Although Paris is a wonderful city, it might be nice to explore other places in France as well. Luckily, this is super easy coming from Paris since you can get to a lot of amazing places within no time, definitely for a weekend getaway! Whether you like discovering other beautiful cities within France or beyond, this will be your ideal inspiration guide to plan your next weekend trip from Paris!
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21 best weekend getaways from Paris
Recommended by Faith from XYU and Beyond
Brittany is the place to head for a weekend trip, particularly Rennes, the capital of the province. Rennes is a beautiful place to visit with over 286 incredible half-timbered buildings, museums, parks, medieval gates, and a cathedral. The city is also easy to reach by only a 2 hour TGV high speed train ride from Paris!
Place Ste. Anne is the very heart of Rennes full of incredible colored half-timbered buildings. In 1720, there was a fire that burnt down most of the city but this area of cobbled streets and crooked houses was re-built.
Rennes is where you come if you are a foodie. With its international reputation for the food scene, some must-eats include the Breton Galette, a savoury buckwheat crepe, crêpes which are the sweet version of the galette, tartiflette which is sort of scalloped potatoes on steroids and of course, it must all be washed down with the famous Breton Cidre. Don’t forget to visit the Place des Lices where knights used to joust and is now the location of France’s largest market outside of Paris.
Off the Place Sainte-Anne, look for the rue Saint-Michel which is nicknamed the Road of Thirst for the dozens of bars and clubs which are frequented by the many students who make their home in Rennes.
Fancy a stay in a chateau? The Chateau d’Apigné is set in a beautiful 25-hectare park, 8 km from Rennes. It features spacious and luxurious rooms with classic 19-century decor and large beds. It has a fabulous restaurant called Les Tourelles which serves traditional cuisine along with daily breakfast.
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One of the best weekend trips from Paris is to head to the Alsatian villages in the French Alsace region, which is close to the German border. Here, you will find numerous charming towns with colorful half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets and tiny alleys.
Some of the most beautiful Alsatian villages are Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé, Eguisheim and Hunawihr, and if you have more time to spare, you could even head to the nearby city of Colmar.
It is interesting to note that the villages of Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé were the inspiration behind the village in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which makes a lot of sense, as walking through them feels as if you’re walking through a fairy tale!
What makes these villages even better to visit is that the surroundings are stunning. You’ll find plenty of wineries (that can be visited) and beautiful hikes here.
The Alsatian villages are about 450 km from Paris, and they can either be reached by car, by public transportation (via Colmar) or by tour.
When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of nice options in Riquewihr and Kaysersberg, which are the most famous villages. One of the most popular hotels is Hotel de la Couronne in the center of Riquewihr.
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The city of Nancy in northeastern France is the perfect destination for a weekend from Paris if you happen to love the Art Nouveau style of furniture and architecture. It’s a city often left off the tourist trail, yet you can easily get there by train in under two hours.
It makes sense to divide your visit into two days. Spend one day visiting the various Art Nouveau showcases – the Villa Majorelle, the Musée de l’Ecole de Nancy (the name of the city’s innovative Art Nouveau style) and the Daum glass exhibition in the basement of the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
Then, spend the second roaming, an ideal pastime in Nancy. Visit the Old Town and its churches and museums, and finish off your evening sitting in a café on the Place Stanislas, one of the most famous in France. For a splurge, stay at the Grand Hotel de la Reine, right on the Place. Otherwise, the city has a number of private studios and apartments called “Victoria”, several of which are right next to the old town.
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Honfleur is a small town in Normandy, France, with a rich history and an abundance of natural beauty. It has always been known as a popular destination for tourists from all over the world because of its colourful houses, picturesque harbour and incredible food. With its beautiful scenery and charming atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Honfleur is one of the best weekend trips from Paris!
Just over a 2 hour drive from Paris, Honfleur is an ideal place to escape the City for a weekend. Many love to explore Normandy by car over a weekend so exploring Honfleur is a must.
There is so much to explore in this French gem but one place you cannot miss is The Pont de Normandie. This bridge draws visitors to it from across the globe thanks to its impressive architecture and wonderful views.
The most popular way to get to Honfleur from Paris is by car. However, you can get the train or bus to Rouen and then make a separate journey from there. This option is a bit more expensive and takes a tiny bit longer.
