Paris is an inexhaustible city, stimulating and boundless in itself, but also an excellent starting point for exploring nearby destinations.
While the attractions of the Parisian capital are many and varied, there are also numerous proposals for day trips that will open up another journey within the trip.
Whether to explore the history of royalty, to be transported to other eras such as the Middle Ages, to visit natural landscapes or to experience typical proposals of the province, these destinations near Paris offer multiple attractions to go to and return to in a day and add more nuances and richness to the visit to the capital.
Provins is located about 80 kilometers from Paris. It is a town of about 12 thousand inhabitants, whose economic support is farming and tourism due to its importance as a trading post in the past, mainly in the Middle Ages.
Provins and the Middle Ages are inseparable since they share that charming atmosphere, a mixture of tranquility and the pedestrian hustle and bustle typical of that period.
For lovers of this historical era and its lively shows, the fortified town of Provins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an incredible destination.
Fairs, troubadours, knights, collections and ramparts: Provins takes us back in time and invites us to look around.
How to Get to Provins from Paris
Provins can be easily reached by car or train. In the case of driving by car, the trip takes one hour and you must park outside the old town.
In case of going by train, the company Transilien runs from Gare du l’Est to Provins with one train per hour. The trip lasts one hour and 20 minutes.
Where to Stay
The hotel offer in Provins is very varied and ranges from single rooms to luxury suites or apartments, with prices ranging from 50 euros and up per night.
What to Do in Provins
The walled city provides all kinds of shows and fairs related to the Middle Ages, as well as performances and numerous buildings of mostly Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles.
The best thing to do is to walk and stroll, to let yourself be carried away by the contemplation of an environment that seems to be anchored in another era.
However, to highlight a few points: the Caesar Tower, a real jewel of Provins and symbol of the village; the subway galleries of the Hotel Dieu; the Museum of Provins and the Tithe Barn.
Everything, of course, has to do with the Middle Ages and with the particular history of this town. In addition, we can add the Jouy and Sain-Jean Gates, the Collegiate Church of Saint-Quiriace and the Place de Chatel.
Palace of Versailles
Versailles, the 17th-century palace declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, keeps open to tourism the conditions in which French royalty lived for centuries.
It is located only 40 kilometers from Paris. There you can see both the gardens and one of Europe’s most important monarchic palaces.
How to Get to Versailles From Paris
By car or by RER it will take 30 minutes. For the latter, take the RER C line to Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche station, which is a ten-minute walk from the palace.
Another option is the SNCF train, line N, which runs from Gare Montparnasse to Versailles-Chantiers, about a 20-minute walk from the palace.
Finally, SNCF line L runs from Saint-Lazaire to Versailles-Rive Droite, a 17-minute walk from the palace.
Where to Stay
The hotel offer in Versailles is very complete, ranging from small to large hotels, including campsites for summer options.
Prices vary greatly depending on the proximity to the center but range from the 80’s upwards. Although you are probably staying in Paris, I leave you this link to take a look at it.
Things to do in Versailles
The palace is a world, and touring it takes the whole day. The gardens, fountains, the Hall of Mirrors, the Orangery or Orangerie de Versailles, the Royal Opera House, the Royal Chapel, the King’s chambers and the Fountain of Neptune are all must-sees on any tour.
Located 75 kilometers from Paris, Giverny is an almost obligatory destination for lovers of painting in general, and of Impressionism in particular, and of Monet specifically.
The famous painter had a property there, surrounded by beautiful gardens immortalized in his work. Giverny invites you to stroll through this painted landscape, now a museum.
How to Get to Giverny From Paris
By car, bus or train it is easy to get there.
By car, the trip takes about an hour and a quarter. By train, Intercités Loisir trains leave from Gare Saint-Lazare every hour for a one-hour journey.
By bus, we can go to Vernon and take the Vernon-Giverny bus. The trip, in total, can take an hour and a half between transfers.
Where to Stay
Giverny offers hotels and apartments from about 40 euros per night and up, depending mainly on the location and the services contracted.
Things to Do in Giverny
The main attractions of Giverny are the House of Monet and the Museum of the Impressionists. However, the aura of the artists extends to other spots such as the Baudy Hotel and the Old Vernon Mill, true must-sees of this magical destination.
Mantes-la-Jolie (also called, simply, Mantes) is located 57 kilometers from Paris, a city that keeps alive its history linked to the Carolingian era and the Middle Ages.
For lovers of history, architecture and anachronistic landscapes, it is an ideal destination.
How to Get to Mantes-la-Jolie From Paris
By bus, from Porte Maillot we can take bus 73 and transfer at La Défese to the A14M to reach Mantes.
For train and bus, the travel time is approximately 1 hour 10, depending on the transfer time.
Where to Stay
Private rooms start at private rooms start at 40 euros, while hotel rooms start at 50 euros, depending mainly on the proximity to the center.
Things to Do in Mantes-la-Jolie
Among the highlights of Mantes, it is worth mentioning the so-called Old Bridge, from the 12th century; the Church of Saint Anne de Gassicourt, from the 11th century; the Tower of Sain-Maclou, from the 16th century; the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, from the 12th and 13th centuries.
These points and, of course, its medieval streets and alleys invite you to get lost and meet each other.
50 kilometers from Paris is Chantilly, a small town of about 11,000 inhabitants, famous mainly for its Chantilly Palace and its forests. The imposing chateau is located in the Domaine de Chantilly, of about 7800 hectares.
How to Get to Chantilly From Paris
By car, the journey is about 53 kilometers, about 55 minutes. By train, SNCF has services from Gare du Nord approximately every 15 minutes and the trip takes about 30 minutes.
Where to Stay
Hotels and rooms mainly make up the offer of Chantilly, from about 40 euros and up.
Among those usually recommended are:
- The Hotel Le Chantilly (three stars),
- La Maison de l’Oasis (bed and breakfast)
- Auberge du Jeau de Paume (luxury hotel). For all tastes.
What to Do in Chantilly
In addition to the Palace, its numerous salons in its two parts, Grand and Petit, from different periods, the must-see of Chantilly are the following, which we recommend to visit given their proximity to it.
The Musée Condé, a group of noble apartments turned museum with more than 800 paintings by masters such as Botticelli, Delacroix and Raphael, among others.
The Great Stables or Grandes Ecuries, which house the Musée du Cheval, ideal for learning about the history of horses and related objects, as well as equestrian activities and shows.
Finally, the gardens. The Anglo-Chinese garden and the English garden, beautiful landscapes to walk through and relax.
Chartres, the capital of the Eure-et-Loir department, is located 90 kilometers from Paris and is home to a majestic cathedral that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
A picturesque city full of history, Chartres combines its atmosphere of genuine French culture with its wide range of tourist attractions and points of interest.
How to Get to Chartres from Paris
By car, from Paris you can take the A11 freeway to Chartres. The trip takes about an hour and a quarter, depending on traffic.
By train, from Montparnasse station (the most convenient, to avoid transfers and longer trips) to Chartres station the trip by TER takes an hour and a half.
Where to Stay
Chartres offers a wide range of accommodations, from bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels. From 40 euros per night to more than 200.
What to Do in Chartres
Among the must-see places in the city are the following.
First, the Cathedral, with its imposing structure, Gothic architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. Second, the Museum of Fine Arts, with art from the Middle Ages to the present. Third, the Picassiette House, is a jewel of ceramic and glass mosaics.
In addition to these points, it is essential to stroll through its historic center, with its medieval streets, its charming atmosphere and its stores and bars.
Finally, in case you are looking for a picture postcard, we recommend visiting the Saint-Pierre Church, where you will find incredible panoramic views.
- Recommended reading: Visiting Loire Valley Castles in one day from Paris
About 70 kilometers south of Paris, the beautiful town of Fontainebleau regularly receives numerous tourists, both locals, specifically Parisians, and travelers passing through Paris. There is no lack of motifs and attractions.
Fontainebleau holds two main jewels. The first, the Royal Palace. The second, the enormous forest of 20,000 hectares, formerly a royal hunting ground, now a National Park. For nature and history lovers, for the curious in general, it is an ideal destination.
