As winter blankets Paris in a silvery coat of frost, many travellers use this season to extend their exploration beyond the City of Light.
With the French rail system, day trips from Paris by train in winter become an inviting opportunity to discover the enchanting, snow-kissed landscapes of the country.
Whether you’re looking for whimsical Christmas markets, historic sites, gastronomic delights, or picturesque snowy scenes, you’ll find a wealth of options within a short Train ride from the city.
The efficient and comfortable train routes make journeying through the winter wonderland of France both easy and enjoyable.
So bundle up, grab a hot chocolate for the ride, and venture out to experience the charming, quieter side of France – all in a day’s trip from Paris this winter.
What are the best day trips from Paris?
When it comes to day trips from Paris, the options are endless. Three popular destinations that you should consider are Lyon, Bordeaux, and Reims. Now these are some of the options when you want to travel within Paris and not looking for a Day trip to countries near Paris.
Day trip to Lyon
A day trip to Lyon, the gastronomy capital of France, is highly recommended. Hop on a train from Paris and enjoy the approximately two-hour train ride through the picturesque French countryside.
Once in Lyon, indulge in delicious local cuisine, explore the charming Old Town, and visit iconic landmarks such as the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
The cost of a train trip from Paris to Lyon averages around $54 (€47). There are approximately 26 direct trains per day provided by SNCF, including options like TGV, Trenitalia, Intercités de nuit, TER, TGV Lyria, and TGV INOUI
Day trip to Bordeaux
Bordeaux, known for its world-renowned wines, is another fantastic day trip option. Take a high-speed train from Paris and reach Bordeaux within approximately two hours.
Discover the city’s rich wine heritage by visiting vineyards and wineries, indulge in delectable wine tastings, and explore the beautiful historic centre with its elegant architecture.
Cost of Train Ticket from Paris to Bordeaux
The cost of a train ticket from Paris to Bordeaux averages around $48 (€42) for a one-way trip. There are about 22 direct trains per day that cover this distance, and the train companies operating this route include SNCF with various options such as Intercités de nuit, TGV, TER, Intercités, and TGV INOUI. ,
For the most competitive rates, it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance. Additionally, prices can fluctuate based on the time of booking, class of service, and specific travel dates, so it’s wise to check for the latest prices and offers from reliable booking platforms like Omio.
Day trip to Reims
If you’re a champagne enthusiast, a day trip to Reims is a must. Located just an hour away from Paris by train, Reims is home to prestigious champagne houses and stunning Gothic architecture.
Visit the famous champagne cellars, including those of major producers like Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger, and admire the grandeur of Reims Cathedral.
Cost of Train Travel from Paris to Reims
The cost of train travel from Paris to Reims starts at €18.27 when you book through Rail Europe. This is considered a cheap price for the journey, offering an affordable option for those looking to travel between these two cities.
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How to reach day trip destinations from Paris by train?
Getting to your day trip destination from Paris by train is convenient and efficient. Paris is connected to an extensive train network that allows easy access to various cities and countries.
Taking the train from Paris
Paris is equipped with several train stations, each serving different routes. The main train stations for day trips from Paris include Gare de Lyon, Gare Saint-Lazare, and Gare Montparnasse. Depending on your chosen destination, you can select the appropriate train station to start your journey.
You can check and plan your Train Travel in Paris with Omio or Trainline.
Train to other countries
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a train from Paris to other European countries. With the high-speed train options, you can easily explore neighbouring countries like Belgium, and the Netherlands, or even venture further to Germany or Switzerland.
Train to Disneyland Paris
For a magical experience, taking the train to Disneyland Paris is highly recommended. Jump on the RER train from central Paris, and within approximately 40 minutes, you’ll find yourself in the enchanting world of Disney.
Explore Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, meet your favourite characters, and enjoy thrilling rides and shows.
What are the popular day trips from Paris in winter?
Winter in Paris is a magical time, and there are plenty of day trip options to make your visit even more special.
Paris winter day trips
Take a break from the bustling city and venture into the winter wonderland surrounding Paris. Explore the festive markets in nearby towns, such as Strasbourg or Lille, where you can indulge in seasonal treats and find unique gifts.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Paris and discover a magical winter wonderland just outside the city. Head to picturesque towns like Strasbourg or Lille, where you can immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of their festive markets.
