9 Day Trips from Paris in Winter You Don’t Want to Miss

Nadia Nadia

Written by Nadia

Christmas Holidays Paris
Best day trips from Paris in winter

The beating heart of France, Paris is the country’s capital and most populous city. The City of Lights is a global center for culture, fashion, art, and gastronomy and an excellent starting point for many fantastic day trips.

Once you’ve covered the must-see spots in the City of Love, you may want to explore beyond its border. From castles and medieval cities to beaches and mountains, you’ll find that leaving the hustle and bustle of the big city behind can be well worth it.

Today, I’m sharing with you the top 9 day trips from Paris in winter that you should include on your next visit. Let’s hop in!

See also Best European cities to visit in December.

The best day trips from Paris I would do first

  • Versailles
  • Château de Fontainebleau
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Mont Saint Michel
  • Normandy
  • Bruges
  • Provins
  • Champagne area
  • Giverny

1. Versailles

If you’re on the hunt for extravagant history, then there’s nothing like visiting Versailles to get your fill. A masterpiece of architecture, this once quiet village is located around 14 miles from the capital’s center.

The Palace of Versailles is your goal destination here. You’ll walk across the same grounds as famous former residents, including Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.

This particular place gets about 10 million visitors every year. They explore breathtaking gardens, visit the Hall of Mirrors, admire the various sculptures and fountains, and marvel at the fancy chandeliers, antiques, ornaments, and hundreds of priceless art pieces.

Oh, and let’s not forget the mile-long Grand Canal, the Versailles lake, or the Grand and Petit Trianon. I could go on and on — there’s much more to discover on this 2,000-acre land that radiates regalness and power.

This day trip from Paris is best made in winter. Trust me, you don’t want to head over there during the high season (April to October) and not be able to move because everyone else is there too!

How to get to Versailles from Paris

Train

  • Departs: RER C train
  • Arrives: Château Versailles Rive Gauche station
  • Shortest travel time: 30 minutes
  • Tickets: 7€

Bus

  • Departs: Pont de Sèvres bus stop
  • Arrives: Château Versailles Rive Gauche station
  • Shortest travel time: 40 minutes
  • Tickets: 5€

2. Château de Fontainebleau

The word “château” is French for castle or palace. You’d think you can get an idea of what this day trip involves just from its name. Still, nothing can really prepare for the magnificence that awaits you only 42 miles outside of Paris.

The Fontainebleau started out its existence several centuries ago as a hunting lodge in medieval times. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find out that during the period from the 1100s through the 1800s, 36 royal and imperial heads lived there.

Your trip to the Château de Fontainebleau will have you exploring spectacular rooms from multiple eras, each with its unique collection of art, antiques, and artifacts. For example, the Throne Room of Napoleon, the Apartment of the Pope, and the boudoir of Marie-Antoinette.

Not to mention, the whole palace is home to paneled walls, frescoes, hand-carved molding, and painting ceilings. Just one look, and you’ll be in awe!

Moreover, the Fontainebleau has a mesmerizing view of gardens, even in the winter.

How to Get To Château de Fontainebleau From Paris

Train

  • Departs: Gare de Lyon station
  • Arrives: Fontainebleau-Avon station
  • Shortest travel time: 40 minutes
  • Tickets: 17€

The rest of the distance can be traveled by bus (line 1 to Fontainebleau downtown).

Car

  • A one-way ride is about 1 hour and 15 minutes 

3. Disneyland Paris

Technically within the capital’s borders, this list of the best day trips from Paris wouldn’t be complete without including the worldwide famous destination – Disneyland.

From the magical atmosphere to the wide range of fun rides and adventures, you’ll have no problems spending the entire day (and maybe a couple more!) down there.

You’ll treat your inner child with nostalgic shows and please the daredevil inside you with thrilling roller coasters. Disney Paris is undoubtedly a fantasy come true!

The best part? It’s entertaining to the whole family; kids, teens, and adults — everyone will find something to their taste. The joyful parades and evening fireworks are the cherry on top of this unforgettable day trip.

Disneyland Paris is a little less hectic than Disney parks in the United States and other countries. Not to mention, it’s also usually a cheaper deal, so you win in all aspects.

However, because of the crowds, I’d still avoid visiting there on weekends, during European school vacations, summer vacations, and popular holidays. Overall, winter is an excellent time for a Disneyland Paris day trip.

Me at Paris Disneyland in the winter
Me, beating the crowds in winter Disneyland

How to Get to Disneyland Paris From Paris

Train

  • Departs: Châtelet les Halles
  • Arrives: Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy
  • Shortest travel time: 40 minutes
  • Tickets: 7€

Bus

  • Departs: Orly Airport
  • Arrives: Disneyland
  • Shortest travel time: 45 minutes
  • Tickets: 23€

4. Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel in the winter

Looking for a dose of nature on your next day trip from Paris? Then Mont Saint Michel is the ideal place for you!

This rocky island sits off the coast of Normandy, about 225 miles west of The Lady of Iron. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s well worth a full day away from the city.

Mont Saint Michel offers one of the best views of the Atlantic Coast you’ll ever come across. I can literally spend hours relaxing while staring out at the vast blue. Even the ride to the island is a sight to behold, with French countryside decorating the roads.

Mont Saint Michel is also a place to explore historical constructions, such as the towering abbey built in 996. Based on an interpretation of Archangel Michael, pilgrimages from all over the world have been flocking to this place of worship since medieval times.

How to get to Mont Saint Michel from Paris

Train

  • Departs: Paris Montparnasse
  • Arrives: Dol-de-Bretagne
  • Shortest travel time: 2.5 hours
  • Tickets: 12€

The rest of the distance can be traveled by taxi.

Bus

  • Departs: Gare Routière Bercy-Seine
  • Arrives: Beauvoir
  • Shortest travel time: 45 minutes
  • Tickets: 28€

5. Normandy

Speaking of Normandy, why not go there for a day trip? This region in northern France is exactly where you should go for a concentrated shot of historical vibes.

Once you step foot onto Normandy’s main grounds, I bet you’ll feel what I did: “This place is picture perfect” and “This place has seen things.” 

For both sentiments, you’d be right. Normandy is a beating sight with its pristine beaches. Still, it’s also heavy with bloody memories of World War II and D-Day landings.

Some of the spots you must include in your visit are the Arromanches’ artificial harbor, Pointe du Hoc, Colleville-Sur-Mer’s American military cemetery, Memorial de Caen, and Omaha Beach. They’re all important sites for better insight into the events of the war.

Normandy is an action-loaded trip for a one-day from Paris. Some folks will feel better spreading it out over 2 days just to ensure they leave nothing unseen.

Keep in mind that while Normandy can be interesting for adult explorers, kids and teens may not be super into it.

How to get to Normandy from Paris

Train

  • Departs: Gare Saint-Lazare
  • Arrives: Bayeux
  • Shortest travel time: 2.5 hours
  • Tickets: 60€

Bus

  • Departs: Paris Bercy Seine
  • Arrives: Paris Bercy Seine
  • Shortest travel time: 3.5 hours
  • Tickets: 15€

6. Bruges, Belguim

Did you know that French fries aren’t actually a French invention? That’s right, they’re a blessing to the world from Belgium!

For this reason alone, you may want to plan your day trip from Paris to Bruges. Of course, it’s also a place filled with culture, art, history, and more.

In particular, I’m talking about the city of Bruges, known for its many canals, lovely cobbled streets, and enchanting medieval buildings.

You may be thinking that a trip to the neighboring country of Belgium is too far from Paris, but it’s really not! The distance between the two cities is around 170 miles, and you can cover it by just about any means of transportation you want.

One of the must-visit spots in Bruges is its renowned historical center. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to the 1100s.

Art lovers should head over to the Groeningemuseum to have a look at the works of Jan van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, Hans Memling, Gerard David, Lancelot Blondeel, Hieronymus Bosch, Ambrosius Benson, and many other celebrated painters.

Finally, I have 3 more reasons for you to visit Bruges from Paris: the mussels, the chocolate, and the beer.

How to get to Bruges from Paris

Train

  • Departs: Paris Nord station
  • Arrives: Bruges 
  • Shortest travel time: 3 hours
  • Tickets: 22€

Bus

  • Departs: Paris Bercy Seine
  • Arrives: Bruges
  • Shortest travel time: 4.5 hours
  • Tickets: 25€

7. Provins

One more UNESCO World Heritage Site you can visit on a day trip from Paris in winter is Provins. It’s a medieval village that, thanks to meticulous efforts, still has most of the time’s features intact.

The medieval city of Provins Provins lies in the Ile-de-France region in north-central France. It’s about 50 miles from Paris and makes for an easy ride.

If you’re interested in age-old monuments, don’t miss out on the chance to experience what it was like to stroll through one or 58!

