Oh, Paris. It is one of my favorite travel destinations of all time. While Paris offers so many things to do, see, and eat that you can never get bored, I recommend venturing out of the French capital and exploring other parts of France or neighboring countries. 

Here are the 26 best weekend trips from Paris to add to your bucket list. Luckily, all these destinations are within a few hours of reach by train. But renting a car to take a road trip will be fun if you prefer to hit many small towns in one region. 

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26 Best Weekend Trips from Paris | #weekendtripfromParis #travelfrance #travelEurope

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France Travel Resources 

📲 SIM card: Orange is France’s No.1 telecom company with the best coverage. I used this Orange Holiday Europe Prepaid SIM (or eSim), which worked well throughout Europe without hiccups. If you have any trouble using it or need to recharge, you can walk into any Orange store for help.

🛏 Hotels: One thing I don’t like about Paris is accommodation. There are too many hotels, but good ones are expensive and rarely available. It is never too early to book. I use this booking site for competitive rates, a generous free cancellation policy and member perks. Always read reviews before booking.

✈️ Flights: I often use Google Flights to search for the best deals. Then, I directly book flights with the airline. 

🚅 Trains: I love using Trainline to search for train schedules and book tickets. The platform is super helpful when there are any delays, disruptions, or rail strikes, which are all too common in France. 

🚘 Rental Cars: When traveling to the countryside of France, you may not be able to rely solely on public transportation. For a road trip, book rental cars from Auto Europe.

🎫 Tours: My first choice for booking tours and admissions in Europe is Get Your Guide. The platform is easy to book or cancel. It often runs promotions.  

🚑 Travel Insurance: You should always travel with insurance. (Credit card insurance often covers travel disruptions but not medical bills.) Check with your health insurance policy; if it doesn’t cover international travel, compare travel insurance here before purchasing.

Weekend trips from Paris by Train or Car

Best Weekend Trips from Paris - Versailles


Region: Île-de-France

Best for: History buff, Anyone fascinated with the royals and luxe life 

Best Time to Visit: April-May or September-October. Avoid the summer peak time while enjoying the colorful gardens.

How to Get There: 

  • Paris to Versailles by train: Take a RER C train from Austerlitz (or Pont de l’Alma) Station to Versailles Château Rive Gauche (1 hour). Then, walk over to the Palace (15 min)
  • Paris to Versailles by car: Take A13 (40-50 minutes).

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours from Paris to Versailles: 

The Palace of Versailles is Europe’s most opulent royal palace and the UNESCO cultural heritage site. Louis XIV constructed the palace in 1661 to showcase the power of the French monarchy.

While Versailles is the most popular day trip from Paris, it is jaw-droppingly large, making it more appropriate for a weekend trip to get the best taste of the extravagant French royal life.

The Estate of Versailles spreads over 800 hectares and comprises the Palace, the gardens, the Park, the Trianon estate, and several other buildings.

The Hall of Mirrors is the crown jewel of the Palace. It is the most lavish and ostentatious room with historical artifacts and art.

The Park & Gardens at Versailles is another area you should not miss. It epitomizes the French-style garden, designed by the Sun King and realized by André Le Nôtre over 40 years.

Make sure you rent a golf cart or a bike to navigate the majestic Greek God statues, the monumental fountains and the Grand Canal. You may also want to go on a picnic inside the park.

The Estate of Trianon consists of the Grand Trianon, Petite Trianon and Queen’s Hamlet. It was the women’s quarter made for the queens and the lovers of the King. As such, the architecture is adorable and feminine, surrounded by colorful flower gardens.

The best way to tour the Palace of Versailles is to join a tour. The group tours led by a guide get to enter through a designated gate, without the need to line up for 2+ hours during the high season.

Contributed by Chloe from Chloe’s Travelogue

Where to Stay in Paris First Time | 10 Best Arrondissements to Stay in Paris for First-Time Visitors & On a Budget: Tips & Hotel recommendations, Things to Do in each area | #wheretostayParis #parishotels

Where to Stay in Paris?

Paris has 20 arrondissements with distinctive pockets of neighborhoods. While Paris is gorgeous, some areas are better than others for tourists to stay. Here’s your guide to 10 Best Areas in Paris for all travel styles and budgets.

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Fontainebleau #TravellFrance

Image Credit: Stefan K. via Unsplansh


Region: Île-de-France

Best for: Nature Lovers, Rock Climbers, Architecture, History

Best Time to Visit: April for the near-perfect weather, fewer crowds and affordable costs.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Fontainebleau by Train: Take a train from Gare De Leon to Fontainebleau (1 hour; €5- €18)
  • Paris to Fontainebleau by car: About 55 minutes (62km)

Where to Stay:

Best Tours from Paris to Fontainebleau:

Fontainebleau is one of central France’s most beautiful communes. The area is known for its historic French architecture, art, beautiful forests, walks and world-class rock climbing. Only an hour from the center of Paris, it is a favorite getaway for French people and visitors alike.

If you love a blend of city and nature, Fontainebleau may be the place for your weekend getaway from Paris. 

First, explore the historic center and its châteaux. The famous Château de Fontainebleau was home to 34 French kings and two emperors and has been decorated as such. Also, visit Vaux-le-Victomte, another palace famously compared to the Palace of Versailles.

Besides the historic castles, it would be a mistake to miss Fontainebleau’s famous forests. Walk or cycle through the 220 sq. km forest’s paths. 

