Feb 7th, 2020, 12:42 AM

Five Short Day Trips from Paris for Five Different Types of People

By Adriana Alonso
Girl in front of train
Girl in front of train. Image Credit: Unsplash
Escape the city's chaos for a few hours.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland Paris, Image credit: Unsplash/ Patrícia Ferreira

1. For the nostalgic: Disneyland 

This one will probably take you a whole day since you won’t be able to get enough of the amazing rides (and the lines tend to get quite long). Although smaller than the Florida and California parks, the rides won’t leave you disappointed. If you’ve got a need for speed, you can’t miss the Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain and the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril ride. If you want to take a stroll down memory lane It’s a Small World is a must. They will also have a ride for each of your favorite Disney classics — Peter Pan’s Flight, Les Voyages de Pinocchio, and Le Passage Enchanté d’Aladdin, just to name a few. Be ready to take a picture with your favorite Disney and Marvel characters, as you might see them walking around. Don’t miss the parades and stay late enough to enjoy their award-winning fireworks show.

How to get there: Take the Disneyland Paris Express from Gare du Nord, Opéra, Châtelet or the Eiffel Tower by booking a ticket online. You can also take the RER A to Marne-la-Vallée and get off at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy.

Where to eat: You will probably end up eating wherever you find the smallest line. If you want quick counter service try Cowboy Cookout Barbecue, Toad Hall or Colonel Hathi’s where you will find Mickey Mouse-shaped pizza. For table service, Chez Remy and Silver Spur Steakhouse are good options. 

Boulevard de Parc, 77700, Marne-la-Vallee


Châteay Fontainebleau, Image credit: Unsplash/ Marcos Abreu

2. For history enthusiasts: Château Fontainebleau

Can’t be bothered with the lines and crowds at the Palace of Versailles? We introduce to you the Palace of Fontainebleau! It is the only château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. With over 1500 rooms, it is also one of the largest French royal castles; so make sure you leave your belongings in the lockers before you start to wander the corridors of this lavish castle. History lovers will not believe their eyes. Especially Renaissance and Napoleon fans. Spoiler alert! The Emperor’s original, iconic hat is on display! Your tour won’t end in the castle, though. The property boasts 130 acres of gorgeous gardens. In the warmer months, you can even rent a rowboat and relax in the palace’s lake. Once you're done with the castle, take a stroll through the town’s streets. Don’t miss the award-winning Frédéric Cassel patisserie and the Teo Cabanel perfume shop.

How to get there: Take a train to Migennes, Montargis or Montereau from Gare de Lyon and get off at Fontainebleau-Avon. From there, take  Bus 1 towards Les Lilas to get to Château de Fontainebleau

Where to eat: If you’re in the opulent, Fontainebleau mood, try l’Axel, French food with a Japanese touch and a Michelin star. For something more relaxed, grab a crêpe at L'Hirondelle. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays make sure to visit the street market in the morning. 

Pl. du General-de-Gaulle, 77300, Fontainebleau


Calvin Klein boutique at La Vallée Village, Image credit: Instagram/ @lavalleevillage

3. For the fashionistas: La Vallée Village

Just outside of Paris, La Vallé Village is home to more than 100 luxury outlet boutiques. Here you will find anything from Levi’s and Sandro to Gucci and Prada. Make sure it’s not raining when you go because this shopping center is completely outdoors. You will find incredible bargains from your favorite brands. Especially if you go during the sale seasons, where the prices drop from 30-70%. If you’re a foreigner, don’t forget your passport to get your tax refund, but do expect a line. 

How to get there: Take the RER A to Val d’Europe or Pre-book a €25 shuttle ticket to get picked up at Pyramides.

Where to eat: You can’t waste any shopping time! So grab a quick bite at Pret-A-Manger or Starbucks. For dessert grab a macaroon or ice cream at Ladurée, Amorino or Pierre Hermé. 

3 Cours de la Garonne, 77700 Serris


Villa Savoye, Image credit: Instagram/ @onefilmphotoaday

4. For future architects: Villa Savoye

This modernist architectural masterpiece was built by Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, A.K.A Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret between 1928 and 1931. It was originally built as a country house in Poissy for the Savoye family. During World War II after the Savoye family left the villa, it was occupied by both German and American troops, so there is more than architecture and design to explore. A perfect example of the “five points” of Le Corbusier’s new architectural aesthetic, it is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is open every day except for Mondays. 

How to get there: Take the RER A to Poissy and then bus 50 to “La Coudraie” and get off at Villa Savoye.

Where to eat: For outstanding Moroccan food, try Le Riad, which is a 20-minute walk from the villa. Nearby, is La Chaumiere if you want to stick to French cuisine. 

82 rue de Villiers, 78300 Poissy


Foundation Claude Monet, Image credit: Unsplash/ Veronica Reverse

5. For art lovers: Giverny

From 1883 to 1926 Claude Monet, founder and best-known artist of the Impressionist movement, lived in this small village. His house, which is open to the public, is Giverny’s biggest attraction. Here, you will be able to explore his house, his gardens and the famous lily pond, depicted in Monet’s Water Lilies series. The gardens require a lot of maintenance and are the most beautiful when they are in full bloom. For this reason, the Claude Monet Foundation is not open year-round. The 2020 season starts on the 1st of April and ends on the 1st of November. The extensive gardens will also look slightly familiar if you are fond of Monet’s work. If you manage to finish the tour of the artist’s large property, you can visit the Museum of Impressionism which is right across the street. The church of Giverny is also nearby, which is where Monet got married.

How to get there: Take a train from Gare Saint-Lazare to Vernon. From there, a bus or taxi can take you to Giverny. 

Where to eat: If you’re looking for a Michelin-star culinary experience, make sure to visit Le Jardin des Plumes. For a more casual lunch, Au Coin du Paint’re has amazing French food. 

84 Rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny