Excursions from Paris: the best day trips around Paris

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The French capital is certainly beautiful but its own are no less surroundings that can be discovered on trips and excursions. If you have time available and you are in Paris here are the most beautiful things to see, among villages, castles and parks, a few hours from the city.

Index

  1. Palace of Versailles
  2. Disneyland Paris
  3. Chantilly Castle
  4. Saint-Germain-en-Laye
  5. Vaux-le-Vicomte Castle
  6. Provins
  7. Fontainebleau Castle
  8. Barbizon
  9. Park and Castle of Sceaux
  10. Auvers sur Oise
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Palace of Versailles

This beautiful complex was built by Louis XIII, who wanted a hunting reserve where he could retreat. Louis XIV then expanded the Palace of Versailles making it become one of the most sumptuous castles and famous in the world.

To visit the apartments of the Sun King and Queen Marie Antoinette but also i beautiful gardens where in summer it is possible to attend the show of the musical fountains.



The queue for entry can last over two hours, therefore it is recommended to purchase a skip-the-line ticket

  • Range: 19,7 km
  • is located 19,7 Km from Paris (40 minutes by car - Get directions). It can be reached via the RER C (get off at Gare de Versailles Rive Gauche, journey time approximately 50 minutes). Or by train stopping at the Gare de Versailles Rive droite. Some organized trips include a coach transfer with pickup directly from the hotel.
  • open every day except Monday. The palaces can be visited from 9:00 to 18:30 (in winter the closing is earlier at 17:30); the gardens remain open until 20:00 in summer. Extraordinary closures: 1st May, 1st January and 25th December.
  • € 18,00 for the full ticket which includes the Royal Palace (with audio guide), the temporary exhibitions exhibited in the palace, the gardens (excluding musical performances) and the parks, the Coach Gallery. Free admission for children under 18 and for European citizens under 26.
  • Versailles and gardens: priority access and audio guide

2 - Disneyland Paris

One of the day trips from Paris is the one to most famous amusement park in the world: Disneyland Paris.
Here young and old will be able to meet all the characters from fairy tales, have fun in a magical world made up of attractions, shows and rides.
Indeed there are two theme parks: the first is Disneyland Park while the second is the Walt Disney Studios Park, the latter concentrates the most adrenaline-pumping attractions.
Before entering, the advice is to study the maps, give yourself priorities and possibly use the free Fast Pass service which will reduce waiting times.



The Disneyland Paris Express ticket which includes AR transfers + priority access to the park. It is the most comfortable solution ever if you are traveling with more than one child and maybe you need to carry more strollers as well as different luggage

  • Range: 37,7 km
  • it is 37,7 Km away (37 minutes by car - Get directions). It can be reached via the RER A line in about 35-40 minutes (cost € 15,00 round trip; get off at Marne-la -Vallee stop). Excursions available with return transfer included.
  • open all year round, in winter from 10:00 to 20:00, in summer from 9:00 to 23:00.
  • 1 day admission to 1 park € 84,00 full / € 77,00 reduced (3-11 years). 1 day admission to 2 parks € 104,00 full / € 97,00 reduced (3-11 years). Free admission for children under 3.
  • Disneyland Paris: 1 day ticket

3 - Chantilly Castle

Another excursion to do in one day starting from Paris is the one to the castle of Chantilly belonging to the great families of princes and kings of France.
This manor dates back to the Middle Ages and now inside is the Condè museum, one of the largest and most important in France.
The castle is surrounded by greenery, has beautiful gardens, large and small apartments, stables and it is an unmissable cultural center.

