6 easy must-do weekend trips from Paris

Published by: BouncePosted
Best weekend trips from Paris

In the French capital of Paris, there are almost limitless things to do. You could spend a lifetime in the City of Light and never run out of ways to keep yourself busy. However, in this big and bustling city, sometimes the best thing to do is to get away for a while. There are tons of weekend trips from Paris you can take to get a better sense of what France has to offer, and the best Paris weekend trips will give you a very different experience from what you'll find in the capital.

From a central train station like Gare Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon, or any of Paris's other major railway stations, you can easily plan a weekend getaway to some truly unforgettable locations. If you're willing to drive out of the city, that frees up even more options for weekend getaways. So leave your bags behind at a Bounce luggage storage in Paris and check out some of the best weekend getaways this part of France has to offer.

Weekend trip from Paris to Orleans

Orléans

On the Loire River banks, Orléans is teeming with history. The city was famously saved by Joan of Arc in 1429 and offers visitors access to a charming and historic city center. This is a great destination if you enjoy wine as well. There are tons of wineries scattered throughout the Loire Valley. This spot is one of the ideal destinations for a weekend trip from Paris.

Distance from Paris:

At approximately 130 km from central Paris, Orléans is easy to reach even as a day trip, let alone a weekend trip. A direct train from Paris Austerlitz station will take just over an hour, making this one of the best weekend trips if you don't want to spend all day on the train. Alternatively, you could drive for about an hour and 20 minutes.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Joan of Arc House: There isn't a town in France that doesn't have a street named after Jeanne d'Arc, or Joan of Arc as she's known in English. The teenage female heroine of the Hundred Years' War, Joan is a unique figure in history who played a huge role in the siege of Orléans. You can learn more about her at the Joan of Arc House, a reconstruction of a 15th-century home where she once stayed back in the Middle Ages.
  • Orléans Cathedral: A must-see on a weekend getaway from Paris for history buffs, the beautiful Gothic Orléans Cathedral is located in the historic old town of the city and provides a glimpse of how the town might have looked during the days of Joan of Arc. Although the Cathedral was partially destroyed by Huguenots in the 16th century, it has been beautifully restored and remains the spiritual heart of this ancient city.
  • The Place du Martroi: The Place du Martroi is the main square in Orléans and is surrounded by many of the city's most important buildings and monuments. Functioning as the public living room of the city, this is the best place to soak up the atmosphere of the city center on an exciting weekend trip from Paris.

Best season to visit:

As is the case for just about everywhere in France, there's really no bad time to visit, thanks to the country's temperate climate. However, given how close it is to Paris, Orleans can get quite crowded, so spring or fall might be better times to visit than the busy summer season.

Reims Cathedral

Reims

Even a casual wine fan knows that champagne, real champagne, comes only from the region around Reims. This historic city has been one of the most important in France for centuries, and the production of champagne here is only one of the reasons to explore it for yourself. Easily reached on weekend trips from Paris, Reims offers a journey back in time where you can learn about one of France's most treasured exports.

Distance from Paris:

It's about 140 km from Paris to Reims, making it easily doable on a weekend getaway. Driving will take you about an hour and a half, but thanks to France's high-speed trains, it's quicker to travel by rail between the two cities, which you can do in around 45 minutes.

Our activity recommendations:

  • The Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral: Widely considered the most beautiful church in France — which is really saying something — Notre-Dame de Reims is an absolute must-visit while you're in the city.
  • The Champagne Cellars: Probably the most popular activity in Reims, and part of the reason the city makes such a popular destination for weekend trips in Paris, the champagne cellars are open to the public for tours. Several different internationally known brands of champagne provide these tours and will teach you more about the history and culture behind champagne.
  • The Palais du Tau: The Palais du Tau is a former palace that now serves as a museum dedicated to the history of the Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral. Admire the skill and artistry that went into creating this stunning building over the years at this fascinating museum.

Best season to visit:

Again, there's no bad time to visit Reims. But if you can time your weekend getaway from Paris during the fall wine harvest, you'll get to see the famous vineyards of the region at their very best.

Weekend trip to Amiens from Paris

Amiens

Amiens is nothing if not picturesque. Laced with beautiful canals and quaint cobblestone streets, Amiens provides a more relaxed vibe than Paris, which makes it ideal for weekend trips. It also provides great access to the countryside of northern France, so if you want to be able to enjoy a UNESCO World Heritage Site and then head out to explore the natural environment, this is one of the best weekend trips from Paris you can take.

Distance from Paris:

It's around 160 km from Paris to Amiens, so expect the drive to take about two hours. The train is a little faster, at an hour and 20 minutes. Either way, you'll be able to enjoy the countryside of northern France flashing past your window as you embark on one of the best weekend getaways from the city.

Our activity recommendations:

  • The Amiens Cathedral: Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Amiens Cathedral is a gorgeous Gothic church that has been the spiritual heart of the city for centuries. Breathe in the tranquility in the light of the stained-glass windows and learn more about the history of this magnificent building while you explore.
  • The Hortillonnages: Covering 300 hectares in the middle of town, the floating gardens of the hortillonages are perhaps THE must-see attraction in Amiens. Accessible only by boat, you can take a tour of these beautiful gardens and get some incredible photos on your weekend trip.
  • The Musée de Picardie: The Musée de Picardie is, as the name suggests, a museum dedicated to the history and culture of the Picardie region. Explore the museum's collections of art, artifacts, and historic objects, and learn about the region's rich history and cultural heritage.

