If you haven’t been to Paris, then you surely must go there at least once in your life and also embark on a couple of Paris weekend trips while you’re at it.
Paris is an iconic tourist city, but while people always head straight to the city center, what they don’t realize is that they can also take day trips from Paris by train or take short weekend trips out of Paris.
Given how much a trip to Paris costs, you definitely want to maximize your time there! So, if you’re visiting Europe and France for a week or longer, jazz up your Paris trip by taking a weekend getaway from Paris.
In fact, there’s so much to explore outside of Paris, that we’re going to be giving you ideas for 22 Paris weekend trips to take in this article!
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- Top 22 Paris Weekend Trips
- 1. Amboise, Loire Valley
- 2. Avignon, Provence
- 3. Annecy
- 4. Champagne
- 5. Chantilly
- 6. Chartres
- 7. Colmar, Alsace
- 8. Deauville, Normandy
- 9. Dijon, Burgundy
- 10. Fontainebleau
- 11. Giverny
- 12. Honfleur, Normandy
- 13. Lille
- 14. Lyon
- 15. Marseille, Provence
- 16. Mont St Michel, Normandy
- 17. Nantes, Loire Valley
- 18. Opal Coast or Côte d'Opale
- 19. Strasbourg, Alsace
- 20. Versailles
- 21. Bruges, Belgium
- 22. London, United Kingdom
- Why Travel To Paris?
- How Much Would A Weekend In Paris Cost
- Budget For A Weekend Out Of Paris
- How To Travel Out Of Paris?
- Best Season To Visit Paris
- Places To Go In Paris
- How Much Does It Cost To See The Eiffel Tower
- How Much Does It Cost To Have Dinner At The Eiffel Tower
- Final Thoughts
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Top 22 Paris Weekend Trips
Paris is often a stop on a Western Europe itinerary, with tourists usually allocating anything from two days to a week in the city, unless you live in the European Union (EU) then you’d probably have taken occasional weekend trips to Paris.
Paris short trips are entirely doable and you don’t always have to visit the tourist hot spots. Paris is brimming with romance, culture, art and good food, so whether you’re in or out of the city, you’ll be sure to have a good time.
Here are some itineraries you can take out of Paris for a weekend away:
1. Amboise, Loire Valley
Loire Valley located 226 kilometers away from Paris (or less than two hours by train), is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site known for its cultural landscape of great beauty and has many historic towns and villages.
It is also affectionately known as the “Garden of France ” for its majestic landscapes, châteaus, and vineyards.
Within the Loire Valley, Amboise is home to Château Royal d’Amboise, where French kings lived from the 15th to 19th centuries. Artist Leonardo da Vinci’s final resting place is also within the château. Also linked to Leonardo da Vinci is Chateau du Clos Lucé, his last home where he spent the final years of his life.
2. Avignon, Provence
Located less than three hours out by speed train from Paris’ Gare de Lyon station, Avignon is a popular place to visit for a day or weekend trip from Paris despite its distance (689 kilometers) from Paris, because of its history and charm. Though its distance from the city probably means it’s best for when you have more than a long weekend to Paris.
Palais des Papes is the most iconic location in Avignon and was the residence of several successive popes.
If you have more time to spend in Avignon, most people use the town as a starting point to explore the greater Provence region, exploring its historic buildings like the Notre-Dame des Doms Cathedral, Saint Pierre Cathedral, vineyards, and vast lavender fields. (In fact, Provence is so well known for its purple fields in summer that they have dedicated route tours to see lavender fields.)
Annecy is a small picturesque town in the French Alps, a four-hour train ride from Paris’ Gare de Lyon station. It is home to Lac d’Annecy, one of France’s largest lakes, and is surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains including Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps.
Due to the town’s multiple water features, including canals and bridges, it is also known as the “Venice of the Alps”. Spend hours wandering in the old town and visit historic buildings like Palais de l’Île.
Once you’re done exploring its historic highlights, you can also enjoy local cheeses and ice cream or do outdoor activities like skiing at Chamonix or paragliding on the Col de la Forclaz.
You read right – it’s the name of the well-loved sparkling wine and also a famous wine region in France, about 145 kilometers from Paris. If you just have a weekend, you could choose one area to explore, either Reims, Epernay, or Troyes, or if you have the time, why not visit all three!
My personal favorite is Epernay, the heart of the Champagne region which is a small village with a lot of charm. This quaint town is home to many skilled winemakers and of course, champagne houses, restaurants, and champagne bars.
Epernay also hosts Habits du Lumière, a three-day light festival, and champagne event for those who love their drinks and sights.
Known for its lacework and porcelain in the 18th century, the charming town of Chantilly is less than 30 minutes by train (or 55 kilometers) from Paris’ Gare du Nord train station. You can also opt to drive, but we’ll say it’s probably faster to just hop on a train.
