No matter how many times you visit Paris, the bustling city does not seem to run out of this to see and experience. While it would be tempting to spend all your time exploring its streets and alleys to discover its hidden gems, a side trip to the Parisian countryside is something you will not want to miss. From stunning natural scenery to iconic cultural landmarks and attractions, here are some of the best destinations outside the heart of Paris worth making a day trip for.
Why you should go: Auvers-sur-Oise is a picturesque small town that is just a little over thirty minutes away from Paris. It is best known for the deep attachment the iconic painter Vincent Van Gogh has with the place. Van Gogh, who wanted to be near his brother who was living in Paris, stayed in the charming town and fell in love with it. He painted a lot of his works there and in nearby areas. Auvers-sur-Oise is also a popular destination for other painters not just in the past but also today. Some of the town’s must-see sights are the Château d’Auvers, Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, musée de l’Absinthe, van Gogh’s tomb, and l’auberge Ravoux (Maison de van Gogh) among others.
Why you should go: Located roughly 90 kilometers from Paris, the town of Chartres is home to one of the oldest churches in France — the beautiful Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. In just an hour or a little over an hour of travel by train, you can reach the town and admire the awe-inspiring medieval Gothic architecture of the cathedral, dazzling stained-glass windows, the prayer labyrinth, and many other mesmerizing attractions. Other unmissable attractions in Chartres include Église Saint-Pierre, the historic centre and Rue des Écuyers, the town on the banks of the Eure, Maison Picassiette, Centre International du Vitrail (International Stained Glass Centre) and more.
Why you should go: Versailles is located less than an hour away by train from Paris. This makes it one of the easiest and cheapest day trips you can take to enjoy the enchanting sights away from the hustle and bustle of the City of Light. Home to the world-famous and stunning Château de Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Versailles offers plenty of breathtaking attractions like the Gardens of Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors, Grand Trianon, the Royal Opera of Versailles, and Notre-Dame de Versailles to name a few.