With over 200 museums and monuments, parks and attractions everywhere, you could spend a lifetime in Paris and always have new activities to do. However, with the fascinating heritage and the great regional diversity of France, there are many more options to discover in addition to its famous capital. Get to know another side of the “Hexagon” (France’s nickname is due to its more or less geometric shape) with a day trip leaving the metropolis.

  1. Mont Saint-Michel : At low tide, the town of Mont Saint-Michel appears perched on a sand surface that seems endless, like a spoonful of whipped cream with a monastery on the tip, rising to the sky. When the tide is high, the town emerges from the water as if it were a scene from The Lord of the Ringswith a mountain-shaped palace surrounded by a natural moat. At any time of day, it is one of the must-see monuments in France … and Unesco agrees. The train journey can be somewhat complicated, so if you want to avoid renting a car, the fastest and easiest way to get there is by bus. When you cross the bridge and pass through the medieval wall, you will be transported to another era. Monte San Miguel is located on the edge of the Brittany region, known for apple cider, crepes (cr ê pes) and caramel. You can even put those three options together and order a drink with a cr êeg caramel, which is the quintessential Breton combination and the perfect snack to sit on a terrace, enjoy the view and imagine what life was like in another era. It is a simple thing to do in this perfectly preserved monument.
  2. Normandy and the D-Day beaches :The Normandy beaches, which were the scene of D-Day and the most spectacular, violent and tumultuous battles of World War II, today are full of tranquility. It’s hard to contain the emotions here and, with the flags waving in the sea breeze on the calm coast, you will feel that your heart is knotting. The Normandy American Cemetery, with its endless rows of white crosses, is both dignified and moving. And the delicate and informative monuments in the area impressively describe the events that happened on this coast and that wrote the history of the 20th century. Again, getting here can be a hassle and getting around different places can be a hassle, so the best options are to rent a car or join a bus tour. Normandy
  3. Bruges : Do you know what is one of the best features in Europe? That you can get on a train and get off in another country in no time. Leave the cosmopolitan grandeur of Paris behind and cross the border into Belgium, the neighbor to eastern France. Nicknamed the Venice of the North for obvious reasons, in Bruges, you can stroll along cobblestone paths in tree-lined canals and walk among the steeples and clock towers of Gothic churches that look like they came out of fairy tales. Take the opportunity to try all the Belgian delicacies sold at the street stalls, cafes and taverns in the city. Waffles, French fries, steamed mussels, and of course an endless variety of Belgian beers are treats you have to try. Witches
  4. Champagne : One of the first images that comes to mind when saying “festive” is a glass of sparkling wine, and (they say) the French are the best on the subject. Spend a day in the region that produces the world’s most famous sparkling wine with a day trip through the charming towns and vineyards of Champagne. Trains travel several times a day between Paris and the towns of Reims and Epernay, which are excellent starting points for exploring the region. You can stay in the center of each city and visit the tasting rooms, or take a tour of the area by bus or car to get to the fields, see the wineries up close and learn: what do they do to put the bubbles?
  5. Giverny :Have you seen Monet’s lily paintings? Of course you have seen them. Well, in Giverny you will see the ponds, bridges, and flourishing gardens that Monet studied in painting his famous Impressionist works, and all from the garden behind his home and study. Take a tour of their house, stroll through the gardens (they are open and perfumed between April and October) and visit the Museum of Impressionism to contemplate the history of this movement and the most contemporary works. The town is utterly charming, like a perfect postcard of a French village with flower-filled courtyards, stone houses, and cobblestone alleys. You can get to Giverny by car or take the train from Paris to Vernon and travel the last 7 kilometers (4 mi) to Giverny by taxi, shuttle bus service or on foot.