Best season to visit:

Spring is an excellent time to visit Amiens since the blossoms on the trees, and the warming weather contribute to creating a really special atmosphere for a weekend getaway.

Dijon weekend trips from Paris

Dijon

Famous for more than just mustard, Dijon is another great city that offers really enjoyable weekend trips from Paris. Located in the Burgundy region of France, Dijon is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine. This beautiful city is steeped in history, with roots that date back to the Roman Empire. It is home to many fascinating landmarks and attractions, including the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, the Notre-Dame church, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts.

Distance from Paris:

It's a little over 300 km from Paris to Dijon, taking three hours to drive and making this suitable for a weekend getaway but not a day trip. The TGV high-speed train, however, can get you there in just over an hour and a half.

Our activity recommendations:

  • The Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy: Once the residence of the powerful Dukes of Burgundy, this gorgeous building is now a museum dedicated to the region's history. The well-restored rooms give a glimpse into the lives of the pre-revolution French aristocracy, and there's also an impressive art collection to admire.
  • The St. Bénigne Cathedral: The St. Bénigne Cathedral is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture and a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. Take in the beauty of the stained-glass windows and the sculptures and artwork on display and what has been one of the most important buildings in the city for centuries.
  • The Burgundy Wine Route: Wine lovers shouldn't miss this one. The Burgundy Wine Route will take you through the vineyards of the region to learn more about how wine is made and, of course, sample lots of wine from this world-famous terroir. Just make sure you don't drink and drive on your weekend trip.

Best season to visit:

This is one of France's most productive and most famous wine regions, so visit at the end of summer to witness the great harvest and try the new vintages being made.

Exciting weekend trips from Paris

Montchanin

This charming little town located in the Burgundy region of France makes for a fantastic weekend getaway from Paris. With stunning architecture, beautiful countryside, and rich history, Montchanin may be small, but it has become a popular destination for travelers. It's a great option for weekend trips from Paris if you want to enjoy a slower pace of life in a city that still has lots to do.

Distance from Paris:

It's almost 400 km from Paris to Montchanin, taking around four hours to drive. But because Montchanin has a TGV station, you can reach it by train in less than two hours.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Explore the town center: Montchanin's town center is a beautiful and well-preserved example of a traditional French town. With beautiful churches, well-preserved houses, and quaint shops and cafés to explore, just taking a promenade through this city is an experience not to be missed on a weekend getaway from Paris.
  • Visit Brancion: This quiet village just outside Montchanin itself was once an important stronghold for the Dukes of Burgundy, but with their decline, the village was almost forgotten for the next five centuries. Now, it makes a fascinating place to wander and explore the forbidding castle while you ponder how different this region once was.
  • Enjoy the local cuisine: Burgundy is famous for its delicious cuisine, and Montchanin is no exception. From hearty stews and casseroles to fresh bread and cheese, there is something for everyone in this charming town. Be sure to try some of the local wines, which are some of the finest in France.

Best season to visit:

Summer is a great time to visit this hidden gem, as it offers trips from Paris to let you escape the busy crowds of the capital city.

Weekend trip from Paris to Le Mans

Le Mans

Located in the heart of France, Le Mans is a good choice for a weekend getaway from Paris if you want to escape the chaos and high prices of the city but still want access to all the amenities and cultural attractions a major city has to offer.

Distance from Paris:

It's about 200 km from Paris to Le Mans, and unless you're a racecar driver yourself, it will take a little bit more than two hours to reach the town. The train is a much faster option, connecting Paris and Le Mans in just one hour.

Our activity recommendations:

  • Visit the Circuit des 24 Heures: Le Mans is famous for its legendary 24-hour car race, so the Circuit des 24 Heures is a must-visit for any motorsport fans. The circuit is open year-round and offers tours, exhibitions, and a chance to experience the thrill of the race for yourself.
  • Explore the old town: Le Mans' old town is a beautiful and well-preserved example of medieval architecture. Take a trip back in time as you wander through this beautifully preserved area.
  • Enjoy the local cuisine: Like most towns in France, Le Mans is known for its delicious cuisine, which is heavily influenced by the local agriculture and livestock farming. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as râble de lièvre à la royale (hare saddle with a rich wine sauce) and tarte Tatin (caramelized apple tart).

Best season to visit:

Like Paris, Le Mans can get quite busy in the summer months. Therefore, spring or fall may make better times for this weekend trip.

Conclusion

There is plenty to do in Paris itself, of course, and if you're only in the city for a few days - for example, you only have three days to spend in Paris - you should probably focus on what the city itself has to offer. But if you have longer to spend in the city or are lucky enough to live there, the weekend trips in this article can provide some great things to do. Whether you're looking for the best day trips from Paris or would rather explore further on overnight trips or weekend trips, you can't go wrong with these classic destinations.

Newsletter Banner

Love discounts and traveling?

Sign up for our newsletter to get insider travel tips and a 10% discount delivered straight to your inbox.

No spam here, just the good stuff.

Get the
Bounce app

Instantly find locations nearby to drop off your luggage wherever you go.

Download