34 Best Weekend Trips From Paris by Train

Are you seeking a quick, refreshing getaway from the bustling City of Light? Be inspired by these 34 best weekend trips from Paris by train that showcase France’s unique culture, history, and stunning landscapes.

Whether you’re searching for romance, adventure, or simply a change of scenery – we’ve got you covered with enchanting destinations boasting everything from medieval architecture to sun-kissed beaches.

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links and I may earn a little something if you decide to click on them at no additional cost to you. Thanks!

Best Weekend Trip From Paris

1) London: Best Weekend Trip For City Lovers

As a city lover, I’m always on the lookout for an exciting weekend break from Paris, and London is undoubtedly one of my favourites.

London can be reached via a 2.5-hour train ride on the Eurostar or a 6-hour drive through the Channel Tunnel.

During my visits to London, I’ve enjoyed catching West End shows at some of their fantastic theatres, strolling through Hyde Park while savouring an authentic British cream tea at nearby cafes, and exploring various street food markets throughout town – Borough Market being my top pick!

What’s more fascinating is that every time I go back to this wonderful city across the English Channel from France’s City of Light (Paris), new experiences always await me.

2) Brussels: Perfect For Beer, Chocolate, And Waffles

Just a quick 1.5-hour rail journey from Paris, Brussels is the perfect weekend getaway for those looking to indulge in some finer things in life – beer, chocolate, and waffles! 

Strolling through this charming city known as the capital of Belgium and headquarters of the European Union, you’ll be spoiled for choice by incredible Belgian brews on offer at various pubs and breweries.

But let’s not forget about the sweeter side of Brussels. Chocolate shops are aplenty in this city that’s world-renowned for its confections – take advantage of guided tours or tastings to dive into its rich history while treating your taste buds.

And don’t miss those fantastic waffles served up fresh from street vendors or cafes all over town, with toppings galore to suit any craving.

Beyond these culinary delights, Brussels boasts historical landmarks like Grand Place and Atomium, plus jaw-dropping Royal Palace architecture alongside art galleries showcasing contemporary masterpieces mixed with traditional works throughout their vibrant scene.

3) Bruges: Romantic Getaway For Lovers

best weekend trips from Paris

Bruges, often called the “Venice of the North,” is a picturesque city in Belgium that makes for an ideal romantic weekend getaway from Paris.

With its charming medieval architecture, winding canals, and cobblestone streets, it’s no wonder that Bruges has earned a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

One of the highlights in Bruges is taking a boat tour along its serene canals, allowing you to appreciate the city’s beauty and historic charm truly.

Additionally, couples may enjoy exploring some of Europe’s most well-preserved Gothic buildings or indulging in delicious Belgian chocolate at one of many local chocolatiers scattered throughout the town.

As night falls in Bruges, dine by candlelight at an intimate restaurant serving mouth-watering cuisine before walking hand-in-hand under starlit skies back to your cosy accommodation.

4) Luxembourg City: Melting Pot Of Culture

Luxembourg City is a hidden gem that tourists often overlook. This cultural melting pot boasts numerous attractions and is just a 2-hour short train ride from Paris.

Visitors can marvel at the Casemates du Bock, which were used as defensive fortifications during World War II, or explore the Notre Dame Cathedral, an impressive example of Gothic architecture.

The city centre offers an array of quaint cafes, shops, and restaurants where travellers can taste local specialities like Gromperekichelcher (potato fritters) or Kachkéis (cheese spread).

Luxembourg also serves as a hub for the European Union and features a mix of modern and historical architecture.

5) Heidelberg: Explore Germany

I highly recommend visiting Heidelberg as one of the best short weekend breaks from Paris. Located in southwestern Germany, Heidelberg is known for its charming and romantic atmosphere, rich history, and stunning architecture.

From Paris, travellers can reach Heidelberg via Gare de l’Est by train in 3 hours and 40 minutes or a 5.5-hour car ride of 337 miles (542 km).

During your visit to Heidelberg, don’t miss the iconic Heidelberg Castle, which offers picturesque views of the city’s Gothic-style buildings and the Neckar River below.

You can also stroll through the historic Old Town area to see more historical landmarks such as The Church of Holy Spirit – one of the most recognizable symbols in Heidelberg.

6) Zurich: Architecture, History, And Nightlife

Zurich is a perfect destination for a weekend trip from Paris, offering visitors the chance to explore the beautiful architecture and rich history while experiencing the vibrant nightlife.

