The Complete List of Day Trips from Paris

The Complete List of Day Trips from Paris

During the seven years I lived in France I took my fair share of day trips from Paris. It’s a fun way to escape the city for the day or an afternoon.

It can be tough to drag yourself away from Paris, especially if it’s only your first or second visit. But there are so many incredible day trips to choose from, it’s worth taking a least one day to see something outside of the capital.

Top 5 Day Trips from Paris

If you’re new to Paris, I recommend picking one of the top 5 day trips. For regular visitors and expats you have the time to explore a bit more, further afield and off the beaten track. Either way, you can’t go wrong with my top 5.

  • Versailles
  • Monet’s Garden
  • Mont Saint-Michel
  • Loire Valley Castles
  • Lille

Versailles

Chateau de Versailles, France

A Frenchman once told me he couldn’t understand why people want to see the Palace of Versailles. It’s garish and pretentious and so over the top it’s ridiculous. But that’s exactly why people want to see it. The royals lead such an outrageous way of life with their various palaces trimmed with gold and lined with silk, their private designer gardens and decadent food.

Before they lost their heads that is.

Versailles is the most extraordinary and ostentatious of all the castles in France. Grand ballrooms, royal apartments, lavish furnishings, fanciful ornaments. It’s a crazy display of the massive wealth of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV and the French monarchy.

If the crowds and lines at the palace are too much you can enter the gardens for free with its perfectly manicured French garden, beautiful fountains, an artificial lake, and the wild woods.

As one of the most visited chateaux in the world you’ll want to get there as the doors open and get your ticket in advance if you can.

Distance from Paris: 20 kilometres
By car: 30 minutes towards to south west of the city. There is no free parking in Versailles.
By train: RER C (from Saint-Michel Notre-Dame) to Versailles Rive Gauche.
Tour: Versailles Skip the Line Day Tour

Monet’s Garden

Monet's Garden Day Trip

It’s somewhat surreal to walk under the weeping willows, over the Japanese bridge and past the familiar lily pads. It’s like literally walking through a Claude Monet paintings. The gardens are as lovely as his artwork and if you arrive early you can appreciate why Monet cherished painting this tranquil scene.

Distance from Paris: 75 kilometres
Opening Dates: 25th March to 1st November 2016
Best time to visit: Spring – Mid-April to May
Entry fee: €10.20
By car: 1 hour 10 minutes via the A14 and A13 west of Paris. There is free parking in Giverny.
By train: Take the train from Gare Saint Lazare to Vernon. From Vernon to Giverny take a taxi (€15) the shuttle bus (€4) or walk the 7km.
Tour: Versailles and Giverny Day Trip

Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint Michel Normandy, France

Past the town and towards the causeway you approach the flat salt marsh. At low tide the land is dotted with grazing sheep, the so-called agneau pré salé (pre-salted lamb). At high tide the water surrounds the giant mound, topped with the imposing abbey and medieval village homes. Mont Saint-Michel is a spectacular sight.

Along with the salt marsh lamb the local speciality is a crazily whipped, outrageously overpriced, touristy omelette. The place to try it is La Mere Poulard or you can watch it being made and then eat back on the mainland.

Mont Saint-Michel is a very long day trip from Paris but it’s such a unique, incredible sight it’s worth the time and the fight through the crowds of tourists. Try to visit in time for sunrise or sunset if you can.

Distance from Paris: 360 kilometres
By car: 3 hours 30 minutes west via the A11 or A13.
By train: The tourist office has information on public transport.
Tour: Mont Saint-Michel Day Trip

Loire Valley Castles

Chateau de Serrant

The Loire Valley is home to many of France’s most famous castles and palaces. Chambord, Cheverny, Amboise and Chenonceau are the most well recognised and easiest to visit.

These chateaux are around 200 kilometres from Paris and are all within easy reach of each other. Chambord and Cheverny are only 20 minutes from each other as are Amboise and Chenonceau so you can easily visit two chateaux in one day.

Distance from Paris: 180 to 240 kilometres
By car: 2 to 2 1/2 hours, between the cities of Blois and Tours.
By train: Check the timetables here.
Tour: Loire Valley Castles

Lille

Lille, Northern France

Grand squares, Flemish architecture, world class museums and some of most delicious food in France. Lille is overlooked by many visitors but the northern city is one of the best day trips from Paris, especially for foodies. See the gourmet getaway section below for information on eating your way around Lille.