How to get to Provins from Paris

Train

  • Departs: Gare de l’Est
  • Arrives: Provins
  • Shortest travel time: 1.5 hours
  • Tickets: 20€

Bus

  • Departs: Paris Est
  • Arrives: Provins
  • Shortest travel time: 2 hours
  • Tickets: 10€

8. Champagne region

Last but not least, the Champagne region is a popular destination for day trips from Paris for folks with a taste for finer things.

Champagne is the official drink of fancy indulgence, so most people jump at the opportunity to visit its original home. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see where their Veuve Clicquot, Nicolas Feuillatte, Taittinger, or Moët & Chandon came from?

At Champagne, you can experience France’s most famous beverage at renowned champagne houses. You can sit down for a lovely brunch with a view of the vineyards where they grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

All in all, it’s a fun day for adults with A LOT of bubbles and class.

How to get to Champagne region from Paris

Train

  • Departs: Paris Est
  • Arrives: Épernay
  • Shortest travel time: 1.5 hours
  • Tickets: 70€

Car

  • A one-way ride is about 1 hour and 30 minutes

9. Giverny

Giverny in the winter, France
Giverny at wintertime

If you ever hear of a place called Giverny in France, then you’ll also come across a mention of Claude Monet.

Why?

Well, simply because this tiny village located in Normandy owes most of its gorgeous scenery to the impressionist artist.

Sitting about 45 miles outside Paris, Giverny is home to luscious gardens inspired by Japanese woodblock prints. 

I know, the winter is not the best time to see the blooming pond. Moreover, Monet’s house close until March. But you can still walk through the pretty little village, enjoy the architecture and visit the Giverny Museum of Impressionisms

Going down to Giverny is an easy and quick route, yet such a soul-enriching experience – especially if you’re already a Monet fan. If you’re not, I bet you’ll leave as one!

Even the air in this place is unique, carrying the freshness of French winter and the tranquil of the village! Giverny is surely a spot you don’t want to overlook for your day trip from Paris in winter.

See the official website for more information.

How to get to Giverny from Paris

Train

  • Departs: Gare Saint-Lazare train station
  • Arrives: Vernon train station
  • Shortest travel time: 45 minutes
  • Tickets: 16 €

The rest of the 4 miles to Giverny can be traveled by bus or taxi.

Car

  • A one-way ride is about 1 hour and 30 minutes 

Bonus: Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)

I almost forgot about this one. The Chartres Cathedral is a top-tier destination for architecture lovers. Why?

Well, simply because this magnificent building encompasses the dramatic Gothic features of medieval times along with the intricate beauty of hand-made stained glass windows.

Sitting about 55 miles outside Paris, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The incredible details you’ll see in every window you come across will tell you exactly why this place is well worth a day trip (or several!).

As for the snow? It’ll only make your visit that much more enchanting.

How to get to Chartres Cathedral from Paris

Train

  • Departs: Paris Montparnasse 1 Et 2 train station
  • Arrives: Chartres Cathedral train station
  • Shortest travel time: 1.5 hours
  • Tickets: 20€

Bus

  • Departs: Paris Montparnasse 3 Vaugirard
  • Arrives: Chartres Gare Rue Nicole
  • Shortest travel time: 2 hours and 50 minutes 
  • Tickets: 18€

Close cities and sights for a day trip from Paris in wintertime

Distance, kmBy TrainBy Bus
Versailles3053m42m (by car)
Disneyland Paris4343m43m
Château de Fontainebleau6939m (then take a bus)10m
Giverny872h37m1h55m
Chartres Cathedral901h30m2h50m
Provins911h23m1h14m (by car)
Champagne region (Épernay)1431h21m1h44m (by car)
Normandy2103h18m2h30m (by car)
Bruges, Belgium2982h37m3h15m (by car)
Mont Saint Michel3725h29m>4h (by car)

What is the main train Station in Paris?

Gare du Nord, also known as Paris Nord, is the central station in Paris and the busiest one in Europe. It’s located in the 10th arrondissement near the Gare de L’Est.

It was constructed between 1861 and 1864 and designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff, a French architect.

The Paris Nord station receives and sends trains between Paris and northern France. It also accommodates international destinations in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

What Is the Main Bus Station in Paris?

The main bus station in Paris is Porte Maillot, on Boulevard Pershing.

It is a well-connected station, and bus companies that operate from Porte Maillot include FlixBus, ALSA, Sindbad, BlaBlaBus, Infobus, and Union Ivkoni.

Conclusion

There you have it, my selection of the best 9-day trips from Paris in winter. If I only had time for a couple of these day trips, I wouldn’t miss out on Giverny and Versailles. But of course, the choice is ultimately yours. As long as you get out there, I’m happy!

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