Going to the Palace of Versailles, visiting Disneyland or taking a trip to the Châteaux de la Loire are just some of the different plans you can enjoy on your trip to Paris. In addition to all the monuments, museums and attractions in the city, there is also a wide range of excursions to nearby places that are organised throughout the week and that you can't miss. If you have any doubts about which ones are worth doing depending on the number of days of your stay, here are the essential ones.
On the other hand, I recommend you read the post What to see and do in Paris to make a list of the best plans for your trip.
1.- Marvel at the Palace of Versailles
Declared a World Heritage Site and only half an hour from Paris, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most popular excursions during your visit to the French capital. On this tour you will have the opportunity to get to know one of the symbols of the French Golden Age, discover the emblematic Hall of Mirrors, the royal apartments and stroll through the gardens. And if your trip is between April and October, you can also enjoy the musical shows in the gardens and fountains of the palace. In the article What to see at the Palace of Versailles you can find out more about the essential things to see on this visit.
There are half-day and full-day excursions. The latter also includes access to the Grand and Petit Trianon, as well as Marie-Antoinette's estate. Departure times are early in the morning, around 8 am, or in the afternoon, around 1 pm. In this article you can read all the information about the opening hours of the Palace of Versailles. And as the tour is long, I recommend you to read the post where to eat in Versailles in case you want to enjoy a delicious meal or take a break.
On the other hand, in the post tickets to the Palace of Versailles and how to get to Versailles from Paris you can check extra information about this proposal. And if you're travelling with the youngest members of the family, the article Visit Versailles with children offers some fun ideas.
- Price... From €59 for a half-day tour and from €89 for a full-day tour.
- Duration... From 4 hours depending on the type of tour.
- What's included... Transfer to and from Paris, hostess on the coach, access to the gardens, skip-the-line entry to the palace and audio guide. In addition, the full-day package includes access to the Grand and Petit Trianon, Marie-Antoinette's estate and the musical show in the gardens.
- Means of transport... Bus.
2. Have fun like a child at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is the most popular excursion from Paris. And it is an ideal plan, whether you go with children or not, the fun is guaranteed. Before your visit, you should know that there are two parks: Disneyland, which is the traditional park, and Walt Disney Studios, which is the Disney Studios. To find out all the details, read the articles what to see and do in Disneyland Paris and the best attractions in Disneyland.
From the centre of Paris you have the possibility to go and come back in the same day. The most comfortable option is the train. To do so, you have to take a train to Marne-la-Vallee Chessy station. The ticket costs around €7-10 each way depending on the station of departure. In the post How to get from Paris to Disneyland: all the options, you can find more information on this and other options.
Of course, if you are only going for one day, it is very important that you leave early. I recommend that you read the post What to see in Disneyland Paris in one day so that you know everything you need to know for this fairytale day. Besides, it is important that you know the timetable of Disneyland Paris so that you can organise yourself as well as possible and you can consider buying a fast pass to avoid queues and make the most of the day.
And if you go for more days, you are in luck because Disneyland Paris has a lot to see. To give you an idea, read the posts what to see in Disneyland Paris in two days, what to see in Disneyland Paris in three days and what to see in Disneyland Paris in four days and you will realise the great amount of plans you have ahead of you.
It is very important that you also have information on how to organise your meals because you have to take into account that the park is not exactly cheap. Here is the post the best restaurants in Disneyland Paris for you to know all the details.
This excursion is always recommended, but if your trip coincides with important dates such as Christmas or Halloween, you should not hesitate. Read the articles Disneyland Paris at Christmas or Disneyland Paris at Halloween and know all the details of the theme park during these days. You can also visit the post the best time to go to Disneyland Paris and you will have more information about your trip at other times of the year.
From Paris there are several excursions for all tastes and budgets: the Palace of Versailles, Disneyland Paris, Giverny, the Loire Valley... I recommend that you plan the days of your trip very well and do at least a couple of excursions. You won't regret it!
- Price... From 54€.
- Duration... From one to four days.
- What's included... There are different types of tickets, but the ideal is to buy a one-day ticket that gives you access to both parks, Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios.
- Means of transport... You are on your own. The most convenient way is by train.
3. Discover the landscapes that inspired Monet with a tour of Giverny.
Another of the most interesting excursions from the city of Paris, especially for art lovers, is a midday tour to the village of Giverny, where the Impressionist painter Claude Monet lived for over 40 years. On this excursion you will discover some of the landscapes he depicted in his paintings: the colourful gardens with water lilies and weeping willows, the wheat fields, as well as the forests of Normandy. You can also visit the painter's house, which was given by the family in the 1960s to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The museum was opened to the public in the 1980s.
Giverny is located about 80 kilometres from Paris and the excursion, which lasts about five hours, will take place by bus. The price starts from 69€.
- Price... From 69€.
- Duration... 5 hours.
- What's included... Transport service, guide or audio guide depending on your preferences, entrance to the museum.
- Means of transport... Bus.