It is also home to the beautiful Château de Chantilly, which looks like it came out straight out of a storybook, with its stunning opulent architecture and surrounding landscape.
Visitors often visit Chantilly to visit the Musée Condé, said to be one of the most prestigious art galleries in France and is only second to the Lourve when it comes to the number of antique paintings it has.
Chartres is home to one of France’s best-preserved Gothic cathedrals, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, which is also (you guessed it!) a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a perfect location from Paris for a weekend away, being a mere one hour from Paris from the Montparnasse station.
If you’re in Chartres, you must definitely catch a glimpse of the Chartres En Lumieres, a stunning light display that illuminates the highlights in the city. The light show is a major tourist attraction and you can even take a mini-train through the route of the light show and collect maps that show you where to have the best views of the lights.
7. Colmar, Alsace
You would have probably seen Colmar in pictures because of its fairytale-like setting. Housing scenic canals, lush landscapes, and colorful buildings, Colmar is a photographer’s dream come true. It’s a good 500 kilometers from Paris, but you can get to Colmar from Paris’ Gare de l’Est station within 2.5 hours.
Many people use Colmar as a starting point to explore the wider Alsace region, going on wine tours because Alsace is best known for its white wines.
But really, exploring Colmar on its own on a Paris weekend trip is a treat enough for the eye, and you could spend hours getting lost wandering around the medieval buildings and cobbled paths. We hear Colmar’s Christmas markets, which run from the end of November to December are also a popular tourist hotspot.
8. Deauville, Normandy
Arguably one of Normandy’s most beautiful towns, Deauville is a seaside town an hour’s train ride from the Paris Saint Lazare station, about 200 kilometers outside of Paris.
It is where many of France’s high society own beach homes and houses, many famous art galleries and upscale boutiques. You may have also heard of Deauville because it hosts the Deauville American Film Festival every year in September, and is graced by many Hollywood stars, such as Johnny Depp.
9. Dijon, Burgundy
Situated slightly further out 314 kilometers away from Paris is Dijon, the capital of Burgundy. Yes, you heard me right, it’s yet another wine region – a must-visit if you like your dry reds and just 1.5 hours outside of Paris by train!
If you found the name Dijon extremely familiar, you probably guessed that it has some links to the well-loved yellow sauce mustard. Indeed, Dijon is the birthplace of Dijon mustard. So besides wine tasting, you can also go mustard tasting, and also learn all about Dijon mustard at the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne.
Less than an hour away from Paris (69 kilometers), Fontainebleau is great for those who want a weekend trip out of Paris but want to spend more time exploring than traveling.
It is a quieter reprieve from the busyness of the city of Paris and also the home of many of the French elites – 34 kings and two emperors to be exact.
Most who visit Fontainebleau visit it for Château de Fontainebleau, where these royals lived, but we think that you’d also need to squeeze in a taste or two of the cheese which shares the same name of the town. Le Fontainebleau is a soft cheese that is mild, sweet, and light at the same time and can be eaten on its own or with quiches and soups!
Located less than an hour away from Paris (75 kilometers) from Paris’ St Lazare station, Giverny is a great Paris weekend trips location or even for a day trip.
It is best known for being a place where famous Impressionist painter Claude Monet resided for decades, so it isn’t a surprise that many artists, both current and aspiring, travel there to get inspired.
In fact Monet’s garden which he patiently tended to when he lived there, and also inspired many of his paintings attracts hordes of tourists every year. Beyond Monet’s house and garden, Giverny is also unsurprisingly home to many scenic walking trails.
12. Honfleur, Normandy
A 2.5-hour train ride from Paris’ St Lazare station (184 kilometers away), is the picturesque port town of Honfleur which carries a long maritime history, being an important port of call for goods going from France to England.
Expect to find half-timbered houses, small harbors, and bridges, all hallmarks of a port town. Le Vieux Bassin is the top must-visit spot in Honfleur if you want that picture-perfect postcard shot of his town.
If you want to find out about Honfleur’s maritime past, head to the Musée de la marine de Honfleur, located in the oldest church of Honfleur, to learn more and see items related to the sea.
If you appreciate fine architecture then Lille is a must-visit. You’d want to visit this town 225 kilometers outside of Paris just to catch a glimpse of its unique architecture that you probably won’t be able to find anywhere else in France. Due to its past rule by the Flemish, it still has many Flemish influences, a trait seen very clearly in its buildings.
Definitely visit Old Lille to take in the Flemish-influenced designs, but you’d also want to visit Notre Dame de la Treille Cathedral for its ornate exterior and the Beffroi de Lille, a 104 meter-tall bell tower that gives you unparalleled views of the city.
