This post was most recently updated on September 12th, 2014

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 five places to go that make good trips out, but are near enough to do it in a day.



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 place is 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.



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. The 100 square mile forest was immortalized by Renoir (see the picture), and even now it’s the perfect antidote to the city hubbub.



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, 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 plenty of places to taste the bubbly.



The capital of Burgundy (south-east of Paris) is only 1hr 37 minutes away on the TGV train, 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 as well as being a hub for good wine, thanks to its position in Burgundy, it’s also famed for its yellow mustard.


Why not go the whole hog and cross a border on your day trip? The Thalys train to Brussels takes just 1hr20, 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 new 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.

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