The city of Paris is so packed with history, culture, art, architecture and delicious cuisine that you could spend months exploring it and still not see everything. However, during your travels in Paris it is also worth taking at least a day to venture outside the city and see what you can find. There are many great day trip experiences just outside of Paris that will offer you something completely different and give you a glimpse into another side of France.
The Palace of Versailles
This monument to royal excess and opulence is easy to reach via train from Paris. The journey takes around 30 minutes, but when you arrive you will be in a completely different world than the busy and modern city streets of the capital. Versailles stretches out before you as far as the eye can see with elegantly landscaped gardens, serene fountains and ornate sculptures. The palace itself is one of the most beautiful examples of French art and architecture in the 18th century and it is absolutely dripping in gold, mirrors, marble and priceless artworks.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through an Impressionist painting? In the 1880s Claude Monet lived in the peaceful village of Giverny and he cultivated a beautiful garden filled with water lilies that would become inspiration for many of his paintings. You can visit these gardens on a day trip from Paris, as well as the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny.
Provins is a medieval city that is located approximately 1.5 hours southeast of Paris. This gorgeous city was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and it has been mentioned in the writings of Balzac and Victor Hugo. Take the time to walk through the stunning stone fortifications and perhaps even see a medieval theatrical show.
If you are travelling with kids Disneyland Paris makes a fantastic day trip from the capital. Many of your favourite Disney characters can be spotted and there are plenty of great rides including the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Rock n Roller Coaster. To avoid waiting for the rides, get a Fastpass ticket so that you can board at a specific time rather than having to queue.
This lovely village just outside of Paris is known for its stunning Gothic cathedral, where 33 French kings were crowned including Charles VII. It is a truly remarkable example of 13th century architecture, featuring beautiful stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall. Also, another draw is the champagne that is produced here by top houses such as Tattinger, Pommery and Veuve Clicquot. Book a tour and tasting so that you can savour the flavour of this delicious bubbly.
These are just a few of the best day trips that you can enjoy from Paris, so make sure that you allow some time in your visit to venture beyond the city and see what else you can discover!