The Best Day Trips From Paris

In the summer time in Paris my phone rings and my inbox fills up with messages from far away friends. When you’re an American in Paris you also tend to be the resident travel consultant for friends, family, and friends of theirs traveling to Paris. I don’t mind at all receiving such requests though. I love Paris and France so much that to be able to share it with others to ensure their trip here is all they’ve dreamed of brings me great joy.

Paris Rendezvous

One of the questions I receive the most, especially this time of year, is “what are the best day trips from Paris?” Something about summer makes us want to go further, to venture not just around but also outside the city in search of wanderlust. I thought my readers here on Paris Rendez-Vous might like to have this question answered too. So here are my tips for the best day trips from Paris. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Giverney — Discover the home of the famous impressionist painter, Claude Monet, and his gardens that inspired his most famous paintings. Monet loved living in the countryside here outside of Paris, and even thought it’s just an hour away from the city you will be completely surrounded by nature. See Monet’s perfectly preserved home and gorgeous waterlilies, and take a stroll in the village he loved before grabbing lunch in a cute café. Giverney can be reached by train, car, or bus.

Jardin de Bagatelle — Located in the forest on the edge of Paris known at the Bois de Bologne, you’ll find a little regal park known as the Jardin de Bagatelle. Beautiful gazebos, an orangerie, rose garden, and even peacocks await you here. This dreamy place can be reached via the metro from the city center and a short walk.

Fontainebleau — Located to the south east of Paris, Fontainebleau predates Versailles as one of the royal family’s palaces most often used as a hunting lodge. The palace offers some breathtaking rooms, including Marie Antoinette’s turkish boudoir. But my favorite is its surrounding gardens, including the lake with boats to row and blooming trees. The town itself is very cute, and you can stop to enjoy ice creams or even hike around the forest which has many lovely walks. Best yet, Fontainebleau can be reached super easily form Paris via the RER train in just about 40 minutes.

Versailles — This is one of the most obvious choices for a day trip from Paris but one that is hard to beat. The name speaks for itself, but don’t be fooled that it’s just the palace. Versailles’ gardens, and Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet are enough to take up your whole day here themselves! Versailles can be reached via the RER A train leaving from the center of Paris.

Château de Vincennes — Located literally just outside of the city limits, this chateau is more of a fortress than a palace. Mostly medieval, it is steeped in French history as it has served as both a hunting lodge for the royals and a prison in centuries past. Today though, it is mostly nice families visiting to take in its architecture, who also enjoy walks in the surrounding forest and the zoo that can be found there! Château de Vincennes can be reached from center of Paris in just ten minutes at the end of the Metro line 1.

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