/ / 13 Best Weekend Trips From Paris by Train

13 Best Weekend Trips From Paris by Train

Want to take a quick escape from the French capital and explore other places? Then check out these best weekend trips from Paris by train.

Paris is an incredibly beautiful city but it’s not the only place there is to see in France. From cities, small towns to monumental attractions, there are so many attractions that are worth checking out while taking a Paris weekend getaway.

So whether you just want a quick weekend getaway from Paris or you’re looking for other places to visit in France beyond Paris, this post will give you a number of options to consider.

The best part about these places is that they can all be reached by train in just under 4 hours making them the perfect Paris weekend trips.

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The Best Weekend Trips From Paris by Train

1. Strasbourg

Strasbourg is one of the best weekend trips from Paris

Strasbourg easily comes to mind as one of the best weekend trips from Paris for many people because of its beauty and easy access.

The capital city of the Grand Est region, formerly known as Alsace is brimming with culture, beauty, and architectural wonder that complements both the German and French styles.

And if you love the charm of Paris being crossed by the Seine river, you’ll love Strasbourg as it is also crossed by the Ill river creating small beautiful islands and a Grande Île (large island) which is enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the notable attractions that make Strasbourg worth adding to your train trips from Paris is the famous Strasbourg cathedral also known as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg.

This Gothic church is one of the most beautiful churches in France with the interior being as impressive as the exterior. From the highest spire of Christianity, the astronomical clock to the large rose window on the main facade, this cathedral is worth taking a trip for to get a glimpse of Notre Dame especially since the one in Paris is closed till further notice.

But there is more to see in this beautiful city, from famous squares like Place Kleber, Palais Rohan another historical monument in the city, to Petite France which is the most picturesque and most visited area in Strasbourg.

You’ve probably seen at least a photo of Petite France from somewhere as it’s become the unofficial symbol of Strasbourg with various half-timbered houses that are well preserved lining up on the edges of the water channels with cobblestone footbridges.

So if you were wondering where to go for a weekend trip from Paris, Strasbourg should be on top of your list.

Related post: How to spend a weekend in Paris

2. Marseille

Marseille is one of the best weekend getaways from Paris

If you’re looking for a beach weekend escape from Paris, then think of Marseille. Its location on the coast of the Gulf of Lion which is part of the Mediterranean Sea makes it perfect for people who want to chill on the beach and take in the breeze of the sea.

Beyond the beaches and ports, Marseille is the oldest city in France and also the third-largest which means that you’re bound to find some bit of history to it that any history lover will appreciate.

From exploring the Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM), strolling the charming Le Panier neighborhood which is the oldest district in Marseille, visiting Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde for the most outstanding views of the city to enjoying Marseille’s Old Port, there are so many things to do in this city.

So if you’re looking for Paris weekend breaks that have a mix of history, charm, and next to the sea, consider going to Marseille.

Related post: Best things to do in Paris

3. Reims

 Reims is one of the best Paris weekend trips

Unofficially known as the capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, Reims is a perfect weekend getaway from Paris for Champagne lovers.

With various champagne houses in the city, you’ll be able to learn about the entire process of Champagne making, from the vine growing stage by visiting vineyards, fermentation process to the time it is packed in the bottles!

If the only thing you knew about champagne is sipping it from the glass, then visiting Reims will give you a better understanding of this world’s- favorite celebratory drink. And yes, you’ll also get to taste various Champagnes when you visit the champagne houses.

Beyond the champagne houses, Reims is also brimming with history and Architecture especially Our Lady of Reims” (or “Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims” which is the most visited attraction in the city.

Bigger than the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims has hosted over 25 coronations of French kings in the past making it an important landmark in French history. And it’s not just that, the cathedral is also stunning with impressive architecture inside and out.

Other places that are worth visiting on your weekend getaway from Paris to Reims include; the Palace of Tau, St. Remi History Museum, Villa Demoiselle, Reims Saint-Remi Basilica, and so many others.

So whether you’re a champagne lover, history buff, or even both, Reims is one of the best weekend trips from Paris for you.

Related post: The ultimate guide to visiting Paris for the first time

4. Lyon

Lyon is one of the best weekend trips from Paris
Lyon is one of the best weekend trips from Paris

If you’re looking for a stress-free weekend trip from Paris, then consider heading to Lyon. This second-largest city in France offers almost a similar vibe to Paris expect that you don’t have to run from one monument to another as you would while ticking attractions off your Paris bucket list.

Lyon is rather in between being lively but also calm which is perfect for people who want to take a break from the non-stop busy life of Paris.

With a complimentary mix of modern and new, Lyon is full of culture, history and it’s also the perfect place to bring out the foodie in anyone.

From strolling Presqu’île, which is the heart of the city, taking walks along Rhône and Saône rivers, indulging yourself in a traditional Lyonnaise meal (the reason why Lyon is referred to as the gastronomic capital in France), exploring Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) to admiring Lyon’s famous murals if you’re into art, there are so many reasons why Lyon is one of the best weekend trips from Paris.

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5. Dijon

Dijon is one of weekend getaways from Paris

Commonly known for the famous Dijon Mustard, this capital of the Burgundy region in France (now known as Cote-d’Or en Bourgogne-Franche-Comte) is one of the best weekend trips from Paris and also one of the most beautiful cities in France.

Beyond the Dijon mustard, the city is an architectural and history-rich hub full of cultural activities to do. No wonder its historic old town was enlisted as a UNESCO site.

Its location between Paris and Lyon makes it a perfect stop for a weekend to discover what this region offers.

If the Dijon mustard doesn’t bring it out fully that this is a city perfect for foodies, then perhaps words like Burgundy wine, boeuf bourguignon, Burgundy snails will clearly show you that Dijon is all about food.

Surrounded by lakes, rivers, and canals, Dijon is a beautiful city to unwind from while enjoying all the food and history it offers.

Some of the things not to miss out on while in the city include; visiting Les Halles market which is one of France’s largest markets, visiting the famous churches, Notre Dame and Eglise St Michel, following the trail of the Owl (the owl is the symbol of Dijon) and it wouldn’t be a complete visit to Dijon if you don’t learn about Mustard from the Museum of Burgundian Life.

So as you plan for your weekend getaway from Paris, plan to visit the famous Mustard city of Dijon.

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6. Nantes

Nantes is one of the Paris weekend breaks

Initially referred to as the “Venice of the west”, Nantes is increasingly becoming a popular place to visit in France as it has re-invented itself as an artistic and cultural hub despite its being associated with slave trade in the past.

Oscillating between the past and modernity, Nantes is a surprisingly charming city that is located at the confluence of the Loire and Erdre rivers.

A visit to Nantes on a weekend trip from Paris will see you lost into history as you explore the old town and its historic buildings like the Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Some of the other things to do that make Nantes worth visiting include; visiting château des Ducs de Bretagne (the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) which is the most iconic monument in the city, exploring the Nantes Museum art if you’re into art, checking out the place that shaped the history of Nantes – the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery and so many other places.

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7. Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel - an epic weekend getaway from Paris
Mont Saint-Michel – an epic weekend getaway from Paris
  • Location of Mont Saint-Michel: Normandy, Northern France
  • Paris to Mont Saint-Michel train: Take the train from Paris Gare de Montparnasse
  • Mont Saint-Michel from Paris travel time: 4 hours
  • Paris to Mont Saint-Michel ticket: Buy your train ticket from here
  • Where to stay in Mont Saint-Michel: Budget hotel (2 stars)| Mid-range hotel (4 stars) | Luxury hotel (4 stars)

One of the beautiful places to visit on a weekend trip from Paris is Mont Saint-Michel. It is a world-renown attraction that sits on a picturesque island that rises out of the sea during high tide and is accessible on foot during low tide.

From afar, Mont Saint-Michel looks like a large abbey built on a rocky island creating a picturesque moment and an awe-inspiring beauty. But as you get closer, you’ll realize that there is an entire village that has been in place for thousands of years.

And when you go inside, you’ll appreciate it even more as you explore and learn about the history of the abbey and not forgetting the stunning views it offers.

And even though Mont Saint-Michel was just originally a place of pilgrimage, today it has become one of the most famous landmarks in France which makes it worth visiting if you’re planning some weekend trips from Paris.

Related post: Best Paris hotels with Eiffel Tower views

8. Bordeaux

Bordeaux is one of the best weekend trips from Paris by train

Known as the world capital of wine and home to the world’s main wine fair, Vinexpo, Bordeaux is one of the stunning places to visit on a Paris weekend away especially if you love wine – I mean what’s a trip to France without drowning in wine.

Bordeaux might have not been taken seriously as a tourist stop but that has changed over the years and it’s now one of the most visited cities n France.

With over 362 historic landmarks and monuments, vibrant and chic city life while not forgetting the gastronomic scene and wineries, Bordeaux earns a place among the best weekend getaways from Paris.

And some of the things not to miss out on while in the capital of wine include; obviously taking a wine tour and drinking all the wine you can, visiting Musée d’Aquitaine which features historical collections from all around the Aquitaine region, and taking in impressive views of the city by going to the top of Tour Pey-Berland.

So if you love wine, good food, history, and chasing monuments, then consider visiting Bordeaux on a Paris weekend getaway.

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9. Avignon

Avignon is one of the best train trips from Paris

Once a residence to the Popes in the Middle Ages, Avignon is a vibrant walled city overlooked by the majestic Rocher des Doms park that is full of historical architecture grandeur and has a ton of monuments to visit.

From landmarks like Pont D’avignon which has become a symbol for the region, Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) which is the largest gothic palace in the world to museums like Musee du Petit which is the most revered collection of medieval art in the world, it’s not hard to see why Avignon is a beautiful place to visit especially if you’re planning some Paris weekend breaks.

And no, it’s not just history buffs that will enjoy Avignon, festival and cultural lovers will equally appreciate the city by attending the Avignon Festival in July and the sound and light show at the Palais des Papes is one not to miss.

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10. Annecy

Annecy is one of the beautiful cities in France to visit from Paris

Are you looking for a weekend trip from Paris that involves outdoor and adventurous activities, then Annecy is the right stop for you.

This beautiful city that is surrounded by mountains and a lake is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to take a break from the bustles and hustles of a big city and connect with nature.

From going hiking, strolling around Lake Annecy to exploring the beautiful canals of Annecy, there are so many things to do in this area that is often referred to as the Little Venice of the Alps.

While you’re there, spend some time strolling around Vieille Ville in the Old town and take in all the charms and the beauty of the city.

A few other activities you can enjoy in Annecy include but not limited to; water-skiing and wakeboarding on Lake Annecy, paragliding above the lake, attending the Annecy Lake Festival, attending the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, taking part in the Venetian Carnival, etc.

So if you love participating in outdoor activities as well as having fun at festivals, then consider going to Annecy on your next weekend getaway from Paris.

Related post: How to plan a picnic in Paris

11. Blois

Blois is one of the Paris weekend trips to go on
Chateau de Chambord

If you love exploring fairytale castles, then you’ll love Blois. A city set on a hilltop along the Loire River, it is the best place to explore the incredible castles of France in the Loire Valley.

From Chateau de Blois located in the heart of the town, Chateau de Chambord on the riverside, to the picturesque Vieux Blois (old town), this charming city is worth a visit.

Other things that will make your visit to Blois worth your while include; the 19th-century House of Magic which is the only magic-centric museum in Europe and the various churches with impressive history and architecture.

So if you’ve always wanted to explore France’s castles, Blois is the best place to make your base and visit the magnificent architectural wonders.

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12. Honfleur

Honfleur is another destination for a perfect weekend trip from Paris

Located in a medieval port town, Honfleur could easily pass as the most picture-perfect destination in Normandy.

Lined with centuries-old townhouses that are painted brown and grey at the confluence of the Seine river and the English channel, Honfleur looks like a city out of a storybook.

And no, it’s not just admiring the half-timbered houses and the small harbours at Le Vieux Bassin, there is more to do and see in this charming city of Normandy.

From visiting Sainte-Catherine Church which is the largest wooden church in France and also the most notable attraction in the city, exploring the Normandy Bridge, visiting the Saint-Etienne which houses the Marine museum where you can learn about the life and times of the pearl of Normandy to heading to the nearby beach if you want to cool off, there is a ton to do and see in Honfleur.

So if you love coastal living with a mix of century years’ history expressed through architecture, then make sure that you plan to visit Honfleur on a weekend trip from Paris.

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13. Colmar

Colmar is one of the epic weekend getaways from Paris

Usually compared to Strasbourg as they’re almost the same in terms of beauty and architecture, Colmar is another picturesque city that is worth adding to your list of weekend trips from Paris.

With its colourful, vibrant half-timbered houses set on the river bank, overflowing flower pots and incredibly cute cafes, Colmar brings out all the charms you’ll want to feel when you visit a small town.

Honestly, the satisfaction of visiting Colmar is wandering its pretty streets especially through the old town as you admire the pretty colorful houses while walking on the cobblestoned streets.

Beyond the Old town, another must stop which is probably the symbol of Colmar is Little Venice! This popular spot seems to be out of a fairytale book except that it’s real.

So if you love visiting charming towns with a river crossing right through them, you definitely need to visit Colmar on a weekend getaway from Paris.


Final thoughts on the Best Weekend trips from Paris

There you have it, friends! That was the list of the best weekend trips from Paris and I hope that this post helped you to plan your upcoming Paris weekend getaway.

All these places are quite beautiful and have something to offer to each type of traveler, so if you don’t know exactly which city to visit, you can go to a place that offers something you’re passionate about.

Are you looking for a beach getaway, looking to taste various wines or you just want to take it slow and unwind in a calm chilly city? Knowing this will help you easily choose a place among all these Paris weekend trips listed in this post.

Have you been to any of these places in France? Which one was your favorite and if you’ve not been to any, which one can’t you wait to visit on your next weekend getaway from Paris. Let me know in the comments below and if you have any questions, still don’t hesitate to ask!

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