If you are up for a challenge, wear your rock climbing shoes! Fontainebleau is nicknamed Fonty by the rock-climbing community. It is world-famous and wildly popular for its top-class bouldering, a type of rock climbing that involves low heights and no rope. 

And if you want the whole local experience, pick up some local produce at the morning market and finish your day with a picnic piled high with fresh French ingredients!

Contributed by Luca Saunders from Hello World, Here I Come

Giverny Day Trip from Paris: Monet’s House & Gardens | #ParisDayTrip #MonetGarden #Giverny #TravelFrance


Region: Normandy

Best for: Nature lovers, Monet’s fans, Aesthetes

Best Time to Visit: May through June. While less crowded, you can see the flowers in full bloom and water lilies over the pond.

How to Get There: 

  • Paris to Giverny by train: Take the Grand Lignes from Saint-Lazare Station to Vernon (50 mins). Take a shuttle bus, bike or walk to Monet’s Gardens.
  • Paris to Giverny by car: Take A13 from Paris to Giverny (1.5 hours)

Where to Stay: Orpheus Lodge

Best Tours from Paris to Giverny: 

Giverny is a charming small town in Normandy, best known for Monet’s Gardens and House. The beautiful nature inspired the French impressionist painter Claude Monet, who lived there for 40+ years.

Monet’s masterpieces, such as the Water Lilies and Willows series, were born during his time in Giverny. You can see the originals in Musée National de l’Orangerie and Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris.

In Giverny, you will see where his artistic inspiration comes from. Monet envisioned and singlehandedly created a water pond crossed by a Japanese bridge with cascading wisteria. He built a pink cottage house surrounded by his garden filled with vividly colorful and magically fragrant flowers.

Taking a day trip from Paris to Giverny is the most popular way to explore Monet’s Garden, thanks to its proximity. However, it is also an essential stop in a Normandy weekend road trip. You may rent a car to visit D-day Landing BeachMont-Saint-MichelRouen, and Étretat in one go.

Monet’s Garden is seasonally open from April to October. Check out the area’s opening hours and cafes/accommodations before heading out. Visit the water pond as early as the opening hour to beat the crowds.

Contributed by Chloe from Chloe’s Travelogue

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Rouen #TravellFrance


Region: Normandy

Best for: History Lovers

Best Time to Visit: Spring through Summer for the most friendly weather to enjoy the city

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Rouen by Train: Take a train from Saint-Lazare Station to Gare de Rouen (1.5 hours)
  • Paris to Rouen by car: 2 hours 15 minutes

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours from Paris to Rouen:

A weekend trip to Rouen is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

Rouen is the capital of the Normandy region and is situated right on the River Seine. History lovers can rejoice as this was once a famous medieval town in Europe and still holds significant historical value today.

Some of the best things to do in Rouen include seeing the Rouen Cathedral, visiting the St Joan of Arc’s Church, and wandering around the alleys.

The Rouen Cathedral is one of France’s most impressive Gothic and Renaissance-style churches. This cathedral is also famous for Monet’s paintings of it.

The St. Joan of Arc’s Church is another must-visit while in Rouen. In this spot, she was burned after being found guilty of hearsay. She was considered a heroin to the French people and made a saint. The church embodies this and has lovely stained glass windows.

Beautiful timber homes and cobblestone streets will make you feel like you have entered a fairytale. This is a great way to get acquainted with this small city and make you feel like a local.

Contributed by Samantha Oppenheimer from Find Love and Travel

Weekend Getaways from Paris:Étretat #TravellFrance


Region: Normandy

Best for: Hikers and beachgoers

Best Time to Visit: May, June, and September for pleasant weather and less crowds.

How to Get There: 220km drive from Paris or take the train to Le Havre and a bus from there to Étretat.

Where to Stay:

Best tours in Étretat:

Along the coast of the English Channel, white cliffs rise from the sea, towering over the water below. Étretat is one of the most under-appreciated attractions in France.

Étretat isn’t nearly as popular as Paris, Nice, or Chamonix on the international stage, although it receives quite a few domestic travelers.

The dramatic coastal scenery will blow you away when you visit this hidden gem! The cliffs are possibly the most stunning coastline in Europe.

The best thing to do in Étretat is walk along the cliffs and appreciate the amazing views.

Étretat is best appreciated by getting out onto the trails. This allows you to take in the amazing views of the coast and the English Channel. Numerous hiking trails start from the village and go up either side to the viewpoints.

Get there early or late in the afternoon to secure a parking spot, as parking is limited in the city. The best place to park is at the top of the cliff to the east of the city at the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (free admission).

Apart from the cliffs, there are restaurants, boutique hotels, and shops to explore as you walk around the city.

A weekend trip to Étretat is best combined with a greater road trip around Normandy. You will surely love the beautiful white cliffs of Étretat and the Normandy towns in France!

Contributed by Chris from Around the World with Me

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Mont Saint-Michel #TravellFrance

Mont St. Michel


Region: Normandy

Best For: Sightseers

Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall to avoid summer crowds.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Mont St. Michel by Train: Take a train from Montparnasse Station to Avranches (3.5 hours), then bus to Beauvoir – Navette le Mont-Beauvoir to Mont Saint-Michel (45 minutes).
  • Paris to Mont St. Michel by Car: Drive west on A13 then southwest on A84.