Distance from Paris: 225 kilometres
By car: 2 hours 20 minutes north via the A1.
By train: 1 hour on the TGV fast train from Paris Gare du Nord.

Castles and Palaces

So many castles so little time. You are spoil it for choice if you want to go castle hopping around Paris.

Versailles

Chateau de Versailles Day Trip

The residence of King Louis XIV and at the time the seat of the French government. The extravagant palace with its magnificent Hall of Mirrors, the royal throne and the location of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, ending World War I.

Distance from Paris: 20 kilometres
By car: 30 minutes towards to south west of the city. There is no free parking in Versailles.
By train: RER C (from Saint-Michel Notre-Dame) to Versailles Rive Gauche.

Fontainebleau

Chateau de Fontainebleau, France

The heavily embellished interior of the Italian designed Chateau de Fontainebleau is worth a visit along with the extensive landscaped garden by the famous designer Andre le Notre. It was in the chateau’s famous horseshoe shaped staircase where Napoleon gave his abdication speech before going into exile.

The nearby Fontainebleau forest is a nice spot for a hike if you want to see more than just the chateau.

Distance from Paris: 70 kilometres
By car: 1 hour south via the A6.
Tour: Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte Tour

Vaux le Vicomte

The incredible baroque architecture and sumptuous interior of Vaux le Vicomte rivals that of Versailles as does its magnificent garden. The French garden was one of the first of its kind and was copied in palaces all over Europe.

Distance from Paris: 60 kilometres
By car: 50 minutes south-east from Porte de Bercy.
Tour: Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte Tour

Chantilly

Chateau de Chantilly Day Trip

Chantilly is not just the home of whipped cream but also of one of the prettiest chateaux close to Paris. Surrounded by a large pond, the hunting palace and gardens are adorable. The interior may not have the opulence of Versailles, Fontainebleau or Vaux le Vicomte but there is plenty of interesting pieces of art and the gardens to make up for it.

Consider a side trip to the nearby town of Senlis before returning to Paris.

Distance from Paris: 50 kilometres
By car: 1 hour north via the A1.
By train: 25 minutes north from Gare du Nord.

More Castles Near Paris

  • Pierrefonds
    A medieval castle left as a ruin until emperor Napoleon III arranged for its restoration in the 19th century. Pierrefonds is classified as a monument historique in France and has been the location for films and TV series.
  • Malmaison
    The former home of Napoleon I’s wife, Josephine, has a decent collection of artwork and furniture and an extensive rose garden.
  • Breteuil
    The interior of this chateau has been recreated to represent famous fairy tales and the gardens include a playground and topiary maze.
  • Maintenon
    A small castle formerly owned by Louis XIV’s second wife with gardens by Andre le Notre and a picturesque 17th century aqueduct.
  • Rambouillet
    An 18th century castle used at different times by Francois 1er, Napoleon and Marie Antoinette, and a number of French presidents.
  • Thoiry
    Best known for its drive-through zoo and the hedge maze rather than the chateau itself.
  • Monte-Cristo
    The Chateau de Monte-Cristo is the former home of Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte-Cristo.

Loire Valley Castles

While you could visit multiple Loire Valley castles on the same trip I suggest picking one or two for a day trip from Paris. If you want to explore more chateaux of the Loire Valley it would be better to base yourself in Blois or Tours for a few days.

Chambord

Distance from Paris: 180 kilometres
By car: 1 hour 50 minutes via the A10.

Cheverny

Distance from Paris: 200 kilometres
By car: 2 hours via the A10.

Amboise

Distance from Paris: 230 kilometres
By car: 2 hours 15 minutes via the A10.

Chenonceau

Distance from Paris: 240 kilometres
By car: 2 hours 30 minutes via the A10.

Blois

Distance from Paris: 180 kilometres
By car: 1 hour 50 minutes via the A10.

Once you pass Tours you’re probably stretching it for a day trip from Paris. Although it’s technically possible, I suggest visiting one of the closer castles instead.

Villandry

Distance from Paris: 270 kilometres
By car: 2 hours 45 minutes via the A10.

Azay-le-Rideau

Distance from Paris: 270 kilometres
By car: 2 hours 45 minutes via the A10.

Ussé

Distance from Paris: 285 kilometres
By car: 3 hours via the A10.