Day trip to Strasbourg from Paris
Strasbourg, located in the Alsace region, is famous for its beautiful Christmas markets. Stroll through the charming, cobblestone streets lined with colourful wooden chalets filled with holiday goodies.
Warm up with a steaming cup of mulled wine or indulge in the local speciality, flammekueche, a delicious thin-crusted pizza-like treat. Browse the stalls for handcrafted ornaments, regional delicacies, and unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else.
Cost of Train Travel from Paris to Strasbourg
Traveling from Paris to Strasbourg by train is a convenient option with several direct trains available daily. The average price for a train ticket on this route is $81 (€70). You can expect to find around 15 direct trains per day, which means you have a good range of options to choose from for your travel schedule.
The train companies servicing this route include SNCF | TGV, SNCF | TGV Lyria, SNCF | TER, SNCF | ICE, and SNCF | TGV INOUI. Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate based on the time of booking, the class of service you choose, and other factors, so it’s best to book in advance for the best rates.
Day trip to Lille from Paris
Another fantastic option is Lille, located in northern France near the Belgian border. Its elegant Christmas market is considered one of the largest in France.
Wander through the festively decorated squares and streets, listening to carol singers and taking in the twinkling lights. Sample local treats like waffles or speculoos biscuits, and don’t forget to try the regional speciality, carbonnade flamande, a rich beef stew cooked in beer.
Explore the stalls selling artisan products, crafts, and artwork, making it the perfect place to find something special for your loved ones.
Paris day trips by train
Explore the historic town of Rouen, just an hour away from Paris, and marvel at its stunning Gothic cathedral and medieval architecture.
Another great option is a day trip to Chartres, famous for its magnificent cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rouen, located in the Normandy region of France, is a picturesque town known for its rich history and charming architecture.
The highlight of the town is undoubtedly the Rouen Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The cathedral’s stunning façade and soaring spires make it a truly awe-inspiring sight. Inside, visitors can admire the intricate stained glass windows and the beautiful tombs of various important figures, including Richard the Lionheart.
Aside from the cathedral, Rouen is also home to a wealth of medieval architecture. The historic centre of the town is filled with narrow, cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses, creating a truly enchanting atmosphere.
Stroll through the picturesque old town and explore its many shops, cafes, and restaurants, or simply soak in the ambience of this well-preserved medieval gem.
Art enthusiasts will also find plenty to see in Rouen. The town was famously depicted in several paintings by the renowned Impressionist artist Claude Monet. Visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen to see an extensive collection of art, including works by Monet, Renoir, and Delacroix.
If you’re looking to venture a bit further from Paris, a day trip to Chartres is a fantastic option. Located just over an hour away by train, Chartres is known for its magnificent cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Chartres Cathedral is considered a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture and is renowned for its stunning stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible. Take a guided tour of the cathedral to learn about its history and admire its intricate details up close.
But Chartres is not just about its cathedral. The town itself is charming, with its narrow streets, half-timbered houses, and quaint cafés.
Take a leisurely stroll through the old town and discover its unique shops, boutiques, and local artisans. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous Chartres biscuits, a traditional local treat.
Best Paris day trips (Exploring Versailles, Bordeaux and Provence)
Escape to the Charming Town of Versailles
Visit the opulent Palace of Versailles, known for its vast gardens and Hall of Mirrors. Take a stroll through the manicured gardens and admire the intricate fountains and sculptures. Then, step inside the palace and be awestruck by its grandeur.
Consider a Day Trip to Giverny
Visit Monet’s house and gardens, which served as inspiration for many of his famous paintings. Explore the vibrant Japanese-inspired gardens and see the iconic water lily pond. Then, step inside the house and learn about the artist’s life and work.
Read More: Things to do in Giverny
Stay in the Picture-Perfect Town of Etretat
Known for its breathtaking cliffs and natural arches, Etretat is a must-visit destination for any traveller. Spend your days exploring the stunning coastline, hiking to the top of the cliffs, and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. In the evenings, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants.