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours from Paris to Mont St Michel:

Mont Saint Michel is a fabulous weekend getaway from Paris because of its unique standing as an islet built beginning in 708 AD and spanning 1300 years of construction! Specifically, the Abbey stands tall on the islet and can be seen all around.

There are many fun things to do in Mont Saint Michel, including touring the Abbey, walking around the entire city for incredible views, visiting one of the four museums, and exploring the small town with some adorable shops.

Don’t miss the famous and Michelin restaurant, La Mere Poulard, which serves Normandy puff omelets! There may be a wait and the hours revolve around meal times (as opposed to being open all day), but it’s worth the hassle of getting in.

To truly appreciate Mont Saint Michel, tour the bay when the tide is low to learn about its important role in the Mont’s history. You will even experience quicksand safely, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! On a bay tour, there are some incredible views of the islet that you can’t get anywhere else!

Contributed by Alanna from Periodic Adventures

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Lille #TravellFrance



Region: Hauts-de-France

Best for: Relaxing city break

Best Time to Visit: May-June and September-October. This is a less busy time with good weather. You will get to experience the brocante in September!

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Lille by Train: Take a train from Gare du Nord to Lille-Flandres (1 hour)
  • Paris to Lille by car: 2 hours 50

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Lille: 

Lille is a beautiful northern French city characterized by Flemish influences, brick architecture, and a wealth of cultural sites. The town makes for the perfect weekend escape thanks to its compact size, meaning that the entirety of the city can be explored on foot for a couple of days. 

Some main highlights include ascending the belfry (curiously, there’s no bell, but it is a UNESCO World Heritage site), discovering the musée des Beaux-Arts, and sampling some local tipples.

After all, Lille’s position close to the Belgian border means that a Belgian-style beer is never too far out of reach! 

To head off the beaten path, head to the Vieille Bourse Book Market. It is a semi-covered daily book market where you can purchase all sorts of prints, posters, and second-hand books. 

Those visiting during September will be delighted to discover that there’s a brocante, one of the world’s largest vintage and flea markets! 

By Sophie Nadeau of solosophie.com

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Epernay, Champaign #TravellFrance



Region: Champagne

Best for: wine lovers

Best Time to Visit: Fall during the wine harvest season with lots of festivals and beautiful fall foliage

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Epernay by Train: Take the train from Gare du Nord to Reims, switch trains to Epernay (about 2 hours)
  • Paris to Epernay by car: Driving a rental car is ideal, since most villages in the Champagne are hard to reach with public transportation.

Where to Stay:

Best Tours from Paris to Champagne:

Epernay is known as the capital city of the sparkling wine, Champagne. It is home to some of the most prestigious wine houses in the entire world, which makes it a great place to visit for wine enthusiasts.

One of the best places to visit in Epernay is Moet & Chandon. It is possible to tour the wine cellars and taste their most beloved products. Other smaller wineries in Epernay also offer tastings that contrast with the big, commercialized house of Moet.

The Avenue de Champagne is the place to be in Epernay. Most Champagne houses have their houses on this famous street. You can walk in, try wines, sit on the terraces, or tour the cellars.

The Chateaux Perrier (picture) is another fabulous place. It also has beautiful gardens that are worth visiting.

Take at least 3 days in Champagne to fully appreciate the area and the smaller villages and hamlets, such as Ay de Champagne or Chigny les Roses. Most smaller villages have lovely, family-owned wineries that are also worth a visit.

The best way to enjoy Epernay and the Champagne area is with a rental car. Also, have a meal plan and make a reservation, as most restaurants are completely booked, even in low season.

Contributed by Sabrina Maasdam of Shades of Summer

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Metz #TravellFrance



Region: Grand Est région, northeastern France

Best for: Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts, Art lovers, History and Culture Enthusiasts.

Best Time to Visit: June through August for various events, festivals and outdoor activities

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Metz  by Train: Take a train from Gare de l’Est to Metz (1.5 hours)
  • Paris to Metz by car:  3 hours 40 minutes

Where to Stay:

Best Tours in Metz:

Visiting an underrated and offbeat destination like Metz can be rewarding. Its impressive historical landmarks, stunning architecture, and magnificent cathedrals make it worth visiting.

There are must–see places and things to do in Metz that should be on your bucket list.

The charming, historic town is famous for its notable cathedrals and splendid architectural wonders, among the renowned highlights of this beautiful town.

Admire the magnificent Saint-Étienne Cathedral; the stunning glass window of this Gothic-style church is amazing.

The Centre Pompidou-Metz (picture above) is another prominent example. Its rich history and diverse offerings make it an appealing destination for travelers with various interests.

Also, wander around the Old Town of Metz. This historic center boasts fascinating medieval buildings and picturesque squares and is home to numerous cafes and shops. 

While exploring the historic center, take advantage of the local dishes in Restaurant Le Paris, the perfect place to try French cuisine.

Metz has a well-connected public transportation system, making it easy to get around. Consider getting a Metz Metropole Transport Card to access buses and trams conveniently.

Lastly, book well in advance for its popular attractions and tours to avoid long lines.

