Every year, over 30 million tourists choose to visit Paris. The city is undeniably one of the favorite destinations in the world. It is indeed a beautiful city with a countless number of things to do and see. However, you might want to escape from it just for a day. Being in such a dynamic environment for several days may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you want to explore France a little further. In any case, here is a Top 6 of the best day trips from Paris that you will not want to miss!
This palace is in the city of Versailles, forty minutes away from Paris by car or public transportation. The Château de Versailles is probably the must-see landmark in France. And the fact that it is so close to the capital city makes it so easy and convenient to visit. Furthermore, it was the main royal residence for French kings from 1682 until the start of the Revolution in 1789.
There are so many rooms and areas to visit that it would be hard to list them all. First of all, there is a huge estate, 800 hectares of land. Most of it is landscaped in the classic French formal garden style designed by André Le Nôtre. Regarding the inside, you absolutely must see the Galerie des Glaces. You also will be able to admire the King’s and Queen’s bed chambers, the multiple salons, and much more. There is so much to see that you will probably want to come back, and you would be right!
#2 Day trips from Paris: Giverny
Giverny is just over an hour away from Paris by car. This village, west of Paris, is known for being the location of Claude Monet’s home and possesses an impressive garden. Claude Monet was a French Impressionist painter who lived from 1840 to 1926. He bought the place in the 1880s and stayed there to paint until he died. Nowadays, the Fondation Claude Monet runs and preserves the house and gardens.
Thousands of people visit this beautiful property every year. When visiting the house, you have access to the ground floor with the reading room, the larder, the studio, the dining room, and the kitchen. On the first floor, you will see the bedrooms. Regarding the gardens, you will love walking around admiring the thousands of flowers and the Japanese-inspired water garden.
#3 Day trips from Paris: Rouen
Rouen is in the north of France, by the River Seine and about two and a half hours away from Paris by car or train. This city of approximately 500,000 inhabitants is in the region of Normandy. During the Middle Ages, Rouen was one of the most important cities in Europe. The textile industry and river trade allowed the impressive growth of Rouen. This city is also well known because it is here that Joan of Arc’s trial and execution took place in the 15th century.
The city is nowadays an important cultural capital with its extensive historical heritage and its university. Rouen is the perfect place for a day trip because you will be able to visit many landmarks such as the Cathedral, the castle, or the various museums. But you will also be able to enjoy the unique atmosphere that is present in this medieval city.
Even if the rich historical past is one of France’s main features, there’s a lot more you can do during your day trip outside Paris. Indeed, east of Paris is the Disneyland Paris amusement park. A train will take you there from the city center in less than forty minutes and it will take less than an hour by car. Due to the enormous size of the park and the number of activities and rides, one day will not be enough to do everything.
Indeed, you should find a map of the park on the internet and pick which rides and roller coasters you want to try. That way, you will do these first thing in the morning while the park is less crowded. Inside the park, there are also many places to eat, but if you want to save some money you could bring your own lunch. One thing is for sure, you will want to come back to try all the other attractions!
#5 Champagne wine Region
This region in the northeast of France is the perfect destination for a day trip if you like wine and beautiful landscapes. 160 kilometers east of Paris, you will be able to discover the location where the famous Champagne is produced. While you are in this beautiful region, you can take tours in Champagne vineyards where the owners or people working there will explain to you everything that goes into the process of making a great Champagne.
These tours almost always end with a tasting, and you can buy some of the Champagne before leaving! However, this is not the only thing to do in Champagne because there are also quite a few historic buildings to visit if you still have some time, such as the Cathedral in Reims for example.
#6 Day trips from Paris: Honfleur
Honfleur is a town in Normandy, two hours away from Paris, on the estuary of the Seine across from le Havre. This is a well-known destination for its beauty. Indeed, painters have reproduced many times Honfleur’s old port for example. The houses with slate-covered frontages that you will find there have been an inspiration to artists for many years.
The town itself is well worth the trip, however, Honfleur has specific sights to offer. You will be able to see the Sainte-Catherine church. It was built right after the Hundred Years War and is the largest wooden church in France. While you are in Honfleur, you will also be able to enjoy the beach; the Plage du Butin. Taking a walk there is a great way to finish off your day trip. But if you are willing to go for a swim, you will have to go to Honfleur in summer.
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