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Searching for the best weekend trips from Paris?
Paris is a delightful city to explore, but sometimes it is nice to get away from the city and venture to other parts of the country (or continent!). Luckily, thanks to its central location in Europe, you can visit quite a few places as weekend getaways from Paris!
For the ultimate change of pace from the City of Light, here are the best weekend breaks from Paris you’re going to love!
21 Best Weekend Trips From Paris
So, long story short, here are the 21 best weekend getaways from Paris to explore!
- London, United Kingdom
- Brussels, Belgium
- Bruges, Belgium
- Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
- Heidelberg, Germany
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Loire Valley, France
- Reims, France
- Dijon, France
- Lyon, France
- Annecy, France
- Deauville, France
- Versailles, France
- Avignon, France
- Nice, France
- Marseille, France
- Bordeaux, France
- Colmar, France
- Nantes, France
- Mont-Saint-Michel, France
- Fontainebleau, France
Now that we know which cities you must visit on your overnight trips from Paris, let’s get into the details including how long it takes to get there, where to stay, when to visit, and more!
1. London Trip From Paris- Best Weekend Trip From Paris For City Lovers
Love cities and want a short break from Paris? Why not hop on the train and head to London for the weekend!
London is full of iconic and historical sights, amazing cuisine, and many bars and pubs to enjoy.
Luckily, it is only a 2.5-hour train ride away, meaning you could have croissants and a hot chocolate for breakfast and zip over to London for a pint and fish and chips for dinner.
Want to have a getaway to London? Here is what to do:
- Explore historical sights like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Eat your way through Borough Market or go on a food tour
- Go on a Harry Potter Tour of the city
- Shop at Camden Market
- Catch a football match
- See a show at the West End
- Explore some great pubs
- Have a themed afternoon tea like Bridgerton Tea or Wizard Tea
Honestly, there is so much to do whether you have a weekend or 4+ days in London! The options are truly endless. It is a great weekend getaway for those who really enjoy exploring the capitals of Europe!
Travel Time By Train: 2.5 hours thanks to the Eurostar, and it departs from Gare du Nord.
Travel Time By Car: 6 hours or about 293 miles (472 km). Yes, you CAN drive to London from Paris, you’ll just need to drive through the Channel Tunnel.
When to Visit: Honestly, you could visit here year-round and have a great time! But April-June is a wonderful time to visit before the summertime crowds, and December is a lovely time for Christmas markets and New Year’s!
2. Brussels is a Perfect Weekend Away From Paris For Beer, Chocolate, and Waffles (Plus They Speak French Too!)
Want to keep speaking French? Then Brussels is a great place to hop over to on the outside of France! While in Belgium they tend to speak a mix of either Dutch, French, or German as official languages, in Brussels, French is predominantly spoken.
So, this is a great weekend getaway for those keen on speaking French. Plus, you can’t turn down an opportunity to enjoy so much good beer, chocolate, waffles, and fries! Here are some things to do in Brussels!
Things to do in Brussels:
- Explore the Grand Place and Brussels City Museum
- Visit the Iconic Manneken Pis statue
- Eat all the waffles at Maison Dandoy and fries at Vitalgaufre and Fritland
- Head to Cantillon Brewery or go on a beer tour of Brussels
- Learn how to make chocolate during a chocolate-making class
- Have a picnic in Brussels Park
- Explore the Royal Palace of Brussels
- Learn about the EU and European Parliament at Parlamentarium
The capital of the European Union is certainly well worth it for a weekend getaway near Paris!
Travel Time By Train: 1.5 hours and leaves from the Gare du Nord.
Travel Time By Car: 3.5-4.5 hours depending on traffic. It is about 194 miles (312 km) away.
Where to Stay: Warwick Brussels
When to Visit: September-November and April-May are great times to visit to avoid the crowds and have more mild weather!
3. Bruges Weekend Getaway From Paris is For Lovers
Easily one of the most romantic getaways near Paris, Bruges is idyllic with its Medieval architecture, charming canals, and just overall fairytale vibes.
If you want to step out of the busy streets of Paris and into a more dreamy escape, then Bruges is the place of your dreams! Here is how to spend time in Bruges.
Things to do in Bruges:
- Visit Grote Markt and the Belfry of Bruges
- Eat waffles at House of Waffles
- Grab chocolate pralines at La Belgique Gourmande
- Take a canal cruise
- Visit Lovers Bridge
- Admire the Church of Our Lady
- Drink beer at Bourgogne de Flanders
Travel Time By Train: 2.5 hours and leaves from Gare du Nord.
Travel Time By Car: 3-4 hours depending on traffic. The distance is about 185 miles (298 km).