Contributed by Immee Magbag of Journey to France

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Strasbourg #TravellFrance



Region: Alsace

Best for: A romantic getaway

Best Time to Visit: May and June for a pleasant weather and less crowds

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Strasbourg by Train: Take a train from Paris Gare de l’Est to Strasbourg (2 hours)
  • Paris to Strasbourg by car: Takes 5.5 hours (better for a weekend trip option)

Where to Stay:

Best Tours in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is a city next to Germany that exudes a different vibe from other French cities. The city boasts a unique mix of French and German architecture, food and traditions.

One of the best places to visit in Strasbourg is La Petite France. This is a romantic neighborhood on a little island, separated from the rest of the city by canals. It’s a beautiful area to walk around or to explore by boat tour. Admire iconic half-timbered houses with German influence.

Another area you should take into account is the lively historic center. You can appreciate one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in France. For a fee, you can also climb to the top and admire Strasbourg from above.

The city is also famous for its German-inspired cuisine. Try some of the city’s most iconic dishes, such as tarte flambée, choucroute and baeckeoffe.

While a day trip from Paris to Strasbourg is possible, spending a weekend in the city will allow you to fully appreciate it without rushing.

Contributed by Sharon from The Roads Beyond

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Colmar #TravellFrance 



Region: Alsace

Best for: Lovers of pastel-colored cottages and wine villages

Best Time to Visit: May – September

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Colmar by train: Take a train from Paris Gare de l’Est to Strasbourg (2 hours). Transfer to a train to Colmar (45 mins)
  • Paris to Colmar by car: Take the A4 toll road out of Paris, followed by the A335 and A35. Follow this until you see the exit for the Colmar sign. (5-5.5 hours)

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Colmar

Have you ever heard of the charming little city of Colmar, straight from a storybook with pastel, half-timbered cottages and surrounded by wine villages? 

It boasts its network of adorable canals lined with multicolored flowers, referred to as La Petite Venice by the locals. 

Take your time strolling up and down the impossibly beautiful Quai de la Poissonnerie (Fishmongers District), followed by the equally stunning Rue des Tanneurs (Street of Tanners). 

The town center is plucked straight from the Middle Ages, centered around the Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral with its copper accented roof. Don’t miss the magical Koifhaus, historic Maison Pfister, and Le Maison des Tetes with their 106 carved heads as you wander the cobblestoned streets. 

While in Colmar, try a few local delicacies. Thanks to their proximity, alsatian cuisine is a delicious mash-up of German and French cuisine. Enjoy hearty dishes such as crispy tarte flambée (flatbreads topped with crème fraiche, bacon and onion) and choucroûte garnie (wine-spiked sauerkraut served with ham, bacon and boiled potatoes).

If you’re interested in wine tasting, Colmar is surrounded by vineyards producing top-quality wines. You can sample some delicious drops at Domaine Viticole de la Ville in the town center and purchase some bottles to take home with you as a perfect souvenir.

For weekend trippers, touring through the charming wine villages – such as Eguisheim, Riquewihr, and Ribeauvillé – is the best way to experience the idyllic Alsatian countryside.

Contributed by Jenelle Ryan from Happy Little Rover

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Beaune #TravellFrance



Region: Burgundy

Best for: Wine-Tasting and Gastronomy

Best Time to Visit: Spring and Summer, when the vineyards and wineries are beautiful to visit.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Beaune by Train: Take a train from Gare de Lyon to Beaune (2.5 hours)
  • Paris to Beaune by car: 3 hours drive

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Beaune:

Beaune is the wine-tasting capital of Burgundy, one of France’s most popular gastronomy regions. For foodies, this destination is a must-visit for a weekend break from Paris.

However, with food and drink being the highlight of a visit to Beaune, one would be forgiven for forgetting that this medieval town also has a rich history with plenty of fun things in Beaune just waiting to be discovered.

Hospices de Beaune is the town’s most important landmark. Once a working hospital treating people in poverty, it is now a museum that tells the story of life in the Middle Ages in France. Its beautiful architecture looks more like a manor than a hospital. Interestingly, the museum retains many medieval vineyards, which still produce wine.

For weekend visitors wanting to do wine tasting, the choices are endless in town and the surrounding countryside. Ancient cellars producing Burgundy’s world-famous wines knock shoulders with younger wineries, offering visitors the chance to experience new varietals.

To appreciate the Burgundy region on a weekend break, an escorted trip to wine-tasting in the countryside at a several premier wineries is a good idea. Beautiful views of rolling pastures and vineyards are a complete contrast to the hustle and bustle of Paris. 

Before you leave, stock up on Beaune’s delicacies, including cheeses, hams, chocolates, and pastries. And don’t miss out on an exceptional meal at one of Beaune’s fine dining restaurants, such as Le Cheval Noir.

Contributed by Angela from Where Angie Wanders

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Lyon #TravellFrance



Region: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Best For: Foodies

Best Time to Visit: April-May, September-October for low crowds and comfortable weather

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Lyon by Train: SNCF train from Gare de Lyon to Lyon Part Dieu  (approx. 2 hours)
  • Paris to Lyon by Plane: One-hour flight south from CDG to LYS (Lyon Airport). Air France offers several direct flights per day.
  • Paris to Lyon by Car: Drive approximately 4.5 hours south through the countryside

Where to Stay:

Best Tours in Lyon

Lyon, France is a large city located in east-central France. It’s known as the country’s gastronomic capital. Lyon is renowned for its traditional bouchons and Lyonnais specialties, like quenelles (fish dumplings), coq au vin, and the famous Lyonnais salad. Check out Boeuf d’Argent for an exquisite multi-course meal.

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lyon has rich architecture, with its well-preserved Renaissance old town called Vieux Lyon. The town has narrow cobblestone streets and traboules, which are hidden passageways that connect buildings.

Lyon’s cultural scene is vibrant, with numerous museums and galleries, like The Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Gadagne. Lyon is also known for its cool street art.

Additionally, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, sits on the hill. You can get great panoramic views of the city by taking the funicular. The banks of the Rhône and Saône rivers offer picturesque walking promenades – perfect for a mid-day walk!

Contributed by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Annecy #TravellFrance




Best for: Cultural & Outdoor lovers

Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn. (In Summer and during the main French holiday season, the famous town is overrun by Tourists.)

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Annecy by Train: Take a train from Gare de Lyon in Paris to Lyon Part Dieu (2 hours). Transfer to a regional train to Annecy (2 hours). Total travel time: 4 hours
  • Paris to Annecy by car: Take the A6 highway from Paris to Macon. Change there to the A40 highway to Saint-Julien-en-Genevois and then reach Annecy via the A41. Total drive time: 5 hours

Where to Stay:

Best Tours in Annecy

The small town of Annecy in the French Alps is picturesquely situated on Lake Annecy. It is the cleanest lake in the Alps, as no wastewater has been discharged since 1960!

Annecy’s beautiful old town is known as the “Venice of the Alps” thanks to its many small canals. The colorful half-timbered houses along the waterways take visitors back to the Middle Ages.

In addition to the charming old town streets, the main sights include the city’s majestic castle, which towers high above the town, and the former prison in the Palais de L’Isle fortress, which stands on a small island in the middle of the river.

Don’t miss out on exploring the picturesque Lake Annecy. Take a 2-hour panoramic tour by boat from Annecy and admire the villages, beaches, and castles along the lake site.

On another day, enjoy the 40km-bike tour around the picturesque lake. There is hardly any elevation gain to overcome and plenty of great panoramic views to enjoy.

In the evening, you should experience the great atmosphere of Annecy’s medieval old town. Be sure to try the famous tartiflette, a hearty dish of potatoes, cheese and bacon, accompanied by a glass of the excellent local wine.

Contributed by Linda from Hiking the Alps

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Marseille #TravellFrance



Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Best for: Outdoors lover, history lover

Best Time to Visit: Visit in the spring or fall, to take advantage of the mild mid-season weather and avoid the peak season.

How To Get There:

  • Paris to Marseille by Train: Take the train from Gare De Lyon to Marseille St Charles (3 hours)
  • Paris to Marseille by car: Take a direct route on the A6 and then the A7 highways out of Paris towards Marseille (Approx. 7 hours)

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Marseille:

One of the most picturesque cities in the South of France is Marseille. Marseille is easily reached from Paris, making it an excellent destination for a weekend trip.

The extensive stretch of beaches, 300 days of sunshine, the diversity of people, activities, and Marseille’s slow, laid-back pace are all appealing.

There are plenty of things to do in Marseille. This seaside city is known for its beautiful Calanques, delicious seafood, and historic landmarks.

Originally a gathering area for fishermen to market their catch, Vieux-Port (Old Port) is now home to many brightly colored boats and dining establishments.

There are many foods to eat in Marseille, but the most famous is Bouillabaisse, a fish stew, is a must-try. Fish, shellfish, and vegetables are combined in a flavorful broth to create the traditional bouillabaisse dish.

No trip to Marseille would be complete without a climb to the top of Notre-Dame de la Garde. This hilltop basilica is a popular spot to watch the sunset, offering an incredible city view.

The location where you stay in Marseille might make the difference between an amazing and unpleasant vacation. Choose the neighborhood carefully. The train station’s less desirable streets are home to many inexpensive hotels and hostels. In the vicinity of the Vieux Port or southwest along the coast, where peaceful sea views and the sound of the waves abound, travelers looking for moderate accommodations will feel more comfortable.

Contributed by April Verge from Dreaming in French Blog

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Aix-en-Provence #TravellFrance

Image Credit: Jane Ackerley via Unsplash



Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Best for: Culture enthusiasts and food lovers

Best Time to Visit: During the mild and sunny months of May through June. to explore the city comfortably without the summer heat.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Aix-en-Provence by Train: Catch a TGV train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Aix-en-Provence (about 3.5 hours)
  • Paris to Aix-en-Provence by Car: It’s approximately a 6-hour road trip.

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Aix-en-Provence:

Aix-en-Provence, often called the “City of a Thousand Fountains,” is a beautiful destination in the south of France. This town will have you in love as soon as you see its charming streets, elegant architecture, and bustling food market filled with fresh produce, local specialties, and crafts.

One of the best things to do in Aix-en-Provence is strolling down the Cours Mirabeau. This famous avenue is lined with beautiful trees, fountains, and countless cafes. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely coffee or people-watch.

Next, you can visit the Atelier Paul Cézanne. The legendary painter Paul Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence. You can explore his former studio, now a museum, where he created some of his masterpieces.

Aix-en-Provence is also known for its delicious Provençal food. Don’t miss the opportunity to try local specialties like ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and calissons (a sweet almond candy). The best place to try the local cuisine is Le Poivre d’Ane or La Bouchée.

To make the most of your trip, wander through the charming old town, explore the hidden squares, and appreciate the charm of Aix’s architecture.

