13 Day Trips from Paris (with Hidden Gems)

What are day trips from Paris you can go to?

So, despite what the name of this blog might suggest, I’m a huge fan of Paris—it’s honestly hard not to be, seeing as I live there! But let’s not forget that the magic of Paris isn’t confined to just its city limits. There’s a whole world out there of incredible destinations just a stone’s throw away, perfect for those days when you want to mix things up a bit. Here is my list of the best day trips from Paris that you can go to, including some hidden gems you don’t want to miss. All of them are accessible in 2 or 3 hours at most, either by train or car. These fabulous day trip ideas will have you falling in love with the areas around Paris just as much as the city itself.

Hi! I’m Anya, founder of the travel blog Stop Going to Paris which focuses on underrated cities in Europe. I’m a passionate traveler but above all, a passionate adventurer always looking for the hidden gems that deserve more love.

After 10 years and 70+ destinations, I can help you plan your European trip: book a call with me. It includes a full itinerary with unique destinations, transportation, accommodation and activities.

Fun fact, I live in… drumroll… Paris! That’s why the name of the blog is funny.

A quick list of best day trips from Paris

Here are the best day trips from Paris, most of them reachable by train in very little time:

  • Reims – champagne
  • Bayeux, Normandy – D-day beaches and cheese
  • Provins – medieval city
  • Auvers-sur-Oise – Van Gogh
  • The Cliffs of Etretat – nature
  • Chambord – Renaissance castle
  • Giverny – Claude Monet’s inspiration
  • Versailles – French royalty
  • Disneyland Paris – amusement park and magic
  • Fontainebleau – hiking and history
  • Amboise, Loire Valley – romantic getaway
  • Mont Saint-Michel – stunning views
  • Chantilly – art and chantilly cream

Reims, Champagne Region – champagne

Fancy a bubbly day out? Head over to Reims in the Champagne region, just 45 minutes by train from Paris. On top of being a very cute city, it is also home to many wineries and champagne houses you can visit and do Champagne tastings in. Wandering through the massive cellars of big brand names like Moët & Chandon or Vranken-Pommery, you get to see where all the magic happens. My favorite time to visit is during Autumn, when all the colors are vibrant orange, green and yellows.

Don’t forget to bring home a bottle of Champagne directly from the source!

day trips from paris

Photo by Salah Ait Mokhtar on Unsplash

Bayeux, Normandy – D-day beaches and cheese

Bayeux is a city located in Normandy, a region famous for its dramatic coastline and its D-Day landing beaches, where pivotal moments of World War II unfolded. Walking on the beaches of Omaha, Utah, and Juno, you can quite literally feel the weight of history. The area is full of cathedrals, museums, memorials, and cemeteries to pay tribute. It’s all a very somber affair, and I found it to be an incredibly moving experience, so be prepared to cry a little.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom – there’s a lighter side to Normandy as well! It’s the birthplace of Camembert cheese, which is well worth the hype. Buy some cheese from a local cheese maker and accompany it with some fruits, preferably grapes – and voilà! You have for yourself a very French evening snack. If you wanna go fancier, You MUST do a cheese-tasting tour – it’ll ruin supermarket cheese for you forever but it’s worth it.

So Bayeux offers a good range of experiences, from exploring historical sites, to enjoying stunning landscapes along the coast or indulging in great food. It’s the perfect place to dive into France’s history while enjoying some of the finer things in life.

Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

Provins – medieval city

Provins is a medieval town known for its well-preserved walls and medieval fairs. Just 90 minutes away from Paris, it has a lot of old-world charm, so it’s the perfect way to take a step back in time. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to catch one of the historical reenactments or medieval fairs for a truly immersive experience. Imagine knights, jesters, and even the odd fire-eaters showing off their skills. Fantastic right?

Chabe01, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Auvers-sur-Oise – Van Gogh

Auvers-sur-Oise, 60 minutes from Paris, is a charming little village that packs a big punch with art lovers and history buffs. The spot is famous for its connection to Vincent van Gogh, who spent the last days of his life here, painting up a storm. Today, you can stroll around through the same landscapes that inspired some of his most famous works. Speaking of famous, the local cemetery is a must-see as it’s the final resting place of both Vincent and his brother Theo. It’s a bit surreal to stand there, between the Van Gogh and a town that hasn’t changed much since the 1800s, so you feel like you’ve just walked onto a movie set. Don’t forget to check out the local café where Van Gogh used to down a drink or two.

Photo by Is@ Chessyca on Unsplash

The Cliffs of Etretat – nature

The cliffs of Etretat in the Normandy beaches are among the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, and a personal favorite. Hop on the train and head to the coast 3 hours from Paris to Normandy. It’s an essential day for nature enthusiasts, painters, photographers and those who appreciate beauty. Because yes, it is that stunning and picturesque to spend a day enjoying. During sunny days, the pure blue waters contrast beautifully against the white chalk cliffs. Don’t hesitate to take a swim in the Channel, the water is cold but it’s revigorating and makes for a fun day!

Photo by Anya Rahmoune on Stop Going to Paris

Chambord – Renaissance castle

The Chateau of Chambord was built during the reign of King François I initially as a hunting lodge. It is a masterpiece of the Renaissance era, blending traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures into a very distinctive French Renaissance architecture. The castle is famous for its double helix staircase, often attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.

Photo by Dorian Mongel on Unsplash

Giverny – Claude Monet’s inspiration

Giverny, a half-day trip, is the village Claude Monet stayed in while painting many of his works, including the Water Lilies. You can take a stroll through Monet’s house and gardens that inspired the same Claude Monet’s masterpieces. Spring and early summer are particularly magical when the flowers are in full bloom. The journey from Paris takes about 45 minutes only by train.

Photo by Baptiste RIFFARD on Unsplash

Versailles – French royalty

No need to present Versailles again, I’m sure. A mere 30-minute train ride from Paris, Versailles offers a glimpse into the opulent lives of previous French kings like Louis XIV. The Palace of Versailles or Château de Versailles, with its breathtaking Hall of Mirrors and beautiful gardens, is a must-see half-day trip. My tip: Buy tickets online to skip the long queues and consider renting an audio guide or guided tour to enrich your visit.

Disneyland Paris – amusement park and magic

If you’ve got kids (or you’re just a big kid at heart), Disneyland Paris is your go-to spot for a dose of magic and one of the most popular Paris day trips by RER train. Located in Marne-la-Vallée, a suburb east of Paris, it’s split between two parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.

Disneyland Park brings a slice of California right to France, complete with timeless favorites like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Over at Walt Disney Studios Park, you get the behind-the-scenes of movie making and animation, diving deep into Disney’s cinematic universe.

And if you ever wondered about where all the parents recharge after a long day of theme park adventures, it’s probably over at Disney Village, the onsite hub for shopping, dining, and chilling out. And for the golfers, there’s even a golf course to tee off in style.

Funny thing, last time I was there, I saw more adults pretending to sword fight near Pirates of the Caribbean than kids—proof that Disney really brings out the child in everyone! Book a ticket online to skip the line!

Fontainebleau – hiking and history

For the hiking and history enthusiast that I am, Fontainebleau is the perfect day trip destination. If you’re like me, you’ll LOVE the forest of Fontainebleau just south of Paris. Fontainebleau is famous for its Castle, a sprawling palace that’s seen more royal drama than a season of “The Crown.”, as well as the extensive forests that surround it. The palace is real eye-candy loaded with art and stunning architecture, and the forests are perfect for a leisure stroll or a spirited hike, with surprisingly diversified landscapes.


Amboise, Loire Valley – romantic getaway

A bit further afield, the Loire Valley is renowned for its spectacular châteaux and vineyards. My best recommendation is Amboise, a real gem in this region, where the vibe is more laid-back châteaux life than hustle and bustle. The town is perfect for a romantic getaway with stunning river views and French Renaissance royal history. Its main castle, the Château d’Amboise is a standout spot for history, snapping pictures and soaking up some French Renaissance flair.

And don’t miss the Clos Lucé Castle where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years under the patronage of Francois I. Legend has it, he was so into his work that locals would often spot him wandering around town, mumbling to himself about flying machines and other wild inventions.

Whether you’re here for the Loire Valley castles or just enjoy some world-class wine day, Amboise in the Loire Valley offers the perfect backdrop for a chill day of exploring.


Mont Saint-Michel – stunning views

And I’ll admit, this one is a bit of a stretch, and probably acts better as a weekend trip than a day trip – however, with a lot of goodwill and a car rented for the day, you can get there! Trust me it’s worth it. While it requires a bit of planning due to its 3-hour distance, the visit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As I have already explained before, Mont Saint Michel is to me one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. It is truly as magical as the pictures make it look like.

This tiny rocky island with its gravity-defying medieval gothic monastery is one of those places you have to see to believe. It has the cutest narrow streets, as well as a beautiful abbey and stunning views of the surroundings.

The tourists far outnumber the locals, as the island has a population of just a few dozen. So if possible, visit Mont Saint Michel during March or April, where it will be less crowded. Check the tide schedules before you go, as they can dramatically change the landscape.

Photo by Bas van Breukelen on Unsplash 

Chantilly – art and chantilly cream

Last but not least, Chantilly, famous for its magnificent château and extensive art collection. Chantilly is the go-to spot if you’re looking to sprinkle a little aristocratic flair into your trip without straying too far from Paris – indeed, just 25 minutes by train.

The town is famous for its stunning Château de Chantilly, which is every bit as sweet as the famous cream it inspired. Yep, this is where Chantilly cream originated, so make sure to try some; it’s the real deal!

The Castle hosts live horse demonstrations at the Great Stables for all horse enthusiasts. Speaking of horses, you might get a kick out of this: the stables there are so grand, rumor has it that the horses lived almost as lavishly as the nobles – and I can attest to that, as I met Wietse, a luxurious black horse who was only the second of his species (a very recent and specific mix). He was used in many famous brand commercials so I felt like I was in the presence of nobility!

Photo by Anya Rahmoune on Stop Going to Paris

Final thoughts

And there you have it! Personally, I love nothing more than venturing out of Paris to the French countryside every now and then. It is as thrilling as exploring the city itself—maybe even more so! Each spot around the city offers its own little slice of magic, making for some truly unforgettable day trips from Paris. Make sure to plan every day trip meticulously, as some of these can be long – but oh so worth it!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *