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Day Trips from Paris

Ojai, California
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Day Trips from Paris
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While in Paris in Jun for the world cup we would like to visit Monet Gardens, Mont St. Michels and possibly the Normandy beaches? What are the best options for doing this without having to hire a rental car. I am a little anxious about trying to drive to see these sites.

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Paris, France
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1. Re: Day Trips from Paris
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Monet's gardens is an easy day trip from Paris. The website explains how to get there from Paris. Mont Saint-Michel can be done as a day trip from Paris but it is a very long day trip as whether you do it on your own or take a guided coach tour it will be 4 hours from the time you leave Paris until you are actually on the Mont. So 8 hours of your day is spent on transit. The DDay beaches can also be done as a day trip but again, it is a long day trip and you'll need to connect with a guide once there and they generally leave early before the first train from Paris arrives in Bayeux so you'd have to do a half day tour. Expect about 5 hours of your day spent in transit to do this. You can not do either two or all three of these places on the same day trip if you were expecting that. There are loads of day trips much closer to Paris than MSM or the DDay beaches that are easy to access on your own and have inexpensive train ticket prices. If interested in such places let me know and I'll post my Paris day trip list, which has about two dozen of the more well known day trips you could easily reach from Paris.

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I’d be very interested in those. We are going in February and I was thinking of both Giverny and Normandy beaches but open to other ideas. Thank you!

Paris, France
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Since you asked here is my Paris Day Trip List:

If you want to go to anyplace that requires a reservation for train tickets (all TGV trains and many Intercités trains) you'll need to buy them 3 months in advance to get the cheapest ticket prices. For some popular routes tickets may go on sale 4 or more months in advance and this is especially true for summer months.

The cheapest train tickets are going to be the local trains near Paris that have fixed prices so you don't need to buy tickets in advance and you can also wait for the best weather day to do a day trip.

Here is a brief list that summarizes many of the most popular day trips from Paris (within an hour and a half by train). With the exception of Reims, Troyes and Rouen I haven't included places that require advance train ticket purchase to get the cheapest train ticket prices. The rest of the destinations are all local trains with fixed prices. There are certainly many other day trips you could also do but this list covers most of the biggies:

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Provins (an authentic walled medieval town): http://www.provins.net/

Trains depart from Gare de l'Est. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules. Train ticket is Mobilis Pass zones 1-5 or Navigo Découverte.

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Chateau of Chantilly (wonderful fairytale chateau, famous art collection): http://www.chateaudechantilly.com/fr/

http://www.chantilly-tourisme.com/

Trains depart from Gare du Nord and arrive at Chantilly-Gouvieux. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices.

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Senlis (beautiful small medieval town can be combined with a visit to Chantilly):

http://en.senlis-tourisme.fr/

Take train to Chantilly (see above). Take bus number 15 from Chantilly to Senlis. Bus schedules here: http://www.oise-mobilite.fr/index.asp

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Reims (champagne tours, great historic cathedral, museums):

http://www.reims-tourisme.com/

Take TGV train from Gare de l'Est. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices. Train tickets cheapest if purchased 3 months in advance.

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Epernay (champagne tours): http://www.ot-epernay.fr/

Trains depart from from Gare de l'Est. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices.

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Fontainebleau (former royal town with famous chateau):

www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/spip.php…

www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/index.php/en/

Trains depart from Gare de Lyon arrive at Fontainebleau-Avon. Take Bus 1 from train station to chateau. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules. Train ticket is Mobilis Pass zones 1-5 or Navigo Découverte.

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Versailles (obvious):

http://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage

www.versailles-tourisme.com/en/accueil.html

There are several possible ways to get here by train from Paris. Easiest (least confusing) is to take RER C from Paris to Versailles Rive-Gauche. Use www.ratp.fr for train info.

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Rambouillet (Royal chateau now Presidential palace, nearby forest for hiking/biking, pretty downtown. On the same rail line as Versailles and Chartres)

http://www.rambouillet-tourisme.fr/

…monuments-nationaux.fr/en/

Trains depart from Gare Montparnasse. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules. Train ticket is Mobilis Pass zones 1-5 or Navigo Découverte.

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Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte (the chateau after which Louis XIV based his garden renovations for Versailles and IMO one of the most elegant chateau in France):

http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/

www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/useful-information

Trains depart from Gare de l'Est and arrive in Verneuil l'Etang. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules. Train ticket is Mobilis Pass zones 1-5 or Navigo Découverte. See the chateau website for info on transport between the train station and the chateau.

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Rouen (small city, lots to do, wonderful cathedral, medieval old center): http://www.rouentourisme.com/

Trains depart from Gare Saint-Lazare. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules. Tickets cheapest if purchased 3 months in advance. Last minute tickets cost 22.80€ each way (45.60€ round trip).