Gourmet Day Trips

There are so many incredible day trips from Paris, it’s hard to choose where to go. Food plays a big part in my travel decisions and these destinations have outstanding food and wine as well as plenty of sightseeing to keep you busy.

  • Lille
  • Champagne Region – Reims and Epernay
  • Strasbourg
  • Dijon

Lille

Lille at Christmas

Once you’ve admired the Flemish architecture on the Grand Place, climbed the Town Hall Belfry and admired Hector Guimard’s brilliant architecture, it’s time to prepare for the main event, eating your way around Lille.

Have a traditional Lillois lunch at an Estaminet. These micro-breweries (or former breweries) typically serve heavy meals with rich beer based sauces and a variety of dishes made with the local maroilles cheese. Carbonnades Flammandes, Welsh au maroilles and coq à la bière are all specialities. Try Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille.

Save space for dessert at Merveilliux de Fred, the most sumptuous dessert in France. Layers of fluffy meringue interspersed and generously covered in cream then rolled in chocolate shavings. You can’t eat in the shop but don’t miss ordering a couple to take away.

For a more formal afternoon dessert experience Meert is the patisserie/cafe in Lille. The building is gorgeous and the historic atmosphere make for a lovely break. Try the sweet Meert waffles which are kind of like flat waffle biscuits stuffed with chocolate or vanilla cream. They’re served cold and not at all like Belgian waffles.

Distance from Paris: 225 kilometres
By car: 2 hours 20 minutes north via the A1.
By train: 1 hour on the TGV fast train from Paris Gare du Nord.

Champagne Region – Reims and Eperney

There are two options for exploring the champagne region, the bigger city of Reims where you’ll find the likes of Taittinger and Veuve Cliquot or the town of Epernay which is home to Moet and Chandon and many smaller domaines. You’d be a bit rushed to visit both and to be honest if you’ve seen one cellar you’ve seen them all. You can do more tastings on your own over lunch or in a wine bar.

For the best experience I suggest doing one tour and champagne tasting and then spend the rest of the day relaxing over a long meal with bottles of your champagne of choice.

Distance from Paris: 140 kilometres
By car: 1 hour 30 minutes east on the A4.
By train: 45 minutes on the TGV from Paris Est and a bit further for Epernay.
Tour: Champagne Region

Strasbourg

Strasbourg Petit France

Hop off the train and head straight to Petit France to explore the picturesque canals, half-timbered houses and winding streets before moving on to the Grande Ile to check out the massive red bricked gothic cathedral.

Then explore the regional specialities like tarte flambé (Flammkuchen in German), sauerkraut and Baeckeoffe (a slow cooked meat and vegetable stew). Drink the local wines, typically Reisling, beer from the big or independent breweries or the fruity cider.

Distance from Paris: 500 kilometres
By car: Strasbourg is too far to drive for the day. Take the TGV fast train.
By train: 2 hours 15 minutes on the TGV from Paris Est.
Train tickets: If your dates are flexible you can get tickets for as little as €15 to Strasbourg.

Dijon

Dijon France

Dijon is home to ducal palaces, renaissance mansions and half-timbered houses. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in France. It’s beauty is enhanced by an abundance of mouthwatering gourmet specialties like boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, espoisses cheese and of course mustard of all varieties.

I suggest arriving in Dijon as early as possible to take advantage of the wonderful boulangeries and their hot out of the oven pastries. Follow that up by a set menu three course lunch at a traditional restaurant.

Later head to the covered Les Halles market place to stock up on picnic supplies or goodies to take back to Paris. Look out for specialities jambon persille (ham terrine with parsley), Bresse chicken and escargots.

Along with the well known red wines from Burgundy, the drink speciality originating in the region is kir, the delicious white wine and cassis (blackcurrant) aperitif enjoyed at apero time throughout France.

Distance from Paris: 315 kilometres
By car: Dijon is too far to drive for the day. Take the TGV fast train.
By train: 1 hour 40 minutes on the TGV from Paris Gare de Lyon.
Train tickets: Tickets start from €27 but you can occasionally find cheaper tickets.

Cathedral Cities and Cute Towns

Paris is surrounded by villages, small towns and bigger cities just waiting to be explored. You’re spoilt for choice whether it be cathedral cities Chartres, Rouen and Orleans, pretty Angers or the very quaint Provins.