How to Get to Fontainebleau From Paris
By car, the 70-kilometer drive takes approximately 55 minutes on the A6 highway. You can also go by car, with only a few minutes difference, on the N104 or the D606, depending on the starting point.
To go by train, Every hour there are services from the Paris-Lyon Station of the R train, which in about 45 minutes will leave us in Fontainebleau.
Where to Stay
The variety of lodging options in Fontainebleau range from rooms and apartments to luxury hotels, with prices varying according to services and location.
What to Do in Fontainebleau
The Château de Fontainebleau declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, is the star of the place, with its royal history, architecture, and attractive rooms (the Renaissance Rooms, the Gallery of François I, the Chamber and the Queen’s Drawing Room…), its museums.
It is closely followed by the National Park, which has many hiking, biking and climbing trails.
In addition, the city of Fontainebleau has a wealth of stores, restaurants and cafes, and there are several local markets offering fresh produce and handicrafts that are worth a visit.
About 160 kilometers southeast of Paris lies Troyes, a true medieval jewel where the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, churches, and narrow streets blend with trendy stores and lively bars.
How to Get to Troyes From Paris
To go by car, the trip takes approximately 2 hours via the A5 road.
Where to Stay
There are many options in Troyes, with a wide variety to choose from according to budget and preferences.
Prices start at approximately 50 euros.
What to Do in Troyes
Among the must-sees of Troyes, the following are worth mentioning.
First, the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, an impressive Gothic church built in the 13th century. Secondly, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Troyes, which houses an impressive collection of 20th-century art.
A visit to the old town of Troyes, with its beautiful medieval facades and narrow cobblestone streets, is also a must.
When we need to recharge our batteries, we recommend trying the local gastronomy, with specialties such as andouillette (pork sausage) and chaource (local cheese).
Finally, go shopping in the fashion factory stores, where you can find brands such as Lacoste, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, even with interesting discounts.
- I leave you this recommended reading: Day trip to Champagne and Reims from Paris
Reims is located about 90 miles northeast of Paris. Its historical importance is vital in relation to royalty, since it was the site of the coronation of the kings.
Signed by those ceremonies, the city boasts impressive architecture and exudes beauty in that sense, being a pleasure for all the senses to walk through it.
In addition to the above, it is famous for its champagne vineyards and its gastronomy. As a curious extra, it is the city where the First World War practically culminated, to which a museum is dedicated.
How to Get to Reims From Paris
It can be easily reached by car or train.
To arrive by car, the trip takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes on the A4 highway.
As for the train, the trip takes about 45 minutes by TGV from Paris Gare de l’Est station to Reims.
Where to Stay
The accommodations in Reims vary according to location and preferences to be hired, so that we can choose according to budget and expectations. In general, economy rooms start at 45 euros.
If the preference is to opt for a hotel, it is worth mentioning:
- The Novotel Suites Reims Centre (three stars),
- The Best Western Premier Hotel de la Paix (three stars)
- all located in the center of the city for your convenience.
What to Do in Reims
Reims invites you to explore it on foot, to lose yourself in its narrow stone streets and its medieval atmosphere.
Once on the road, we recommend a visit to the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims, of Gothic architecture from the 13th century, site of the aforementioned coronations.
Then, the Museum of the Surrender of Reims, which allows you to delve into the history of the First World War (the surrender was signed in its building), is a highly recommended visit.
Finally, in addition to the local gastronomy such as the boudin blanc (white sausage) or the tarte au sucre (sugar cake), it is interesting to visit one of the region’s famous champagne such as Pommery or Taittinger.
About 130 kilometers from Paris is Orleans, a city of architectural beauty only comparable to its historical importance in relation to the development of France.
Key in the liberation of the Gallic country during the Hundred Years’ War, the current administrative capital of the Centre-Val-de-Loire region and the Loiret department owes its strategic importance and historical roles to the Loire River.
How to Get to Orleans From Paris
By car, the trip takes about 1 hour 30 minutes on the A10 road.
By train, from Austerlitz station the TER will take you to Orleans in one hour.
