3 Ideas for Day Trips in the Paris Region

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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 landmark is the mighty Tour César, a superb medieval octogonal 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


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About 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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