Please sign in to post.

Day trips from Paris by Train

Looking to do a day trip in September out of Paris by train. Would prefer a direct train and a visit to an interesting village to wander through. No need to have lots of "sights" or museums unless unusual. I have been to the Normandy Beaches and to Chartres in the past. Thoughts about Provins, Senlis, etc?

Posted by
10344 posts

Last month we took 2 day trips by train: Reims & Giverny.
Both worthwhile and looks like you haven't been to either.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks, but have done both in past visits. I guess that is one reason I am looking for suggestions of places that are out of the way and off the radar of most tourists.

Posted by
10344 posts

Oh, ok. Has to be a day trip from Paris, n'est-ce pas?
But not Chartre, Normandy Beaches, Reims or Giverny.

Well, how about Auvers-sur-Oise?

Posted by
21 posts

Have you been there? Saw pictures of the town and it looked unremarkable - would love to hear if I am wrong on that. I do love
Van Gogh but don't feel the need to see his room or visit his grave.

Posted by
10344 posts

Oh, not a Van Gogh fan-atic.
Well, let's see, we've ruled out 5 places.
Needs to be by train and a day trip, n'est-ce pas?
What do you like, what are you looking for?
And do you have a travel companion who has a vote or preference, and what would his/her interests be with respect to a destination for this day trip?

Posted by
21 posts

Yes for both - just a day trip as we are staying in an apartment and don't wish to pay for nights we don't use. BUT would consider an overnight if it seemed worth it :-)

Posted by
10344 posts

How about Vaux-le-Vicomte and Fontainebleau? Easy to do in one day if you know how.
Or Chantilly?
Or Rouen?

Posted by
21 posts

We like to wander all over a place and stop to look when something hits us. I did think of Bayeux just now. Was there 30 years ago and saw the tapestry but not much of the town itself. Have no idea how far it is from Paris. Also Rouen comes to mind - have you been there?

Posted by
10344 posts

Yes, Rouen is good, probably more to do than in Bayeux.
Bayeux, well there is the Bayeux tapestry. But around here Bayeux is mainly for people hooking up with D-Day tours.

Posted by
10344 posts

No interest in the close-in chateaux, eh?
Chantilly
Vaux-le-Vicomte
Fontainebleau

Posted by
21 posts

I will research Rouen - it seems promising - Thanks for your suggestions and thoughts on this

Posted by
21 posts

I had a wonderful week in the Loire a few years ago. But my companion hasn't been there. Which chateau would be first on your list of the 3 you mentioned?

Posted by
10344 posts

No, not the Loire.
Those 3 chateaus (chateaux) that I mention above are not in the Loire Valley, they are close in to Paris (within 30 miles) and make for an easy day trip.
Whereas chateaux in the Loire Valley are a little tough (physically do-able but a bit rough) to do as a day trip.

A few weeks ago we did an easy day trip through CityVisions (they only provide transportation, which is a good thing, they're a little tricky to get to on your own by public transport, but then once you get to each you have 3 hours to do it yourself) to Vaux and Fontainebleau--that would be my recommendation: CityVisions will get you to both in the same day, easily. You'll be back in Paris for dinner.

Vaux is the chateau where the Hollywood film Man in the Iron Mask was filmed, it was the stand in for Versailles.
Fontainebleau is more associated with Napoleon (he abdicated, the first time, from the famous staircase there) but has a history that goes back farther than that.
Do these through CityVisions or Viator, during the week. During the week, a fraction of the crowds that are at Versailles.

Posted by
21 posts

PERFECT -Thanks for giving that info on using CityVisions or Viator. That would be just what we'd like - easy transport, but then be on our own. I will check out their websites.

Posted by
10344 posts

Viator is a 3rd party, and their local contractor is CityVisions. A month ago I was able to reserve and pay easier on the Viator site, I don't care if there was a slight markup. Either is fine, whichever you can pay for and reserve the easiest.
Vaux and Fontainebleau are done together on one day. IMO that's the one you want.

Posted by
8171 posts

There are literally dozens of villages and cities and chateux within an hour of Paris by train. There is even a book 'An Hour from Paris' by Simms that details how to get to 20 of them that are a bit less well known. Here are a few we have done lately:

https://janettravels.wordpress.com/category/day-trips-from-paris/

I particularly enjoyed Senlis, Moret sur Loing and Crecy la Chapelle but another that is not pictured here, Auvers sur Oise was also special. You don't need tour guides for any of this -- easily done on your own.

And don't forget the obvious ones like Fountainebleau, Chartres, Giverny(Monet's Garden) and Versailles.

Posted by
10344 posts

Best to go to Vaux and Fontainebleau, with Viator/CityVisions, during the week: there will be less than a hundred people at Vaux. And I mean, it's a Versailles look-alike!

Posted by
6625 posts

Take a look at "Paris to the Past" by Ina Caro, a book describing historic places near Paris, reachable by train. Most would be day trips. She focuses on the surroundings as well as the sites themselves.

Your OP was looking for "an interesting village." Rouen would be interesting, but hardly a village. Likewise Bayeux, which is also a pretty long ride for a day trip.

Posted by
10344 posts

Actually, Bayeux and Rouen were mentioned by the OP in posts after the original post.

Posted by
7061 posts

Not sure what your upper limit for train travel time is, but if your travel partner hasn't been to the Loire chateaux I would recommend Amboise. It's about an hour & 1/2 by train, with a change at Tours. It's a very pretty town with both the Chateau d'Amboise and Clos Luce (Leonardo's final home before his death) so lots to see and picturesque to walk around although not a small village.

Posted by
2005 posts

You can combine Château de Chantilly with a visit to the horse museum and Senlis. Chantilly railway station is about an half hour from Gare du Nord with RER line D. From the railway station (Gare Chantilly Couvieux) to the horse museum is less than 10 minutes with the bus, the chateau from there an easy nice walk. It takes some 15 minutes with the bus to go further to Senlis.

If history has not so much priority to my opinion Vaux le Vicomte is the most attractive of the Versailles alternatives. However it has a “nice” (actually not so nice, but intriguing) story and is explained inside the main building. From a historical point of view Fontainebleau is more interesting, but the building style is less coherent and so to my opinion a bit less excellent, however both have that special splendor (btw Chantilly too) making absolutely worth a visit. You can combine them in one daytrip, but start to my opinion with the one that you think is most interesting and see how much time is left for the other as both are likely I guess a bit too much in one day to visit.

Posted by
71 posts

Sorry to jump in here but this is great information! Is there a way to save threads so I can keep track of the updates?

We are looking for day trips also and the Viator tour looks great!

Thanks!

Posted by
3240 posts

Why not take the TGV (?) and go to Strasbourg or Nancy? Strasbourg would be a nice change from Paris. Nancy is a lovely mini-Paris, IMO, and has a great concentration of art nouveau.

Posted by
41 posts

We are going to Paris for the first time, so I am posting based on my parents trips - they've gone a few times. I believe they went to Bruges, as a day trip, from Paris.

Posted by
2031 posts

Beyond-Paris.com offers suggestions for daytrips. It includes some chateaux, gardens, towns, etc. It also notes things to do, what to see, how to get there.