Aix-en-Provence is a wonderful destination to escape bustling Paris and is easy to get to by train.

Contributed by Jackie Rezk from Jou Jou Travels

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Toulouse #TravellFrance



Region: Occitanie

Best for: sightseeing, history

Best Time to Visit: May and June. There are no big crowds, days are sunny and temperatures are mild.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Toulouse by Train: Take a train Paris Gare de Montparnasse to Toulouse-Matabiau train station (4.5 hours)

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Toulouse:

Toulouse is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway from Paris. Nicknamed “The Pink City” because of its pinkish brick buildings, Toulouse is a lovely city that has an interesting history, beautiful sights, great food, and a vibrant student atmosphere.

There are many fun things to do in Toulouse for a weekend getaway, from exploring the Old Town to visiting the colorful Victor Hugo Market. Don’t miss the Place du Capitole -Toulouse’s main square – dominated by the City Hall (free to visit), the magnificent Basilique Saint-Sernin built in Romanesque style, and the Fondation Bemberg. Today, this former private mansion hosts a beautiful collection of good Impressionist paintings.

The best way to visit Toulouse is on two wheels, as you can cover longer distances in less time. This will also allow you to explore the parks of the city and some kilometers of the Canal du Midi. This artificial canal connects Toulouse with Sète in the Mediterranean Sea.

At lunch or dinner, try to taste local specialties, like the famous Saucisse de Toulouse, or the Cassoulet. The Victor Hugo Market has some basic eateries where you can taste delicious specialties for a modest price.

Contributed By Elisa from France Bucket List

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Saint-Émilion #TravellFrance



Region: Bordeaux

Best for: Wine lovers

Best Time to Visit: April to June for favorable weather and fewer crowds, or September to October for the vine harvests and autumn colors

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Saint-Émilion by Train: Take a train from Paris Montparnasse Station to Saint-Émilion with one transfer at Bordeaux St-Jean (3 hours)
  • Paris to Saint-Émilion by car: Take A10 (6 hours)

Where to Stay:

Best Tours in Bordeaux:

Rolling hills of lush green vines surround a limestone town perched high on a hilltop in one of the most significant wine regions in the world. Saint-Emilion, a beautiful stone village in one of the most important appellations in Bordeaux, was UNESCO-listed in 1999 due to its intact medieval monuments and historical corners.

must-do activity in Saint-Emilion is wine tasting. Visit one of the many chateaux dotted in or around town to taste the impeccable wines, particularly the Grand Cru. Chateau Soutard is within walking distance of the town center and offers several tours, making it perfect for weekend visits.

Beyond wine, visitors to Saint-Emilion can’t miss the Monolithic Church and its tower. Climb the 68-meter bell tower for scenic views across the landscape before heading underground to the dug-out church below, which dates back to the 12th century.

When in Saint-Emilion, stop by Fabrique de Macarons for super fluffy coconut macarons made with the original recipe passed down since the 17th century.

A trip to Saint-Emilion is best enjoyed slowly, strolling through the cobblestone streets and taking advantage of the town’s many viewpoints. It’s best to book your wine tasting in advance, especially on weekends or during busy holiday periods.

Contributed by Bronwyn of BronwynTownsend

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Cognac #TravellFrance



Region: Poitou-Charentes

Best for: History Lovers

Best Time to Visit: April-June or September-October for the Cognac houses and festivals without the crowds

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Cognac by Train: Take a train from Gare Montparnasse to Cognac via Angouleme (3.45 hours)
  • Paris to Cognac by car: Take the A10 out of Paris to Cognac (4.5 Hours)

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Cognac:

Cognac is synonymous with one of the world’s finest spirits, but the town is so much more than that. 

Located in the Charente department of southwestern France, its history can be traced back to Roman times. However, during the 12th century, the town began to flourish significantly due to its strategic position along the Charente River.

The heritage of Cognac is evident when you walk through the cobbled streets. Half-timbered buildings surround you, and it’s like stepping back in time.

For those looking to find out more about how the production of Cognac began, visit houses like Hennessy, Martell, and Rémy Martin. The tours will take you through their cellars to show how their barrels are made and the cognac is aged.

For a taste of local life, go to the weekly market. Try some of the regional produce, such as Pineau des Charentes (fortified wine) and Chabichou, a goat cheese traced to the 8th century when the Saracens came to the region during King Charlemagne. 

To fully appreciate Cognac, take the time to walk along the Charente River. Sit in one of the cafes for a view of the boats going up and down and imagine the trade that passed through all the centuries ago.

Contributed by Kylie Lang of Life in Rural France

Weekend Getaways from Paris: Loire Valley #TravellFrance

Loire Valley


Region: Loire Valley

Best for: Nature & wine lovers

Best Time to Visit: May-June. The Chateau often only open during the Spring and Summer, but it gets very crowded in July and August.

How to Get There

  • Paris to Tours by Train: Take TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Tours (1.5 hours). 
  • Paris to Tours by Car: Take A10 (2.5 hours).
  • The Loire is only 200km from Paris, and the main city of Tours is easily reachable due to the fantastic network connections. However, if you want to explore the area, you either need your vehicle or visit on an organized tour. 

Where to Stay:

Best Tours in Loire Valley:

Located roughly 2 hours south of Paris, the Loire Valley is famous for its imposing châteaux, picturesque scenery, and delicious wineries. 

