Day trips from Paris

This summer we’re going to spend 4-5 days in Paris after hiking the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. We plan on doing some of the standard Paris stuff (Louvre, Versailles, Notre Dame) but we’re looking to do something a bit further afield on one day.

Right now we’re looking at a tour of the D-Day beaches and cemetery as a full day excursion, either booked through a tour or by taking the train on our own. We know it’s a long day with a bunch of time in trains or buses but we’re OK with that. Has anyone here done that day trip or have advice about visiting the Normandy beaches? Or a tour company recommendation since I think the logistics might be easier as a group since we won’t have a car?

What are some other good day trips we should entertain? I’ve thought of headed to the Loire Valley but it’s also a lot of travelling mainly to see chateaux that I don’t think my wife would enjoy too much. I’ve been many years ago. We’re going to Versailles so I think we’ll be covered. Maybe on a future trip.

How about trips to Giverny, Arras/Somme, Riems, Rouen?

I absolutely loved Claude Monet’s house & garden; he could have been a famous gardener if the painting hadn’t overshadowed it. Easily worth at least a half day.

My wife and I drove out to the Normandy beaches and spent a full day there. We ended up staying there for the night rather than driving back to Paris. We’ll worth the visit if you are into WWII history. We went to a museum (don’t remember the name) and took a tour bus to various locations in the area. Good overview for us and lots of history. Well worth the money IMHO.

Many WW1 battlefields much closer and IMHO much more atmospheric.
Maginot line fortresses also worth a visit.
For an American connection, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial.

Giverny was certainly worth the time. It was absolutely lovely. Why on earth wouldn’t your wife enjoy the Chateaux? I do think that’s more than a day trip because at most you could see two in a day and that would be rushing it. You’d also need time to spend in the surrounding towns.

Because she told me she wouldn’t. :eek: She has limited interest in looking at architecture in passive mode.

We’re planning on seeing Versailles and Notre Dame and spending a good deal of time at the Louvre (or Musee D’Orsey, my favorite). I think that will be the limit of our looking at architecture, no matter how lovely it is. And I agree, I’d like to spend more time down there than just a day trip, and it’s easier to get around with a car which we won’t have.

You can be in London in less than 2 and a half hours on the Eurostar and there is something very neat about zipping at nearly 200mph across the countryside of France and Kent and pulling into St Pancras (it is a lovely buidling). It isn’t too expensive either, perhaps £90 return each and you can get a good 12 hours in London to explore.

We discussed it, but we’ll plan London and other parts of the UK as a separate trip. We want to see Paris and environs on this trip, not London or Brussels.

I don’t mean to belabor this, but there’s so much more to a lot of the chateaux than architecture. Some have stunning gardens (Villandry) and/or museums (Saumur). I’m sure you could find something that would interest her for your next trip.

Have fun! I’m envious.

Another vote for Giverny. The way the trains were running on the day I went, it turned into an entire day trip. But well worth it.

And I’d recommend the Musée d’Orsay over the Louvre.

My wife is dead set on the Louvre, and I’ve been to the Musee D’Orsay already. When we go to places one of has been but the other hasn’t we try not to repeat too much. I didn’t go to the Louvre last time so I have no objections to spending the better part of a day there. Any other museums that folks can recommend?

The same is true of the Loire Valley. I was there for 3 days, living in a farmhouse, visiting chateaux, and riding bikes. A day trip is probably not going to hold up.

Has anyone ever gone to a show at the Moulin Rouge or Lido? How about the Catacombs tour?

Catacombs are pretty cool.

I enjoyed a day in Reims, tasting some champagne and touring the impressive cathedral.

Chartres is nice. In Paris there’s a big complex with museums and a botanical garden right on the Seine.

Mont Saint-Michel by bus is a nice day trip from Paris.

The Naval Museum in Dunkirk is worth a visit; even if it happens to be closed you can see a lot of interesting ships which are part of it and anchored right there.