Planning a trip to France is a monumental effort; the country has amazing destinations that appeal to travelers of all kinds. Gourmets, art enthusiasts, history buffs, wine connoisseurs, architecture aficionados, and culture vultures; everyone can pick and choose their favourite destinations in France. Paris is at the heart of all these experiences, and all travelers make a pit stop at the magnificent capital city of France.
A hop, skip, and jump away from Paris are incredible destinations that offer a variety of experiences. These destinations are ideal for day trips from Paris and are best explored on guided tours that ensure you get handpicked experiences. With grand castles, striking cathedrals, picturesque landscapes, culinary experiences, and modern theme parks, there are a lot of things to do & see on day trips from Paris.
Whether you are in Paris for a couple of days or a local looking for a unique getaway, here is a guide to the best day trips from Paris for a memorable experience.
What to Consider When Booking a Day Trip
Money: How to Balance Your Budget
Budgeting is tough and you need to find the right balance, as time can amount to money on a holiday. You need to maximise your time in a new destination while making sure you stay within budgets. The best way to go on day trips from Paris is to join a guided tour. These tours help you combine one or more destinations ensuring you see the best sights.
A guided tour will also cut down on your transportation costs and throw in more perks like the experience of a guide. You can get great insights on the destinations as well as allow for flexibility and not be bound by public travel schedules!
Season: What's the best time to go?
Summer is undoubtedly the best time to visit Paris. It is also when the colorful flowers bloom in Giverny, and the countryside towns of Reims and Normandy smell sweet and fresh. It is the best time to go on day trips from Paris but that’s what is on every tourist’s mind! This makes it also the busiest season with tourists’ choc-a-bloc at every attraction.
However, if you can brave a bit of a chill, then autumn months from September to December are great to explore these destinations. Except for Giverny, all the attractions are open and relatively crowd-free. You will also end up spending lesser on accommodation and air fares.
Sites: Which Sites You Can Cover, and What to Expect
The most difficult task of travel planning is to prioritise which sites to see and which to leave out! The task can get more so difficult in France, especially while choosing day trips from Paris. The best way to choose would be based on your interests and the possibility of combining these destinations.
Art and history lovers would love a visit to the gardens of Monet at Giverny and the breathtaking Palace of Versailles. Architecture enthusiasts would love the castles at Loire Valley and the splendid Mont St. Michel. The champagne county of Reims and the striking landscapes of Normandy are a delight of nature lovers, while Disneyland is the perfect family destination!
Time: How much have you got to spare?
Time is as good as money in the pocket! But unfortunately, most travelers have to make the choice of spending time judiciously on their holiday. Most day trip destinations from Paris are within three hours of journey time, and many of them can be combined based on the route as well.
Most guided tours ensure you make the best of your time and cover a lot on a full day tour. However, if you are lucky and spending more than a few days in Paris or are from Paris itself, then you can go on longer trips. Reims, Normandy, and Loire Valley are great destinations, and worth extending your trip for.
Best Day Trips from Paris
Relive your childhood with a visit to the happiest place on earth - the magical Disneyland! The perfect day trip from Paris for families with kids, Disneyland Paris offers two theme parks and seven resorts based on classic Disney characters and themes. With a huge variety of rides, restaurants, and activities, every member of the family will enjoy this trip.
Pay homage to the legendary artist, Monet, on this day trip from Paris to Giverny, ideal for art lovers. Giverny is home to the picturesque gardens and home of Monet with the Japanese water garden and the Clos Normand Flower Garden. Inspiring impressionists over the years, Giverny is best visited in the summer.
Just two hours away from Paris, a trip to Loire Valley is among the best day trips from Paris for history and architecture lovers. Explore the stunning castles of Chambord, Chenonceau and Nitray of the Loire Valley and be swept away by the engrossing beauty of Medieval and Renaissance architecture that inspired the Disney classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
Mont St. Michel
A journey to Mont Saint Michel is more than just a day trip from Paris. It is journey that takes you back in time, to understand the intrigue and drama that shaped French history. Discover this unique island and walk on the bridge connecting it to the mainland. Explore the Mont St. Michel Abbey, a Gothic structure rising to the skies, which is a marvel and a must visit for history buffs.
The scenic landscapes of Normandy offer more than just unforgettable views of the English Channel and the French countryside. This day trip from Paris promises insight into the historic events of World War II and the valour of martyrs. It is the perfect mix of natural, historical, and cultural experiences.
Champagne connoisseurs can revel in this tour of wine country of Reims. One of the best day trips from Paris, a trip to the ‘Coronation City’ will take you to world-renowned champagne houses. You will also get to peek into history at the Reims Cathedral, where more than thirty kings of France were crowned!
Marvel at the grandeur of French history at the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The home of French Kings, the extensive 17th century complex with manicured gardens and exquisite palace showcases the wealth of the French kingdom. This day trip from Paris is a must for Francophiles and lovers of history and architecture.