With more than 300 castles and estates in the region, you could spend several weeks exploring and still need to see it all. However, a weekend trip is plenty of time to get a feel of the area. Focus on 2 or 3 of the main Chateaux rather than trying to see them all. 

One of the most impressive is Château de Chambord, a former hunting lodge of the Royal Family and the largest in the region. It’s also commonly referenced as the castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. There are plenty of tour options here- be sure to book well in advance. There’s also plenty of parking if you’re driving yourself. 

For a lunchtime stop, head to Chateau de Nitray, which has a winery and offers tours that include a sumptuous buffet lunch to go with the wine tasting. 

If you’re touring France by motorcycle or car, please remember not to drink and drive! It is better and safer to join wine tours.

If you have more time, venture out to the city of Chinon. Overlooked by the imposing royal fortress, this picturesque city is full of medieval houses, cobbled streets and plenty of history to delight you. It’s also a great place to buy more wine and souvenirs from your visit to the Loire. 

Contributed by Kat from Biker Girl Life

Weekend Trips from Paris to Other Countries

40 Best Summer Destinations in Europe: Brussels, Belgium | #SummerEurope #travelEurope #EuropeCityBreaks



Country: Belgium

Best for: History buffs, food connoisseurs, cartoon enthusiasts, architecture

Best Time to Visit: Spring for tours and summer for festivals

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Bruges by Train: Take the Thalys (now Eurostar) from Paris Gare du Nord to Brussels Midi (1.5 hours).
  • Paris to Brussels by Car: Take A1 and E19 (approx. 4 hours)

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Brussels:

​A weekend trip from Paris to Brussels is definitely worth it. A quick 1.5-hour ride on the high-speed train takes you to the charming capital city of Belgium.  

With one day in Brussels, you can explore the city center. The Grand Palace of Brussels is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning Gothic architecture. You can also check out the famous landmarks, such as the Manneken Pis statue, the Galerie Royale Saint-Hubert (similar to the charming covered passages in Paris), and the Royal Square.

The Belgian capital also offers many interesting things to satiate unique interests. As the birthplace of Tintin, The Smurfs and Asterix, Brussels has a comic book route to follow street art dedicated to comics, as well as the Belgian Comic Strip Center and Moof Museum.

If you are interested in architecture, Brussels is dotted with many Art Nouveau buildings. The legacy of Victor Horta lives in the UNESCO World Heritage buildings all over the city. The best way to hunt down the architectural beauty is by joining this Art Nouveau Tour.

Also, Brussels is a foodie destination. Try Belgian food in Brussels, including the world’s famous Belgian pralines, Belgian mussels and fries, potato fries (Don’t ever call it French fries in Belgium!), and Belgian waffles. Don’t forget to chow them down with Belgian beers!

Contributed by Chloe of Chloe’s Travelogue

Weekend trips from Paris to other countries: Bruges, Belgium



Country: Belgium

Best for: History buffs, architecture lovers

Best Time to Visit: April to June for the pleasant weather and less crowd.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Bruges by Train: Take the Thalys from Paris Gare du Nord to Brussels Midi. Transfer the Intercity train from Brussels Midi to Bruges Sint-Pieters (Total journey around 2.5 hours).
  • Paris to Bruges by car: This is a 300 km ride and includes toll roads (about 4 hours).

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Bruges:

​Bruges is an enchanting city famous for its medieval buildings, twisting canals and cobblestoned streets. It is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe with a rich history.

Without a doubt, the best thing to do in Bruges is to visit its historic center. You will find plenty of beautiful landmarks like the Church of Our Lady, the Boniface Bridge and the Beguinage. This part of the city is also home to some famous works of art, including the statue of Madonna and Child by Michelangelo.

If you’re a beer lover or would like to learn more about Belgian beer – one of the things this country is famous for – visit Brewery De Halve Maan. This is where Brugse Zot, Bruges most famous beer, is brewed.

Besides walking around the city, taking a boat ride on its twirling canals is a great way to visit Bruges. This will allow you to see this city from another perspective while passing some highlights.

Bruges is one of most beautiful places in Belgium and worth visiting. Best of all, this is an easy weekend trip from Paris.

Contributed by Laura from Laure Wanders

weekend trips from Paris to other countries: Ghent, Belgium #TravelEurope

Image Credit: Gokul via Unsplash



Country: Belgium

Best for: History lovers

Best Time to Visit: Late spring or early autumn to avoid crowds. Or mid-July for Gentse Feesten, the most famous festival in the city.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Ghent by Train: Take a Thalys train from Gare du Nord to Brussels South (1.5 hr). Hop on a direct intercity train to Ghent (30 min).
  • Paris to Ghent by car: Take the A1 via Lille and Kortrijk (3.5 hours)

Where to Stay:

Best Tours in Ghent

Imagine a place where a Medieval castle, historic buildings, and fun things to do come together. That’s Ghent for you! 

Ghent is a relaxed student city exuding young energy and chill vibes. Similar to (and often overshadowed by) Bruges, the medieval city is a hidden gem in Belgium worth visiting!

The city’s compact size makes it perfect for exploring on foot, allowing you to soak all the sights at your own pace. For a different perspective, consider a boat or bike tour. Cruising along the canals offers a serene view of the city’s historical facades, while a bike tour gives an authentic experience of Ghent’s hidden corners.