Where to Stay: Hotel Academie
When to Visit: Honestly, this place is magical no matter the time of day, year, or weather. However, April-May and September-October bring in fewer crowds than the height of summer and have better weather than the winter. The holiday season is magical as well, though, for the Christmas markets!
4. Luxembourg City is a Fabulous Weekend Break From Paris for a Melting Pot of Culture
This small country isn’t far from Paris at all, making it an easy short break from Paris to explore.
Aside from that, Luxembourg City is known for being a cultural melting pot thanks to many immigrants coming to work there. This means there are ample cuisines, languages, museums, and more!
Things to do in Luxembourg City:
- Explore the Grund, which is the lower part of the city and known for its beauty and nightlife
- Visit the tunnels that make up Casemates du Bock
- Drink wine from the Moselle River Valley
- Visit museums like the Museum Dräi Eechelen (for the history of Luxembourg’s old fortress) and the National Museum of History and Art
- Explore the Grand Duchal Palace
- People watch in Place Guillaume II
Want to visit another country not too far from Paris, then Luxembourg is a great place to go!
Travel Time By Train: 2 hours 12 minutes via Gare de l’Est.
Travel Time By Car: 3.5-4 hours or 232 miles (373 km).
Where to Stay: Sofitel Luxembourg Le Grand Ducal
When to Visit: May-September
5. Heidelberg is a Lovely Paris Weekend Trip to Explore Germany
Heidelberg is a super charming German city not too far from the French border. This is one of the best weekend trips from Paris by car or train, especially for its delightful castle, and, during the holiday season, its iconic Christmas market!
Things to do in Heidelberg:
- Visit the Schloss Heidelberg, the castle that perches on the hill above the city
- Walk along the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge)
- Explore the charming Altstadt
- Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit
- Explore one of the oldest universities in Germany- Heidelberg University
- Hike Philosopher’s Path, Thingstätte Heidelberg, and Michaelskloster Heiligenberg
- Enjoy the Christmas market during the holiday season
Travel Time By Train: 3 hours 40 minutes via Gare de l’Est.
Travel Time By Car: 5.5 hours or 337 miles (542 km).
Where to Stay: Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg
When to Visit: Anytime is great, but late November until just before Christmas (around December 22) for the Christmas market is perfect!
6. Zurich, Switzerland is a Must-Visit Short Break From Paris for its Architecture, History, and Nightlife
If you want a delightful mix of charming architecture, a stunning lake, and enticing history, then Zurich is one of the best weekend trips from Paris for you!
Zurich is one of Switzerland’s top cities to visit, and as Switzerland borders France, you could easily enjoy the delights of this city on a weekend.
Things to do in Zurich:
- Get out on Lake Zurich
- Explore the Altstadt, or Old Town, and admire all that architecture
- Indulge in chocolate, lots of Swiss chocolate
- Visit famous churches like Grossmunster and Fraumunster
- Hike to the top of Uetliberg for amazing views of the city!
- Hit up all the clubs and party all night
- Take a tour of the city
- Visit a few of the several art galleries and museums across the city
Travel Time By Train: Just over 4 hours via Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: 7 hours or 370 miles (595 km).
Where to Stay: citizenM Zürich
When to Visit: June-August for the chance to swim in Lake Zurich and for good temperatures.
7. Loire Valley is the Ultimate Getaway For Castles and Wine
Lovers of Sancerre and famous French chateaux will absolutely adore a visit to the Loire Valley!
With over 300 chateaux, including the chance to spend the night in one, this romantic weekend getaway near Paris is just the thing for you!
Things to do in the Loire Valley:
- Visit the best châteaux in the area including Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, and Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire
- Take a wine tour of the Loire Valley to try Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc
- Bike along the Loire à Vélo Cycle Path
- Stay in a chateau
Travel Time By Train: About 2 hours from Paris to Amboise via Montparnasse Train Station.
Travel Time By Car: About 2.5-3 hours, or about 140 miles (225 km). Driving is by far the easiest way to get to the Loire Valley. That way you can enjoy most of the chateaux without a tour.
Where to Stay: Château D’Artigny
When to Visit: April-October
8. Reims is Where to Go For Champagne Lovers
Aside from its unique history as being where almost all the French Kings in the last 1,000 years have been crowned, Reims is a great place to base yourself for exploring Champagne!
Love bubbly? This is the place to go!
Things to do in Reims:
- Champagne, of course! Take a day tour to enjoy the best
- Book Champagne cellar tours and tastings around the city
- Head to Epernay and take a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards
- Visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims
- Go to the Archbishop’s Palace
- Visit the Fine Arts Museum
- Sample Champagne at a wine bar
Travel Time By Train: About 1 hour from Gare de l’Est.
