Today we’ll be taking a look at Day trips from Paris! A few sites are technically Parisian but you have to travel more than an hour to get there, so we can class them as a day trip from Paris. Some of the other sites are far outside Paris and as we’re looking at day trips, we’ll set a 2 hour limit on traveling!
The first place on our list of day trips from Paris is:
The Palace of Versailles is located around a one hour train ride from the center on the RER C heading to Gare de Versailles Château Rive Gauche (the closest metro stop to the Palace of Versailles).
So now we know the best way to get here, what will you see when you arrive? Let’s have a look to see if it's worth leaving the delights of the center of Paris to go on a day trip to Versailles!
Massive halls and even bigger gardens are a huge attraction of the palace. 700 rooms and 1250 fireplaces (which tells you how big the rooms are) and more staircases than Hogwarts (67) gives you an indication of the size of this palace. The sheer size of the place means you can spend an entire day exploring the various rooms of art, sculptures, enormous windows lighting the rooms, light fixtures and especially the art on the ceilings.
A big attraction of Giverny is Monet’s Gardens, the picturesque trees, plants, even the bridge taking you across the pond is like something out of an Agatha Christie novel. If you want to escape the city and walk in the footsteps of your favourite artist, this is the place for you.
Due to Monet being extremely well known, the gardens attract quite a bit of attention each year. For this reason its advisable to book online ahead of time to get yourself Skip-the-line tickets.
To be where Monet once was isn’t the only reason to visit Giverny. There is also the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny and the church known as L’eglise Ste-Radegonde. Not to mention all the cafes and bars where you can sit and enjoy a crepe and a glass of wine.
The next destination we would like to present you with is Meaux, just a one hour drive from Paris. A quiet town with plenty to do, Meaux looks like a setting for a historical reenactment or documentary.
Meaux isn’t just a pleasant town to explore, the town is of historical importance due to events in World War I. In 1914, just outside Meaux, the Germany army was stopped in their tracks. This was regarded as a turning point in the war and as such, the USA erected a statue in respect of the soldiers who died in the fight.
The monument is positioned next to one of the attractions of Meaux, Musée de la Grande Guerre (Museum of the Great War). The museum even has its own replica battlefield, trenches from both sides and no man’s land in between.
Some other places of interest are the museum, the cathedral and the gardens of Bousset. If you’re looking for history, Meaux is definitely the place for you, aside from what we’ve already discussed there is Vieux Chapitre and Remparts de Meaux which look like they came straight from a Game of Thrones film set.
The first of two nature parks we’ll look at today, this wildlife park is an hours drive from the center. The 71,000-hectare park is home to some of the most picturesque meadows, forests, rocky hills and wide open fields.
In Summer you can (and I recommend you do) take a boat trip through the park and explore this beautiful region. The park was created fairly recently in 1995 is a great place for cycling, canoeing or horseback riding, something totally different for one of your day trips from Paris.
Disneyland Paris is on the outskirts of the city, around 40 minutes from the center. It’s one of the day trips from Paris I will recommend that is technically in Paris. But as its quite far from the center, it can be classed as a day trip!
You’ve seen the adverts and thought about visiting your favorite characters but picturing it is nothing like going! If you’re in Paris for any period of time longer than a day I would definitely recommend heading out here.
Something we spoke about in a previous article, Disneyland Paris has a ton of different activities on offer including breakfast with your favorite characters, amazing rides, the fireworks or take advantage of the great shopping on offer.
If you fancy going a little further afield don’t worry, we've got you covered. So where are we going?
Don’t worry if your French isn’t great (neither is mine) it’s a natural park in Normandy! The Parc Naturel régional des Boucles de la Seine Normande plays an important role in the region to help it avoid problems experienced by places such as Barcelona, where green space is almost non-existent. The park was created way back in 1947 in order to ensure there was a green area between Rouen and Le Havre.
The park takes about 1 hour to walk around and it takes 2 hours to get here from Paris. Unless you enjoy sitting in a car for 2 hours it’s not really worth coming just for the park. This is why the park is just part of a day trip from Paris to the wider Normandy region!
So, where is next on our day trip from Paris?
Just a short drive from the park and you will find yourself in Le Havre. The city is right on the bank of the estuary of the river Seine. Le Havre has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2005.
The city has an interesting history and was rebuilt having been largely destroyed in the Second World War. The history of Le Havre is a great reason to visit but there are a few other events you should take advantage of while you’re here.
During Summer (July-August) there is street art, gigs on the beach & various workshops. There is a jazz festival along the beach known as ‘Dixie Days’ that comes towards the end of May and is a real treat. There is the Sea festival at the end of September but if the coast isn’t the place for you, don’t worry, head inside for the MuMa exhibitions. The Musée d'Art moderne André Malraux holds the first impressionist collection of France outside Paris.
So that it’s for our day trips from Paris, if you’re interested in booking a trip to Paris be sure to look at our activities in Paris offers page!