Zurich’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with cobblestone streets, guildhalls, and historic structures like the Fraumünster Church and Grossmünster Cathedral.

In addition to its stunning architectural landmarks, Zurich has several art galleries and museums that showcase contemporary Swiss art. Some of these include the Kunsthaus Zurich and the Museum of Art and Design (Museum fuer Gestaltung).

And after sunset, you can experience Zurich’s lively nightlife scene featuring music venues like Moods Jazz Club or dance at Hive Nightclub while enjoying local beers.

7) Loire Valley: Castles And Wine

The Loire Valley is a fascinating destination for wine lovers and castle enthusiasts. The region boasts over 300 chateaux, including the famous Chateau de Chambord and Chenonceau.

The valley is easily accessible from Paris by train or car, with the journey taking around 2-3 hours.

Visitors can explore these breathtaking castles while enjoying some of France’s best wines, like Muscadet, Sancerre, and Vouvray.

In addition to wine tours, visitors can take part in various activities like biking along the stunning Loire à Vélo Cycle Path or staying at one of the many charming chateaus.

8) Reims: Champagne Lovers’ Destination

If you’re a champagne lover, Reims is the place to be! Located in the central Champagne region, this amiable city offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to indulge in their love for bubbly.

Just 40 minutes away from Paris by TGV train, Reims boasts some of France’s most popular champagne houses and vineyards. Visitors can take cellar tours and tastings around the city or even go on hot air balloon rides over vineyards in nearby Epernay.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims, Archbishop’s Palace, and Fine Arts Museum are also must-see landmarks that offer a glimpse into the town’s rich cultural history.

And don’t forget about dining – Reims has some great cafes and restaurants serving French cuisine paired with delicious local wines.

9) Dijon: Food And Wine Getaway

Dijon is a food and wine lover’s dream destination, easily accessible by car or train from Paris. The city boasts Burgundian specialities including mustard, beef bourguignon, and the famous Burgundy wines.

Visitors can explore historical landmarks such as the Ducal Palace and follow the Owl’s Trail for a self-guided city tour.

 Les Halles Market offers an authentic French experience where visitors can sample local produce and pick up souvenirs to take home.

Michelin Guide restaurants are also plentiful in Dijon, offering dining options to suit all tastes and budgets.

10) Lyon: Ultimate Food Destination

As a food lover, I highly recommend Lyon as one of the best Paris weekend trips. Located just 2 hours away by train or 5 hours by car, Lyon is considered the ultimate food destination in France.

Visitors can participate in food tours, learn about silk-making history, and visit Les Halles Market to taste Lyon’s famous cuisine.

Aside from its incredibly diverse culinary scene, Lyon also boasts popular attractions such as the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon-Fourvière and Lyon’s Old Town with its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.

11) Annecy: Mountain Views

Annecy is a picturesque town nestled in the French Alps, offering stunning mountain views and outdoor activities.

Located just 3.5 hours by train or a 6-hour drive from Paris, Annecy is an excellent destination for a weekend for nature lovers and adventurers.

Aside from its natural beauty, Annecy offers visitors tantalizing culinary experiences with classic alpine cuisine like tartiflette and fondue.

Wine enthusiasts can also tour the nearby Savoie wine region known for producing some of France’s best white wines.

See Related: One Day in Annecy – The Ultimate Classic Itinerary

12) Deauville: Beach Resort Town

Deauville, located in Normandy, France, is a popular weekend getaway destination from Paris.

The town is prestigious for its beautiful beaches, horse racing events, and cultural festivals like the American Film Festival and Deauville Asian Film Festival.

Visitors can enjoy many activities such as cycling, sailing or exploring nearby towns, including Trouville and Honfleur.

One of the highlights of this resort town is its world-renowned casino which adds to the glamour of the place.

For those seeking indulgence, there are dining options at fabulous restaurants offering French cuisine, along with many high-end boutiques selling fashion labels for elegant shopping experiences.

13) Versailles: Chateau De Versailles

Versailles is undoubtedly one of the top weekend trips from Paris that should not be missed.

Just 45 minutes by train, Versailles boasts the grand Chateau de Versailles and its sprawling estate, once home to King Louis XIV.

Visitors can explore the palace’s opulent rooms, admire the Hall of Mirrors, and stroll through the stunning French gardens adorned with fountains and statues.

Additionally, Marche Notre-Dame in town offers delicious local food options while overlooking picturesque streets that are full of charming shops and cafes.

