The Best Day Trips from Paris

The chance of running out of things to do in Paris during a short visit is slim. But if you want to pack in as much as possible during your visit, or you are staying in this enchanting city a little longer, then taking a day trip or two could be perfect for you.

There are lots of day trips from Paris you can take if you base yourself in this ever changing city for a few days. Some close by, while others will take you on great full day adventures to see some of the most interesting, unusual and spectacular parts of France.

Each of these Paris day trips offers visitors something different, from medieval castles and charming villages to verdant vineyards and majestic châteaux, just to name a few, each day trip promises a unique blend of adventure, discovery and relaxation.

I’ve created this list to help you pick the best Day trips from Paris that best suits your interests. It is ordered by distance from Paris with the closest and easiest day trips first, running through to day trips that are more like road trips from Paris.

The Best Day Trips from Paris

Chateau de Versailles

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Distance: 30km | 50 minutes by train

A visit to the Chateau de Versailles is a journey through the opulence and grandeur of French history. Located just outside Paris, this iconic palace served as the principal royal residence from Louis XIV to Louis XVI, showcasing the splendor of the Bourbon monarchy.

The sheer scale of the palace and its meticulously manicured gardens leaves visitors in awe, offering a glimpse into the extravagant lifestyle of the French royalty.

Highlights include The Hall of Mirrors, adorned with 357 mirrors and magnificent chandeliers, stands as a testament to the palace’s architectural brilliance. The intricate details of the décor and furnishings provide a vivid portrayal of the luxurious lifestyle of the royal court.

Once you have finished exploring the interiors head outside into the expansive gardens. Designed by André Le Nôtre, these incredible gardens captivate with their geometric precision, ornate fountains, and charming groves.

How to Visit Chateau de Versailles

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

The town of Versailles is easily reached by train with Versailles-Chantiers Station the closest to the front main entrance of of the palace. The RER C line train will bring you from central Paris stations like Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel, Pont de l’Alma, Invalides, Musee d’Orsay and Saint-Michel Notre Dame with easy connections to other parts of Paris.

If you choose to take the train, you will want to ensure you have pre-purchased your entry tickets into Chateau de Versailles as it is impossible to get in without a reservation. This full access ticket will give you the opportunity to spend the day exploring the palace and gardens at your own pace. Book it well in advance of your trip here to avoid missing out.

The other option for visiting the Chateau de Versailles is on an organised tour. While this option isn’t for everyone, it does have it benefits being that when you are with a tour guide you will whizz past the queues of people who already have tickets and enter the palace a lot quicker (like immediately, no queueing at all!). You’ll then get an expert guides run down on all the best parts of the palace and plenty of free time to explore on your own.

Here are a few options for tours to Chateau de Versaille:


The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Distance: 70km | 1 hour drive

Visiting Fontainebleau is like stepping into a living masterpiece where history, art, and nature converge in perfect harmony. This enchanting town is renowned for its opulent Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage site that served as a royal residence for centuries.

As you explore the sprawling palace, you’ll be transported through time, wandering through lavishly decorated chambers, grand halls, and immaculate gardens that once hosted French monarchs like Napoleon Bonaparte and King Louis XIV.

The château’s diverse architectural styles, from Renaissance to classical, showcase the evolution of French art and design.

Beyond the palace walls is the vast Fontainebleau Forest with its ancient trees, hidden grottos, and scenic trails, providing a serene escape for nature lovers and hikers.

How to Visit Fontainebleau

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Visiting Fontainebleau independently is possible with car as it is an easy one hour drive south east of Paris. (Check out Hertz, my recommended car hire company, for car hire in Paris.)

If you don’t have a car, then it is still possible to visit Fontainebleau independently via train and bus. The R train from Gare de Lyon travels to Fontainebleau-Avon station which is on the outskirts of town. From there you can take a walk through town (about 30 minutes) to the palace or jump on the local number 1 bus in the director of Les Lilas, alighting at the Chateau stop, right near the palace.

If you travel independently to Fontainebleau, you’ll want to pre-purchase a skip-the-line ticket so you don’t travel all that way to find out you can’t visit the palace that day. Tickets are available in advance here.

