My husband & I are traveling to Paris in late August for 7 nights. We probably won't travel to France again (have already been to Southern France but never Paris) so we want to make sure we take day trips to those "shouldn't miss" spots. My husband really wants to see Mont St. Michel. What other day trips should we add to our itinerary?
MSM is a mean trip for one day. If you make it two, you only have five left.
Paris itself will take several days. You might have time for one more.
How do you plan to travel?
It's hard to answer that as my must dos may not be your must dos. That being said; if you like chauteax or castles then Fontainbleau, Vaux le Viscomte, Malmaison, Chantilly, Versailles, or a day trip to the Loire chateaux is possible; If you like Monet or just gardens, then Giverny is a must (I went in August and it was spectacular); if you like Cathedrals then Chartres, Rouen, St Denis, or Strasbourg would all be good options.
Mont St Michel is best as an overnight rather than a day trip from Paris. Just my personal opinion, others may disagree.
MSM is really not a day trip from Paris -- take a week for Normandy some time and do it then. If you must, I'd recommend spending one night there.
7 nights is 6 full days; that is not a long time in Paris. The most obvious nearby day trips are Versailles, Chartres and Giverny. But there are dozens of great places nearby. You can see pictures of a few we have done lately here:
http://janettravels.wordpress.com/category/day-trips-from-paris/ But Paris has a lot to offer and with this amount of time, I don't think I would plan more than one day trip and would keep in the 'hour from Paris' range.
The advice on the this thread sounds good. Although six days would be better in Paris, you could probably get away with three days and spend the rest of the time doing day trips. I agree with the others that MSM is too far for a day trip. If you can spend the night out there that would be best. Otherwise, the suggestions for daytrips already were good. To add to that, you could do Reims, Amboise or D-day beaches. It takes about 2 hours to get to the D-day beaches from Paris, so it would be a long day trip but definitely doable. I hope this helps some.
I agree with those who recommend staying in Paris for your 6 days, you will probably not want to leave. But if you must, I recommend visiting Versailles, or Chartres.
I'll pile on with the stay-in-Paris folks. It is about 360 km or 3.5 to 4 hours each way from Paris to Mont St. Michel, by car or by train. There are so many important and beautiful and delicious things to see and do in Paris. It is the most visited city in the world.
Most folks here have spent a lot more time than we have in France, but we have spent a total of about 6 weeks there and haven't nearly seen or eaten enough. Plan to go back. You could easily make a nice week long trip of that part of France that includes Mont. St. Michel.
Having said that, I would much rather make that long trek to and from Mont St. Michel than go to Versailles any day.
Reims is the day trip I haven't yet taken. . . lovely town, great cathedral, and champagne houses for tours and tastings. It's been on my list for awhile. Hmm, may have to think about another trip . . .
If you choose Versailles, try to get tickets for the evening spectacle - music, fountains, and lights. Ah, that's another day trip I haven't done yet, but only because I haven't been in Paris when the spectacles are on. You will be.
My best advice, pick out 2 or 3 that most appeal to you. When you get to Paris, be flexible. There is so much in the city, that you may not want to leave it at all, ever.
We have to agree that 6 days is not enough time for Paris. We spent 9 nights on our 1st trip and only
took time for Versailles. We are at the end of our 2nd visit to Paris, this one for 14 nights. We thought we might take a day trip this time but have been too busy here, both exploring and now at the end of our visit, resting. Mont St Michel is beautiful but best done as a separate trip. You have to decide that if it is such a long day trip, will you be up to sightseeing the next day? You could make a list of the Paris sights you want to see and try to fit it into days, remembering that many sights are closed on Monday. There are so many 'shouldn't miss' Paris sights you might have a hard time to fit them into your 6 days.