You will find plenty of amazing and wonderful places to stay in Honfleur and all across Normandy. However, you can’t go wrong with Hotel Mercure Honfleur. This is a fantastic place to stay in Honfleur, especially if you don’t want to pay a fortune.
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Luxembourg City may be the capital of one of Europe’s smallest countries, but it is a fascinating place to visit and an easy getaway from Paris, France.
You can reach Luxembourg from Paris in roughly 4 hour 15 minute by car or 5 hours by public transport. And because the city center is small, many of the best things to do in Luxembourg City are within walking distance.
If arriving by train, choose a hotel close to Luxembourg Train Station, like the Park Inn by Radisson. Once you check in, set off to explore the city center, which is a short 10-minute walk away. Stop by and take in the sights of Constitution Square, the Adolphe Bridge, and the Monument of Remembrance.
Then, head to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Not to be confused with Paris’ famous church, this three-spired cathedral features grand stained glass windows and a crypt beneath where the Grand Dukes and Duchesses of Luxembourg are all entombed.
You’ll also want to spend some time walking through the historic quarter, which is located in the valley below the New City of Luxembourg. The preserved area on the banks of the Alzette River is a picturesque place to wander through and explore.
This lower level of Luxembourg City, along with the walls on which the upper city is built, has been given the UNESCO World Heritage designation. You can even take a tour inside the walls! Known as the casemates, the network of underground tunnels dates back to 963 when it was part of a medieval stronghold to protect the city.
With so many unique things to do, Luxembourg City is an incredible weekend trip.
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Vannes is one of the most beautiful towns in Brittany and an excellent destination for a weekend trip from Paris. It only takes 2.5 hours by train to get there, and it’s a short walk from Vannes train station to the heart of the town.
You’ll love exploring on foot the medieval town centre. The atmosphere in town and colourful half-timbered houses are very different to the buildings you’ll see in Paris. There are no less than 272 heritage-listed monuments to see in Vannes. The gardens just outside the old rampart walls are lovely too.
The small port is perfect for a relaxing lunch break to try local specialties such as seafood or galettes. From there, you can hop on a boat for a guided tour around the islands of the Gulf of Morbihan. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Vannes.
There are at least 40 of them, and a few new ones appear at low tide. The gulf is calm and full of mysteries. As you connect with nature and hear about local Celtic legends, you’ll feel very far away from the French capital.
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Known as the city of diamonds and Rubens, Antwerp has many tourist attractions concentrated mostly around its beautiful old town that can be explored on foot on a weekend.
The Rubenshuis is the house-workshop in which Rubens lived for his last 29 years, with paintings by Rubens and the rooms with the original furniture. Close to it is the Church of San Carlos Borromeo, with its spectacular Baroque facade.
The jewel of the city is the Grote Markt, which has several guild houses, a spectacular Renaissance-style town hall and the original Fountain of Brabo. The Cathedral of Our Lord is close by, located in the beautiful Groenplaats square. The exterior of the church impresses with its massive tower with a large bell tower and inside there are several paintings by Rubens.
There are lots of things to do in Antwerp, but while here, don’t miss out on delicious Belgian beer, world-famous chocolate and the typical mussels and fries.
From Paris, the fastest way to get to Antwerp is by train. You will arrive in Antwerp in just 2 hours, at the Central Train Station, one of the most beautiful in the world!
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Rouen is the regional capital of Normandy and a place that should be on your bucket list if you want to explore the northern parts of France. The colorful city has a rich historical past. From viking rules, to Joan of Arc, many left their marks in the Norman city. The grand Cathedral of Rouen is a prime site located in the heart of the city. The Gros-Horloge in the main pedestrian street is a beautiful unique Renaissance time piece.
Attractions in Rouen are plenty! A walk across the old town will take your breath away since the vivid houses and typical building style of Normandy are so charming. The city was damaged by allied forces in WW2 and this can be seen in the walls of the administrative buildings which still show bullet marks. Compared to other northern French cities, Rouen was not destroyed during the war, and the buildings are well-preserved, a testament of time.
Most hotels are located in the city center and some of the best to stay are from the French Accor group, including Novotel and Mercure. To get to Rouen from Paris will take you 1 1/2 h by train and 2 h by car.
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Lyon is a terrific choice for a weekend getaway from Paris. There are many wonderful things to do in Lyon, and it’s only two hours south from Paris via high-speed train.
Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France, boasting many Michelin-starred restaurants and some fantastic food markets. But even if you’re not a foodie, there are great attractions to suit any interest.
If you’re an art lover, you will adore Lyon. Lyon is home to France’s second-largest collection of fine arts, located in the Musée des Beaux-Arts. And one of Lyon’s unique attractions are its magnificent trompe l’oeil murals. These immense paintings decorate entire sides of buildings and are incredibly lifelike.
History buffs will enjoy visiting Lyon’s Roman ruins and exploring its fascinating traboules. Traboules are secret passageways between streets, with a rich history in Lyon’s silk trade as well as the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation.
You’ll want to stay in Vieux Lyon to soak up the historic vibes and have easy access to the traboules and ruins. The old buildings have a lot of character, but may not have elevators (so be sure to check if you’re not able to handle stairs).
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With close proximity, exciting festivities, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful sceneries, Fontainebleau is a great getaway destination for not only the locals in Paris but also tourists around the world. The city is about 45 minutes away from Paris city center by train. To enjoy a higher level of freedom, rent a car and explore the fields and natural forests in the surrounding areas.
The small city was developed around the historic Château de Fontainebleau – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses an impressive amount of stunning works of art and the mindfully designed Italian Renaissance garden of Château de Versailles. The beauty of the palace rivals Versailles for being a residence of numerous French monarchs including Louis VII and Napoleon III. The Gallery of Francis I, the impressive chapels, and the Turkish boudoir designed especially for Marie Antoinette are some of the highlights of the palace.
Outside of the palace, Fontainebleau has no lack of refreshing greeneries as it is surrounded by a natural forest. This is a great place to take a hot air balloon ride and prepare to gasp gliding through the tranquil farmlands. For a romantic weekend, bring a picnic with a bottle of champagne and get some fresh air.
The Django Reinhardt Festival is held in Fontainebleau during summer and it is the event of the year. It is a respected jazz music festival with a long history, and now the festival moved on to a wider range of music genres and performances. Soak in the festive vibe at night where you could have some good food and wine in a local joint, dance, and see performances on different stages set up in the city’s streets.
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Amsterdam is a wonderful weekend getaway from Paris. “The Venice of the North,” Amsterdam’s picturesque canal district is just as perfect for a romantic getaway as it is for a girls’ weekend or some solo time. Be sure to enjoy a canal cruise!
If you love history and art, be sure to visit the famous Anne Frank House (buy tickets in advance), and the Van Gogh Museum. Rembrandt lived in Amsterdam for 38 years, and you can visit the Rembrandt House Museum to see both how he lived and some of his best works. The Rijksmuseum is also bursting with Dutch Masters.
If you want to enjoy the people and beauty of the city, visit the floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt, or stroll Vondelpark’s 120 acres of beautiful open greenspace, open-air theatre, and visit the café. And for one of my favorite things, visit the nearby Amsterdam street food market, Foodhallen! Getting to Amsterdam from Paris is incredibly easy by train. The trip has no transfers and takes approximately 3.5 hours from Gare du Nord. If it’s within your budget, I recommend staying within the canal area and have particularly liked The Amsterdam Canal Hotel in the past.
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Another wonderful destination to choose as a weekend trip from Paris is the lovely city of Strasbourg.
Strasbourg is located in northeastern France, more precisely in the former Alsace region not far from the German border. The best way to reach Strasbourg from Paris is by train. There are numerous trains per day, the average ride takes around 2.5 hours. You can also take the car if you prefer, however, plan at least 4-5 hours for the journey.
Once in Strasbourg, you’ll immediately recognize the huge cathedral in the historic city center. It’s an outstanding piece of Gothic art and is among the most famous landmarks in France.
While Strasbourg is worth seeing in any season, it’s especially gorgeous in winter. Then you can admire some of the cutest Christmas decorations on the iconic houses or enjoy a hot mulled wine at one of the many Christmas markets. There’s a reason why Strasbourg declares itself as the capital of Christmas!
During your weekend in Strasbourg, don’t miss out on cultural places such as the Palace Rohan or the European Parliament.
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Brussels is a quick 90-minute train ride from Paris and is one of the best weekend trips departing from Paris you can go on.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium, but it feels like a friendly small town. There is plenty to do, but you still feel relaxed and like you’re not rushing from place to place.
