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Paris is a beautiful city but take the opportunity to get out of it and see more of the Paris Region! Feel like taking a hike around Paris? Explore a monument? Or go for a bike ride? Here are 15 best day trips from Paris easily accessible by public transport!

In the footsteps of Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise

It is in the charming village of Auvers-sur-Oise that the painter spent his last months. But Van Gogh was not the only artist to stay there, other famous painters such as Pissaro or Cézanne also took up residence there. Proud of this artistic heritage, the town preserves the landscapes immortalized by these painters and offers a stroll punctuated by about thirty panels allowing you to compare the masterpieces to the landscapes represented so that today Auvers-sur-Oise is like an open-air museum.

READ MORE: In the footsteps of Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise

In the footsteps of Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise
In the footsteps of Van Gogh at Auvers-sur-Oise

To get there by public transport:

A direct train from Paris Nord (line H) is available during the summer. Otherwise, there is a direct train from Paris Nord (line H) during the summer:
From Paris Nord train station, line H: go to Valmondois, then transfer to Auvers-sur-Oise.
From Paris St Lazare train station, line J: go to Pontoise, then take line H to Auvers-sur-Oise.
From all RER C stations in Paris: go to Pontoise, then take line H to Auvers-sur-Oise.
RER A direction Cergy-le-Haut, get off at Cergy-Préfecture, then bus 9507.

A day at Enghien les Bains

Only 15 minutes from Paris, Enghien les Bains is the only spa resort in the Ile-de-France region. Here you can enjoy a pleasant stroll around the lake, go pedal boating, treat yourself to a relaxing session in one of the spas or go and play at the casino!

To get there by public transport:

Direct train from the Gare du Nord station (line H) direction Pontoise.

A hike in the Vallée de Chevreuse

Hiking around Paris

Change of scenery guaranteed with this walk that will take you to the countryside. A short hike of 9 kilometres (about 2h30) will take you through charming villages, woods and fields. Several hikes are available on the VisoRando website but I highly recommend the book “P’tit crapahut en Île-de-France” which lists several hikes to do in the region.

A hike in the Vallée de Chevreuse near Paris

To get there by public transport:

RER B4 from one of the stations in Paris towards Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse.

Cultural and gourmet break at Chantilly

With a castle, magnificent gardens, a museum, stables and even a large lake, the Domaine de Chantilly is the ideal destination for a cultural and relaxing day out with friends or family.

To get there by public transport:

From Gare du Nord SNCF main lines (25 minutes) get off at the “Chantilly-Gouvieux” stop.
Or RER line D (45 minutes) get off at the “Chantilly-Gouvieux” stop.
Then about 30 minutes on foot or take bus no. 15 direction Senlis.
Tips: a pack at €25 (€1€ for children under 12 years old) offers a round trip by TER + access to the Domaine de Chantilly.

Visiting the Versailles domain

Versailles is such a vast domain that there is enough to spend several days there! Depending on your tastes you can choose to visit the castle or simply enjoy the vast gardens and the spectacle of the great waters. To fully explore Versailles, go as far as the Trianon domain to visit the Queen’s Hamlet.

To get there by public transport:

The RER C arrives at Versailles Château Rive Gauche station, then 10 minutes on foot to get to the Château.

A bike ride to explore the Saint-Denis Basilica

From La Villette take the bicycle path that marks the beginning of the Avenue Verte Paris-London. The route leading to Saint-Denis takes you along the Street-Art Avenue along which you will discover real masterpieces. Arriving at the Basilica of Saint-Denis visit this monument like no other which contains the royal necropolis.

Visit around Paris

To get there:

Follow the bike path from Porte de la Villette.
By public transit, line 13 towards Saint-Denis Université, stop Basilique Saint-Denis

Visit the Air and Space Museum

Located near Bourget this museum is the most important aeronautical museum in France. You can visit two Concorde, a Boeing 747, a Rafale, a Mirage and more than 350 flying machines. Do not miss the Great Gallery designed in 1937 which has recently been restored and where you can contemplate some of the wonders of the early days of aviation.

To get there by public transport:

2nd bus stop (line 350) after Porte de la Chapelle.
It is also accessible by the N2, the metro (M7), the RER B (+ bus 152) and bus 610.

Getting some fresh air in the Bagatelle garden

At the gates of Paris this garden is a little corner of paradise! There is a charge for access but the park is large, extremely well maintained and some surprises await you. There is indeed a small castle, it is not uncommon to find geese or peacocks and you will be able to admire many roses.

Bagatelle garden near Paris

To get there by public transport:

Metro line 1 to Porte Maillot then bus 244 to Bagatelle Pré Catelan stop

Historical visit of the Great War museum in Meaux

This fascinating museum brings together some 65,000 objects from the First World War. Punctuated by numerous interactive devices the visit allows you to appreciate the difficulty of the soldier’s daily life. An educational visit to be recommended to both young people and adults.