4. Discover the fairytale region of the Loire Valley
One of the most popular excursions from Paris is a trip to the Loire Valley. On your trip to this area of the French countryside, you will enjoy fairytale landscapes and have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the main castles of the region such as the Château de Chenonceau and the Château de Chambord, which has served as inspiration for films such as 'Beauty and the Beast'.
Moreover, after the guided tour of both castles you will have time to explore them on your own and go into the different rooms, stroll through the gardens and walk around the grounds. On this trip you will also have the opportunity to do a wine tasting at the Cave des Domes winery, whose wines are made from the vines of Chenonceau.
- Price... Around 150€.
- Duration... 12 hours.
- What's included... Bus transfer, entrance to the castles of Chambord and Chenonceau, wine tasting at the Château de Chenonceau.
- Means of transport... Bus.
5. Visit the Château of Chantilly and be enchanted by the Château du Condé Museum
Approximately 50 kilometres from Paris is the Château de Chantilly, one of the most popular châteaux in France. It is divided into two parts: Château Petit, a small castle dating from the 16th century, and Château Grand, the large 19th century castle.
One of the main attractions of this visit is the Count's Museum which, after the Louvre, houses the second most important collection of classical painting in the country. In addition, its library houses almost 13,000 volumes, including more than 1,500 manuscripts, two hundred of which are medieval. On your trip you can also stroll through the gardens and visit the stables, as well as the Living Museum of the Horse.
- Price... There are different types of tickets. The most complete ticket costs around €20.
- Duration... One hour from Paris plus the free visit.
- What's included... The most complete ticket includes the Palace, the Condé Museum, the gardens, the stables and the Living Museum of the Horse. There is a discount if you buy family tickets.
- Means of transport... The most convenient option is the train and the destination stop is Chantilly-Govieux. To get there, take Line D.
6. Mont Saint-Michel Abbey
From Paris you can also take a trip to Mont Saint-Michel. Located in Normandy, in the northwest of France, it is a truly spectacular visit, visited by more than 3.5 million people every year. On your trip from Paris you can visit the Benedictine abbey which dates back to the 10th century and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979, stroll through the medieval streets, walk the ramparts and, most importantly, watch the unique tides of the place.
- Price... From 140€.
- Duration... Approximately 14 hours.
- What's included... Transport to and from the site, entrance to Mont Saint Michel and the accompaniment of an expert guide.
- Means of transport... Bus.
7. Learn all about the Battle of Normandy on a trip to the D-Day beaches...
Among the various offers from Paris is also the full day tour to the D-Day beaches in Normandy. This tour shows visitors all the details and scenes of this key day that marked the beginning of the Battle of Normandy and the end of World War II. Throughout the tour you will be able to see the landscapes of the French countryside, visit the Caen Memorial Museum which gives a detailed account of this episode of World War II, go to Pointe du Hoc from where you will see the hundreds of metres high cliffs between Utah and Omaha beaches, visit the American cemetery of Saint Laurent and Arromanches, and the last stop will be at Juno Beach and its cemetery.
- Price... From 185€.
- Duration... 14 hours.
- What's included... Return transport, tour guide, entrance to the Caen Museum, lunch, visit to the Saint Laurent Cemetery and the Pointe du Hoc.
- Means of transport... Bus
8. Visit a wine cellar in Champagne
You can also opt for a small group tour of the Champagne region. On this tour you will get to know this typical and popular region in depth. You will start the day with a visit to the Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot or Mercier estate, enjoy the vineyard landscapes and a wine tasting, have lunch in a family-run champagne cellar, stroll through the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. You will also visit Hautvillers, the French Dom Perignon village.
- Price... from 269€.
- Duration... 11 hours.
- What's included... Visit to three champagne cellars and tasting in each of them, lunch with wine pairing, transport from Paris by van, English-speaking guide.
- Means of transport... Van.
How much does a tour from Paris cost?
Excursions from Paris vary widely in price depending on the destination, whether you do it on your own where you only have to buy a train ticket and entrance to the site, or whether you book a tour. Generally speaking, you can enjoy the main excursions from €30 to €150.
What are the must-see excursions from Paris?
If you are in Paris for several days, don't hesitate to visit Disneyland Paris. This is the star excursion. Some people make the trip to the theme park without passing through the Parisian city. This will give you an idea of the importance of this destination.
Another possibility is to visit the Palace of Versailles, one of the most important palaces in the world, and a visit which will give you an idea of the fullness of the French monarchy before its decline. In addition, and although it is a longer trip, I recommend you visit the Loire châteaux, a fairytale region, or the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, which dates back to the 10th century and is visited by more than three and a half million people every year. If you're looking for originality, be sure to check out more original visits such as the excursion to Fontainebleau and the Vaux Le Vicomte castle.
And if you're an art lover, don't miss a visit to Giverny, where you can delve into the work of Monet, as well as a visit to Chantilly, which houses one of the finest works of classical painting after the Louvre.