Travel Time By Car: About 1.5 hours or 90 miles (145 km).
Where to Stay: La Caserne Chanzy Hotel & Spa
When to Visit: June-September
9. Dijon is a Food and Wine Lovers Weekend Getaway
Dreaming of a foodie destination? What about a place known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay? Then a visit to Dijon is one of the best weekend getaways from Paris for you!
Things to do in Dijon:
- Sample amazing Burgundian specialties including mustard, pain d’épices, boeuf bourguignon, crème de cassis, coq au vin, and tarte tatin.
- Explore Les Halles Market
- Admire the art in the Ducal Palace & Musee Des Beaux Arts Dijon
- Follow the owl plaques for a self-guided tour of Dijon
- Head to Beaune and enjoy a wine and bike tour of Burgundy
- Dine at lovely Michelin Guide restaurants without the high costs at L’Essential and Parapluie
Travel Time By Train: About 1.5 hours from Paris Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: About 3.5 hours or 196 miles (315 km).
Where to Stay: Hotel Oceania Le Jura Dijon
Best Time to Visit: The autumn months of September and October are a great time to visit for the harvest season!
10. Lyon is the Ultimate Food Destination in France
Yes, Dijon is an incredible place for food. BUT Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France! Meaning the food here is also extremely good. We’re talking about plenty of sausages, Lyonnaise potatoes, and even Bugnes for dessert.
Things to do in Lyon:
- Take a food tour, obviously
- Learn about its silk-making past on an audio-guided tour of the Croix-Rousse and the Traboules
- Visit Les Halles Market
- Take in ancient history at the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon-Fourvière
- Eat at one of 82 Michelin Guide restaurants in the city- yes there are so many great places to eat!
- Admire the Old Town of Lyon
Travel Time By Train: 2 hours via Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: About 5 hours, or 289 miles (465 km).
Where to Stay: Mercure Lyon Centre Beaux-Arts Hotel
When to Visit: April and October
11. Annecy is a Dreamy Weekend Getaway From Paris For Mountain Views
Exploring the “Venice of France” is always a dream, especially as you wind your way around the canals that lead to the most breathtaking lake: Lake Annecy.
Aside from that, you’re near the Swiss border and the alps, meaning you’ll have plenty of hearty alpine food to enjoy. Annecy is truly a romantic place like no other, making it one of the best weekend trips from Paris!
Things to do in Annecy:
- Get out on Lake Annecy via paddle boat
- Grab things for a picnic lunch at the Old Town Market in Annecy
- Visit the Palais de l’Ile in the middle of the Thiou Canal
- Admire the old city and canals
- Take a wine tour of the Savoie wine region nearby
- Eat hearty alpine fare like tartiflette and fondue at L’Etage
- Explore nearby cities and towns, like Grenoble!
Travel Time By Train: About 3.5 hours via Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: About 6 hours or 348 miles (618 km). The train is by far the easier way to get here.
Where to Stay: Atipik Hotel Alexandra
When to Visit: Mid-September-October and April-May are best to have good weather and fewer crowds, but even Annecy in winter is a delight!
12. Deauville is a Beach Resort Town Getaway From Paris
Perfect sandy beaches, horse racing, gambling, and golfing are amazing things to do during a weekend trip from Paris to Deauville in Normandy.
If you want a warm-weather escape from Paris’s often too hot and humid summertime atmosphere, check out Deauville!
Things to do in Deauville:
- Enjoy the golden sandy beaches
- Gamble at the Casino Barrière de Deauville
- Go sailing from the Deauville Yacht Club
- Head to a horse race
- Visit the D-Day Beaches
- Go golfing
- Take a day trip to discover the cider and food of the region
- Visit nearby Honfleur for its old port
Travel Time By Train: 2.5 hours from Saint-Lazare.
Travel Time By Car: 3 hours or 125 miles (201 km).
Where to Stay: Villa Augeval Hotel & Spa
When to Visit: June through September is perfect for beach days! Bear in mind that it will be crowded in August.
13. Versailles is One of the Best Weekend Trips From Paris- Especially for the Chateau de Versailles!
Why would one want to visit the town of Versailles? I mean, I’d say the biggest thing to see is obviously the Chateau de Versailles and the sprawling estate.
And I’ll be honest, it could take you an entire weekend just to cover it all! The place is massive! However, the town of Versailles is charming in its own right, and very much worthy of your time.
