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Day trips from Paris in December

So, I'm going to Paris in December with a few friends for a girls getaway & we were planning to do a day trip to Strasbourg for the Christmas villages, but train tickets are almost 200 euro round trip (yikes) so we're considering other day trips that maybe aren't as pricey? Anyone happen to know of one? Thanks!

Posted by
198 posts

There are lots of great day trips. You could go to Reims for a tour of a champagne house, important WWII sites, and an unbelievable cathedral. And there's a large Christmas Market there.

There are Christmas markets in Paris. Here's a link to a website:

You could go to Chartres and see the Cathedral there. Also probably a Christmas Market.

Posted by
1272 posts

I'm going to be there for Christmas of my favorite times to be in Paris. A nice vin chaud goes a long way.
This time I'm taking 1 day trip:
-Vaux-le-Vicomte because I hear it is absolutely splendid during Christmas because they decorate the chateau.

Posted by
3893 posts

Here is a quick reminder that the amount of "day" you will have for a day trip in December will be much shorter than at the end of June. Twilight sets in by 4 p.m.

Posted by
7365 posts

Try to see the Musee Des Arts Forains which usually opens right after Christmas to the public for a few days; we did it with a reservation at another time and while it was interesting, it would have been cooler when everything was up and running. Not a day trip -- in Bercy in Paris.
Another great local trip is St. Denis Basilica which is in my opinion the most overlooked great sight in Paris. It is on the 13 metro.

Rouen is a good day trip nearby and we have done some day tripping in late November to small towns that were still pleasant although some of the things you find in summer, like some restaurants, river boat trips and such are shut down in winter.

Posted by
16 posts

In Paris last year for Christmas. Christmas is not as commercialized in Paris as in the US. There is a Christmas spirit abound though.

There is a large tourist Christmas market behind the Eiffel tower, I assume it will be there this year as well. It is busy and crowded, it may be a worth walk through but I think you will find the other Christmas markets nicer, especially the ones with local arts and crafts. Search the link the other poster provided. You may also stumble upon a cool small market as you walk around.

For a day trip I suggest Palace of Versailles with a walk around the village, especially if you are there on market day. Fontainebleau is a wonderful option if you have been to Versailles, with a town to walk around. Normandy; Omaha Beach and Cemetery, Point Du hoc, Lounges Battery is great if you are into WW2 just be warned the coast can be cold,, and windy, and you'd need to leave early in the AM to get a full day in. I've not been to Chantilly but hear it is nice. Loire valley perhaps.

We went to Chateaux Vicomte and it was a bit of a let down. Although decorated for the holidays I thought it was going to be more spectacular.

Depending on how long you are going to be in Paris you may just want to spend the whole time exploring Paris and not spending time in a car, bus, train.

TIP; All the local gorcery stores should have their holiday chocolates on sale 50% off right after Christmas. If you are going to be there after Christmas day you can find some great deals on top notch chocolates.

Posted by
8293 posts

There is a huge Christmas market at La .Defense , reachable by metro. It is vast, with many, many vendors. Take half a day and enjoy it.

Posted by
6772 posts

Are those €200 rd trips to Strasbourg per person or for your whole group (how many are there)? When will you be going? SNCF has a sale on right now but it's for trips through Dec 15th - €83/per person rd trip.

Posted by
3696 posts

I was there a few years ago in December and it was amazing. Very few tourists, despite the markets being kind of busy. Just enough people to make it festive. It is a great time to see all the things you don't want to wait in line for. We ended up going to Versailles. I had not been as I did not want to deal with the crowds of summer. We literally walked right in... it was late afternoon and we had the place to ourselves. I have no need to go again, but glad I saw it without tons of people. As far as it getting dark early I think of that as a bonus... after all, you are in the 'city of lights'. In the summer it stays light so late I neer get to enjoy the lights enough.

I love Strasbourg and if you can find a cheaper way to get there it is really a lovely town.