There are plenty of things to do and see in Paris, France. So, most tourists do not have time to wander outside of Paris. However, I believe that traveling outside of Paris will give you a different view of France. Provincial France is beautifully diverse and filled with historical vestiges. In addition, doing a few day trips from Paris, will help you relax quite a bit by avoiding tourist crowds. Read on to find out about three great day trips from Paris.
Visit the Versailles Palace on the outskirts of Paris
The Palace of Versailles is the most visited tourist attraction in France. That alone says a lot about Versailles. It is located at the end of the Paris Metropolitan area (Ile-de-France) train system, so it is technically in Paris, but far from the center.
Versailles Palace is indeed an amazing place to visit and if you are in Paris, then it is a must see tourist attraction if you have more than a couple of days to spend in Paris. The palace is very impressive and the Versailles gardens are simply amazing. I have visited Versailles twice and loved it every time.
Read my travel guide for visiting Versailles, France for more ideas.
Versailles, France – Beautiful view of the Palace of Versailles from the large pool and statue
See my photos from Versailles
Visit Reims, France in the heart of the Champagne region
Reims is the heart of the Champagne region in France. This alone makes Reims an important tourist attraction in France. It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Paris to Reims on the A4 but you can also reach Reims easily by train from the Paris, Garre du Nord train station. Reims is surrounded by beautiful green hills which make driving through the Champagne region very pleasant.
Full of history and two large cathedrals, Reims is a great tourist destination for those who have a few extra days to spend in the Paris region.
Read my tourist guide for Reims, France for more tourist attractions.
Reims, France – The imposing Cathedral Notre Dame de Reims seen from the rear
See my photos from Reims
There are plenty of Champagne manufacturers throughout Reims and mostly all of them offer tours and tasting. I prefer visiting the smaller “caves” (literally it means caves) because they have much more interesting tours than the “big” houses.
Visit Soissons, France off the beaten path
Even though virtually unknown as a tourist attraction, Soissons has a very rich heritage in French history being one of the oldest towns in all of France. In fact Soissons was the first capital of old France in 486 A.D. As a consequence you will find lots of historical buildings in Soissons today.
In addition the town center and adjacent streets are a great example of French architecture and feeling. It is virtually empty of tourists so, most of the times, you get the whole town to yourself. You can visit the three old churches, walk through the city center and walk by the river in the beautiful park by the chic City Hall building.
Read my travel guide for Soissons, France for more tourist attractions.
Soissons, France – Walking down the street.
See my photos from Soissons
A tourist’s conclusion about day trips from Paris, France
I wish I would have the opportunity to go to Paris again and take more day trips into the French country side. Going outside of Paris will give you a different French experience and will complete your understanding of the French culture. I have loved every trip I have taken outside of Paris, so try it out yourself.