Paris, France is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. It’s the capital city of France and a popular destination for thousands of travelers every year. There are many exciting things to see and do within the city’s limits. However, the surrounding areas are also amazing and are worth the travel time to take a day trip away from the limelight and fast pace of the city. Of course, you could spend a year in central Paris seeing something different every day, but sometimes you just need to get out of town. Here are eight amazing daytrips from Paris that will allow you to be out and about, but will be easy enough to do it in a day.

Fontainebleau

Daytrips from Paris Fontainebleau

Home to a chateau that was a favorite retreat of the French royal family, Fontainebleau is also the site of a forest that’s still a popular weekend getaway for Parisians as well as travelers who book cheap international flights to France. The 100-square-mile forest was immortalized by Renoir and remains the perfect antidote to the hubbub of the city.

Reims

Daytrips from Paris Reims

Champagne capital Reims is a mere 45 minutes from Paris on the TGV, but it’s a world away from the capital. There are several Roman remains from its time under occupation, including the stunning 13th-century Notre Dame Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the place where the kings of France used to be crowned. And, of course, there are plenty of places to taste bubbly.

Versailles

Versailles may be the most obvious day trip from Paris, but that’s not to say it’s not worth going – the opulence and scale of this part of the city are breathtaking. The seat of power for the French court from 1682 to 1789, this is where you can live out your Marie Antoinette fantasies, then go and eat cake. Versailles has to be one of the most necessary daytrips from Paris and it only takes an hour by car. This city offers travelers some of the most amazing examples of classic French architecture. The Palace of Versailles is the main attraction and is located on almost 2,000 acres of parkland and gardens. Visitors can explore the grounds by walking, riding a bicycle, or driving a golf cart. The Hall of Mirrors, Royal Chapel, Grand Canal, and Royal Opera are among the beautiful landscapes of the castle. The city also has tons of opportunities to learn more about art, culture, and history. Visitors can also enjoy fine dining experiences at some of the best restaurants in all of France, such as Le Pincemin and La Mangette.

Related: Obsessed With Paris? Enjoy the City Like a Local!

Dijon

Daytrips from Paris Dijon

The capital of Burgundy (south-east of Paris) is an hour and a half away from Paris via TGV, but boy is it worth the extra journey for the food alone. Boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, and pain d’epices (a type of gingerbread) all originated here. The medieval buildings are a photographer’s paradise. And thanks to its position in Burgundy, as well as being a hub for good wine, it’s also famed for its yellow mustard.

Brussels

Daytrips from Paris and Brussels

Why not go the whole hog and cross a border on your day trip? The Thalys train to Brussels takes just an hour and 20 minutes, and as well as the excitement of being in a different country, there’s plenty to see. The Grand Place central square is one of the largest in Europe, there’s a wonderful Magritte Museum, and don’t forget the Manneken Pis – a statue of a peeing boy that’s especially dear to the locals’ sense of humor.

Chantilly

Daytrips from Paris Chantilly

Chantilly is a beautiful town located about an hour’s drive northeast of Paris. The town features several chateaus and gardens to explore. One exceptional reason to visit here is the Chateau de Chantilly. It’s a beautiful castle that sits on almost 300 acres of land! This area features well-cared-for historic French, Chinese, and English gardens. It’s also the location of the largest horse stable in Europe. Museums, spas, and various restaurants also provide opportunities for entertainment, education, and French cuisine — tres magnifique!

Mont Saint Michel

Daytrips from Paris Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel is another beautiful historic site that makes for a great day trip. Accessible by shuttle bus or footbridge, the ancient abbey is located on a rocky island that’s about half a mile off the northwestern coast of France. The abbey, churches, and quaint shops give the island a small village atmosphere that’s unlike any other place. The buildings are amazing examples of Gothic architecture and the cobblestone streets are a sight to behold. Mont Saint Michel is about a four-hour drive from Paris and is considered part of Normandy.

Normandy D-Day Battlefields and Landing Beaches

Another amazing day trip north of Paris is the Normandy D-Day battlefields and landing beaches. The area is a popular destination, especially for Americans, as it’s the site of one of the deadliest wartime battles in history. Visitors can see various remnants of the battle to this day. These remnants include bunkers, tanks, and the various craters made by the Germans. Omaha Beach, Sword Beach, and Deauville Beach are among the various battle sites located here. There’s also a large American soldier cemetery located near Omaha Beach. Normandy also offers its visitors several museums, cathedrals, and other historic places to further your knowledge and understanding of the events that took place there. There are also various, magnificent geological formations located along the coastline that are definitely worth the trip.

Have you ever taken any of these daytrips from Paris? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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