Any must do day trips from Paris?

Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Any must do day trips from Paris?

My husband and I are renting an apartment in Paris for 10 days in May. I have no doubt that there will be more than enough for us to do without leaving Paris. However, we are certainly open to one or two day trips, I guess by train. Any must dos?
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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Versailles, Chartres, Fontainebleau, Chantilly, Senlis, Reims, Auvers-sur-Oise, Ile des Impressionistes, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Compiègne, a search here and you'll find dozens.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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The best one day escorted tour I have taken so far was one to both Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau.

There were two advantages for the two of us. First the bus took is right to the chateau of Vaux le Vicomte. At the time there was no bus to the chateau and today my understanding is that a bus runs only on weekends.

Without the bus, a taxi is the best option, but it is expensive to do it both ways.

Then the bus took is directly to Fontainebleau and then dropped us off near our hotel.

All the while we had the services of a very well informed guide.

For value received, I still place this one day trip at the top of the list. I hope some tour company still offers the trip.

If you want to do Fontainebleau on your own, the trip is fairly straight forward. Take a train from Gare de Lyon to the Fontainebleau Avon station. A bus will take you to the chateau along the main shopping street of the town.

You take the bus going in the opposite direction to return to the station for the return trip to Paris.

Versailles is of course a piece of history. The problem is the crowds, and I have no idea of how to beat the system on that one. We tried going early, actually arriving before any entrance tickets were sold. We had a brief time to view the interior, but the tour bus crowds caught us at the king's bed chamber and the Hall of Mirrors was full of people by the time we got through listening to the auditron spiel in the bed chamber.

Giverny is another one you can do on your own. Take the train from Gare St. Lazare to Vernon. A bus goes from the station to Giverny itself.
If the bus is full perhaps you can share a taxi ride like we did.

Chartres, Chantilly, and others are worthy objectives as well.

Your ten days will whirl by like they were moving at Mach II.

We ran through 5 days very quickly. Then we went back a year later for 4 more, and even that trip left us with sufficient grounds to prompt yet another visit.

I want to go back there, but other objectives beckon this summer, i.e. Prague and Munich.

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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Clarification. The TOUR bus took is directly to Vaux and Fontainebleau.

A public bus runs from the Melun train station to the Chateau.

The web site says the shuttle runs from the Melun station to
Vaux le Vicomte, every week end and national holidays from March 22nd
to October 26th.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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I've only done two: Versailles and Chartres. I much preferred Chartres and can't wait to go there again. We didn't spend enough time exploring the old town, which is lovely.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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I loved Fontainebleau, I found it a much better day out than Versailles. Chartres is amazing, and the town is quite nice to poke around in as well.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 08:11 PM
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Versailles is a much easier and more enjoyable visit if you go for the <<forfait loisir>> which is a package that gets you round trip RER transportation, priority admission to avoid waiting in line. When we went it also included rental of a headset for a well done audioguide, but I don't see that listed on the site so it may not be still included. headset rental.
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 05:06 AM
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The D-Day invasion beaches. Visit rue de Rivoli (don't know exact address) for a tour company that goes there. Also the Musee de la Paix (Peace Museum) in Caen gives an excellent overview of that historic event.
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