Even though Brussels isn’t a huge city, there is plenty of unique things to do to keep you busy. Some of the unmissable sights include The Belgian Comic Strip Centre, touring the European Parliament, Manneken Pis, and, of course, sampling the chocolate Belgium is famous for.
Since you’re only in Brussels for the weekend, you want to stay near the city center. You’ll be able to walk everywhere you want to go. Hotel Hubert Grand Place is one of the most popular mid-range hotels to stay at in the city center.
If you enjoy beer, you may want to go on a beer-tasting tour in Brussels. Belgium makes delicious beer, and a tour allows you to sample a number of them and learn more about the beer-making process.
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If you’re looking for someplace very different from Paris for your weekend getaway, Freiburg might be just what you need. Tucked into the southwest corner of Germany, Freiburg is the perfect base for seeing a little of the Black Forest while still having the comforts of a small city.
Go for a wander in the Old Town where you’ll see some of Germany’s famous landmarks. You’ll notice small canals along the sides of many of the streets. These are called Bächle, and legend says you’ll marry a local if you step in one. Two of Freiburg’s old Medieval gates are still standing too, called Martinstor and Schwabentor.
Climb the impressive Freiburg Cathedral tower for some amazing views of the city and the surrounding Black Forest. A fresh market runs in the square that surrounds the church every day except Sundays, so if you’re there on a weekend trip, be sure to stop by on Saturday. If you’re visiting in warm weather, have a beer or two at Freiburg’s local Feierling beer garden.
From Freiburg, you can take a short train to the nearby town of Titisee to see the forest a little closer. Or on the edge of town, take the cable car to the top of Schauinsland, one of the tallest mountains in the region.
Trains from Paris to Freiburg take about 3 to 4 hours, sometimes without even having to switch trains. For a hotel in Freiburg, check out Gasthaus Zum Roten Bären. It’s the oldest hotel in Germany.
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Bordeaux, which is the capital of Frances’ Aquitaine region, is the 6th largest city in the country. The city is worth visiting for its laid-back vibes and access to tens of museums and wineries from where you can sample some of the country’s finest wines.
Bordeaux is just 2 hours away from Paris by train and makes a great day trip or weekend getaway. Also, depending on how many days in Bordeaux you decide to spend, you can go even deeper into the countryside and its quaint villages.
Some things to do in Bordeaux include a visit to Cité de Vin, which is a wonderful venue and museum tribute to the heritage of wine, a visit to Bordeaux’s Cathedral and climbing the National Monument. Also, remember to check out Tour Pey Berl where you can enjoy great 360° views of the city.
It is also easy to plan day trips to countryside villages such as the charming village of St-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For central-based accommodation in Bordeaux, try Hotel de la Presse which is just 5 minutes walk from Bordeaux Grand Théâtre. When traveling from Paris to Bordeaux you can board direct trains that take just 2 hours and with sites such as OUIGO.com you can book your ticket in advance.
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It takes less than 3 hours by train, to get to Arcachon from Paris and if you are in for an extraordinary weekend by the sea, that’s where you should be heading to.
Arcachon is a laid-back seaside resort known for sandy beaches, mild weather, 19th-century architecture, and oyster farming! But while strolling the beach promenade and enjoying the seaside vibe is already worth the trip, the real deal is the nearby Dune de Pilat!
You can either visit the 110m high dune, which is the highest in Europe, by car to climb on top, or book a boat trip through the beautiful Bay of Arcachon, which sails also along the 3km long dune. Either way, the sight of the dune will take your breath away.
For the most beautiful sea views and a central location, stay at the Grand Hôtel Richelieu. It’s just a few steps away from the train station and the piers.
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Rotterdam is an easy weekend trip from Paris. It’s only a little over two and a half hours by Thalys train and Rotterdam Central Station is conveniently located in the city center.
There are many sights to be seen in Rotterdam like the old harbor, the yellow cube houses, the impressive Markthal, and the Kinderdijk Windmills. Aside from that, Rotterdam has an extensive museum scene. Be sure not to miss out on the Kunsthal, Museum Rotterdam, het Nieuwe Instituut and Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen.
