Pierre
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Have you heard of the Île de France? In English the region is often simply called “Paris region”. This historic area encompasses a large stretch of land beyond the city of Paris. It includes most of its suburbs (Versailles, Saint-Denis, Vincennes…), the two main airports (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Disneyland Paris, but also fields and forests. If you stay in Paris for more than a week, it’s a good idea to check out what’s beyond the ‘Boulevard Périphérique’. To give you an idea, here are 3 ideas of day trips in the Paris region.


3 Day Trips in the Paris region

It is easy to reach the following 3 sites thanks to public transport. I hope they will inspire you on your next stay in the French capital…


Hameau de la Reine, Versailles

You can easily reach Versailles from Paris thanks to the RER and Transilien trains. Versailles is synonymous with a grand palace built by the Sun King, Louis XIV. But instead of heading to the unmissable landmark, lets reach the hamlet of Marie-Antoinette in the domain of the Petit-Trianon. The rustic retreat was built for Marie-Antoinette in 1783 to be a place of leisure for the Queen and her closest friends.

Hameau de Marie-Antoinette Versailles 02 © French Moments
Hameau de Marie-Antoinette, Versailles © French Moments
Hameau de Marie-Antoinette Versailles 04 © French Moments
Hamlet of Marie-Antoinette, Versailles © French Moments
Hameau de Marie-Antoinette Versailles 03 © French Moments
Hameau de Marie-Antoinette, Versailles © French Moments
Hameau de Marie-Antoinette Versailles 01 © French Moments
Day Trips in the Paris Region – Hameau de Marie-Antoinette © French Moments
Louis XIV bust in the Grand Trianon © French Moments
Louis XIV bust in the Grand Trianon © French Moments

Provins, Seine-et-Marne

To the east of Paris, well into the countryside lies the medieval town of Provins. Once a prosperous town where the popular Fairs of Champagne were held, Provins has been listed as a World Heritage Site in 2001 by Unesco. One of the major landmarks is the mighty Tour César, a superb medieval octagonal keep, the only one of its kind.

Provins Place du Châtel © French Moments
The medieval town of Provins © French Moments
Provins Ville Haute 02 © French Moments
Provins, the ‘Tour César’ © French Moments
Provins Ville Haute 01 © French Moments
Day Trips in the Paris Region – Provins © French Moments
General View of Provins Ville Basse © French Moments
General View of Provins Ville Basse © French Moments

Chateau of Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines

This château lies in Maisons-Laffitte – a town where we used to live. We really enjoyed ‘our’ château on any given day, even on a rainy Sunday. A visit of the interiors are always fascinating, particularly the grand Guard Room and the Renaissance staircase.

Walking Tour of Maisons-Laffitte June 2016 09 © French Moments
Walking Tour of Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments
Chateau Maisons Laffitte Interior 29 copyright French Moments
Inside the chateau of Maisons-Laffitte – the grand ballroom © French Moments
Chateau Maisons Laffitte Interior 36 copyright French Moments
Inside the chateau of Maisons-Laffitte – the King’s bedroom © French Moments
Chateau Maisons Laffitte Interior 35 copyright French Moments
Inside the chateau of Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments
Chateau Maisons Laffitte Interior 28 copyright French Moments
The grand staircase, chateau of Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments
Chateau Maisons Laffitte Interior 19 copyright French Moments
Inside the chateau of Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments
Mothers' Day at Bauget in Maisons-Laffitte 01 © French Moments
Delicious pâtisseries at Bauget in Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments

If you have time, have a stroll in the park of the château where manors and townhouses have been built in the 19th century. The Forest of Saint-Germain is near but not easily accessible by public transport. You can take a bus to the neighbouring market town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

The Muette pavilion © French Moments
The Muette pavilion © French Moments
Place Saint-Pierre, Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments
Place Saint-Pierre, Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments
Rue Wauthier in Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments
Rue Wauthier in Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments
The great terrace of Le Nôtre, Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments
The railing of the great terrace of Le Nôtre, Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments
The Castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments
The Castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments

About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of the Discovery Course on the Secrets of the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas book "Voyage au Pays de Noël".

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