  • Chartres
  • Provins
  • Rouen
  • Angers
  • Orleans

Chartres

Stained Glass Window Chartres Cathedral

Chartres is one of the most popular day trips from Paris due to its proximity and the famous cathedral, Notre Dame de Chartres, with its stunning stained glass windows. To the rear of the cathedral is the neatly manicured Bishop’s Palace Garden and also worth a visit is the unusual Maison Picassiette.

Distance from Paris: 90 kilometres
By car: 1 hour 10 minutes south-west via the A10 and A11
By train: 1 hour 10 minutes from Gare Montparnasse
Tour: Chartres and Chartres Cathedral

Provins

Provins is a pretty split level medieval town with ramparts surrounding much of the upper town. While in the upper town, climb the narrow staircase to the top of Caesar’s Tower for the best views over the town and surrounding countryside.

The rest of your day could be spent exploring the quaint old streets and buildings or heading below the town into the underground passages.

Distance from Paris: 90 kilometres
By car: 1 hour south-east of Paris via the N4
By train: Transilien Train from Gare de l’Est. You can use a Passe Navigo, Mobilis railcard or the Paris Visite Card for 5 zones or buy a ticket at the station. See here for more details.

Rouen

If Rouen cathedral looks familiar it might mean all those trips to museums and Giverny weren’t for nothing. Claude Monet made the cathedral famous with more than 30 paintings depicting the building at various times of day.

Rouen is also where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake. For something a bit different visit the Great Clock and the Botanical Gardens.

Like the rest of Normandy, Rouen is known for its dairy products. Cheese, butter, cream, milk… it’s all incredible, some of the best in France. The region is also big on apples which means dessert and cider.

Distance from Paris: 130 kilometres
By car: 1 hour 40 minutes north-west via the A13
By train: 1 hour 10 minutes from Gare Saint Lazare

Angers

Chateau d'Angers

Angers might not be on your radar for a day trip. For starters, it seems quite far but it’s really not if you take the train. The city is cute and kind of medieval in feel thanks to its half-timbered houses. The highlight is the 9th century fortress, Chateau d’Angers, and for an unusual side-trip take a tour of the Cointreau factory.

Distance from Paris: 300 kilometres
By car: Angers is too far to drive for a day trip. Take the TGV fast train.
By train: 1 hour 35 minutes from Gare Montparnasse.

Orleans

Local heroine Joan of Arc is recognised with monuments and museums around Orleans. She saved the city from the English in 1429, an event which is still celebrated to this day. There are a few things to see in Orleans but most visitors only stop by on their way to visit the famous Loire Valley chateaux.

Distance from Paris: 130 kilometres
By car: 1 hour 30 minutes south via the A10
By train: 1 hour from Paris Austerlitz

Parks & Gardens

France spends an extraordinary amount on parks and gardens each year and it shows. In Paris alone you have the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Tuileries, Palais Royal, Place des Vosges and Parc Monceau to name just a few.

Outside of Paris there are some free public gardens and private gardens worth paying a few euros for.

  • Monet’s Garden at Giverny
  • Gardens of Versailles
  • Parc de Bagatelle
  • Parc de Sceaux
  • Saint Jean de Beauregard

Monet’s Garden at Giverny

Monet's Garden Giverny

If you love flowering bulbs and cherry blossoms or anything to do with Claude Monet, this is the ultimate Paris day trip. You can see the famous water lilies and walk over the Japanese bridge depicted in Monet’s impressionist paintings.

There’s not a huge collection of Monet’s paintings here, for that you’re better off visiting the Musee Marmottan, Musee de l’Orangerie or Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Giverny is all about his home and garden and those iconic paintings.

Distance from Paris: 75 kilometres
Opening Dates: 25th March to 1st November 2016
Best time to visit: Mid-April to May
Entry fee: €10.20
By car: 1 hour 10 minutes via the A14 and A13 west of Paris. There is free parking in Giverny.
By train: Take the train from Gare Saint Lazare to Vernon. From Vernon to Giverny take a taxi (€15) the shuttle bus (€4) or walk the 7km.

Gardens of Versailles

Gardens of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is the most popular day trip from Paris but it’s not just the palace which is impressive. The Gardens of Versailles are made up of formal French gardens with tightly clipped and perfectly symmetrical hedges, garden beds covered in plump annuals and quintessential white stone pathways.

Beyond the palace are hundreds of hectares of woods, manicured lawns, sculptures, fountains, an orangery, a grotto and the enormous 1,500 metre long Grand Canal.