By far the easiest way to visit Fontainebleau is on a day tour from Paris. The best tour available is the full day trip including visits to Chateau Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte, another incredible 12th century chateau.

The tour includes an expert guide, entry into both chateau, audio-guides at each place to orientate you as you are exploring and plenty of free time to explore on at your own pace.

You can read more about this tour and book it here.


The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Distance: 82km | 1 hour 20 minutes drive

Visiting Giverny, France, is like stepping into an enchanting masterpiece painted by the renowned artist Claude Monet.

Nestled in the picturesque Normandy region, Giverny is best known as the residence of Monet and the inspiration behind many of his iconic works, particularly the famous water lily series.

The highlight of the visit is undoubtedly Monet’s meticulously restored house and stunning gardens, where vibrant flowers and the iconic Japanese bridge transport visitors into the artist’s world.

Strolling through the flower-lined paths and across the quaint bridges, one can’t help but feel the same tranquility and inspiration that fueled Monet’s creative genius.

The charming village itself exudes a timeless charm with its rustic architecture, inviting cafes, and art galleries.

How to Visit Giverny

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

With a hire car you can be in Giverny in less than 1.5 hours form Paris. (Check out Hertz, my recommended car hire company, for car hire in Paris.) Driving yourself for a day trip to Giverny will give you the most freedom to spend as much time as you like in this pretty town.

Alternatively, you can take the train and a bus to reach the old town and Monet’s House, garden and galleries. Take the TER regional train form Saint-Lazare station in Paris and alight at Vernon-Giverny station. From there jump on the number 10 bus in the direction of Place de L’Eglise and alight at La Musardiere stop, you’ll find Monet’s House and Garden right across the road.

Don’t forget to pre-purchase your entry tickets before heading out to Giverny to avoid it being booked out that day. You can do that right here.

If you’d prefer to not go to the trouble to navigating hire cars or public transport, then an organised tour with guide and skip-the-line entry to the attractions may be perfect for you.

There are two half-day tours from Paris to Giverny, one cost effective but in a larger group and the other in a small group but a little more expensive.

Both include skip-the-line entry to Monet’s House and Garden and give you time to explore the village of Giverny as well. Read more and book these tours here and here.


The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Distance: 145km | 2 hours drive

Visiting the Champagne region of France is a sensory journey through the heart of the sparkling wine capital of the world.

Nestled amidst rolling vineyards and quaint villages, the region exudes an air of elegance and refinement. From the prestigious champagne houses of Reims to the charming cellars of Epernay, each stop offers a glimpse into centuries-old traditions of winemaking.

Visitors can indulge in guided tours, where they witness the meticulous process of champagne production, from grape harvesting to the art of blending.

Exploring the scenic landscapes dotted with historic estates, one can appreciate the terroir that imparts a unique character to each bottle of bubbly.

How to Visit Champagne

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

The best way to experience the Champagne wine region is on an organised tour. This way no one in your group has to be the designated driver and miss out on all of those delicious champagne tastings.

From Paris there are two great small group tour options you can take.

Alternatively, if you happen to have someone in your group who is happy being a designated driver, then you could definitely hire a car from Paris and do a day trip to Champagne and visit the champagne houses and small towns on your own. (Check out Hertz, my recommended car hire company, for car hire in Paris.)

Loire Valley

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Distance: 215km | 2.5 hour drive

Visiting the Loire Valley is like stepping into a fairytale realm where history, romance, and natural beauty intertwine seamlessly.

As you wander through this enchanting region in central France, you’re greeted by picturesque landscapes adorned with rolling vineyards, majestic châteaux, and quaint villages frozen in time.

Each château, from the iconic Château de Chambord to the elegant Château de Chenonceau, tells a captivating story of royalty and extravagance, offering glimpses into France’s rich past.

The meandering Loire River adds to the charm, its gentle flow weaving through lush greenery and past stunning architectural marvels.

Whether you’re savoring delectable wines in a centuries-old cellars, exploring charming cobblestone streets, or simply soaking in the tranquil ambiance, a visit to the Loire Valley promises unforgettable moments of awe and wonder.