Things to do in Versailles:
- Visit the Château de Versailles including the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, Gardens of Versailles, and, of course, the palace itself
- Snap photos of the famous Hall of Mirrors in the palace
- Grab delicious food at the Marche Notre-Dame
- Have a picnic lunch with food from the market at the Grand Canal of Versailles
- If you’re short on time, take a day trip to Versailles from Paris
Travel Time By Train: 40 minutes via Austerlitz.
Travel Time By Car: 1 hour or 19 miles (13 km).
Where to Stay: Hôtel Le Louis Versailles Château – MGallery
When to Visit: April-May and October-November for mild weather and fewer people.
14. Avignon is an Idyllic Weekend Escape From Paris For History and Lavender
When there is a chance to partake in history by visiting the old Pope’s Palace (did you know that the popes used to live in Avignon between 1309-1377?), sip wine at one of the best wine regions in the area, and admire lavender fields, you have to take it!
Things to do in Avignon:
- Visit the Pope’s Palace
- Walk on Pont d’Avignon
- Explore Pont du Gard nearby
- Take a day trip to Chateauneuf-du-pape for its wine
- Explore the Luberon for its lavender
- Visit Les Halles Market
Travel Time By Train: About 3 hours from Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: 7 hours or 429 miles (690 km). It is a better idea to take the train.
Where to Stay: La Banasterie
When to Visit: April-May and September-October are great for avoiding crowds, but late June through July is a great time to visit the lavender fields.
15. Nice a Lovely South of France Weekend Trip From Paris
With its charming market, beautiful beachside promenade, and its beaches, a visit to the south of France, especially Nice is one of the best weekend trips from Paris!
Plus, it is a great place to base yourself for a day trip to Monaco or other villages nearby!
Things to do in Nice:
- Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais
- Hike up to Parc de la Colline du Château for amazing views over Nice
- Explore Marche aux fruits, légumes, et marée du cours saleya
- Beach hop around Nice’s best beaches like La Reserve, Coco Beach, and Villefranche-sur-Mer (not technically in Nice but worth the visit!)
- Take a day trip to Monaco or the hillside city of Eze
- Eat all the Nicoise food including socca (a chickpea pancake), salade Nicoise, Pissaladière, Ratatouille, and more!
Travel Time By Train: 5 hours 40 minutes from Paris Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: 9 hours or 579 miles (932 km). It is a better idea to fly or take the train versus drive here.
Where to Stay: Hotel Villa Rivoli
When to Visit: April-June and September-October. Really, any time is great, but shoulder season is great for beaches (on warmer days) without the crowds!
16. Marseille is Perfect for Its Mild Winters and 300 Days of Sunshine a Year
Marseille is an idyllic place to visit in the south of France with its old port and its sunshine- making it one of the best weekend trips from Paris!
You could easily enjoy this city year-round for its mild winter temperatures and gorgeous weather. But no matter when you visit, there are plenty of exciting things to do.
Things to do in Marseille:
- Partake in the food scene especially its famed bouillabaisse
- Explore the Old Port
- Visit Palais Longchamp
- Hike up to Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde
- Take a day trip to Calanques National Park
- Take a sunset cruise
Travel Time By Train: About 3 hours 20 minutes from Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: Around 8 hours or 481 miles (774 km). Again, it is best to probably take the train here.
Where to Stay: Hotel La Residence Du Vieux Port
When to Visit: September-November is great for weather, but honestly, this is a year-round destination!
17. Bordeaux is a Wine Lovers Dream of a Weekend Break From Paris
For one of the best weekend getaways in France, opt for the wine-lovers paradise of Bordeaux.
The city itself is also extremely lovely with its Medieval architecture and River Garonne. But if you only have a weekend, this is a fabulous place to just sample all the best wines in the region!
Things to do in Bordeaux:
- Explore the Cite du Vin, an interactive museum to learn all about wine!
- Take a wine tasting tour from the city!
- Enjoy various wine bars like Le Bar a Vin, Vins Urbains, and Un Château en Ville
- Cruise on the River Garonne
- Admire the Medieval architecture throughout the city at La Grosse Cloche, Porte Cailhau, and Bordeaux Cathedral
Travel Time By Train: About 2 hours from Paris Montparnasse Station.
Travel Time By Car: About 6 hours or 363 miles (584 km). It is far easier to just take the train.
Where to Stay: Hotel Cardinal
When to Visit: The harvest season in the fall is a lovely time to visit. However, April-June and October are great too!
18. Colmar is a Holiday Wonderland Weekend Escape From Paris
Colmar, located in the Alsace Region of France, is incredibly charming from its canal in Petit Venise and half-timbered buildings to its idyllic Christmas markets. A visit to Colmar will feel like a slice of Germany right in France!
