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neworleanslaura Aug 28th, 2005 09:45 AM

day trips from Paris?
Any great day trips from Paris that are a must?


francophile03 Aug 28th, 2005 09:54 AM

It depends on how long your stay in Paris will be. There's quite alot to see and do in Paris itself.

ira Aug 28th, 2005 09:57 AM

Hi N,

When will you be there?

Underhill Aug 28th, 2005 10:00 AM

And what are your interests?

jules4je7 Aug 28th, 2005 11:02 AM


If you've never been, I'd say Versailles is the "must see" day trip out of Paris. If you go on the 30 minute RER in the morning, arriving there at 9 a.m. when the doors open, you can see the Palace in about an hour, then tour the gardens for a couple more, have lunch and be back in Paris before 2 p.m., leaving plenty of time to see more sights if you wish.

Other popular ones are Chartres (1 hour 1 way) and Giverny (where Monet lived) I haven't done either of those, but plan on knocking off at least one of them when I go in a couple of weeks.
We have a solid week in Paris, and plan on spending at least 1 of those days doing a day trip.

Happy travels,


carolat Aug 28th, 2005 01:55 PM

I was in Paris/Normandy a few years ago (returning in Nov. to spend Thanksgiving there!!). Giverny was a wonderful day trip from Paris. If you like flowers, it's really incredible--I stood on the footbridge that is so famous in Monet's paintings and admired the lillypads. It was a very serene, peaceful visit and his house was quite interesting to tour. We were there in Aug. and the gardens were in their summer glory. Don't know what it would be like other times of year, but I imagine the Spring flowers would be lovely as well. Lot of bumble bees, honey bees and butterflies!

Normandy was the other side trip we took to visit the D-Day beaches. That was surreal--there are still bunkers built into the mountain sides that you can wander in and out of. Standing inside one of them looking out at the ocean gave me the willies. Several small American museam's around the beaches, but you really need a car for this trip. Brought home stones from the beaches to give to an 80-some year old Veteran in my neighborhood.

On my Nov. trip (going solo!), I plan to just wander around Paris--no side trips--and soak up what I didn't get to enjoy of the city the first time!

nancy Aug 28th, 2005 02:12 PM

My favorite day trip was to Rouen - has 3 cathedrals (my favorite being St Ouen), so many old, architectural interesting bldgs, museums, walk along the river, etc, etc. It's a 45 minute train ride from Paris and I easily spent a day there. Versailles is, of course, lovely and you also need a day to do the palace/grounds justice. Still, I would choose Rouen - had the most variety. I can send you my day trip diary if you're interested, [email protected]

I did visit Chartres but to me the big draw is the cathedral not necessarily the town - figure a half day trip if you leave early. However, Malcom Miller's cathedral tour makes a huge difference - I think he does these at approx 12:30 & 2:00. I presume he's still doing that.

AJPeabody Aug 28th, 2005 03:31 PM

Look for a copy of the book "Daytrips France" for travel details and descriptions of two dozen daytrips from Paris, as well as a chapter full of Paris day itineraries, plus, of course daytrips for other French regions.

_kitty Aug 28th, 2005 04:23 PM

If you want an experience that's off the beaten path and well worth the extra time, I'd head southeast towards Dijon but turn off at Auxerre and follow the (little) Yonne to Avallon and/or Vezelay. What a fantastic surprise! It's about a hundred miles or so from Paris but worth every mile.

And, of course, for the shortest day trip ever, walk over to Ste. Chappelle from Notre Dame on a clear afternoon and go inside and take a seat...or dance!

joearena99 Aug 28th, 2005 05:57 PM

Giverny (where Monet lived and painted) is wonderful. My wife and I spent a day there in September. The gardens were beautiful, and it was breathtaking to sit on one side of the lily pond, viewing the bridge (although it may have been reconstructed, I don't know) that Monet made famous in his paintings. The tour of his house was also very nice. We took the train to Giverny. A public bus was waiting to take us to Monet's home. I'd definitely recommend this.

StCirq Aug 28th, 2005 06:17 PM

There are a zillion great daytrips from Paris, but it all depends on how much time you have for the overall trip. If ti's your first trip to Paris, for example, I wouldn't even think of a daytrip outside the city unless you're staying a week or more.

If you are, or if you've been to Paris before, there's Chantilly, Senlis, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, Auvers-sur-Oise, Chartres, Giverny, Versailles, Barbizon, and quite a number of places even further away.

So it all depends on how many days you've got, what your interests are, whether you've been to Paris before or not, and how far away you wish to roam.

richardab Aug 28th, 2005 06:53 PM

I am going to Paris in November, what a good day trip at that time of year? Last year I went to Rouen and didn't find it all to exciting....

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