How to Visit the Loire Valley

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

The Loire Valley covers quite a big area in central France and really, could be an additional destination to spend a few night when visiting France. However, if you only have a day to spend in the Loire Valley while visiting Paris, then a day trip is absolutely possible.

Getting a hire car and driving from Paris for the day is completely doable. Having your own vehicle will allow you to explore at your own pace and visit the places you are most interested in.

If you choose this option to visit the Loire Valley, then check out Hertz, my recommended car hire company, for car hire in Paris.

Alternatively, if driving isn’t an option for you, then there are plenty of organised tours leaving from Paris every day. Here are a few to pick from that I recommend, each offering something slightly different to the other.

  • Loire Valley Castles Day Trip With Wine Tasting – This tour focuses on visiting the two of the chateau in the Loire Valley, Chateau Chambord and Chateau de Chenonceau where you will also have a small wine tasting. You’ll also have free time in the town of Blois for lunch and exploring.
  • Loire Valley Chambord Castle, Wine Tasting & Lunch – This tour balances Chateau visits with wine tastings. You’ll visit Chateau Chambord followed by a local restaurant for an included lunch and then head onto a local winery for tastings and a guided tour.


The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Distance: 250km | 2 hour 45 minute drive

Visiting the Normandy region is like stepping into a living history book, where every cobblestone and coastal vista tells a story of valor and resilience.

From the haunting echoes of D-Day landing sites like Omaha Beach to the majestic tapestry of Mont Saint-Michel rising from the misty horizon, Normandy offers a profound journey through time.

Exploring quaint villages with half-timbered houses and savory aromas wafting from local bistros, one can feel the heartbeat of French culture pulsating through the region.

The solemn tranquility of the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer serves as a poignant reminder of sacrifice, while the charming port town of Honfleur beckons with its vibrant art scene and picturesque harbor.

How to Visit the Normandy Region

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Getting out to the D-Day Beaches of Normandy for the day is easily doable either via a hire car or on an organised tour.

Hiring a car (I use and recommend Hertz for all my car hire in Paris and the rest of the world) gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and visit the sights that most interest you.

While joining and organised tour will allow you to sit back, relax and let someone else do the driving for you. You will also get an expert guide to point things out along the way and you’ll visit the most important sights available to visitors in the Normandy Region.

If you do decide a tour is the right option for you, then this Normandy D-Day Beaches Day Trip is a great option. After leaving Paris, the first stop is the Normandy American Cemetery where you’ll take a one hour tour. From there it is onto the beaches and the town of Arromanches-les-Bains where you’ll be able to explore at leisure and grab some lunch. The final stop before heading back to Paris is the Juno Beach Memorial. Read more and book this tour here.

Mont Saint-Michel

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

Distance: 370km | 3 hour 45 minute drive

Visiting Mont Saint-Michel is an enchanting experience that transports you back in time. As you approach this breathtaking island commune off the coast of Normandy, its silhouette rises dramatically from the sea, crowned by the majestic Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel.

Stepping through its ancient stone gates feels like entering a medieval fairytale. Winding cobblestone streets lead you past charming shops, cafes, and historic buildings, all nestled tightly within the fortified walls.

The abbey itself, perched atop the island’s highest point, offers panoramic views of the surrounding bay and countryside. Exploring its Gothic architecture, crypts, and cloisters reveals centuries of religious and architectural history.

How to Visit Mont Saint-Michel

The Best Day Trips from Paris - The Trusted Traveller

The longest day trip on this list is to Mont Saint-Michel and let me tell you it is quite the sight to behold.

Similar to a visit to Normandy’s D-Day Beaches, visiting Mont Saint-Michel can be done either with your own hire car or on an organised tour.

It is a long drive there and back to do in a day so I highly recommend if you do drive, that you include a few other stops along the way in the Normandy area.

If you choose to go with an organised tour then a perfect option is the Mont Saint-Michel Day Trip with a Guide. You have the experience guide to point out all the famous sights along the way and give you an orientation tour on arrival at Mont Saint-Michel. Then you’ll have plenty of free time to explore the site before heading back to Paris. Read more and book this tour here.

Over to you!

Which of the best day trips from Paris are you going to book for your next trip?

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

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