If you only have a short time for your next trip to France, it might seem impossible to see more than one town. Luckily, there are plenty of amazing places to go when Paris is your home base. Here are 10 of our favorite day trips close to Paris.
Provins is a beautiful medieval town that has been recognized as a French UNESCO world heritage site. Traveling from Paris to Provins only takes about an hour and a half by train, which makes it a convenient choice for your next day trip. During Christmas season, Provins hosts a popular medieval Christmas market. However, most of the time, Provins is a peaceful place to experience beautiful architecture and historical sites without breaking the bank.
Barbizon is located at the edge of the stunning Fontainebleau Forest. Taking a trip to this town is like walking into an impressionist painting. During the 19th century, painters frequented this area because of its inspiring lighting and landscape. Today, Barbizon still has a countryside village feeling, but it also has boutiques, restaurants, and historic sites for tourism.
For many years, Fontainebleau has been home to Paris’ elite, including Louis VI and Napoleon III. Today, it is a popular destination for a weekend getaway and for tourism. Each year, its royal palace attracts 300,000 visitors, which is comparable to Versailles. The château is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is sure to exceed all of your expectations. Fontainebleau also boasts incredible natural sites, including the 130 acres of garden surrounding the palace and the 25,000 hectare Forêt.
Moret-sur-Loing is located at the south-east corner of the extensive Fontainebleau forest and is 65 kilometers from Paris. The town is cozy, centered around a beautiful church, and features 2 principal towers. Alfred Sisley, a renowned English impressionist painter, spent the last 10 years of his life in this town. Come see what drew him here by making this your next day trip close to Paris!
Chartres is about an hour by car or train southwest of Paris. It calls itself the “Capital of Light and Perfume” because it is located in the center of the Cosmetic Valley. The Gothic Chartres Cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and is thee largest cathedral in France.
Senlis is located only 30 minutes away from Paris in the heart of one of the largest forests in northern France. It is a fabulous romantic destination for couples and a perfect place to wander. When you arrive, you will feel like you walked into a history book. It still features its ancient walls, Renaissance houses, medieval vaulted cellars, and main cathedral. You can also visit various museums to learn a bit more about Senlis’ history.
Giverny is best known for its dreamy water-lily ponds and gardens created by the incredible Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Today, the picturesque village attracts artists, art lovers, and tourists. In addition to visiting Monet’s former home and the town’s museums, you can enjoy its cozy teashops and restaurants. We recommend arriving close to opening hours to avoid long lines and big crowds.
The number one reason to visit Chantilly is to see its picture-perfect castle. The old, elegant town is only 50 km from Paris and is surrounded by gardens and parklands. It also features an eclectic museum and a horse museum. If your stomach has big eyes, you can also try its famous Chantilly Cream.
Auvers-sur-Oise once attracted Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, and many other Impressionist painters. This small town, just 30 km from Paris, has no shortage of beautiful greenery and gardens. Start off your visit with a trip to the Château d’Auvers and then be sure to make your way over to the Église d’Auvers, which was immortalized by Van Gogh a year before his death.
Chevreuse is a fairytale town in the Ile de France region overlooking the haunting ruins of a medieval château. The town features cute cafés, historic streets, and a peaceful river. It was founded in the 11th Century and has inspired iconic writers like Emile Zola and Alexandre Dumas.
We hope that this post about the best day trips close to Paris has inspired you to leave the concrete jungle for at least a few hours during your next visit. For help planning your dream trip to France, reach out to us here at ParisByM!