  6. Fontainebleau or Chantilly:Although the Loire Valley (more information below) is famous for its turrets, its ramparts and its moats, but just outside of Paris (i.e. you can get there without a car) there are other more accessible castles with the same appearance of fairy tale. Take a regional train from the Gare du Nord terminal to Chantilly, walk through the well-kept parks next to elegant mansions, pass through the large stables (this equestrian palace could only be considered a barn using your imagination a lot), and if you’re lucky, Watch the Thoroughbreds gallop down the track at Chantilly Racecourse. Finally, you will arrive at Chantilly castle. This fairytale castle is perched on the edge of an artificial lake, filled with paintings by Renaissance masters and medieval manuscripts, and is so extravagantly beautiful, It stands to reason that something as fantastic and delicious as whipped cream was invented here. Across from Paris is Fontainebleau, where you can easily get to with a 45-minute train ride from Gare de Lyon and a short walk or bus ride. This place recognized as World Heritage by Unesco was a royal residence from the 12th century until the time of Napoleon III’s reign, so its impressive extension is due to the numerous expansions made by various monarchs over the centuries. The trails in the forest will allow you to breathe the fresh air in nature and the luxurious interiors of the castle will keep you busy for hours. Where you can easily get to with a 45-minute train ride from Gare de Lyon and a short walk or bus ride. This place recognized as World Heritage by Unesco was a royal residence from the 12th century until the time of Napoleon III’s reign, so its impressive extension is due to the numerous expansions made by various monarchs over the centuries. The trails in the forest will allow you to breathe the fresh air in nature and the luxurious interiors of the castle will keep you busy for hours. Where you can easily get to with a 45-minute train ride from Gare de Lyon and a short walk or bus ride. This place recognized as World Heritage by Unesco was a royal residence from the 12th century until the time of Napoleon III’s reign, so its impressive extension is due to the numerous expansions made by various monarchs over the centuries. The trails in the forest will allow you to breathe the fresh air in nature and the luxurious interiors of the castle will keep you busy for hours. reason why its impressive extension is due to the numerous expansions made by various monarchs over the centuries. The trails in the forest will allow you to breathe the fresh air in nature and the luxurious interiors of the castle will keep you busy for hours. reason why its impressive extension is due to the numerous expansions made by various monarchs over the centuries. The trails in the forest will allow you to breathe the fresh air in nature and the luxurious interiors of the castle will keep you busy for hours.
  7. Versailles :If you only leave the center of Paris once during your stay, take the short trip to Versailles, the huge royal playground of the Sun King, Louis XIV. The opulent palace and its huge gardens will compete for your attention … and you could spend several days exploring both. From the glittering gold of the Hall of Mirrors to the Grand Canal, and from the gardens that hosted some of Europe’s most eccentric festivals to the quaint and curious village of the hapless Queen Marie Antoinette, there are treasures everywhere. Buy your tickets in advance and plan to have a good time there, as this is the third most popular attraction in France. You can bike around the area or enjoy the afternoon with a picnic and delight in the provisions that can be bought in the fantastic market of the town, theCarré du  Marche  Notre Dame.
  8. The Loire Valley :Visiting the Loire Valley is like entering a story. It’s easy to imagine Cinderella leaving a slipper on the steps of these splendid castles, or Rapunzel peering out from the tower of a walled palace over a river. The Loire Valley, recognized today as one of the best wine regions in France, was for centuries the favorite retreat of royalty, dukes, princes and other nobles, who went from castle to castle with their horses, between expeditions hunting and banquets in sumptuous salons. With hundreds of castles in the green hills and between the banks, in one day you will have just a taste of all the magic you can find in this place and you will want to return soon to continue exploring. You will need a car to move between castles like Chenonceau, Chambord and Chinon.
  9. Avignon and Provence : Do you want sunnier places? Thanks to France’s rapid train network (TGV), you can leave the cloudy sky of Paris and reach the lavender fields, country wine cellars and the Mediterranean charm of Le Sud(the South) in about 3 hours. Dance a bit on the famous Avignon bridge (if you don’t know the song, one of the town’s inhabitants or your tour guide will surely teach it to you) or take a tour of the Pope’s palace (do you remember what they taught you in the school on the Papal Schism? Pope number 1 remained locked in Rome and Pope number 2 reigned from Avignon). You can also spend time strolling through the small mountain villages for which Provence is famous, with its narrow cobblestone streets, its stone buildings, its calm atmosphere and its large amounts of rosé wine and pastis.
  10. London : The capitals of France and England are separated by only 2 hours by fast train and an underwater tunnel of just over 50 kilometers (30 mi). Hop on the Eurostar at Gare du Nord station and get off at St. Pancras International. London’s public transport makes it easy to get around, and an organized tour will help make sure you visit all the highlights, especially if it’s a day trip. Board a boat on the River Thames, drive a classic double-decker bus, and take a photo in a red phone booth to have the classic memories every tourist desires. History fans can follow Ana Bolena’s unfortunate footsteps at the Tower of LondonAnd those who want to see Kate or William can search for the royal family at Kensington Palace by taking a British break from the City of Light.