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Giverny (Monet's house and gardens):

http://fondation-monet.com/en/

http://giverny.org/giverny/

http://giverny.org/gardens/index.htm

http://www.vernon-visite.org/index.shtml

Trains depart from Gare Saint-Lazare and arrive in Vernon. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices. Look at links above for info about shuttle bus to Giverny, or walking or renting a bike.

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Chartres (the famous cathedral and wonderful old medieval town):

http://www.chartres-tourisme.com/en

http://www.discover-chartres.com/

Malcolm Miller Cathedral Tours:

Daily tours of Chartres Cathedral from Easter until late October are at 12 noon and 2.45 p.m. Not on Sundays, and during the winter occasionally or on request.

E-mail address is millerchartres@aol.com.

Trains depart from Gare Montparnasse. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices.

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Compiègne (chateau with museums, wonderful old town. Can be combined with a visit to the chateau of Pierrefonds): http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/

Trains depart from Gare du Nord. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices.

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Chateau of Pierrefonds (Magnificent fairytale looking chateau. Reconstructed in the 19th century but magnificent nonetheless. Can be combined with a visit to Compiègne):

www.pierrefonds.monuments-nationaux.fr/

http://www.pierrefonds-tourisme.net/

compiegne-tourisme.fr/Le-chateau-de-Pierrefo…

Take train to Compiegne (see above). There are shuttle buses from Compiegne to Pierrefonds but they are infrequent. Use www.oise-mobilite.fr for bus info. Easiest means of access is taxi from Compiegne to Pierrefonds. The tourist office in Compiegne will assist with taxi service.

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Troyes (lovely small medieval city):

http://www.tourisme-troyes.com/

Trains depart from Gare de l'Est. Use Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices.

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Auxerre (lovely small medieval city):

http://www.ot-auxerre.fr/

burgundy-tourism.com/pages/…auxerre-1034.html

Trains depart from Gare de Lyon. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices.

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Laon (medieval hilltop town with a spectacular cathedral): http://www.laon-tourism.co.uk/

Trains depart from Gare du Nord. Use http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ for train schedules and prices.

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Crépy-en-Valois (charming little medieval town with 12th century chateaux, abbey ruin, quaint streets, nice park)

valois-tourisme.fr/ot_crepy/…english_version

Trains depart from Gare du Nord. Use oui.sncf.com or trainline.eu for train schedules and prices.

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Crécy-la-Chapelle (small charming renowned artists village): cc-payscrecois.fr/Crecy-la-Chapelle,203.html Trains depart from Gare de l'Est. Transfer at Esbly to the next train for Crécy. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules. Train ticket is Mobilis Pass zones 1-5 or Navigo Découverte.

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Moret-sur-Loing (charming walled medieval village/artists village):

msl-tourisme.fr/index.php/francais/accueil

Trains depart from Gare de Lyon and arrive at Moret-Veneux-les-Sablons. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules. Train ticket is Mobilis Pass zones 1-5 or Navigo Découverte.

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Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh and other impressionist art history):

auvers-sur-oise.com/heading/heading899.html

Trains depart from either Gare Saint-Lazare or Gare du Nord. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules and prices.

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Rueil-Malmaison (chateau of the Empress Josephine and a nice old downtown. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Saint-Germain-en-Laye):

http://www.chateau-malmaison.fr/en

http://www.rueil-tourisme.com/EN/

Take RER A to La Défense and then bus 258 to Chateau de Malmaison. Also possible to take RER A to Rueil-Malmaison and then walk 1.5km to 2km to old downtown and then to chateau. Bus number 144 also available from RER station to get to downtown then walk to chateau. Use www.ratp.fr for transport info.

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Saint-Germain-en-Laye (former royal town with a wonderful chateau now home to the national museum of archaeology. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Malmaison):

http://www.ot-saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/

ot-saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/…

http://musee-archeologienationale.fr/

Take RER A from Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Use www.ratp.fr for train info.

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Barbizon (famous artists village, can be combined with Fontainebleau):

http://www.barbizon-tourisme.fr/

Trains depart from Gare de Lyon and arrive in Fontainebleau-Avon. Use www.transilien.com for train schedules. Train ticket is Mobilis Pass zones 1-5 or Navigo Découverte. It is necessary to take a taxi from Fontainebleau to Barbizon.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: When using the http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ website here are a few tips. When entering Paris as your arrival or departure point you will notice a drop down menu appears when you start to type the word ''paris''. Select ''Paris (all stations – FR)'' and this will automatically bring up the correct train station in Paris for your journey. Be sure to uncheck the box marked ''Direct Trains'' to see all options.

