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Day tripping from Paris

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Mar 10th, 2013, 07:01 AM
  #1
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Day tripping from Paris

What are a few good not so touristy places accessible by train to visit form Paris?
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Mar 10th, 2013, 09:20 AM
  #2
 
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this trip report might interest you:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-de-france.cfm
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Mar 10th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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Orleans, Blois, Tours for nice big cities with relatively few foreign tourists - all wihtin an hour or two by train.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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Here is a list that summarizes many of the most popular day trips from Paris (within an hour and a half by train). None of these trips, except Reims and Rouen, requires a train reservation so ticket prices are fixed. Tickets for places further from Paris (Normandy, Loire, Burgundy etc.) will require advance ticket purchase to get the cheapest prices. There are certainly many other places you could visit but this list covers most of the biggies close to Paris:

Provins (an authentic walled medieval town): http://www.provins.net/

Château of Chantilly (wonderful fairytale château, famous art collection): http://www.chateaudechantilly.com/fr/
http://www.chantilly-tourisme.com/

Senlis (small medieval town can be combined with a visit to Chantilly):
http://www.senlis-tourisme.fr/accueil-senlis.php

Reims (champagne tours, great historic cathedral, museums):
http://www.reims-tourisme.com/

Epernay (champagne tours): http://www.ot-epernay.fr/

Fontainebleau (former royal town with famous château):
http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/
http://www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/
http://www.uk.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/

Versailles (obvious):
http://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage
http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/en/accueil.html

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte (the château after which Louis XIV based his garden renovations for Versailles and IMO one of the most elegant château in France):
http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/
http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vi...aires_plan.php

Rouen (small city, lots to do, wonderful cathedral, medieval old center): http://www.rouentourisme.com/

Giverny (Monet's house and gardens):
http://www.fondation-monet.fr/fr/
http://giverny.org/giverny/giverny.htm
http://www.vernon-visite.org/rgb4/who_we_are.htm

Chartres (the famous cathedral and wonderful old medieval town):
http://www.chartres-tourisme.com/en

http://www.discover-chartres.com/

Malcolm Miller Cathedral Tours:

Daily tours of Chartres Cathedral from Easter until late October are at 12 noon and 2.45 p.m. Not on Sundays, and during the winter occasionally or on request.
E-mail address is [email protected].

Compiègne (château with museums, wonderful old town. Can be combined with a visit to the château of Pierrefonds): http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/

Château of Pierrefonds (Magnificent fairytale looking château. Reconstructed in the 19th century but magnificent nonetheless. Can be combined with a visit to Compiègne):
http://www.pierrefonds.monuments-nationaux.fr/
http://pierrefonds-tourisme.net/ot/Bienvenue.html
http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/Le-...errefonds.html

Troyes (lovely small medieval city):
http://www.tourisme-troyes.com/

Laon (medieval hilltop town with a spectacular cathedral): http://www.tourisme-paysdelaon.com/

Crécy-la-Chapelle (small charming renowned artists village):
http://www.cc-payscrecois.fr/Crecy-la-Chapelle,203.html

Moret-sur-Loing (charming walled medieval village/artists village):
http://www.ville-moret-sur-loing.fr/rubrique.php?id=189
http://www.msl-tourisme.fr/index.php/francais/accueil

Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh and other impressionist art history):
http://www.auvers-sur-oise.com/heading/heading899.html

Rueil-Malmaison (château of the Empress Josephine and a nice old downtown. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Saint-Germain-en-Laye):
http://www.chateau-malmaison.fr/
http://www.rueil-tourisme.com/

Saint-Germain-en-Laye (former royal town with a wonderful château now home to the national museum of archaeology. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Malmaison):
http://www.ot-saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/
http://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/...ulture/musees/

Barbizon (famous artists village, can be combined with Fontainebleau):
http://www.barbizon-tourisme.fr/

These are the most popular day trips and all are worthwhile but there are many other less popular and equally worthy day trips. I could easily list a couple dozen more but only if what's on this list doesn't interest you. A good guide book for the Île-de-France region should give you more ideas.

You'll need to take a train from Paris to do these day trips. For info on trains in Paris and the nearby suburbs (métro and RER trains) use the website www.ratp.fr. Use the interactive map on this website to plan your trip: http://www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/carteidf.php?lang=uk. Parts of this website are in French so you can use an English language companion site www.vianavigo.com. For trains that go a bit further out in the Île-de-France region use the website www.transilien.com. For trains that go further beyond the Île-de-France use the website www.voyages-sncf.com (in French only) or www.tgv-europe.com. A great website to learn about trains in France (and Europe) is www.seat61.com if you have any train questions/problems.

Paris and many of the places nearby in Île-de-France are divided into zones, numbered 1 through 5. Paris is in zone 1 and areas outside Paris are in zones 2 through 5. Some of the destinations I mentioned are in zone 5. For these journeys it will be more cost effective to buy a one day Mobilis pass for 15.20€ for zones 1 through 5. This will be cheaper than the point to point tickets round trip. Plus, this pass is good for unlimited travel on all public trains and buses for one day in zones 1-5. Buy it first thing in the morning before your first métro ride and it gets you to your train station, your round trip tickets, any buses you need to use at your destination and any traveling you'll do in Paris when you return. Before you use the ticket make sure to write your name and the date on the ticket. Don't forget to stick your ticket in the composting machine (ticket validation machine) before getting on your train. You can buy these passes from the ticket machines in métro/RER stations. Sometimes these machines have an English language option. If so, look for the one day Mobilis pass option. When you get to the screen that lists your zones to choose from press zone 1 and then press zone 5. You can also buy them at any ticket counter or stores that sell RATP tickets. They are good for 60 days so you can buy it in advance if you want to be prepared. It's not valid until you write your name and date on it and validate the ticket on your first métro/RER trip or at the train station.

Some of the day trips I mentioned will require a bus transfer once you arrive at the train station. If you choose one of these I can help you with bus info.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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In addition to FMT's wonderful post, you might find this worth reading:

http://www.amazon.com/Paris-Past-Tra...rds=caro+paris
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Mar 10th, 2013, 04:18 PM
  #6
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Wow thank you for the great advice!
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Mar 10th, 2013, 05:26 PM
  #7
 
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TTT
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Mar 10th, 2013, 06:28 PM
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BeautifulParisinJune,

Great advice above to which I would suggest reading PARIS TO THE PAST: Traveling Through French History by Train by Ina Caro. The author and her historian husband are true Francophiles who suggest many interesting destinations, generally about 1 ½ hours from Paris by train. She also includes excellent suggestions for lunch in most venues.

Enjoy your journeys…
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Mar 10th, 2013, 06:42 PM
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ldt - that is the book I linked above.....
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Mar 11th, 2013, 03:19 AM
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Missed that, Thursdaysd. It's a great read, eh?
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Mar 11th, 2013, 05:03 AM
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I've never read the various day trip from Paris books but another I hear recommended is One Hour from Paris by Annabel Simms.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 05:17 AM
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WOW WOW WOW!!! BOOKMARKING!!!!
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Mar 11th, 2013, 05:25 AM
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Great list, Mystique. Thank you.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 06:04 AM
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Thanks everyone. If you have any questions about the various destinations I've posted feel free to ask me questions. The only places on this list I haven't visited are Reims and Troyes and I've only been to Rouen once. But I'm pretty well versed in the other places if you need assistance.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 06:21 AM
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Conflans-Sainte-Honore should be added to your wonderful list of day trip - Conflans, at the meeting of the Oise and Seine rivers is the place to see hundreds of peniches or barges parked and also has a museum to barges and bargemen. One of the most off-beat but interesting day trips - neat old town but it is the miles of parked barges that make it sweet!
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Mar 11th, 2013, 06:39 AM
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<>

Should be Conflans-Sainte-Honorine for anyone google searching.

http://www.conflans-tourisme.com/

http://www.conflans-sainte-honorine.fr/
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Mar 11th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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I would add -- and this is in the Simms' book mentioned above -- Sceaux, a short train trip (RER B, I think) from downtown Paris. Can't beat the gardens (except, of course, for those at Versailles) and you'll practically be by yourself (not the case, of course, with Versailles).
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Mar 11th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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A place that doesn't generally show up on these lists, but is 90 minutes by TGV, is Nancy. If you're any kind of fan of Art Nouveau, Nancy is a must-see (it's also got a spectacular square). I chose to stay there, but it could certainly be done as a day trip.

Click on my name for my French TR including Nancy. My unedited photos are here: http://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/France-2009/Nancy - password nancy
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Mar 11th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Wonderful pictures, especially of the Art Nouveau architectural details and the glassware. We did a daytrip to Nancy a few years ago and loved it. It's a city with a fascinating history and wonderful art and architecture. Hope to get back to Lorraine someday.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 10:47 AM
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If anyone wants to visit Sceaux, which is lovely and has a quaint and charming little old downtown, there is a 12km bike path between Paris and Sceaux if you feel like doing this by bike:

http://www.af3v.org/-Fiche-VVV-.html?voie=27

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTop...de_France.html

http://tourisme.sceaux.fr/
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