  • Range: 42,5 km
  • is located 42,5 km from Paris (1 hour and 38 minutes by car - Get directions). It can be reached by train from Gare du Nord SNCF (getting off at Chantilly-Gouvieux train station), or by RER D (Chantilly-Gouvieux stop). Guided tours are available with round trip transfers included.
  • from 2 November to 30 March open every day except Tuesday, from 10:30 to 17:30 (the park closes at 18:00). From March 31 to November 1 open every day from 10:30 to 18:00 (the park closes at 20:00).
  • full admission (park + museum) costs € 17,00 full / € 10,00 reduced (from 4 to 17 years). Entrance to the Park only € 8,00 full / € 5,00 reduced.
  • Visit to Chantilly Castle

4 - Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Saint Germain en Laye is one elegant French town not very far from Paris. Hosts a beautiful royal residence, built long before Versailles, seat of the National Museum of Archeology where among other works is the Venus of Bressempouy.
It also offers a nice city center, where you can breathe a magical atmosphere walking through medieval streets, squares and churches.



The entrance ticket to the National Museum of Archeology is included in the Museum Pass, a convenient and convenient pass that allows you to visit 60 museums and monuments including the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe and the Pompidou Center

  • Range: 20,7 km
  • is located 20,7 km from Paris (47 minutes by car - Get directions). It can be reached via RER A in 32 minutes (get off at Saint Germain En Laye stop).
  • the town can always be visited. In summer, the castle and the museum are open every day from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00 (Monday open only in the afternoon, Sunday open only in the morning). In winter they can only be visited from Tuesday to Saturday.
  • Full admission € 6,50 (supplement € 2,00 for temporary exhibitions); reduced tickets € 5,00. Free admission for under 18, under 26 resident in EU countries and holders of Paris Museum Pass.

5 - Vaux-le-Vicomte Castle

Ideal for a full day outing in the vicinity of Paris, the Château de Vaux le Vicomte is one sumptuous residence which was built starting from 1656 on the orders of Nicolas Fouquet, superintendent in the reign of Louis XIV but unleashed the ire of the Sun King who sentenced Nicolas to life imprisonment.

The castle extends over a huge area and inside are excellently preserved halls, tapestries, and decorated furnishings. Outside, beautiful and well-kept gardens.



  • Range: 47,3 km
  • it is located 47,3 Km from Paris (51 minutes by car - Get directions). It is connected by the transilien "P" line, to be taken at the Gare del'Est (get off at Verneuil l'Etang and once here there are shuttles to take you to the entrance of the residence). Trains also leave from Gare de Lyon which stop in Melun (where the shuttle to the castle is).
  • from mid-March to the end of October open every day from 10:00 to 18:00. Closed in November, January, February and mid-March and December. Hours to be consulted on the official website.
  • Ticket price: full € 16,50 / reduced € 13,50. The special visit by candlelight costs € 19,50 full / € 17,50 reduced.
  • Visit to the Vaux-le-Vicomte castle from Paris

6 - Provins

Provins is a small medieval village less than 83,1 km from Paris and has been inhabited since Roman times. During a day visit it is possible to admire the walls, the period towers, the Collegiale Saint Quiriace, the Torre Cesare and 10 km of underground which are articulated in the city subsoil. We suggest you take part in the guided tours which are also offered by the Provins Tourist Board, which is located near the station.

  • Range: 83,1 km
  • it is 83,1 km from Paris (about 1 hour 15 minutes by car - Get directions). By train on the P line from Gare de l'Est station towards Provins
  • the town can always be visited, while the entrances to the Torre Cesare, the underground tour and the Collegiale Saint Quiriace have days and times that must be consulted from time to time at the tourist office or on the website.
  • from Paris there are several tours that in day on board of tourist buses lead to Provins. A guide accompanies people throughout the excursion and the cost is about € 50,00.

7 - Fontainebleau Castle

An ideal destination for a day trip from Paris, the castle of Fontainebleau is nestled in a beautiful forest and it was for centuries one of the favorite places of kings and queens.
Inside it has several rooms and perfectly preserved apartments and a museum dedicated to Napoleon while outside, beyond the gardens, an immense park is always open and free.
Fontainebleu has become famous as the city of the horse because equestrian events of great importance often take place here.