If you are redirected to the RailEurope then try again and select ''Antarctic'' as your ticket collection country to avoid being redirected to the RailEurope website. The RailEurope website usually doesn't show all the trains and shows higher ticket prices. Be sure to also look at other ticket purchase options. You can also use the German rail site www.bahn.de for schedules but it will not give train ticket prices.

These are the most popular day trips and all are worthwhile but there are many other less popular and equally worthy day trips. I could easily list a couple dozen more but only if what's on this list doesn't interest you. A good guide book for the ?le-de-France region should give you more ideas.

You'll need to take a train from Paris to do these day trips. For info on trains in Paris and the nearby suburbs (métro and RER trains and those TER trains that operate within zone 5) use the website www.ratp.fr. Use the interactive map on this website to plan your trip: www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/carteidf.php… Parts of this website are in French so you can use an English language companion site www.vianavigo.com. You can also use www.transilien.com for métro and RER trains and those TER trains that are part of the Transilien network. Some TER trains on the Transilien network go beyond zone zone 5. It's a personal choice as to whether you prefer using the RATP or Transilien website.

A great website to learn about the Paris métro/bus/RER network is www.parisbytrain.com.

For trains that go further beyond the ?le-de-France and/or outside of the Transilien network use the website http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ A great website to learn about trains in France (and Europe) is www.seat61.com if you have any train questions/problems.

Paris and many of the places nearby in ?le-de-France are divided into zones, numbered 1 through 5. Paris is in zone 1 and areas outside Paris are in zones 2 through 5. Some of the destinations I mentioned are in zone 5 (Provins, Fontainebleau, Moret-sur-Loing, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Crécy-la-Chapelle, Barbizon). If you have purchased the Navigo Découverte Pass then it will cover your travel within all 5 zones. The Paris Visite Pass for zones 1 to 5 will also cover these destinations but this pass is often not good value for the money and is only worthwhile in certain circumstances. If you do not have these passes then for these journeys it will be more cost effective to buy a one day Mobilis pass for 17.30€ for zones 1 through 5. This will be cheaper than the point to point tickets round trip. Plus, this pass is good for unlimited travel on all public trains and buses for one day in zones 1-5. Buy it first thing in the morning before your first métro ride and it gets you to your train station, your round trip tickets, any buses you need to use at your destination and any traveling you'll do in Paris when you return. Before you use the ticket make sure to write your name and the date on the ticket. You can buy these passes from the ticket machines in métro/RER stations. The machines have an English language option. If so, look for the one day Mobilis pass option. When you get to the screen that lists your zones to choose from press zone 1 and then press zone 5. You can also buy them at any ticket counter. You can buy these in advance of your journey since it's not valid until you write your name and date on it and validate the ticket on your first métro/RER trip or at the train station. If you buy the ticket at a main line train station then before boarding a train be sure to stick it in the machine that validates tickets and it will punch your ticket. Click on the following link to see a photo of the composting machine for Mobilis Passes and other ?le-de-France tickets: parisbytrain.com/paris-trainmetro-ticket-val…

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Day Trips from Paris
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Giverny is not open in February.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Day Trips from Paris
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From Paris St Lazare you can train to Bayeux, spend a few nights and join a tour of the beaches the next day, then if you have another full day do a van tour from Churchill Hotel to MSM. You don't have to stay at the hotel but book with Overlord for the beaches and the hotel for their MSM trip in advance. You could thus see two major Normandy sights without a car easily.

For Giverny, do it as a day trip from Paris -- easily done. Get tickets ahead. Their is a shuttle bus to the gardens that meets the train and you buy tickets for that from the driver.

Their are dozens of wonderful day trips from Paris within an hour so of the city if you don't want to spend nights away from the city. You can see some of them in my photo journal.

Janettravels44

www.janettravels.wordpress.com

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This is wonderful - wow! A lot of information to digest and look into. Thank you. Disappointed that Giverny is not open in February. Will need to figure out a Plan B - hopefully something that involves the Impressionist era!

Lutherville...
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7. Re: Day Trips from Paris
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Thanks French_Mystique.......great list!!

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8. Re: Day Trips from Paris
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Hello,

We're are going to Paris in March 2020 for a week. There's a place close by that we can see snow or ski?

Thanks.

Calgary, Canada
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Bonniebelle4 ,

February is not good time for that. Giverny won't be even open.

CLM
Maryland
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10. Re: Day Trips from Paris
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@daniharra, please start a new thread to ask your question. You'll more likely get answers (and you're really not supposed to ask separate questions on someone else's thread).

Edited: 30 October 2019, 20:30
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