In the evening, enjoy one of the many fabulous eateries around de Witte de Withstraat or de Oude Binnenweg or if you’re a plant-based foodie there are also many vegetarians and vegan restaurants in Rotterdam to choose from.
The best area to stay in is the upcoming neighborhood around de Nieuwe Binnenweg. It’s a great mix of vintage stores, nice coffee bars, and hip shops. A great place to spend the nights is 171. Urban Design hotel.
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Nice is a fantastic place to visit from Paris on a weekend trip. This gorgeous, laidback city right on the Mediterranean is just a short plane or train ride away making it easy to quickly visit.
In Nice, some of the best things to do include walking, running, or biking along the Promenade des Anglais, a 7km long, wide sidewalk right along the sea, with many access points to the beach. Of course, you must wander through the Old Town, with its narrow, twisting streets and little shops and restaurants.
Don’t miss Place Massena, a stately square surrounded by red buildings, arched passageways, and a checkerboard street, next to the Jardin Albert I. Finally, visit Castle Hill, a lovely greenspace with great views over Nice (but no castle), and then stroll through the upscale and trendy port. Make sure you try some pissaladière and socca, two regional specialties, during your stay in Nice.
From Paris, you can either hop on a quick flight down to Nice (1.5 hours), or take the TGV train (5.5 hours). While there, stay at the Mercure Nice Marché aux Fleurs, a pretty hotel in Old Town and right across from the sea.
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One of the best weekend getaways from Paris is one to the city and country of Monaco. This is a city-state that you can find surrounded by the south of France in the French Riviera region. Monaco is a beautiful place with a lot of luxury, great sights, a very comfortable climate, and beautiful viewpoints. This makes spending some time in the country a wonderful experience.
One of the most famous sights in the city is the Monte Carlo Casino, which is an iconic casino known all around the world. Besides that, the Exotic Garden of Monaco is a place with beautiful nature. Also, it is great to go to the Prince’s Palace where the Prince of Monaco lives. From there, you can also enjoy an amazing view of the city’s port. Besides that, many events take place in Monaco that are great to attend, such as the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Monte-Carlo area is a great place to stay during a weekend getaway. Getting to Monaco from Paris is very easy. By train or by airplane, you can first go to Nice and then travel to Monaco.
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Amboise is a two-hour and forty-minute train ride from Paris Austerlitz to Gare Amboise. Less well-known than most nearby Loire Valley castles, the Royal Château of Amboise has the advantage of being in the center of a lovely village that has many other attractions.
Arriving at the station, you’ll walk across Ile d’Or’ and over the bridge above the Loire River. From here you can enter the town proper or walk up to the castle that dominates the town.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Amboise Castle is linked not just to the turbulent history of the Valois Kings, but also to Leonardo Da Vinci. You can visit his home and workshop, Château Clos Du Luce, as well as see his grave marker in the chapel of Chateau d’Amboise
In addition to Chateau d’Amboise and Château Clos Du Luce. Château Gillard, the village center, the banks of the Loire, and Ill D’Or are all worth exploring on foot.
There are many beautiful mansions converted to hotels in Amboise, but I would stay on Ile d’Or’ because the view of the castle is spectacular and the small wine bars along the river allow you to gaze over the Loire River up at Amboise Château as the sun sets.
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The city of Amiens, located 75 miles from Paris, is known for its cultural heritage and natural beauty.
There are plenty of things to do in Amiens but the cathedral is what the city is best known for. Established in the 13th century, Amiens cathedral is a marvel of Gothic style complete with an intricate facade. The interior is just as majestic as the cathedral’s exterior with beautiful stained glass windows and ribbed vaults.
And if you want to see something truly unique, visit Les Hortillonnages, a huge expense of floating gardens. Hop on to a traditional boat which comes with a boatman doubling as a guide, taking you to see the best spots in this Venice of the north.
Mercure Amiens Cathédrale, located oposite the Amien’s cathedral, is just the right place to stay. The hotel provides a comfortable stay to its ge in a modern, spacious setting. Amiens can be reached by high speed train from Paris in just over an hour.
I hope that with this guide I gave you enough inspiration to escape Paris for a weekend to one of its wonderful neighboring regions! Whether you choose a weekend trip to Belgium, The Netherlands, Monaco, Germany or France, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!
If you have other suggestions for a weekend trip from Paris, feel free to drop a comment below ;).