The Best Day Trips from Paris You Should Take with Friends or Family

The Best Day Trips from Paris You Should Take with Friends or Family

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The area that surrounds Paris is incredibly rich in natural beauty and cultural sites. To run away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city center and get to the peaceful countryside, you don’t have to travel a long distance. 

Whether you travel by car or train, you will be able to escape from the metropolitan area in less than an hour. By taking day trips from Paris, tourists can tour picturesque villages and visit spectacular castles and churches.

In addition, you will discover many medieval towns, museums, art galleries, wonderful gardens, and so on. Make sure to choose the right full-day excursions in order to see the most popular nearby attractions during your Paris vacation. To help you make the right choices, we will take the plunge into the best day trips from Paris. Let’s dig a bit further!

1. Paris to Lyon Full-Day Trip

Planning to visit Lyon? Despite being one of the most significant cities in France, Lyon is still undiscovered to a large degree. This city is overlooked by many travelers, and unfortunately, it’s not included in their tourist itineraries. 

There are a lot of cultural and historic treasures waiting to be discovered. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Museum of Archaeology, Colline de la Croix-Rousse, Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere….the list goes on! Discover Lyon to reveal more and realize why it’s deemed to be one of the best Paris day trips. 

2. Private Tour From Paris to Versailles

Marvel at the disproportionate power and wealth of the  French monarchy while you stroll through Château de Versailles. This lavishly adorned palace features Baroque style and contains more than 700 rooms. So it takes a while to explore it. Book the Versailles Full-Day Private Tour to discover the best of this place.

Get access to the palace and see the highlights of this opulent structure. The 75-meter-long ballroom (known as the Hall of Mirrors) is considered the most striking feature of Versailles. There are seventeen large windows opposite seventeen huge mirrors in this magnificent ballroom. 

Besides, you’ll also be able to see the King’s & Queen’s Apartments and spend some time wandering around the gorgeous Versailles Gardens and Park. You will come across many statues, terraces, and fountains.

3. Day Trip from Paris to Burgundy

Spreading across the central-eastern part of France, Burgundy offers everything from tasty food and wine to charming countryside that features breathtaking sights and enchanting architecture. This region has a rich cultural heritage that dates back to the Middle Age and Renaissance.

What to do in Burgundy? It offers a wide range of activities to visitors from hiking and cycling to gliding and floating. Listed below are the best tourist attractions in Burgundy:

  • Hospices de Beaune
  • Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d’Autun
  • Owl’s Trail
  • Le Château d’Ancy-le-Franc
  • Dijon Ducal Palace
  • Chantier Médiéval de Guédelon

Are you a wine lover? Then you should take a Burgundy Wine Tour

4. Paris to Normandy Day Trip

If you have a weekend or a long day to spare during your vacation, you need to visit Normandy. Many tourists join D-day tours to explore battlefields and landing beaches in this coastal historic region. American tourists often visit American cemeteries while in Normandy. The tanks and bunkers still stand on the landing beaches as evidence of wartime.

The Caen Memorial Museum is another attraction worth exploring. It is a good opportunity to learn more about the military history related to World War II and the Battle of Normandy. Yet most people tour this destination to spend their time at the beaches and have fun. The most popular Normandy beach is Omaha Beach

5. Tour From Paris to Bordeaux

If you travel by train, your journey time will be slightly more than two hours. There are about 20 trains daily. Please note that the travel time is a bit longer on holidays and weekends.  Every train arrives at Bordeaux St-Jean. Alternatively, you can travel from Paris to Bordeaux by car. It would take you about 5 hours. The driving distance is 584 kilometers (via A10).

Once you reach Bordeaux, you will fall in love with this city in no time. It is known for high-quality wines and food. You can indulge in wine as well as savory and sweet food on a walking tour in Bordeaux. There are so many things to see in Bordeaux, including:

  • Place de la Bourse
  • La Grosse Cloche
  • Quais de Bordeaux
  • La Cité du Vin
  • Porte Cailhau

6. Visit Mont-Saint-Michel

A spiritual sight in the vicinity of Paris, the Mont Saint-Michel island houses a majestic church and graceful cloisters, rising out of the sea. It has a small-town atmosphere with charming shops, ramparts, and cobblestone streets. 

The Abbey of Mont Saint Michel is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This pilgrimage medieval site boasts fascinating Gothic architecture. It’s located on the hill at the highest point of this well-preserved island about 155m above the sea.

How to reach this place? Instead of taking a long trip by bus, you should go on a day tour by TGV (a high-speed train called Train à Grande Vitesse) to avoid a boring endless journey. Not only is this trip faster, but it is also more comfortable and enjoyable. This will give you more time to explore the Mont-Saint-Michel and the surrounding area. 

7. Discover the Village of Giverny

Only an hour away from Paris, Giverny tempts tourists and art lovers to discover its beauty. It is situated in a nice setting by the Seine River around 45 miles from Paris. This tranquil place has been already discovered by many artists, including Oscar-Claude Monet – a famous French painter who painted and lived here until his death. The Musée des Impressionnismes and his magical gardens draw a large number of visitors to Giverny every year. 

Giverny was home to other artists too. Today, it’s a popular weekend getaway that offers a lot of attractions to foreign tourists and Parisians alike. Claude Monet’s House is no doubt the top-rated attraction. Visitors can also wander around blossoming gardens and admire Monet’s water lilies

8. Explore Lourdes – Day Trip from Paris

You can quickly reach this place from Paris by train. All you need to do is take a same-day round trip. Lourdes is located in the foothills of Pyrenean. This city is best known for the apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Once a pilgrimage site, Lourdes is now a popular tourist destination that is visited by more than 6 million people annually. There is plenty to do and see in this beautiful town. 

The following are the attractions and landmarks of this city that you need to see during your day trip:

  • Castèth de Lorda (a fortified castle) and  Musée Pyrénéen
  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes 
  • Le Cachot
  • Pic du Jer
  • Moulin de Boly

9. Go to Noyers, Yonne

Last but not least, you should not miss the village of Noyers Sur Serein (or briefly Noyers). Nestled by the River Serein, this small medieval village has been keeping lots of reminders associated with the Middle Ages. In fact, it’s a commune located in the department of Yonne. You may wonder what makes it special. 

From small-town squares and streets lined with half-timbered dwellings to cobbled lanes with granitic and chalky pavements, this picturesque place offers plenty to see. It also houses majestic towers near the Serein, a medieval museum, and many old buildings that date back to the 15th century. 

In November, Noyers holds truffle fairs. While there are many restaurants and new buildings today, most areas have retained their medieval appearance. Take a trip through time and explore this small tourist destination along with Vezelay and Fontenay Abbey in a single day.

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, there are a lot of tourist destinations and attractions in the vicinity of the City of Lights, each of which is a short trip from Paris. This doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to France. If you’re not short on time and cash, you may expand your vacation by taking a trip from Paris to Brussels. Include a lot of places when creating your travel itinerary for your next trip to Paris.

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