We all love Paris, there’s no lie there! BUT what about the cities that are only a stone’s throw away? When visiting Paris some of you may be looking for some interesting ideas of short-day trip ideas beyond Paris. Trips that will inspire you, entertain you, or just get you a little into the French countryside. There is so much more to see and discover in France and it can always be nice to get out of the busy city.
Don’t be shy, how many of you would want to go to the most magical place on earth? And when I say magical I hope you are all thinking Disneyland! Just an hour outside of Paris by shuttle bus or RER (that’s the metro that takes you out to the suburbs), Disney can be an add-on to bribe the kiddies with after all those museum and monument visits. Before heading out to Disneyland Paris, be sure to buy your ticket online a day or two before that way you won’t have to wait in more queues. Now, if you love to plan out your trips, check out this Disneyland Paris Planning Guide and have a magical time. Disney of course is only one of the many exciting things to do in Paris with kids. But in reading the many, many comments about Disney in Paris travel groups online, I see that it is one of the favorites.
If you are looking for nature with a dash of royalty, then this is your place! To get here, it’s about a 40-minute train ride heading Southeast outside of Paris. Many Parisians head to this town for a weekend getaway to enjoy one of the biggest forests in France. There are plenty of paths to walk along. Don’t forget to pack your lunch if you plan on getting lost in the forest for a few hours. Now let’s talk about the MAIN attraction in Fontainebleau, the castle! This gorgeous castle has 1500 rooms, history, lakes, gardens, horse carriage rides, and so much more. This is the best place to see a fully furnished castle in Paris. Now time for a little history! Napoleon would write about Versailles saying: “The true residence of Kings, the house of the centuries. Perhaps it was not a rigorously architectural palace, but it was certainly a place of residence well thought out and perfectly suitable. It was certainly the most comfortable and happily situated palace in Europe.” Now you know you definitely need a day trip beyond Paris!
Basilica of Saint-Denis – Basilique de Saint-Denis
Many people love Notre Dame and if you are one of them, then a visit to the Basilique de Saint-Denis is a definite must. The best thing about this day trip is, that it’s only a metro ride to get there! The cathedral is always free but if you’d like to go down into the crypt there is an entrance fee. The Basilica of Saint-Denis is famous for all the Kings that have been buried there. There is also a boarding school nearby that was founded by Napoleon that was originally meant for girls whose father, grandfather, or great-grandfather had been awarded the Légion d’Honneur.
Parc des Sceaux
Paris in Spring is BEAUTIFUL and you will not want to miss having a picnic under the cherry blossoms in the Parc de Sceaux. This place is a lovely 30-minute getaway from the south of Paris and is considered to be a miniature Versailles garden. You will find a beautiful chateau in this public park, a canal, a play area for kids, and just a wonderful place to enjoy some gardens! Be sure to check their website to see if they have any exhibitions going on before your visit. If you are a fan of French markets (I mean who isn’t?) be sure to visit this charming town on Wednesday or Saturday to find some yummy treats.
Do you love champagne?! If your answer is yes and you are in Paris, well then today is your lucky day! We offer an unforgettable experience that is a Week in Paris with a champagne tour to Reims. This champagne haven is a 45-minute train out of Paris, not too bad if I do say so myself! Reims is not only just full of Champagne Houses but there is also the Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral where the kings of France were once crowned. There are quite a few Champagne Houses but here are our top 3 favorites: Pommery, Mumm, and Champagne Le Gallais. Did you know that a day in Champagne is part of Let’s Eat The World’s culinary holiday: Week in Paris? You get to spend a day in the company of a wine educator and of course, there is champagne tasting involved.
The palace of Versailles is one of the most visited places in Paris and I get why. You will learn about French history, how royalty used to live and be in awe of all of the decors it has. The palace is a 40-minute train ride from the center of Paris, not bad! There are so many things to see while visiting the palace like the hall of mirrors, the chapel, and the fountains. At the moment, not all the fountains are on during the week but at the weekend they are all on and there are fountain shows, so don’t miss that. One place you will also want to stop while in Versailles is the Queen’s Hamlet where Marie Antoinette had a peasants’ village to escape the constant life of royalty.
Before you head off on your adventures beyond the Paris ports, be sure to check out one of our French cooking classes at Cook’n With Class.