Ask around about Lyon and you’ll probably hear that it’s a gastronomic delight and home to many Michelin-starred restaurants. It is located quite a distance from Paris, 466 kilometers to be exact but can take a mere two hours one-way if you hop on the Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) or high-speed train.
Lyon is the third-biggest city in France and is home to many historical monuments and UNESCO world heritage sites.
A particularly majestic site is the Le Théâtre de Fourvière, a Roman amphitheater that can seat up to 10,000 people. Other iconic locations that give Lyon its charm include the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Gallo-Roman Museum, and the Vieux Lyon (or Old City).
You cannot leave Lyon without visiting a Bouchon, typically a rustic, quaint restaurant unique to Lyon that serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, usually pork products. A Bouchon is also well-loved for its warm and hospitable vibe and is a concept that has been exported to many cities around the world.
15. Marseille, Provence
Clocking 775 kilometers outside of Paris, Marseille is a weekend trip out for those who have a bit more time to spend on the road. A TGV can take you there in about 3.5 hours one-way.
It is home to many historic buildings, with it being the oldest city in France and the second-largest French city. When in Marseille you should most certainly start with a trip to the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde for its bird’s eye view of the city.
Other noteworthy places to plot in your itinerary include the Old Port, which was a bustling economic hub two centuries back, and the Vallon des Auffres, a little cove preserved in time, lined with fishing boats and oozing rustic charm.
16. Mont St Michel, Normandy
Situated 359 kilometers away from Paris, you’ll take 2.5 hours on the TGV to get to Mont St Michel in Normandy, but we’ll say the sight of the Abbey de Saint-Michel, atop the rocky island, is one to behold and well worth the travel time.
At times, the high tides cause the abbey to be inaccessible, but it also makes for an extremely picturesque setting. To maximize your travel time, I’d recommend visiting other locations within Normandy I’ve highlighted like Honfleur too!
17. Nantes, Loire Valley
387 kilometers away from Paris and 2.5 hours away by train, Nantes is often missed as a spot for Paris weekend trips but we think it’s well worth a visit for its history, art, and culture, if not its vineyards. Nantes is home to the Muscadet white wine.
Many also start from Nantes as a starting point to explore the greater Loire Valley region, which is home to some of the most stunning châteaus you’ll find in France.
18. Opal Coast or Côte d’Opale
The Opal Coast, 298 kilometers outside of Paris, is a common spot for family holidays for its clear blue waters and beaches. It is so named because of the stone and refers to how the chalk cliffs and sand dunes of the coasts created a soft opal light.
Because it’s a family holiday and beach spot, it also has many resorts that you can stay at and feel like you’re in a tropical setting even though you’re in Europe!
19. Strasbourg, Alsace
The capital of Alsace, Strasbourg is a favorite Paris weekend trips spot because of its accessibility from Paris, due to many daily connections from Paris’ Gare de l’Est or Gare de Lyon stations. A train ride to the city (490 kilometers away from Paris) would take you about 2.5 hours one-way.
Due to its history, Strasbourg has both French and German influences and you can see this most evidently in its architecture in the old city center, La Petite France. A Strasbourg attraction you cannot miss is the majestic Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg which is a Gothic art masterpiece.
Strasbourg is also well known and well-loved for Christkindelsmärik, France’s oldest Christmas market and probably also one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets too. If you love Christmas then you should definitely plan to visit Strasbourg in December!
Versailles is arguably one of the most popular Paris weekend trips and is great for Paris short trips, located a mere 36 kilometers outside of Paris and is accessible via the metro.
Versailles was the capital of France in the late 1600s to 1700s and is home to many historical buildings because of this.
Most people visit Versailles for Château de Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage site that extends more than 800 hectares, and is home to 2,300 rooms. It is one of the most visited museums worldwide and offers a glimpse into royalty like King Louis XVI.
Other places of interest in Versailles worth a visit include Notre-Dame de Versailles, Petit Trianon, and the bustling Versailles’ Markets where you can get fresh French produce.
21. Bruges, Belgium
Did you know that Belgium is so close to Paris that it is also a common destination for Paris weekend trips? If you take a fast train, you only need 2.5 hours (300 kilometers away) before you’re in a new country!
If you liked visiting Avignon for its water features, then you’ll also love Bruges, known also as “Venice of the North” due to its medieval architecture and many canals. If you found the name Bruges familiar, its namesake was also used in a movie starring Colin Farrell (In Bruges).
Bruges is best known for its locally-brewed beer so you’d definitely want to visit a local brewery (or more?), such as the Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan or Half Moon Brewery. Another thing it’s very well-known for is none other than Belgian chocolate, so don’t leave the country without trying some!
22. London, United Kingdom
Another country that is close enough for some Paris weekend trips, is London. It takes just less than 2.5 hours via high-speed train. While it’s best if you spend close to a week in this iconic city, if you have limited time in Europe, a weekend is better than none.
If you’ve never been to London, some must-visit sites include Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare’s Globe, Covent Garden, and of course, the British Museum. If you have barely over a day then just hop onto one of those red open-top tour buses to speed things up.
Why Travel To Paris?
Paris is an incredibly diverse and sophisticated city that can be enjoyed by the rich, as well as those who are on a budget. Some of the best things about Paris is the easy access to world class French cuisine as well as its famous shopping and fashion scenes. And of course it’s wonderful museums!
So, there really is only one answer to why travel to Paris? And that is – why not? It is a city that is romantic, diverse, sophisticated, cultural, and historically rich.
Paris has been named the top tourism destination by Euromonitor, a testament to how well-loved it is by tourists worldwide.
As actress Audrey Hepburn famously quipped in the film Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea”. I really couldn’t agree more!
How Much Would A Weekend In Paris Cost
According to crowd-sourced figures, it will cost about €184 ($208) a day or €368 ($416) should be sufficient to cover a weekend in Paris, that is two days, with the following breakdown:
- Food – €31 ($35)
- Transportation – €17 ($19)
- Accommodation per person per night – €121 ($137)
- Total – €184 ($208)
Budget For A Weekend Out Of Paris
The budget for a weekend out of Paris shouldn’t differ too much from the budget you would set for a day in Paris, except that you should set aside additional Euros for the transportation costs depending on your mode of transport – car (rental, petrol, and insurance), train or plane.
I share some transport options and where you can obtain budget estimates below!
How To Travel Out Of Paris?
Most people travel out of Paris by train, with the most common and main train station being the Gare du Nord station. The station sees more than 200 million travelers passing through a year, making it one of the busiest railway stations in Europe. In fact, it also serves international destinations such as London, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Taking the Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) or high-speed train can get you to destinations quickly. For trains, you can check ticket prices and schedules ahead on the SNCF France website which provides railway service in France.
Or if you’re traveling a little further to places like Lyon, Marseille, and Strasbourg, you can consider flying from Charles de Gaulle Airport. There are many low-cost carriers that service France and the rest of Europe such as Transavia and French Bee.
Best Season To Visit Paris
Paris is good for visiting all year round, with things to do every season, but the best season to visit Paris would be Summer and Fall, between June to August, and September to October.
Visiting during these times ensures warm weather, longer daylight hours, though it should be noted that Paris can get very crowded in the summer months!
Places To Go In Paris
If you only have a few days in Paris and you’re looking for a list of places to go in Paris, here are my top picks:
- Eiffel Tower, because how would a trip to Paris be complete without it?
- Lourve Museum, for its expansive collection and if you’re a fan of Da Vinci Code!
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, for its elegant architecture and rich history
- Musée d’Orsay, which has the biggest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces worldwide
- Arc de Triomphe, a landmark of France’s military past
- Champs-Élysées, for the shopping!
- Pont des Arts, which is surrounded by many historic buildings and is also known as the bridge of romance with many love locks attached to its railings
- Pont Alexandre, an iconic bridge over the Seine that is widely pictured because of its gorgeous architecture.
How Much Does It Cost To See The Eiffel Tower
If you are thinking about how much does it cost to see the Eiffel Tower, good news, it’s not as expensive as you think! In 2022, the costs to access the second floor (and the top floor) with lift access are for adults €16.70 (€26.10) respectively, or $18.90 and $29.50.
If you want to go up the Eiffel Tower, there are usually two types of tickets – one for the second floor and one for the top. If you want to save money on either of the tickets, you can opt for staircase access instead of lift access.
Get your tickets before you go through the official Eiffel Tower website and also use it to check on the crowd situation and waiting times to save yourself precious travel time!
How Much Does It Cost To Have Dinner At The Eiffel Tower
On average, a meal costs 75 Euros ($85) per person but it will really depend on the restaurant that you go to. Having dinner here is a wonderful idea once you’ve witnessed an incredible sunset from the Eiffel Tower.
There are restaurants to fit any budget from the upscale Michelin-starred Jules Verne to a more affordable buffet option.
With its rich history, stunning monuments and amazing cuisine, Paris is an amazing city that should be visited at least once in your lifetime. Don’t just trust me on this, trust the millions that head to Paris every year.
If you happen to have more time to spend in the city then you should also consider some Paris weekend trips to see its surrounding beauty. After all, Paris and France are really more than just the Eiffel Tower or the Lourve Museum – there’s so much more that the country has to offer and I can’t wait for you to see and experience it for yourself!