One of the great things about the gardens is that they are free to enter. You can skip the queues trying to get into the palace and walk straight through the side gate where you can roam around at your leisure.

Distance from Paris: 20 kilometres
Entry fee: None, the gardens are free to enter.
By car: 30 minutes towards to south west of the city. There is no free parking in Versailles.
By train: RER C (from Saint-Michel Notre-Dame) to Versailles Rive Gauche.

Parc de Bagatelle

Irises at Parc de Bagatelle

It’s pushing it a little to say this is a day trip from Paris but I’ll include it here as the Parc de Bagatelle is situated within Bois de Boulogne on the western outskirts of Paris. It’s not somewhere you’d randomly come across walking around Paris.

There are so many facets to to this park it’s worth multiple visits at different times of the year. The highlight is in May when the irises are in full bloom. It’s one of the largest and most spectacular displays of iris anywhere in the world. All types and colours, singles, doubles, bearded irises, everything.

Later in spring you can see rows of peonies by the Chateau de Bagatelle. In summer there is a massive show of roses and the international competition for new roses is held each June.

Distance from Paris: 8 kilometres
Best time to visit: May to July
Entry fee: Entry is free for most of the year but from June to October the fee is €6 (more for events).
By car: 20 minutes from the centre of Paris. Access via Allee de Longchamp.
By metro: Pont de Neuilly – Line 1

Parc de Sceaux

Parc de Sceaux Paris

Just south of Paris is the sprawling Parc de Sceaux. From the pretty chateau to the manicured lawns and lengthy canal it’s like a mini Versailles. But what makes this park striking is its rows of cherry trees. April is the time to visit when pink clusters of blossoms take over the trees in one of the most beautiful spring displays near Paris.

Distance from Paris: 11 kilometres
When to visit: April when the cherry blossoms are in flower.
Entry fee: None, Parc de Sceaux is free to enter although there is a small fee to visit the chateau and museum.
By car: 30 minutes on the D920 from Porte d’Orleans.
By train: Take the RER B and alight at either Bourg-la-Reine, Sceaux or Parc de Sceaux.

Saint Jean de Beauregard

The Chateau de Saint Jean de Beauregard is home to one of the few remaining castle kitchen gardens in the world. The 17th century gardens span two hectares where you can find rare and forgotten fruits, vegetables and flowers. There are glasshouses for grapes, a fruit cellar and a grape storage chamber.

Distance from Paris: 40 kilometres
When to visit: See the seasonal flowering calendar for when to visit.
Entry fee: €8, free parking.
By car: 50 minutes via the A6 then A10.

WWI & WWII History and Battlefields

France has so much to offer military history buffs. WWI and WWII moments, memorials, cemeteries and battlefields are scattered throughout north-eastern France. Most are close enough to Paris for a day trip.

  • Amiens and La Somme – WWI
  • Fromelles – WWI
  • D-Day Beaches in Normandy – WWII

Amiens and La Somme

The Somme was at the heart of the Western Front during the Great War and saw many fierce battles including the Battle of the Somme from July to November 1916 and the Battles of Picardy from March to September 1918. There are various museums and memorials for French, Australian, New Zealand, Newfoundland (Canadian), and Chinese workers.

There’s a lot to see in Amiens and at the Somme battlefields. Somme Tourisme is probably the best place to start your planning.

Distance from Paris: 145 kilometres
By car: 2 hours north via the A16
By train: 1 hour 20 minutes to Amiens via Paris Gare du Nord

Fromelles (near Lille)

Pheasant Wood Cemetery in Fromelles

In the small French village of Fromelles during 14 hours beginning on the 19th July 1916 more than 8,500 Australian, British and German troops were killed, wounded or taken prisoner with 5,533 of them being Australian. One of the deadliest battles in Australian history.

Many of the fallen Australian soldiers were buried in mass graves in the woods near Fromelles. In 2009 and 2010 the bodies were exhumed and given individual funerals with military honours at the new Pheasant Wood Cemetery. You can visit the cemetery (there’s also a British military cemetery nearby), the location of the hand to hand combat battle and a small museum at the town hall.

Distance from Paris: 230 kilometres
Opening Dates: Museum of the Battle of Fromelles
By car: 2 hours 40 minutes north via the A1
By train: 1 hour from Gare du Nord to Lille then private transport (taxi or hire car) to Fromelles (there’s no train).
Tour: Lille Tourist Office runs a tour twice a week from April to October.

