Paris remains a premium tourist destination for travellers anywhere in the world. Beyond the must-see landmarks, museums rich in history and antiquity, the majestic Eiffel tower and the captivating sights and sounds of the city of love, however, there is more that lies outside of the city.
Whether you are a resident or a visitor, taking a tour of Paris can be more rewarding than you expect. We recommend you take a train on your short trip out of Paris. One of the many perks of this is that Paris is the heart of Europe’s train network. From Paris, travellers can connect to popular cities like Amsterdam, Venice and even Madrid in relatively good time. A Paris to London train takes only a little over 2 hours too.
Another reason why we recommend travelling by train is that the journey presents you with the opportunity to have a view of fascinating and monumental places within France that urban sites and attractions have sadly overshadowed.
Outside of Paris, France is Still Captivating
One of the most rewarding day trips you can take out of Paris by train is to the medieval town of Provins. You have to travel a little over 90 kilometres southeast of Paris to get to Provins. The journey by train approximately lasts 1 hour and 23 minutes from Paris. Or you can join any travel tour that provides day trips to Provins from Paris.
The obvious attraction in Provins is its ramparts stretching a length of 1,200 meters. Within the town are architectural pieces that are reminiscent of ancient events. Some are religious monuments like the uncompleted Saint-Quiriace Collegiate Church and Le Prieure Saint-Ayoul with its magnificent classic gothic entrance. Others are the 12th-century Caesar Tower, offering a bird’s eye view of the town and beyond, the Maison Romane, and the Rose Garden.
The underground galleries of the town also shed light on its medieval history. Provins was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 2001. If you are visiting in the summer, you may be lucky to attend the town’s weekend-long celebration of Les Medievales de Provins, the biggest festive event of the town.
You could also consider taking the 1 hour 45 minutes trip by train to Strasbourg, Alsace. Also a UNESCO world heritage site, Strasbourg lies on the border of France closest to Germany and therefore interlaces the cultures of both countries.
Strasbourg has notable landmarks from history and in contemporary times. It is the location of the sandstone cathedral which until 1874 was the world’s tallest building. It is also home to the Saint-Pierre Le Jeune Church which in its over 200 years of history housed two different Christian sects – Protestants and Catholics.
The Gutenberg square named after the famous inventor of the printing press is also located here. Strasbourg also reserves regional political relevance as the seat of the European parliament.
If you do not want to go this far from Paris but still want to catch the fun outside of it, then Disneyland Park is the place to visit. Head towards the East of Paris to Disneyland by taking one of the suburban commuter trains to cover the 32-kilometre distance in 40 minutes.
From the Gare de Lyon to Marne-la-Vallee station, also known as Chessy train station, it is barely a 2-minute walk to Disneyland Park. You can actually choose between Disneyland Park or the Walt Disney Studios Park right next to it, or simply buy tickets to both.
From Paris to Beyond France
Though it would be farther, a train trip from Paris to other European cities outside of France can be as exciting as the sites in Paris. Take Amsterdam for instance. The train to Amsterdam from the Gare du Nord in Paris which takes over 3 hours leads to a tourist-attracting city of museums, theatres and historic homes.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses a splendid collection of artworks that include thousands of paintings and millions of artefacts. Amsterdam is also home to the most extensive collection of Van Gogh’s works. The Van Gogh Museum of impressionist artworks among 200 other paintings.
Other interesting sites include the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk which serves as the Dutch coronation church, and the National Monument, a memorial for World War 2 victims and a liberation emblem.
You can also undertake a day trip by train to other locations like London, Zurich and Geneva. And of course, we recommend that you take high-speed trains if your trip takes you outside France. We wish you a fun-filled and adventurous trip!