Read More: Things to do in Etretat
Experience the Wine-Lover’s Paradise of Bordeaux
Explore the picturesque vineyards, tour the wineries, and sample the world-famous wines. Visit the Grand Cru Classé vineyards, which produce some of the finest wines in the world. Then, tour a winery and learn about the winemaking process.
Read More: Things to do in Bordeaux
Make a Visit to the Verdant Gardens and Grand Chateaux of the Region
Bordeaux is also home to stunning gardens and grand chateaux. Visit the Château de Villandry, known for its intricate gardens, and the Château de La Brède, the birthplace of Montesquieu.
If You Are a History Enthusiast, the Normandy Region Will Not Disappoint
Visit D-Day beaches and gain interesting insights into World War II. Visit the Omaha Beach Memorial Center and the Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument to learn about the sacrifices made by Allied soldiers. Then, visit the Caen Memorial to learn more about the history of the Normandy invasion.
Be Sure to Check Out Mont Saint-Michel
A rocky island topped with a gravity-defying medieval monastery, Mont Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see for any visitor to Normandy. Explore the winding cobblestone streets, visit the abbey, and enjoy the stunning views from the ramparts.
Take a Trip to the Mesmerizing Region of Provence
Immerse yourself in the sun-drenched lavender fields, quaint hilltop villages, and bustling markets of Provence. Visit the picturesque village of Gordes, known for its stone houses and stunning views, and the village of Roussillon, known for its colorful houses and ochre cliffs.
Enjoy the Region’s Delectable Food and Wine
Provence is also known for its delicious food and wine. Be sure to try the local specialties, such as ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and rosé wine.
Visit the Stunning Gorges du Verdon
Often referred to as Europe’s Grand Canyon, the Gorges du Verdon is a breathtaking canyon with turquoise waters and towering cliffs. Spend your days hiking, biking, or swimming in the canyon.
Which train stations in Paris offer trips to nearby cities?
Several train stations in Paris provide excellent connections to nearby cities and day trip destinations.
Paris Gare de Lyon train station
Paris Gare de Lyon is one of the main train stations for day trips from Paris. With its strategic location, it offers direct train options to Lyon, Marseille, and other destinations in southeastern France.
Best train stations for day trips from Paris
In addition to Gare de Lyon, other train stations like Gare Saint-Lazare and Gare Montparnasse also serve as major transportation hubs for day trips. They offer convenient connections to cities like Rouen, Chartres, and Bordeaux.
Direct train options from Paris
Thanks to the efficient train system in France, there are many direct train options from Paris to various cities. This makes it easy to plan your day trip without too many transfers.
What are the best places to visit near Paris by train?
When it comes to places to visit near Paris by train, the possibilities are endless. Here are some of the top recommendations:
Best things to do in Paris
While not exactly day trips, exploring the best things to do in Paris is a must on any itinerary.
– Visit iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.
– Stroll through charming neighbourhoods like Montmartre and Le Marais
– Enjoy French cuisine in local restaurants.
Best places accessible by train (Avignon)
Avignon: A Historical Gem in the South of France
Nestled in the heart of Southern France, Avignon is a picturesque town steeped in history and culture. The city is famous for its annual theatre festival, held in July, and is considered one of the most prominent in the world. Offering a unique mix of traditional and modern performances, it attracts a global audience.
Your stay in Avignon wouldn’t be complete without exploring the Palais des Papes, a historical palace that was once the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century. Here, you can immerse yourself in the grandeur of its Gothic architecture, magnificent frescoes and the serene garden offering panoramic views of the Rhône River.
Tours: The Gateway to the Loire Valley Châteaux
Located in the heart of France’s Loire Valley, Tours is a vibrant city known for its well-preserved medieval centre, vibrant galleries, fine wineries, and authentic French food. The most notable feature of Tours, however, is its close proximity to some of the most iconic châteaux of the Loire Valley.
These chateaux offer a peek into the opulent lives of the French aristocracy. Marvel at the fairytale-like Château de Chenonceau straddling the Cher river, explore the iconic Château de Chambord renowned for its distinct French Renaissance architecture, or walk back in history at the medieval Château de Chinon. Each château is surrounded by lush landscapes, charming gardens, and serene wildlife, offering a perfect retreat for nature enthusiasts and history lovers alike.
