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Town outside of Paris

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May 1st, 2011, 05:23 AM
  #1
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Town outside of Paris

What would be a good town to go to from Paris for two nights? We're just looking for a town with atmosphere for exploring by foot, not necessarily any tourist sights. We will be traveling by train. Any suggestions for a place to stay?
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May 1st, 2011, 05:30 AM
  #2
 
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Brussels is one hour and twenty five minutes by train and it is a particulary charming city..
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May 1st, 2011, 05:32 AM
  #3
 
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Shooie:
In will vote for Strasbourg,a really nice city,connected with Paris by TGV;you even have interesting little villages near Strasbourg.
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May 1st, 2011, 05:33 AM
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Brugges can't be much farther and more unique than Brussels..Check it out.
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May 1st, 2011, 06:10 AM
  #5
 
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You mention a town in your title. Most of the choices mentioned above are cities. How about Amboise in the Loire Valley. It is charming, easy to explore by foot and just large enough to have good restaurants.
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May 1st, 2011, 06:19 AM
  #6
 
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Dijon, Tours, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Strasbourg are all available from Paris within 1-3 hours by TGV, each city has much to offer, and will have easy access for someone without a car.
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May 1st, 2011, 07:20 AM
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I went to Chartres for the cathedral, but the town was also a good, atmospheric place to just wander around. I also loved Nancy, which has one of the most magnificent squares on Europe, plus a number of lovely Art Nouveau buildings. Agree that Dijon and Strasbourg would be good choices.
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May 1st, 2011, 08:15 AM
  #8
 
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Bruges (and Gent), in Flanders (2h away by HST).

Nothing can beat Bruges:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pacocanker/2448651886/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pacocanker/3977854380/

Otherwise, if you wanna say in France, try Colmar:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/batiks/2699312386/

A bit further away, about 2,5 hours in the Netherlands, a town called Delft. All 4 cities have canals, BTW.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodredroad/3092287844/

My personal choice? Bruges.

Cheers & Good luck!
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May 1st, 2011, 08:31 AM
  #9
 
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Auxerre is smaller than some of the other cities suggested (about 45,000 according to Wikepedia) and very charming
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May 1st, 2011, 09:13 AM
  #10
 
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If you want to visit a town outside of Paris instead of a city in another country, I'd also recommend Auxerre - beautiful cathedral and abbey and a there's a nice marked walk around town. Troyes, not very far from Auxerre, is another very nice town close to Paris. Gorgeous cathedral and churches, nice fine arts museum, good market and, again, a fine place just to walk around.

Some links:
http://www.ot-auxerre.fr/en
http://www.tourism-troyes.com/

I stayed at a lovely B&B outside of Auxerre - but you'd need a car to reach it so, sorry, can't help with lodging.
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May 1st, 2011, 09:59 AM
  #11
 
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sorry, but "Brussels" and "charming" do not compute.

there are loads of interesting towns in France that are easy to reach by train from Paris. we've been to Nice, Lyon, Dijon, Beaune, Amboise, Chinon for at least overnights, and daytrips to Provins, Rouen, and chateau visits in Sceaux, Malmaison...
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May 1st, 2011, 11:54 AM
  #12
ira
 
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Hi S,

Another vote for Auxerre.

Also,Beaune; Nancy; Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh lived here); Kientzheim, Alsace; Chartres; St Remy en Provence; Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer, among others.

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May 1st, 2011, 11:58 AM
  #13
 
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Barbizon is not far and is small & charming
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May 1st, 2011, 03:38 PM
  #14
 
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I don't know that I'd call Brussels "charming", but I wouldn't call most towns or cities that, even if I enjoyed them and thought they were interesting.

I think a lot of these suggestions have merit but almost none of them are "towns", they are large cities. So if the OP really was serious about it being a town, that kind of leaves only Beaune, Amboise, Auvers-ser-Oise, Chartres, Troyes and Bruges as towns. I would recommend Bruges, I think that is a great idea and it would be a change from France. It is lovely in many ways and just about right for a couple days and most folks want to see it sooner or later. I think any of the French other towns are fine ideas, also.
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