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.
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.