Other great things to do in Ghent include visiting the Castle of the Counts to see its torture equipment collection and tasting the purple candy, Cuberdon. Buy them at the original Cuberdon stand on the Groentenmarkt. In this square, you can also find an Art & Handicraft market on Saturdays and Sundays.

There are a lot of great food options in Ghent. Go out for dinner in the charming neighborhood called Patershol, where you can find various restaurants from around the world in a maze of cobblestone streets and alleys. As Ghent is the vegan capital of Europe, you will be amazed by the vegetarian and vegan options you can find.

Contributed by Babs from Next Stop Belgium

40 Best Summer Destinations in Europe: Amsterdam, the Netherlands | #SummerEurope #travelEurope #EuropeCityBreaks




Country: Netherlands

Best for: history, diversity, canals, parties, museums

Best Time to Visit: June to September for pleasant weather, long daylight hours and diverse events

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Amsterdam by Train: Take the Thalys (now Eurostar) from Paris Gare du Nord to Amsterdam Centraal (3.5 hours)
  • Paris to Amsterdam by Car: Take E19 (approx. 6 hours)

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Amsterdam:

​Amsterdam is an excellent choice for a weekend trip from Paris. The high-speed train connects two cities in just 3.5 hours. And you are at the heart of Amsterdam, a complete change of scenery, culture and vibes from Paris.

With the Netherlands’ open-minded policy to cannabis and the Red Light District, you may only think of Amsterdam as a party destination. However, the Dutch capital is a beautiful canal city, filled with rich history, unique architecture, and the world’s best museums.

One thing you must include in your Amsterdam itinerary is a canal tour. You may explore the canal rings on foot, visit Dam Square, shop at the Nine Streets, and see tulips on a floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt.

In the evening, take a romantic canal cruise to appreciate the stunning sunset on the horizon and illuminated buildings reflected on the water.

Your visit to Amsterdam is not complete without visiting one of the best museums in Amsterdam. Anne Frank House is a real-life hideaway for Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis. Whether you read The Diary of a Young Girl or not, this museum is a must. Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum are also world-class museums you should not miss.

For culinary pleasure, taste delicious Dutch snack food, such as Dutch haring, Dutch pancakes, stroopwafels, poffertjes, etc. And don’t forget to indulge yourself in high-quality Dutch Gouda cheese!

Contributed by Chloe of Chloe’s Travelogue

Weekend trips from Paris to other countries: Luxembourg CIty

Luxembourg City


Country: Luxembourg

Best for: Architecture Lovers

Best Time to Visit: Summer when the Grand Ducal Palace is open to the public for guided tours.

How to Get There:

  • Paris to Luxembourg City by Train: There are 5 direct, high-speed trains from Gare de l’Est Station in Paris to Luxembourg (approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes).
  • Paris to Luxembourg City by car: Take A4 east to A31 north (4.5 hours)

Where to Stay: 

Best Tours in Luxembourg City:

Originally established as a fortress surrounded by deep ravines, Luxembourg City is structured across two distinct tiers: the upper level, referred to as the New City, and the lower level, known as the Old Town.

The Old Town district has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The well-preserved neighborhood along the banks of the Alzette River is a must-visit. It exudes an irresistible allure during daylight hours and transforms into a lively hub after dusk.

One of the most unique things to do in Luxembourg City is to take a walking tour inside the original fortress walls, called the Casemates, that form the foundation of the upper level of the city.

In the area known as the new city, take the chance to visit Luxembourg’s enchanting Notre Dame Cathedral, along with the crypt beneath it, serving as the final resting place for former Grand Dukes and Duchesses. Take in the vibrant ambiance of Place d’Armes, the bustling central square located within the pedestrian-friendly zone of the city.

As the capital of one of Europe’s tiniest countries, this beautiful city makes for the perfect weekend trip from Paris.

Contributed by Melissa of Parenthood and Passports

Weekend trips from Paris to other countries: London, United KIngdom



Country: United Kingdom

Best for: City breaks, history, iconic attractions

Best Time to Visit: March through May, when the weather is pleasant, and the summer rush is not here yet

How To Get There:

  • Paris to London by train: takes less than 2.5 hours by Eurostar
  • Paris to London by car: 5 to 6 hours

Where To Stay:

Best Tours in London:

As you travel from Paris to London on the Eurostar, you’ll be treated to beautiful French and English countryside views. This vibrant city has plenty to see and do, making London a perfect weekend trip from Paris.

Start your trip by visiting iconic landmarks in London on the banks of the River Thames. Take a tour of the stunning state rooms at Buckingham Palace and witness the changing of the Guard ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Continue your tour to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Take a guided tour to explore the UNESCO-listed Tower of London, see the Crown Jewels, and learn about history. Then enjoy walking across the Tower Bridge. You may also consider taking an afternoon tea cruise on the River Thames.

If you are blessed with sunshine, stroll at London’s famous parks, such as St. James or Hyde Park. If you are experiencing London’s fickle weather, visit Borough Market. Or take the tube to Kensington for shopping.

In the evening, the best way to soak in London’s vibrant nightlife is to stroll along the Thames River or take a night tour bus.

Alternatively, you can book tickets for the London Eye to get a bird’s eye view of the illuminated city. (Late evening usually has less waiting time.) Spotting all the major landmarks you visited during the day from this giant observation wheel will be fun.

Contributed by Stephanie from Bey of Travel

Bon Voyage!