Fontainebleau Castle is one of the most important national museums, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In all likelihood you will run into a long queue at the entrance turnstiles, so we recommend purchasing a ticket with priority access

  • Range: 62,5 km
  • it is located 62,5 km from Paris (1 hour drive - Get directions). It can be reached by trains departing from Gare de Lyon or Montereau (get off at Fontainebleau-Avon station and then take bus line A towards Les Lilas to La poste-château stop). But the most convenient means are the direct shuttles, departing from 214 rue de RiFlights.
  • it is open every day except Tuesdays, from 9:30 to 17:00 (from April to September late closing at 18:00).
  • € 11,00 for full ticket / € 9,00 reduced. Under 18 and under 26 resident in the European community enter for free.

8 - Barbizon

This village not far from Fontainebleu is famous for being the birthplace of the Barbizon School, landscape painting current of realism developed between 1830 and 1870. The small village of Barbizon is an open-air museum and it will be enough for you to walk through its alleys to understand why it was so loved by the artists of this current.
Beauty of the landscapes, vivacity of colors, hidden corners full of charm, painting studios and numerous museums is what you can see during a trip to this town.

  • Range: 54,7 km
  • 54,7 Km from Paris (1 hour by car - Get directions). It can be reached in about 2 hours via the RER D line towards Malesherbes and (get off at Melun Dalle and bus 9 or 21).
  • always accessible
  • free visit

9 - Park and Castle of Sceaux

In the municipality of Sceaux there is one inside the immense garden splendid castle which was inhabited by noble families until the Black Band during the French Revolution bought it to resell it to an owner who, however, left the residence almost in ruins.
In 1828, however, it was rebuilt thanks to Anne Marie Lecomte Stuart and since 1937 there is also the Musée du Domaine départemental de Sceaux inside.
During your visit, don't miss the Pavillon de l'Aurore and the Orangerie in particular.

  • Range: 10,7 km
  • 10,7 km from Paris (30 minutes by car - Get directions). To get there you can take the RER B line which in 24 minutes leads to the Parc de Seeaux and then you need to walk 10 minutes to the castle.
  • The castle is open from November 1st to February 28th Tuesday-Sun 13:00 - 17:00; 1st March-31st October 14: 00-18: 30.The gardens, on the other hand, are open in January, Nov, Dec 8: 00-17: 00; Feb 8: 00-18: 00, March-April-September 7: 30-21: 00, May 7: 00-21: 30, June-July 7: 00-22: 00, August 7: 00-21: 00 and October 8: 00-19: 00; October 14: 00-18: 30.
  • Admission to the gardens is free while for the castle and museum the full ticket costs € 4,00 (€ 5,00 in case of temporary exhibitions); the reduced instead € 3,00 or (€ 4,00 in case of temporary exhibitions).

10 - Auvers sur Oise

North of Paris is this picturesque village that has welcomed several illustrious painters such as Van Gogh, Cezanne and Corot.
Those who love walks and art cannot miss this trip out of town; along the streets of the town winds the path of the painters where illustrated panels help visitors discover the history of the Impressionists.

Also worth seeing are the apse of the Church and the Auvers staircase painted by Van Gogh and the house of the hanged man immortalized by Cezanne.
Noteworthy is the Daubigny studio house and its garden and cemetery where Van Gogh and his brother Theo rest. Finally, if you want, in the beautiful castle of Auvers, a show-route is proposed that transports visitors to the th century.

  • Range: 30,2 km
  • it is located 30,2 Km from Paris (56 minutes by car - Get directions).
    You can take a direct train (only on weekends and holidays) RER H from Gare du Nord, direction Pontoise, and get off at Auvers (duration about 1 hour). During the week you have to take the same train and change at "Valmondois". Organized tours are available with return transfer included.
  • always accessible
  • free visit
  • Van Gogh tour to Auvers from Paris

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