Day trips from Paris by train to other countries (Visit Normandy)
With excellent train connections and a wide variety of destinations to choose from, day trips from Paris by train offer endless possibilities for exploration. Whether you’re seeking cultural experiences, wine-tasting adventures, or magical encounters, you’re sure to find the perfect day trip to make your Parisian getaway even more memorable.
Here are a few suggestions for popular day trips from Paris by train:
Normandy: Discover the rich history and stunning coastline of Normandy, just a two-hour train ride from Paris. Visit the iconic D-Day landing beaches and learn about the Allied invasion during World War II. Then, explore the charming town of Bayeux, home to the Bayeux Tapestry, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mont Saint-Michel: This breathtaking island monastery is one of the most iconic landmarks in France. Take a train to Pontorson, then hop on a shuttle bus for the final leg of the journey. Once you arrive, marvel at the towering abbey, wander the cobblestone streets, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
Dijon: This charming city in Burgundy is known for its mustard, medieval architecture, and delicious cuisine. Take a train to Dijon Ville station, then head to the historic city center to explore the Palace of the Dukes and States of Burgundy, the Mustard Museum, and the Notre-Dame de Dijon cathedral. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as escargots, coq au vin, and beef bourguignon.
FAQ: Day Trips from Paris by Train in Winter
Q: What is the best trip from Paris by train to take during the winter months?
A: One of the best day trips to take from Paris by train during the winter months is to visit Reims. Reims is just a short train ride away and is known for its beautiful cathedral and champagne houses which can be delightful experiences, especially in December.
Q: How can I visit Paris and its surroundings by train in winter?
A: Paris is one of the best places to visit fall any time of the year. In winter, there are many day trips that you can take by hopping on a TGV train or regional train. Easy trips could be to Reims, Lyon or Bordeaux which are only a few hours by train from Paris Gare De L’Est.
Q: Are there any Paris winter day trips that you’d recommend?
A: Yes, one great day trip from Paris in winter is to visit the Christmas markets in Strasbourg. Strasbourg has one of the best Christmas markets and is just a train ride away. You can easily reach it by train from Gare de Paris-Est.
Q: How easy is it to take a day trip to Lyon from Paris by train in Winter?
A: Taking a day trip to Lyon from Paris by train is quite easy. You can easily reach Lyon from Paris Gare De Lyon station by TGV train in a little over 2 hours. The winter months can be a great time to visit, with festivals like the Fête des Lumières in December.
Q: What are some of the best Paris day trips by train during the winter?
A: Some of my favourite day trips from Paris by train during the winter include trips to Reims for its cathedral and champagne houses, Bordeaux for its wine culture and exciting city life, and Lille for its charming old town and festive Christmas market.
Q: Can I take the train to other countries for a weekend trip from Paris?
A: Absolutely! There are many options for weekend trips from Paris, thanks to the city’s excellent train connections. Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany can be reached within a few hours from Paris, making them perfect for a brief getaway. Just hop on a Thalys or ICE train from Paris Gare Du Nord station.
Q: What is the best day trip to Bordeaux from Paris by train in winter?
A: A trip to Bordeaux from Paris by train can be a fantastic day trip in winter. Known for its wine, Bordeaux can also offer delightful experiences like the Bordeaux Christmas Market in December. High-speed TGV trains go from Paris to Bordeaux multiple times per day, making it an easy day trip choice.
Q: What is a good day trip to Reims from Paris by train?
A: A trip to Reims from Paris by train can be one of the best day trips. It’s only about 45 minutes from Paris by TGV train and has a beautiful cathedral and famous champagne houses that are worth visiting. Winter can be a great time to visit, as the city often hosts special events around the holiday season.
Q: What are some of the best Paris day trips by train if you’re looking for an authentic French experience?
A: For an authentic French experience, consider trips to smaller cities outside Paris like Chartres, Amiens or Beauvais. These are easily accessible by regional train from Paris and offer you the opportunity to explore French history and culture away from the large crowds of the capital.
Q: Is it possible to take a day trip by train from Paris to other countries in Europe during winter?
A: Yes, it is very possible and in fact, many other European cities such as Brussels, Amsterdam, and Luxembourg can be reached within a few hours by train from Paris Gare du Nord station. These trips can offer you a different European culture and make your visit to Paris even more memorable.