Paris, the city of love, art, and culture, is renowned for its iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre Museum. However, there is so much more to explore outside of the city. Here are some of the best day trips from Paris, including hidden gems that are perfect for romantic getaways and fun-filled family outings.
"The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration."
– Claude Monet
Home to the famous French impressionist painter Claude Monet, Giverny is a haven for art and nature lovers. You can visit Monet's house and garden, which inspired many of his famous paintings, and take a stroll through the colorful flower beds and lily ponds. Even after his passing in 1926, the painter, father, gardener, and man remained forever intertwined with the magical haven that was Giverny. The town also has many quaint cafes and shops to explore. For a romantic touch, take a picnic and enjoy a lazy afternoon by the river Seine. Try to book tickets ahead of time, as the garden can get quite busy in spring and summer.
Located just 30 minutes from Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and art. The opulent palace was the residence of Louis XIV and is a prime example of French Baroque architecture. You can explore the palace's grand halls and rooms, as well as the expansive gardens and fountains. For a romantic experience, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the gardens or enjoy a picnic on the palace lawns. Strolls offers an exclusive tour of the gardens and palace, and we can even plan your transport for you! In addition to the palace, Versailles has a rich cultural heritage, with numerous museums and historic sites to explore. The town also offers a variety of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. With its fascinating history and beautiful surroundings, Versailles is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to France.
For a more active day trip, head to Fontainebleau, a beautiful forest just an hour from Paris. The forest is a popular spot for hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding. You can also visit the Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once a royal palace. Louis XIV, the sun king, lived there for a time, and the palace still holds Marie Antoinette's Turkish boudoir, a royal theater, and a Napoleon museum. In fact, it has the only surviving Napoleonic throne room in the world! For families with children, there is a treetop adventure park where you can climb, zip line, and swing through the trees.
If you're interested in history, the town of Senlis is a must-visit. Located just 45 minutes from Paris, Senlis is a medieval town with narrow cobbled streets dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, half-timbered medieval houses, and a beautiful Gothic cathedral. You can also visit the Chateau de Chantilly, which houses an impressive collection of art and is surrounded by a stunning park. There are many historical elements as well, such as a defense wall left over from 3rd century Roman occupation, a nearby Roman amphitheater. In addition to its historic sites, Senlis is also a great destination for foodies, with a variety of excellent restaurants and cafes serving traditional French cuisine. The town is known for its specialty cheese, the "brie de Senlis," which is a creamy, tangy cheese that pairs perfectly with a glass of local wine.Senlis is a small town that is easy to navigate on foot, and visitors can take a leisurely stroll through its picturesque streets, stopping at local shops and markets along the way.
Last but not least, head to the charming town of Provins, located just an hour and a half from Paris. Provins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its medieval architecture, including its well-preserved city walls and towers. Located in the Champagne region of France, you can use this visit to sample some of the bubbly beverages. Proving also is well-known for its rose production, meaning there are many rose inspired products for sale as souvenirs in the town. You can also visit the town's many museums, which showcase the area's rich history and culture. In one of the most famous events in Provins history, on August 3, 1429, the newly crowned Charles VII attended Mass in the Church of Sant Quiriace with his court and Saint Joan of Arc - thoug at this time she was not a saint yet. The church canonized her after she was burned at the stake. For families with children, there is a falconry show where you can see birds of prey in action, and for couples, there are cozy restaurants and wine bars to enjoy.
As always, everything is easier with a guide, and Strolls can offer custom tours or provide recommendations that are personalized for you! Don't hesitate to check out our website or reach out to us directly to ask for advice. Whether you're interested in art, nature, history, or adventure, there is something for everyone just a short trip from the city. So why not plan a day trip with your loved ones and explore these treasures? You won't be disappointed!