14) Avignon: History And Lavender

Avignon is a charming city in the Provence region of France, boasting significant historical landmarks and breathtaking natural landscapes.

One cannot miss visiting Avignon’s most famous landmark – the Palais des Papes, once home to seven popes of the Catholic Church.

In addition to its rich history, Avignon is renowned for its lavender fields that bloom from late June through July.

Visitors can enjoy picturesque views while taking leisurely strolls or biking around these fragrant fields.

The city also offers wine-tasting tours in one of the best wine regions nearby. It is surrounded by stunning natural beauty like the Rhône River and Luberon Mountains.

15) Nice: South Of France Getaway

I absolutely love Nice for a great weekend getaway from Paris. Located in the south of France, Nice boasts scenic beaches with crystal clear waters and a Mediterranean climate, making it one of the best places to visit for any beach lover.

Nice’s Old Town is full of narrow streets lined with colourful buildings and a famous market selling fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Strolling along Promenade des Anglais offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Additionally, with its excellent cuisine featuring specialities such as Socca, pissaladiere, and salade Nicoise – you can never go hungry while visiting Nice!

What I adore about this charming city is that it’s surrounded by picturesque towns like Antibes, Cannes, and Saint-Paul-de-Vence where you’ll find impressive art galleries and delightful cafes.

16) Marseille: Sunshine And Mild Winters

Marseille is a coastal city for those looking for a perfect weekend trip from Paris.

The vibrant atmosphere, sunny weather and mild winters make it an ideal destination throughout the year.

The city is easily accessible from Paris by train, with the journey taking just over three and a half hours.

Visitors can explore attractions like the Palais Longchamp, Notre-Dame de la Garde or hike in nearby Calanques National Park.

After a day of sightseeing, visitors can relax at one of Marseille’s many bars or restaurants highlighting local cuisines such as bouillabaisse and panisse.

The Pharo Palace, the Corniche and the Marseille Ferris Wheel offer stunning views of this picturesque destination.

At the same time, its proximity to Aix-en-Provence, Cassis and Avignon makes exploring nearby attractions easy.

17) Bordeaux: Wine Lover’s Dream

Bordeaux is a wine lover’s dream destination for a weekend away from Paris. This beautiful city allows visitors to taste some of the best wines in France, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and more.

With over 10,000 wine-producing châteaux and vineyards spanning across more than 350,000 hectares of land, Bordeaux is a must-visit location for any serious wine connoisseur.

The city’s historical centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list back in 2007 due to its stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage.

Bordeaux can be easily accessed by train from Paris with the journey taking around three hours.

18) Colmar: Holiday Wonderland

Colmar is a charming holiday wonderland that can be easily reached by train from Paris.

This picturesque town in the Alsace region is known for its well-preserved old town featuring colourful buildings, cobblestone streets, and scenic canals.

Visitors to Colmar can take a boat tour of the canals or explore the town on foot or by bike.

The town is especially popular during Christmas, transforming into a winter wonderland with festive markets and twinkling lights.

Colmar is also famous for its wines, particularly Alsatian white wines, which visitors can sample at local wineries.

19) Nantes: Art, Culture, And Wine

Nantes is one of the best places to visit from Paris for art, culture, and wine lovers.

The city boasts numerous museums and galleries showcasing both contemporary and classical works, making it a haven for art enthusiasts.

One must-visit spot is the Jules Verne Museum, dedicated to Nantes’ famous science-fiction author.

Aside from its rich cultural scene, Nantes is known for having a strong connection to wine as well.

With the nearby Muscadet wine region, visitors can indulge in some of the area’s finest wines during their stay here.

Nante’s vibrant nightlife scene with many bars and clubs adds to its charm as a great destination choice.

20) Mont-Saint-Michel: Dreamy Getaway

Mont-Saint-Michel, a rocky island in Northwestern France, is a picturesque and dreamy getaway that should be on every traveller’s bucket list.

It is only a 4-hour drive from Paris and can be easily accessed by train.

Dated back to the 8th century and overlooks stunning landscapes, the abbey is an architectural masterpiece that visitors can explore while taking in beautiful views of the surrounding bay.

To learn more about Mont-Saint-Michel’s history or architecture, guided tours are available.

Visitors can also enjoy delectable French cuisine featuring seafood at one of several restaurants found on the island.

21) Fontainebleau: Castle Lover’s Destination

Fontainebleau is a must-visit weekend trip destination for castle enthusiasts.

The Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts remarkable architecture and artwork that spans centuries of French history.