Where to Stay
The accommodation options in Orleans are very varied, everything will depend on tastes and budgets, starting at 45 euros.
Among the hotels, it is worth mentioning:
- The Appart’City Orleans
- The Hotel d’Orleans
- The Mercure Orleans Centre Hotel
- Of the three, three and four stars respectively, always in the center of the city.
Things to Do in Orleans
When visiting Orleans, the must-see places are the following.
First of all, the historic center, with its cobblestone streets and lively fairs and restaurants, where you can taste the local gastronomy, with specialties such as pâté d’Orleans (pork pâté with ham and bacon) and clafoutis (cherry pie).
Then, the Sainte-Croix Cathedral, a 13th century Gothic church that exudes the Middle Ages. Finally, the Jeanne d’Arc International Center, a museum dedicated to this French figure.
As a bonus, there are several châteaux in the Loire Valley, near the city, where bike rides are a tradition.
Rouen is another of the jewels of Normandy, the capital of Seine-Maritime, located about 135 kilometers north of Paris.
Gothic architecture, history, an imposing cathedral painted by Monet, the figure of Joan of Arc as a ghost, bars, restaurants, nightlife, music and light festivals: all this and more is treasured in Rouen, which is also the industrial and economic center of the region.
How to Get to Rouen From Paris
By car, the trip takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
By train, we can reach Rouen-Rive-Droite in 1 hour and 15 minutes from Saint-Lazaire station.
We can also arrive by bus, in similar times to the trip by car, also from Saint Lazaire, or from Austerlitz.
Things to Do in Rouen
The absolute star of Rouen is undoubtedly its Cathedral, with its impressive Gothic architecture and its history dating back to the early Middle Ages.
It is a true work of art, which in turn inspired other works, such as the 30 paintings by Monet that portray it.
In any case, Rouen has other attractions, starting with its historic center, its cobblestone streets, its many facades of other eras, and its character of permanent postcards. If to this we add gastronomy and nightlife, the charm is immediate.
In turn, going back to art and history, two points stand out: the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of History Jeanne d’Arc.
In the first, numerous European paintings; in the second, the life and figure of the French heroine, tried and condemned in this city.
Strasbourg is located about 480 kilometers from Paris. It is the capital of Alsace, but also the European capital, as it is home to institutions such as the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, among others.
It is, therefore, a city in continuous expansion, lively, and important both economically (for its port, its banks) and culturally (university, theater, national opera, among other institutions).
In addition, historically it has been a vital point given its border and crossing point between several important points. Hence, since 1988, Strasbourg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to Get to Strasbourg From Paris
Given the number of kilometers, the best way to get to Strasbourg (and the fastest and most reasonable way to make a getaway) from Paris is by train, since being a TGV, the trip takes about 2 hours 20 minutes from Paris-Est.
Things to Do in Strasbourg
Strasbourg has many attractions due to its rich history and culture. To begin with, its urban landscape and its old town, whose wooden facades from other eras and cobblestone streets orchestrate, along with the brightness of the day or night, a dream landscape.
Along with the urban landscape, some of its squares are worth at least a few minutes of walking. First, the Place de la Cathédrale and the Place Gutenberg close to each other and with the Strasbourg Cathedral.
You can take a free guided tour to get a better idea and have a local guide tell you about it.
The Place de la République is imposing thanks to the buildings that surround it, such as the Rhine Palace or the National Theater, as well as its monuments in memory of war victims).
For its part, the Place Broglie has the charm of being the place where the Marseillaise was played for the first time.
Finally, the Place Kléber is the largest and, if you go there during the Christmas season, pay attention to the super tree that appears there.
As for cathedrals and churches, the aforementioned Strasbourg Cathedral and its 12th century Gothic architecture stand out; Notre-Dame Cathedral, of late Gothic style, built between the 12th and 15th centuries; St. Paul’s Church, of 19th century neo-Gothic style.
Finally, it is important to mention the European Quarter (with its continental buildings and outbuildings) and Petite France, a beautiful neighborhood with canals and unique facades.
About 164 kilometers north of Paris lies Amiens, in the Hauts-de-France region. Capital of the Somme.
A central point of historical communication between France and England, Amiens is also home to the tallest Notre Dame Cathedral in France, some 40 meters high, and has the honor of having been the home of Jules Verne.
How to Get to Amiens From Paris
By car, can be reached in about two hours by the A16 road.
By train, the trip takes 1 hour 20 minutes from Gare du Nord.
What to Do in Amiens
Amiens is a lively city with several points of interest, among which several are worth mentioning. First, the aforementioned Gothic cathedral the largest in France and one of the most important in Europe.
Second, the Jules Verne House, which will allow us to delve into the life and work of this visionary creator.
Then, we recommend visiting the Saint-Leu district, with its charming narrow streets, bars and lively nightlife, and the Tour Perret to take panoramic photos of the city from 110 meters above sea level.
About 45 kilometers from Paris is Chevreuse, a lovely village of about 5600 inhabitants.
How to Get to Chevreuse From Paris
By car, the trip takes about 55 minutes on the N118 road.
By train, from Paris Nord, the RER B will take us to Chevreuse in 50 minutes.
What to Do in Chevreuse
The main tourist attraction of this city is the Madeleine Castle, which dates back to the 12th century and towers over the city from a hill.
Then, both the Church of St. Martin (also from the 12th century) and the Gunpowder Museum (dedicated to the history of this unique substance) are points of interest to visit.
Finally, another central place is Market Square, the historic heart of the city and its old town, where we can relax and enjoy drinks and local food.
Senlis is located about 57 kilometers from Paris. Royal seat during the Middle Ages, of Roman origins, the city is a synonym of history and converging traditions that are preserved in many monuments and museums.
How to Get to Senlis From Paris
By car, the trip takes about 50 minutes on routes A3 and A1.
By train, from Paris North we can take the RER D and combine at Survillers Fosses to Bordeaux Odent station.
What to Do in Senlis
The town’s Notre Dame Cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is one of Senlis’ highlights.
In addition, the former abbey of Saint-Vicent, the Saint-Frambourg royal chapel and the Saint-Pierre church are monuments of various forms of majesty.
In addition, we recommend a walk along the network of walls from different periods, from ancient Rome to the Middle Ages, and a stroll through the Roman amphitheater.
The Cabildo Library, the Gallo-Roman Wall Tower and the Episcopal Palace deserve special mention, offering different ways of approaching the history of the city and its heritage.
The Best Way to Visit The cities Near Paris
The train is a very well-articulated transport in Paris, whose network of trains, subways and buses covers practically everything with remarkable efficiency.
It is always advisable to take the train to be able to enjoy the time of the trip and dedicate it to rest, organization, planning or mere entertainment.
In addition, there are numerous transportation passes that can be extended to cover some of the routes mentioned here.
By rental car
The car allows you to enjoy autonomy and, depending on the weather, also the road and the journey, in the best cinematographic style of the 20th century.
If you have good fortune and the intelligence to avoid traffic peaks, car travel undoubtedly offers a most stimulating prospect for getting from one point to another and allows us to visit points in between.
The best thing about day trips (and the main reason we recommend them) is that they allow us to incorporate different experiences within the visit to a destination that serves as a base or platform for others.
In this way, a day trip becomes a trip within a trip, sometimes changing considerably in the type of culture, things to see, and points of interest to visit.
Like any getaway, it allows a change of air and, at the same time, a recharge of energies, not only an investment or a displacement.
In addition, this type of excursion opens the door to future trips, especially because of the contact with other regions and aspects that the getaway allows to glimpse and, in the best case, to sow the desire to visit again.
Don’t forget your TRAVEL INSURANCE, you know, just in case! With this link, you get a 5% Off.
Plan Your Trip to Paris
- Paris 7-day Itinerary
- Free things to do in Paris
- How to go to the Palace of Versailles
- Tips for your first trip to Paris
- More day trips from Paris
This post may include affiliate links. This means we will receive a small commission if you purchase through our links. There is no additional cost to you. With this, you help us to continue creating free content for you. Thanks for your support!
This post may include affiliate links. This means that we will receive a small fee if you make a purchase through our links. It has no additional cost to you. It’s a win-win!