D-Day Beaches in Normandy

D-Day, Operation Overlord. Allied forces from the US, Britain, Canada and France simultaneously landed at five separate beaches on the coast of Normandy code named:

  • Sword Beach (British)
  • Juno Beach (Canadian)
  • Gold Beach (British)
  • Omaha Beach (American)
  • Utah Beach (American)

The coast is lined with German gun emplacements, bunkers, war memorials, cemeteries and related museums. The tourist office offers a free comprehensive guide to the D-Day beaches which you can download here.

Distance from Paris: 280 kilometres
By car: 2 to 3 hours north west via the A13
By train: 2 hours to Caen from Paris Saint Lazare and then buses between the landing beaches. There is also a bike route between the beaches.
Tour: D-Day Beaches

Day Trips Abroad

While it might seem a little crazy to leave Paris for another country for the day it’s totally possible. A little extravagant maybe but possible. In less than 3 hours you could be having lunch in Belgium or shopping in London.

There’s a lot you can do in a day provided you’re organised and know what you want. Get the fast Thalys train to Brussels or one of Belgium’s gorgeous Flemish cities or take the Eurostar to London.

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Ghent, Belgium

London

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge in London

There’s so much to see in London but if you’re focused you can get a lot done. The best option for a day trip to London is to pick one area or one or two things you want to do and stick to that. Don’t spread yourself too thin. I would even write a list so you don’t get distracted!

You might want to go up the Shard, visit Borough Market, stop by Buckingham Palace, have afternoon tea at Sketch or go shopping in Soho.

Getting around London from King’s Cross & St Pancras International:

The Tube is the easiest way to get around. Top up your Oyster card or use the new contactless bank/credit card system to pay as you go.

  • Shoreditch – 8 minutes to Liverpool Street Station then walk 5-10 minutes.
  • Covent Garden – 6 minutes on the Piccadilly line.
  • Soho – 4 minutes on the Victoria line to Oxford Circus.

Eurostar: 2 hours 15 minutes from Paris Gare du Nord to London St Pancras.
Tickets: Look out for special deals but you can usual find round trip tickets for less than €80.

Brussels

Brussels, Belgium

I’ll never forget walking into the glowing gold tipped, awe inspiring Grand Place in central Brussels. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my first ever Euro trip more than 20 years ago. Oh yeah and the food.

Of course Belgium, and Brussels in particular, is known for its fabulous hand made chocolates, waffles, pommel frites (chips/French fries) and beer. Alongside Michelin starred and traditional restaurants you have cuisines from around the world. Brussels is a brilliant gourmet destination.

Thalys: 1 hour 30 minutes from Paris Gare du Nord to Brussels Midi.
Tickets: €60 when on sale but more often around €80 round trip.

Bruges

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is routinely cited as one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. I’m not really sure what that means but I imagine it’s something to do with the flower lined canals, colourful Flemish architecture, quaint side streets and exceptional gourmet food. Bruges has that picture-postcard prettiness visitors often look for when heading to Europe.

Thalys: 2 hours 50 minutes from Paris Gare du Nord to Bruges via Brussels Midi.
Tickets: There is an Any Belgian Station (ABS) supplement which allows you to travel on Thalys via Brussels Midi on any train on the Belgian network. Return tickets from Paris including the ABS supplement are usually around €100.
Tour: Paris to Bruges Day Trip

Ghent

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent has pretty canals, Flemish architecture and delicious food too. It’s the less well known, less touristy, less pricey but equally beautiful sister city to Bruges. Ghent is closer to Paris than Bruges so all round probably a better option seeing as we’re talking day trips.

Thalys: 2 hours 15 minutes from Paris Gare du Nord to Ghent via Brussels Midi.
Tickets: There is an Any Belgian Station (ABS) supplement which allows you to travel on Thalys via Brussels Midi on any train on the Belgian network. Return tickets from Paris including the ABS supplement are usually around €100.

So that covers just about all the Paris day trips. If you’re not sure which to take, pick one of the top five. Otherwise go with what you love; food, castles, nature, shopping, culture or history.

About Andrea

Andrea Anastasakis is the founder and author of road trip blog Rear View Mirror. She is currently driving her Fiat 500 around Europe. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram.