Paris is a breathtaking city and the areas surrounding the city of love are equally famous among tourists. Every year tons of tourists visit these areas to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You can visit gorgeous churches, charming villages and magnificent châteaux, all located within a walkable distance from Paris. There are a variety of options that you can choose from and there is everything to suit everyone’s tastes. So we have made a list of the 10 best day trips from Paris for you to enjoy your stay in France.
- Versailles Palace and Gardens
- Claude Monet’s House and Gardens
- Fontainebleau Palace and Park
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres
- Mont Saint-Michel
- Disneyland Paris
- Abbaye de Royaumont
- Loire valley
Versailles Palace and Gardens
A trip to Paris would not be complete without a stop at the former seat of royal power, the Palais de Versailles. You can choose our Paris honeymoon packages from the Pickyourtrail website to visit this beautiful palace.
The Château de Versailles is a symbol of the French monarchy and its dramatic fall following the Revolution of 1789. It was built by the powerful “Sun King” Louis XIV and later housed the ill-fated Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who was eventually executed.
The palace was recently renovated, including the iconic Hall of Mirrors. Every year, throngs of visitors flock to the palace.
2.Claude Monet’s House and Gardens
A visit to the home and gardens of French impressionist painter Claude Monet in Giverny is a must for anyone interested in art history or botany. The beauty of the gardens is the reason this place made it on our list of best day trips from Paris.
Monet’s private gardens, immortalised in his brushstrokes, have been open to the public since 1980. These gardens are a haven of green, shadows, and light, with elegant Japanese-style bridges, water lilies, and dozens of flower and tree varieties.
3.Fontainebleau Palace and Park
The palace and blanketing forest of Fontainebleau has been used as a seasonal residence for French monarchs since the 13th century.
A visit here will satisfy history and architecture fanatics, as well as nature enthusiasts. You will love the yards of walking trails in the historic park and forest surrounding the palace. Barbizon, famed for being the home of painters such as Millet, is tucked away in the Fontainebleau forest and is also worth a trip down.
4.Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres
The elegance of Chartres’ Cathedral is said to have motivated faith in those who were sceptical. When you walk into this UNESCO-listed memorial, a stunning example of mediaeval Gothic architecture, it’s easy to see why. This Cathedral is included on our list of best day trips from Paris to pack something elegant in your bucket list.
The cathedral’s vast high-vaulted nave contains brilliant stained-glass windows that cast a soothing glow on the sanctuary. The filtered light gives the room an otherworldly feel. The intricate details of the windows, the result of meticulous craftsmanship, astound viewers.
The island of Mont Saint-Michel emerges from the waters of Normandy’s Baie de Saint-Michel. Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most breathtaking spiritual spots in France.
The UNESCO-listed Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, an important mediaeval pilgrimage site, is located at the highest point on the rocky mount. This Benedictine abbey, 155 metres above sea level, is a Gothic architectural marvel with graceful cloisters and a majestic church.
Mont Saint-Michel appears as a distant mystical island at high tide. During the low tide, pilgrims can walk from the mainland to the island, just as they did in the Middle Ages.
Giverny, located about 75 kilometres from Paris, is popular among fans of Impressionist art (less than 45 minutes by train). Giverny is best known for its association with Claude Monet and is located in a beautiful setting on the Seine River.
In 1883, the artist fell in love with Giverny and stayed for thirty years. Simultaneously, other artists were drawn to the region and impacted by Monet’s methods of painting in nature. This beautiful place is a part of our list of best day trips from Paris.
The highlight of Giverny is Claude Monet’s House, a delightful countryside retreat where Monet created his famous Water Lilies painting.
Disneyland Paris is an ideal day trip for families with children. It is a massive fairyland of fiction and exploration. Sleeping Beauty Castle is a popular tourist destination.
The storey of Sleeping Beauty is represented in stained glass and embroideries, while a burning dragon inhabits the vaulted cellars. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups twirling ride, and its a small world cruise are also popular attractions.
There are many resorts and over 50 eateries at Disneyland Paris.
8.Abbaye de Royaumont
The Abbaye de Royaumont is a Cistercian abbey encircled by closely packed woodlands in a tranquil setting 49 kilometres from Paris. The Royaumont Abbey provides a welcome natural retreat as well as a space for spiritual reflection.
This place is a place of theological study, constructed by King Louis IX (Saint Louis). Tourists can visit the gorgeous Gothic abbey and see where the priests worshipped, recite holy texts, and present recipes in the refectory. The former sacristy is now a small chapel.
Do you like castles? You’ll enjoy your visit to the Loire Valley. A day tour to this main French area will take you to three obscenely grand forts. Admire Château de Chambord, the most exceptional example of French Renaissance architecture. It is a spectacle at the creek Château de Chenonceau (aka the Ladies’ Castle, for such purpose), and you discover the spacious Château de Cheverny.
There are numerous forts. The breathtaking valley is a part of our list of best day trips from Paris. When you’ve had your fill of pretending to be the lord and lady of the castle, remember that the Loire Valley is famous for its Rillettes. Look for it on a menu. That’s some good food.
You can explore a bit distant afield, the neighbouring nation of Belgium is close in a long day excursion from France’s capital. This place is a UNESCO world heritage site, Bruges has a fascinating ancient centre, replenished with incredible architecture from as early as the 12th century.
The paintings of Flemish painters such as van Eyck and Bosch are another key attraction of the city, and they can be viewed at the popular Groeningemuseum.
These places on our list of best day trips from Paris are just a little part of Paris. There is a lot to do and see in Paris, and you would want to certainly visit again. From the Eiffel tower to Luxembourg Palace there is something for every tourist out there. So are you ready to explore Paris?