Visitors can explore the palace’s numerous rooms and gardens, including Napoleon Bonaparte’s private apartments and nearby forests and villages.

Additionally, during summer, the Fontainebleau Music Festival offers classical music performances in the palace’s grand courtyard.

The city of Fontainebleau itself has various dining options and shopping areas to round out any getaway.

Weekend Trips To Beaches

22) Honfleur

Honfleur is a lovely town located in Normandy, France, and it makes for an excellent destination for a weekend getaway from Paris.

Honfleur’s beautiful beach area is just one of the many reasons visitors should consider this lovely town for their next short getaway.

Art lovers will be contented to know that Honfleur has a rich cultural scene with several art galleries showcasing works by talented local artists.

Visitors can also admire the picturesque harbour that inspired painters like Monet or take strolls through the narrow cobblestone streets with half-timbered houses.

And let’s not forget about the gastronomical delights available here – seafood, especially oysters are renowned specialities along with apple brandy (calvados).

23) Baie De Somme

Baie de Somme is a popular destination for weekend trips from Paris, located less than 3 hours away by car or train.

This stunning area in Picardy offers high cliffs and beautiful beaches.

One of its most charming towns, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, can be reached via a steam train ride from Le Crotoy.

The bay is an important bird-watching site with over 300 species spotted in the area, making it an excellent destination for nature enthusiasts.

Visitors can also enjoy activities like hiking, biking and horse riding along the beach.

24) Etretat

Etretat is a seaside town located in the Normandy region of France. It is a popular weekend short break from Paris, especially for those seeking beach getaways.

The town is famous for its spectacular sea cliffs and pebble beaches, which offer breathtaking views that have inspired artists such as Eugene Boudin and Claude Monet.

Visitors can enjoy activities like hiking on the cliff paths, swimming in the crystal-clear water, or indulging in local seafood at restaurants along the coast.

The best time to visit Etretat is during summer when temperatures are warmer. However, visitors can still explore this charming town year-round.

Major Cities To Visit

25) Rouen

Rouen, a city located in the Normandy region of France, is a perfect weekend break in France for those who love history, culture, and delicious food.

The city is reachable by train or car from Paris.

Rouen’s stunning architecture and charming cafés make it an excellent base for exploring the region’s historical landmarks, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral—one of France’s Grandes Cathédrales.

As Joan of Arc perished after being burned at stake here, Rouen offers visitors a museum dedicated to her life with well-produced artefacts from one of Europe’s most notable heroines.

26) Rennes

If you’re looking for a weekend packed with unique cultural experiences, Rennes is an excellent weekend trip option. 

Located just 1h30 away from Paris by train, this Breton city offers a rich cultural heritage for visitors to explore.

Of course, no trip to Rennes would be complete without indulging in some traditional Breton cuisine.

Whether it’s crepes or galettes stuffed with savoury fillings like ham and cheese or seafood dishes like mussels in white wine sauce, Rennes is a foodie destination not to be missed.

27) Strasbourg

Strasbourg is one of the major cities that offer one of the great weekend trips from Paris. It’s located near the German border and is the capital city of the Grand Est region.

The Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Strasbourg was the tallest building in the world for 227 years, and its bell tower provides a scenic view of the Vosges and the Black Forest in Germany.

The city can be reached in just 2 hours from Paris by train. Strasbourg attracts tourists worldwide during winter to experience Christmas festivities and explore its famous markets.

28) Orléans

Orléans is a city located in north-central France, and it’s one of the best weekend trips from Paris.

The city has a deep history dating back to medieval times and played an essential role during the infamous Hundred Years’ War between France and England.

Visitors can explore the beautiful historic centre with its stunning Gothic architecture, and many buildings date back to this period.

Orléans is also famous for its association with Joan of Arc, who liberated the city from English siege during the war.

Andouillette and Cotignac are two must-try local delicacies, while museums like Maison de Jeanne d’Arc showcase more about her life in Orleans.

29) Lille

As a lover of architecture, history, and food, I highly recommend Lille as a weekend getaway destination from Paris.

Just an hour and five minutes away by train from Paris Gare du Nord station, this city is best known for its Flemish-influenced buildings and gastronomy that will leave you spellbound.

Lille is also renowned for its cultural heritage – its large student population makes the city vibrant and trendy.

It boasts famous attractions like Palais des Beaux-Arts, Old Stock Exchange, and Citadel, among other landmarks.

When visiting Lille, consider getting the ‘Lille City Pass’ which provides unlimited transportation access along with several tourist-friendly perks such as skip-the-line access to main attractions.

