The 5 Essential Day Trips From Paris – From Chateaux To Champagne

There's a world of magnificent French history, art & culture just beyond the city gates. Allowing time for one or two day trips during your next visit to Paris will enrich your experience and will give you a better perspective of the beauty, majesty, and history that is found in the rest of France. These day tours get you back in Paris by the end of the day.

Here we present short reviews of the very best day trips from Paris, with links to each of them. We also include links to our longer articles on how to visit each of the destinations.

The Five Essential Day Trips From Paris

1. Visit Versailles The Royal Way

Versailles Tour

If there is one essential day trip from Paris it's this one — visiting magnificent Versailles and its gardens. Take the opportunity to experience the royal history of France at the most opulent palace ever built. It's absolutely huge — the palace alone is 520,000 square feet. Versailles is very popular, and very busy.

The only way to avoid the long lines is by signing up for one of these Versailles slip-the-line tours. Your private guide leads you past the lineups and directly to the best of the Chateau de Versailles — the Royal Quarters, the Hall of Mirrors, and the amazing French gardens. In addition to learning a lot on a fascinating tour, the extra benefit of these tours is walking right past the long line of tourists. Transportation from central Paris is included.

Find out more about the two most popular skip-the-line day trips to Versailles —

line

Read Our Complete Guide to Visiting Versailles

2. Walk in Claude Monet's Gardens at Giverny

Monet's water garden at Giverny

Claude Monet's contribution to Impressionism is unparalleled. He was called The Master by his fellow artists and is one of the only Impressionist painters to find success and recognition during his lifetime.

To visit his house, his garden, and his lily pad pond is to step back in time. There's something truly special about visiting his estate in nearby Giverny, to stroll through the splendid gardens, and walk across the famous Japanese bridge. Monet created the perfect palette for himself with his grand pink house, the lush gardens, and the pond where lily pads flourish. It's an easy and relaxing day trip to visit his artistic estate on a small-group day trip from Paris, and there are daily tours during the flower season — from April to October.

line

Read Our Complete Guide to Visiting Monet's Gardens

3. Versailles + Monet's Gardens in One Day

Versailles + Monet's Gardens

This activity combines two essential French experiences in one glorious day. During the course of a full-day, skip-the-line luxury tour with a private guide you marvel at the house and gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny (about an hour from Paris) before setting off for a memorable adventure at the royal estate of Versailles.

4. See The Magnificent Chateaux of the Loire Valley

Castles of the Loire Valley

Versailles isn't the only nearby place with a chateau. In fact, there's a whole valley of them within driving distance of Paris and it's easy to book a day trip that will take you to the most majestic Renaissance castles in the Loire Valley.

The most popular day tour to the Loire takes in the spectacular Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau, spanning the Cher River. But the day also includes a guided tasting of the best wines of the valley. Transportation from central Paris and an expert guide.

line

Read Our Complete Guide to Loire Valley Chateaux

5. Spend a Day in the Champagne Region

Champagne Tours

With its world-class vineyards, rolling hills, fascinating history, and prestigious champagne houses, a visit to this magical region makes for a fantastic day trip — we can't imagine being in Paris without taking a trip to the Champagne Region.

On this VIP, small-group tour you are picked up at your Paris address in a comfortable Mercedes Eurovan for the ride to Champagne country. Here you discover how champagne is created and learn about Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs; Grands Crus and Premiers Crus — sampling each of these varieties at famous champagne estates such as MoĆ«ët & Chandon, Taittinger, or Veuve Clicquot .

The day includes tours of the region while, in the vineyards, you learn how to distinguish the three different Champagne grapes. At a family-run estate you enjoy a classic French lunch, paired with a Champagne tasting. Before you are returned to central Paris, your expert guide also conducts a champagne Masterclass. It's a day you're not going to forget any time soon!

line

Read Our Complete Guide to Visiting the Champagne Region

More Day Trips From Paris

Visiting the D-Day Beaches of Normandy

D-Day Tours

The story of World War II changed irrevocably on the beaches of Normandy when the Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944. Today, a trip through the pastoral countryside of the region to the D-Day beaches is a powerful experience. Discover how to visit Omaha, Juno, and Gold beaches, as well as the inspiring war memorials and museums, on a day trip from Paris.

VIP Visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte

Candlelight Tour of Vaux le Vicomte

This spectacular chateau near Paris was the inspiration for Versailles and is famous in its own right for its art, architecture, and gardens. We recently visited Vaux-le-Vicomte for this leisurely visit and a champagne-fueled picnic lunch. A private driver met us at our apartment in a luxurious Jaguar and drove the hour out to the chateaux.

At the grand estate we were walked past the ticket line and into the garden where we were given the keys to a motorized (golf) cart to drive around the extensive gardens. there was a picnic basket in the back of the cart, filled with champagne, glasses, macarons and a picnic blanket. After a day of exploring the chateau and gardens — and a champagne picnic — our driver met us right at the entrance and drove us home, at the end of a perfect day.

Day Tours From Paris – Explore More

Day Trips From Paris - Explore More

Here we've been talking about a few of the of the essential day trips from Paris, but if you want to really experience France, you have to go a little deeper. There's so much more to explore — World War I battlefields, a day trip to London, French Wine Country, amazing Mont Saint-Michel. La France, c'est manifique !

6 Summertime Day Trips From Paris

Summertime Day Trips From Paris

The long days of summer afford the perfect opportunity to go deeper into France to places like Mont St-Michel, beautiful Bruges in Belgium's Flemish region, or the lovely French port city of Honfleur. We have suggestions that take you into the French countryside and back to Paris in the same day. Heck, you could even choose a day trip to London!

Day Trips Are Easy to Plan

Easy to Plan

There are many amazing destinations can be reached on a day trip from Paris — the Palace of Versailles; or Giverny, the home of Claude Monet's inspirational gardens; there's the Loire Valley, with a corridor of magnificent castles as a reminder of the wealth and splendor of France's Renaissance; and then there's the beaches of Normandy, where Allied forces landed and began the liberation of France and the end of World War II.

With so many destinations and tours to choose it's pretty easy to find a day trip that piques your interest. The thing we like most about these organized activities is that we don't have to rent a car, negotiate the Metro or trains, plan out routes, etc. All of these selected tours pick us up directly at our Paris address and return us back safely at the end of the day. Another bonus is that all entrance fees and, in many cases a classic French lunch, is included in the cost.

Six Free Paris Planning Guides

A Gift from Us to You.
Bon Voyage !