For millions of visitors every year, Paris is their first glimpse of France. That's not surprising. As the capital and largest city in the country, Paris is home to France's biggest international airports. The City of Light is also a legendary destination in its own right. In fact, this huge and ancient city contains so much of French history, culture, food, wine, and just about everything else that you can spend a lifetime here and never exhaust everything there is to do.
At the same time, France is a fascinating and diverse country, and there's so much to see outside of Paris itself. The best day trips from Paris will give you a glimpse of different parts of the country so you can get a better understanding of what the country is all about away from the heavily touristed streets of central Paris itself.
Whether you want to go wine tasting in the Champagne region, explore World War II history on the D-Day beaches of Normandy, visit a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, or escape to the Magic Kingdom at Disneyland Paris, there's so much to see on Paris day trips that it's difficult to fit it all in.
So grab your train tickets and drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Paris, then go see what northern France has to offer. After all, there's so much more to the country than just Paris. Once you've finished exploring the Eiffel Tower, the best museums in Paris, and everything else the city has to offer, there's so much more to see.
How to get out of Paris
As the biggest city in the country, Paris is the central hub of the impressive French public transportation network. Therefore, it's easy to get around the city and out of it to explore some of the best day trips from Paris. For more information, check out our guide on how to get around Paris.
Driving in Paris is no picnic, but if your plan is to pick up a rental car and head out of the city, you won't find it too difficult. The city is full of car rental agencies that will provide you with a vehicle, and having your own transportation makes it easy to explore some of the more out-of-the-way tourist attractions in northern France.
Alternatively, you could take the train. Paris is home to the biggest train stations in France, such as Paris Gare de Lyon and Paris Gare du Nord, making it easy to catch a high-speed TGV train to destinations all over the country. Not only is this mode of transportation more efficient, but it also gives you a chance to see some of the French countryside as you travel.
You could also take a bus. While this might not be the fastest way to get around, it's certainly the most economical option, and there are plenty of coach companies that offer service to Paris from all over France.
Once you're out of Paris, you'll find that there are plenty of ways to get around your chosen destination, whether it's by car, bus, or train.
From Paris to Versailles
Just 16 miles southwest of Paris lies the royal Chateau de Versailles, one of the most famous palaces in the world. A symbol of power and extravagance, this imposing structure was once a hunting lodge before becoming the home of French kings and their courtiers. These days, it's a popular tourist destination, drawing millions of visitors every year.
A visit to the Palace of Versailles is one of the best day trips from Paris for anyone interested in history or architecture. The chateau itself is massive, and there's so much to see inside, including the famous Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Chapel, the former palace of Marie Antoinette, and the King's Bedchamber. But that's not all. The palace grounds are just as impressive, featuring beautifully manicured gardens, fountains, and sculptures. No question, this is one of the best day trips from Paris – and one of the most popular.
How to get to Versailles
Getting to the Palace of Versailles from Paris is easy. You can take the RER C train from central Paris directly to Versailles-Rive Gauche station, which is just a short walk from the palace gates. Alternatively, you could take a bus or drive. If you're driving, be aware that there's very limited parking at the palace, so it's best to arrive early or park in one of the nearby public parking spaces.
From Paris to Disneyland
Paris is often known for fine arts, rich culture, fascinating history, and sophistication. You won't find any of that at the Walt Disney Studios Park on the outskirts of Paris. But what you will find is one of the best things to do with kids in Paris. And if nothing else, this day trip is an easy way to keep the family entertained.
The park is divided into four different sections, each with its own unique theme. There's the Front Lot, where you'll find attractions inspired by Hollywood movies; Toon Studio, which is full of cartoon characters; Production Courtyard, home to shows and live entertainment; and finally, Backlot, where you can get a behind-the-scenes look at how movies are made. In addition to the rides and attractions, there are also plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop.
How to get to Disneyland Park
Disneyland Paris is located about 20 miles east of Paris in Marne-la-Vallee. The easiest way to get there is by train. You can take the RER A train from central Paris directly to Marne-la-Vallee/Chessy station, which is right next to the park. If you're driving, there are several large parking lots near the entrance.
From Paris to Chartres
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres is one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in France. It's located about 50 miles southwest of Paris, in the town of Chartres. The cathedral is particularly famous for its stained glass windows, which date back to the 13th century and are some of the best preserved in all of Europe.
A visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres is one of the best day trips from Paris for anyone interested in architecture or medieval history. But even if you're not, it's still worth a visit. The cathedral is massive and incredibly beautiful, inside and out. And even if you're not religious, the experience of being in such a sacred and historic place is sure to move you.
How to get to Chartres
The easiest way to get to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres from Paris is by train. There are direct trains from Paris' Gare Montparnasse station to Chartres, which take about an hour and a half. You could also drive, but be aware that parking can be difficult to find in the town center.
From Paris to Giverny
Giverny is a small village located about 40 miles northwest of Paris. It's most famous as the home of Claude Monet, the famous French impressionist painter. Monet lived in Giverny from 1883 until his death in 1926, and much of his work is inspired by the village and its surroundings.
Today, Monet's former home and gardens are open to the public, and they're one of the most popular day trips from Paris. The gardens are particularly beautiful, with colorful flowers, a lily pond, and a Japanese-style bridge. Even if you're not an art lover, Giverny is worth a visit for its tranquil atmosphere and gorgeous scenery.
How to get to Giverny
The easiest way to get to Giverny from Paris is by train. There are direct trains from Paris' St. Lazare station to Vernon-Giverny, which take about 45 minutes. You could also drive, but keep in mind that parking can be limited in Giverny.
From Paris to the D-Day landing beaches
The D-Day landing beaches are located on the northern coast of France, about 130 miles from Paris. They're where Allied troops landed on June 6, 1944, during the Second World War. Today, the beaches are a popular tourist destination and one of the most popular day trips from Paris for history buffs.
There are several different sites to visit along the D-Day landing beaches. The American Cemetery and Memorial is the final resting place for more than 9,000 American soldiers who lost their lives in Europe during World War II. The Normandy American Visitor Center has exhibits on the history of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy. And at Omaha Beach, you can see one of the largest memorials to the soldiers who died on D-Day.
How to get to the D-Day beaches
The easiest way to get to the D-Day landing beaches from Paris is by car. But if you don't want to drive, several tour companies offer day trips from Paris. These tours typically include transportation, an English-speaking guide, and entrance fees to the different sites along the D-Day landing beaches.
From Paris to Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint Michel is a small island located about 185 miles from Paris, in the northwestern part of France. The island is home to a medieval abbey, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. More than 3 million people visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont Saint Michel each year.
The abbey at Mont Saint Michel is an incredible feat of architecture, and it's well worth a visit. But even if you're not interested in history or religion, the island is still worth seeing. It's incredibly beautiful, and the views from the top of the abbey are breathtaking. That makes this one of the most incredible Paris day trips you can take.
How to get to Mont Saint Michel
The best way to get to Mont Saint Michel from Paris is by car. But if you don't want to drive, there are also several tour companies that offer day trips from Paris.
From Paris to the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is located in central France, about 150 miles from Paris. It's best known for its fairytale castles, which make it a popular tourist destination. In fact, the Loire Valley is home to more than 300 castles, including some of the most famous ones in the country.
But the Loire Valley isn't just a place for history buffs. The region is also renowned for its wine, and many vineyards offer tours and tastings. The countryside is also incredibly beautiful, making it a great place to go for a hike or bike ride. And if you're looking for a more urban experience, the city of Tours is worth exploring.
How to get to the Loire Valley
The easiest way to get to the Loire Valley from Paris is by train. There are direct trains from Paris' Austerlitz station to several different cities in the Loire Valley, including Tours, Blois, and Orléans. The journey takes about 2 hours. You could also drive, but remember that traffic can be heavy, particularly on weekends.
From Paris to the Champagne region
The Champagne region is located in northeastern France, about 90 miles from Paris. It's best known for its sparkling wine, which has been produced in the region for centuries. The Champagne region is also a popular tourist destination, and it's home to many historic sites and beautiful landscapes.
How to get to the Champagne region
The best way to get to the Champagne region from Paris is by train. There are direct trains from Paris' Gare de l'Est station to several different cities in the Champagne region, including Reims and Épernay. The journey takes about 1.5 hours.
You don't have to do too much research to figure out that there are some truly incredible day trips from Paris you can take. Really, all you need to do is look at a map. The best Paris day trips offer something for everyone, from the family-friendly atmosphere of Disneyland Paris to the tranquility of the Loire Valley to the gorgeous medieval architecture of Mont Saint Michel.
Wherever you choose to go — and however you choose to get there — these Paris day trips will give you a deeper insight into French history and culture. So drop off your bags and get ready for an unforgettable vacation in France.