Meaux great war museum

To get there by public transport:

30 minutes from Paris by Gare de l’Est, line P: Direction Meaux or Direction Chateau-Thierry with a stop in Meaux.
Then take the bus, lines G, 10 (stop Musée de la Grande Guerre), 11, 63 and 65 (stop Hauts de Chantereine in front of the Museum).

Bucolic day at Champs-sur-Marne

A jewel of 18th century French elegance! The Champs-Sur-Marne palace is an exceptional residence located only 20 kilometres from Paris. After having been a private residence and then a presidential residence, the Palace is now open to the public. The visit of this beautiful castle is to be completed with a nice walk in the park surrounding it.

Best day trips from Paris

To get there by public transport:

RER A direction Marne-la-Vallée, stop at Noisiel then continue on foot (20 minutes) or get off at Bry-sur-Marne and take bus 220 direction Torcy, stop at Mairie de Champs.

Culture and hiking in Saint-Germain-en-Laye

The Saint-Germain-en-Laye domain has many advantages: there is a castle, a terrace with a superb view over the west of Paris, a beautiful garden and a forest. All this can be discovered with a hike of about 12 kilometres (about 3 hours).

A beautiful hiking route is to be discovered in the book “P’tit crapahut en Île-de-France” which lists several walks to do in the region.

Ideas of day trips from Paris
Château de Saint Germain en Laye, Stock photo de Artem Nedoluzhko / Shutterstock

To get there by public transport:

RER A1, stop at the Saint-Germain-en-Laye station, the castle and the entrance to the park are in front of the exit of the station.

In the footsteps of Fouquet at Vaux-le-Vicomte

Vaux-le-Vicomte is a name that tickles everyone’s imagination. It must be said that this castle, created on the initiative of the visionary Nicolas Fouquet (1615-1680), was a landmark: it served as a model for the construction of the Versailles palace! With the visit of the castle and a stroll in its magnificent garden, there is a lot of things to do to enjoy a good time at Vaux-le-Vicomte!

Vaux-le-Vicomte castle

To get there by public transport:

Take the train line P (direction Provins) at Gare de L’Est, get off at Verneuil l’Etang station (Direct trains every 60 min, duration 35 min) then take the Châteaubus shuttle (paying) located in front of the exit of the train station – check the shuttle schedule on the castle site.

Between a castle and a forest: a hike to Maisons-Laffitte

The town of Maisons-Laffitte was born from the ruin of a banker who had to subdivided a part of the park of his castle to pay off his debts. So much so that Maisons-Laffitte is today a park/town and a favourable ground for a change of scenery.

You can start with a visit to the castle, a 17th century masterpiece, before taking a walk in the Saint-Germain forest which borders the town. A hiking itinerary can be discovered in the book “P’tit crapahut en Île-de-France” which lists several walks to do in the region.

Visit the Maisons-Laffitte castle
Photo by Moonik via Wikimedia Commons

To get there by public transport:

RER A3 and A5, stop at Maisons Laffitte station, then about 10 minutes on foot to get to the château.

Discover the Cergy’s Major Axis

The Axe Majeur is a succession of a dozen monumental constructions over more than 3 kilometres that draw a formidable perspective in the landscape. Designed by the sculptor Dani Karavan from 1980 this axis marks the symbol of the new city. Around it several hikes are possible. There is also a leisure centre.

To get there by public transport:

RER A in the direction of Nanterre-Préfecture to the station of Cergy Saint-Christophe then about 10 minutes on foot.

An excursion to Chartres

For this last idea for an excursion we leave the Ile-de-France, direction Eure-et-Loir for a getaway in Chartres. In only one hour by train it is easy to spend a day there and enjoy the many activities on site: visit of the cathedral, the stained glass museum, visit of the unusual Picassiette house…

A day trip in Chartres

To get there by public transport:

By TER from Montparnasse station.

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Comments to: The 15 best day trips from Paris
  • June 22, 2020

    This is a wonderful list of ideas that extends beyond the usual Versailles and Giverny. Usually pages that do provide information about such places are only available in French. Thank you for making this information readily available to those who don’t read French (and don’t know how to use an online translator). I really also appreciate the inclusion of information about how to travel to these sites by public transport.
    One suggestion for the English version of your site would be to include what information is displayed or available in English. eg Are the descriptions next to exhibits in English as well as French; do interactive visits include verbal interaction in English or is it available via a brochure.
    I am admin for a FB group of anglophones who are planning to travel to France and I think that some of them would be interested in places such as the Musée de l’Air but not being familiar with it I am not sure whether as non-French speakers they would get enough from the museum.
    Thank you again for your wonderful site.

    • June 22, 2020

      Hi Kathy!

      Thank you very much for your comment!

      Culturez-vous is a French blog that I’m starting to translate into English. For the moment, only about thirty articles are available in English but the content will be progressively expanded.

      Thank you for your suggestion concerning the wish of information available in English in the museums. I will pay attention to it during my future visits to personalize even more the information that I proposed in this language.

      • June 22, 2020

        Merci Antoine.
        Je partage cet article avec mon groupe.
        Bien à vous !

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