens to admire the landscape, which was the inspiration for so many of the artist’s impressionist masterpieces. In the afternoon, have lunch in the charming village of Giverny Although it’s just outside of Paris, Givery is technically in the Normandy region of France, so be sure to sample some Norman specialties here including Calvado (apple brandy) and Camembert.
Day 3: Peruse les Puces
While you can certainly find great small flea markets around Paris, the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, located in the town of Saint Ouen, just a hair north of Paris proper, is the largest antiques and second hand marketplace in the world.
For someone who loves shopping, this is one of the best day trips from Paris. Could you just spend a few hours here to say you’ve been? Sure. But if you’d really like to do it right, plan to spend a full day exploring the maze of over 1,700 stalls of art, antiques, textiles, jewelry, bric-a-brac, furniture and more.
There are plenty of great coffee shops and restaurants to rest and recharge during your day-long shopping spree. Many of the vendors will ship internationally for you. Be sure to bring cash for some of the smaller vendors who may mark up for credit card usage. Important to note that this flea is only open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays (though Monday is a quieter day and the vendors that do open do so when they wish), so plan your time accordingly!
Day 4: Sip your way through the Champagne region
Less than two hours northeast from Paris, the Champagne region of France would be a fabulous honeymoon add on, or a great celebratory day trip from Paris for couples and groups. Spend a day–or several–touring vineyards of both the larger famed Champagne houses (like Ruinart and Nicolas Feuillatte) as well as smaller vignerons. Enjoying Champagne tastings and sample world class cuisine. If you have additional time, be sure to tour the beautiful city of Reims for architecture, shopping and even more amazing food and wine!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Briana Masson’s guide, An Extended Guide to Paris.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Paris.