Things to do in Colmar:
- Wander the Petit Venise and canal
- Enjoy the wine and towns along the Alsace Wine Route
- Take a day trip to Strasbourg
- Shop at the Covered Market
- Visit the Christmas Markets or Easter Markets depending on the time of year
Travel Time By Train: 2 hours 20 minutes via Gare de l’Est.
Travel Time By Car: 5.5 hours or 306 miles (492 km).
Where to Stay: Hotel Turenne
When to Visit: You could truly visit here year-round and be charmed, but for Christmas markets, opt for late November-late December. For the Easter Markets, come around April.
19. Nantes is Perfect for Lovers of Art, Culture, and Wine
Nantes is a university town but definitely is worth a visit for its many attractions. Plus, with its several museums, and delicious Muscadet wine, you will quickly fall in love with this short weekend break from Paris.
Things to do in Nantes:
- Visit the Château des Ducs de Bretagne
- Explore Les Machines de l’Île, known for its bizarre animatronics, among many other very interactive things
- Wander in Jardin des Plantes
- Admire the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul of Nantes
- Visit museums like Musée de l’Imprimerie and learn about the history of the printing process, the Jules Verne Museum, and the Natural History Museum
- Learn more about the dark history of Nantes, including about how it became wealthy by means of the slave trade, at Mémorial de l’Abolition de l’Esclavage, built to commemorate the abolishment of slavery.
- Enjoy all the seafood and Muscadet wine
- Take a walking tour of Nantes
Travel Time By Train: 2 hours 15 minutes via Paris Montparnasse.
Travel Time By Car: 4 hours or 239 miles (384 km).
Where to Stay: Oceania Hôtel de France Nantes
When to Visit: May-September.
20. Mont-Saint-Michel is a Dreamy Getaway From Paris
Mont-Saint-Michel is certainly an iconic France bucket list item! With its towering abbey overlooking the tidal island, a visit to Mont-Saint-Michel easily makes for the most amazing weekend away from Paris.
Enjoy this island and its wonder during a weekend trip! Note you can also do this as a day trip from Paris too!
Things to do on Mont-Saint-Michel:
- Visit the Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel as it is a stunning gothic marvel! Construction began in the 700s after Archbishop Aubert of Avranches saw the Archangel Michael in a vision
- Admire the Ramparts
- Walk along the Grand Rue
- Take a guided walk across the bay during low tide to the island
- Watch as it becomes an island during high tide
Travel Time By Train: About 4 hours from the Paris Montparnasse Station and includes bus time as you’ll need a bus to get there.
Travel Time By Car: About 4 hours or 224 miles (360 km). It is actually a good idea to drive for the weekend. You can park a in lot 1.5 miles from the island and then take the free shuttle from Place des Navettes.
Where to Stay: Hôtel Le Relais du Roy is a great hotel close to the island.
When to Visit: March-May and September-October is perfect for better weather and to avoid crowds.
21. Fontainebleau is Another Castle Lover’s Dream Without the Crowds!
Want to enjoy a palace without the crowds like at Versailles? Check out Fontainebleau Palace, known as the cradle of the French Renaissance, for one of the best weekend trips from Paris.
And, as it isn’t nearly as well-known as Versailles, it isn’t as crowded. Which is a great place to visit to avoid the heavy crowds of many other chateaux around the country!
Things to do in Fontainebleau:
- Explore the palace and its sprawling gardens and property
- Wander in the Forest of Fontainebleau by hiking, biking, or scooting!
- Watch equestrian competitions at the Grand Parquet
- Explore the Artist’s Trail
Travel Time By Train: 40 minutes via Gare de Lyon.
Travel Time By Car: 1.5 hours or 43 miles (69 km).
Where to Stay: L’Aigle Noir Hôtel Fontainebleau – MGallery
When to Visit: April-June and September-October.
These are easily the best weekend trips from Paris! Which would you like to go on?
Want more France ideas? Check out these posts:
- Most Romantic Things to do in Paris
- 43 Hidden Gems in Paris
- How to Spend 2 Days in Paris
- How to Spend 3 Days in Paris
- Best Time to Visit Paris
- Where to Stay in Paris
- Ultimate Paris Bucket List
- 1 Day in Paris
- Paris in January
- Best French Cheeses
- Paris Travel Tips For First Timers
- Best French Gifts For Francophiles
- Best Things to do in Cassis
- Ultimate 5-Day French Riviera Itinerary
- 1 Day in Strasbourg
- How to Spend 7 Days in Paris
- Helpful French Phrases to Know
- How to Spend 10 Days in France
- Ultimate Paris 2024 Olympics Travel Guide
- Paris in the Fall Guide