Countryside Getaways

30) Giverny

As a lover of nature and art, a one-weekend trip I found particularly captivating was to the charming village of Giverny.

Just an hour and a half away from Paris by car, Giverny offers visitors a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

The village is notorious for being home to the French impressionist painter Claude Monet and served as the inspiration for many of his famous paintings.

Visitors can explore Monet’s house, gardens, and pond in Giverny, which provide breathtaking views that will inspire any visitor.

Moreover, exploring the charming village of Giverny itself is worth it as there are several restaurants and shops offering delicious local cuisine while boasting some unique souvenirs.

31) Provins

I love visiting Provins, a charming medieval city located just an hour and a half train journey from Paris.

This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its well-preserved ramparts, ancient buildings, and underground galleries.

While there, I highly recommend indulging in local specialities like gingerbread, honey, or rose petal jam.

Additionally, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or horse riding through the surrounding picturesque terrain or taking a hot air balloon ride over it all!

Accommodation options range from bed & breakfasts to hotels like Demeure des Vieux Bains which offers a peaceful retreat within walking distance to all major attractions.

32) La Perrière

La Perrière is a hidden gem in Normandy, France, offering a peaceful and relaxing countryside getaway.

One of the main highlights of La Perrière is the luxurious bed and breakfast called Le Manoir de la Perriere, which boasts gourmet cuisine and a swimming pool for guests to enjoy.

Visitors can go in for various activities such as hiking, biking, and horse riding while discovering local markets and restaurants.

The surrounding forests and streams allow nature lovers to explore its beauty.

During their stay in La Perrière, visitors can also traverse nearby attractions such as the historic town of Alençon or get lost in the tranquillity of Alpes Mancelles.

Its proximity to Paris makes it easily accessible by car or train within two hours.

33) Troyes

Troyes is a charming countryside getaway just two hours away from Paris by train.

This medieval town boasts narrow streets, old facades, and Middle-Age churches that transport visitors back in time.

It offers activities such as shopping at outlet stores or antique shops, exploring museums like the Musee d’Art Moderne and the Musee de Vauluisant, and outdoor adventures such as hiking, cycling, and water sports.

Guests can enjoy regional specialities like traditional champagne and local delights, including chaource cheese while experiencing Troyes’s annual events like Fête de la Musique or the International Festival of French-speaking Film.

34) Barbizon

Barbizon is a charming village located in the Fontainebleau forest, just an hour’s drive from Paris.

It offers visitors a peaceful countryside setting and is a most-sought destination for those looking to break free from city life.

The village has gained fame as the birthplace of the Barbizon School of landscape painting, which attracted renowned artists like Jean-Francois Millet and Theodore Rousseau.

Visitors can explore art galleries, museums, and historic sites like Auberge Ganne, where famous artists stayed during their visits.

Nature lovers can take advantage of hiking and biking trails in the Fontainebleau forest while history buffs can visit nearby attractions like Chateau de Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte Castle.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Paris is the perfect hub for exploring the best weekend getaways in France and neighbouring countries.

From romantic medieval cities to stunning beaches, wine regions, and theme parks, there’s something for everyone on this list of 35 top destinations.

Whether you choose to travel by high-speed train or car, there are plenty of options to maximise your time away from the City of Light.

So pack your bags and embark on a journey filled with scenic views, cultural landmarks, Michelin Guide restaurants, and unforgettable experiences that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

You may find other things to do on GetYourGuide or visit Booking.com to find the best hotel deals during your trip.

FAQs:

1. What are some popular weekend trip destinations from Paris?

Some of the most popular weekend trips from Paris include cities such as Brussels, Luxembourg and London, as well as charming French towns like Reims and Rouen.

2. How can I get around during my weekend trip outside Paris?

Depending on your destination, several transportation options may be available, including trains or buses.

Additionally, many cities have bike-sharing programs or scooter rentals for convenient travel within city limits.

3. Is booking accommodations in advance for a weekend trip necessary?

It is highly recommended to book accommodations in advance especially if visiting during peak tourist season when hotels fill up quickly.

However, last-minute deals may also be available through online booking platforms or directly with hotels themselves.

4. Are there any cultural events worth attending during a weekend trip outside Paris?

Many European cities have cultural events throughout the year such as music festivals or art exhibitions that visitors can attend to experience local activities and traditions beyond typical tourist attractions.

Check local calendars or ask hotel staff for event recommendations before planning your visit.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *