Day Trips From Paris: Best Places To Visit

Day Trips From Paris: Best Places To Visit
| 4 min read

When you make plans to visit Paris, you surely aim to visit its more interesting historical sites and to taste many French delicacies. The stunning Eiffel Tower from the end of the 19th century, the famous Orsay Museum situated in an old Art Nouveau train station building or the shining white Sacre-Coeur Basilica are without any doubt some of the many Parisian must-sees. Equally, you just can’t leave without trying a tasty French crepe, fresh baguette or a real buttery croissant.

Even if the city itself attracts all your attention, you should know that there are also several interesting activities to do nearby. If you have more time in the ‘City of Love,’ you can try visiting one or more of these other places accessible from Paris, that are really worth visiting. So, are you ready for a small tour of Paris’ surroundings?

Versailles Palace and its gardens

Versailles palace, art installation on grass - Version 2
Source: Photo by user David McSpadden used under CC BY 2.0

Let’s begin our journey at one of the most famous French monuments – the fascinating Versailles Palace. Versailles is a small town in a suburb of Paris that you can reach by the local train RER C (take the direction to the station Versailles Chateau - Rive Gauche) or by a special bus called Versailles Express that leaves from the Eiffel Tower.

Built during the rule of Louis XIII in the beginning of the 17th century, Versailles is one of the most pompous French palaces. Its abundantly decorated rooms and large halls are a real pleasure for the visitor’s eye. In fact, the French royal family lived there until the revolution of 1789 and so for many French people, Versailles is also a symbol of the absolute monarchy system that was beaten by the revolution.

When you visit the Palace, don’t forget to also see its beautiful gardens made in the precise French style. The gardens are famous mainly for a large complex of fountains that play classical music. The daily schedule is available at the entrance. Versailles has many different entrance fees, depending on what you want to see. For example, the most simple one that permits you to visit the interior of the palace costs 15 EUR (17 USD), but visiting the gardens is free.

Whipped Cream from Chantilly

day trips from paris: best places to visit | whipped cream from chantilly

Chantilly is a municipality in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region that is situated north of Paris. This beautiful small town where Chantilly cream (commonly known as whipped cream) was created. In fact, chantilly in French means whipped cream.

Chantilly is accessible by the local trains SNCF from the Gare du Nord train station (25 minutes) or by the RER D (45 minutes), both in the direction of Chantilly-Gouvieux.

There are many interesting things to visit in Chantilly. First of all, there is a stunning castle built in 16th century for the 5th son of French king Louis Philippe I. Its interior hides a rich collection of old paintings and manuscripts, which is the second largest in France. In addition, the castle is surrounded by an enormous complex of gardens full of beautiful fountains and artificial lakes.

Just a few steps from the castle, there is another attraction that you should not miss – horse stables from the 19th century that are still in use today and that offer a large programme of horse spectacles. How about watching some horse shows and then sitting down in some cosy café in the centre of the town for some delicious hot chocolate with a real whipped cream? Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Monet’s Gardens in Giverny

day trips from paris: best places to visit | monet’s gardens in giverny

Are you a lover of painting and the history of art? Than Giverny will fit you perfectly. It is in this small, picturesque village in the Upper Normandy region where the famous painter Claude Monet spent a big part of his life. Giverny has preserved his heritage and opened the painter’s house and its gardens to the public.

For 10 EUR (11 USD), you’ll get access to the house interior, which is full of colours – the blue and yellow walls, fine net curtains as well old copper pans and pots that will transport you in time back to the first half of the century.

You’ll also be able to see Monet’s atelier, full of canvases and paintbrushes, which will enrapture you.

However, the most fascinating part of the visit is the large garden full of different kinds of flowers and colours. In fact, each part of the garden represents a different colour on the artist’s palette – you’ll feel like you have the whole colour spectrum, broken into the tiniest shades, in front of your eyes. Seeing this, you’ll understand a lot about Monet’s fascinating and delicate colour mixing on which his paintings are based.

At the end of the garden, hidden behind a small underpass, there is also a small lake where Monet painted his famous Water Lilies. Stay there for a few moments and enjoy the calming atmosphere of the place. You won’t ever want to leave!

Giverny is accessible from Paris by train. At Paris Saint-Lazare station, take the train in the direction of Rouen and get off at Vernon, a small village just next to Giverny. From spring to autumn there is a special bus shuttle connecting the Vernon train station with central bus station in Giverny. A same-day round trip ticket costs 8 EUR (9 USD).

Medieval town of Provins

Provins - Medieval Town ~100km south-east of Paris
Source: Photo by Flickr user piet theisohn used under CC BY 2.0

Provins is a small town situated in the Seine-et-Marne department to the southeast of Paris. It is accessible by the SNCF trains from Gare de Paris-Est station.

Provins has a long history going back to the Roman age. The first mention about this domain comes from the 9th century when Charlemagne sent his “missi dominici,” who were the supervisors of the king’s dominions.

In fact, during the medieval period, Provins was the third most important French city, after Paris and Rouen. In 2001, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are many interesting things to visit in Provins. Its stunning stone walls from the 11th century that surround the centre are a must see, as well as the beautiful Caesar’s Tower. The tower was built in 12th century as a symbol of the power of the dukes of Champagne that ruled there at the time. It has an extremely complex octagonal architecture on a square foundation, making it very unique. There is also a great park from 19th century, where you can have an afternoon picnic. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Places around Paris that you should not miss

Even if Paris itself is a beautiful city full of attractions, the surrounds have a rich history that you should enjoy during day trips. There are important castles as well as beautiful natural parks, forests and gardens. So, are you ready for an extraordinary adventure?

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Hi, my name is Jana and I am a Czech girl currently living in Paris. Student of cinema and dance, I love to meet new people all over the world, to speak with them in different languages and to...Read more

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