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.
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.
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.
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.