10 weekend getaways around Paris

Do you live in the capital and want to get away from it all without driving for hours? Then here are 10 ideas for weekends around Paris that will make you want to leave right away!

Paris is great: the City of Light, museums, palaces… But sometimes you just need to get away from the metro-busy-sleepy routine. Can’t afford to go on vacation? Don’t panic, because there are plenty of places around the city to spend a few quiet days.

Indeed, the Paris region is very well served and easy to escape by car or train. Less than three hours’ drive away, you’ll find magnificent landscapes and attractive towns waiting to be explored.

Quiet corners and nature, beach and sea, vast forests, castles and small villages… Take your pick from the 10 weekend ideas around Paris that we’ve selected for you.

1. Provins

Rose à Provins

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Zhoto

    📍 88 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 1h15

    🚆 By train: 1h24 (Transilien line P) from Gare de l’Est station

    📷 What to see / What to do: visit the medieval city, the rose garden, eat niflettes, take part in the festival

Provins is an impressive medieval town, listed by Unesco. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Paris, you’ve come to the right place.

Do you love old stones? Take a stroll through the narrow streets of a bygone age, or visit the town’s keep, ramparts and churches.

Are you a nature lover? Then did you know that Provins has a variety of roses to its name? Take a romantic stroll through the town’s magnificent rose garden. A perfect idea for a romantic weekend around Paris, don’t you think?

But Provins is also a town of open-air cultural events! Twice a year, the town takes a step back in time to recreate medieval times.

First in June, during the Médiévales festival. Then during the festive season, with a themed Christmas market. The troubadours are out, and masquerade costume is recommended!

Provins is also a great idea for a weekend trip around Paris with children.

2. Le Touquet-Paris Plage

Le Touquet

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Thomas Dekiere

    📍 258 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 2h45

    🚆 By train: 2h30 (stop at Etaples station, then shuttle 513 to downtown)

    📷 Things to see and do: a walk on the beach, sand yachting, forest walks, covered market…

Here’s an idea for a weekend away from Paris to get a breath of fresh air. Le Touquet is the pearl of the Côte d’Opale. Here, you’ll admire 19th-century bourgeois architecture, Art Deco villas, a typical and charming seafront…

Take a stroll along the beach or soak up the greenery in the forest. Pines, poplars and alders will recharge your batteries like never before, far from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Are you a sports fan? You’ll have a blast on a sand yacht on the twelve kilometers of beach. More into architecture? Take a stroll with your nose in the air on the Architecture Balnéaire circuit.

Climb to the top of the Canche lighthouse, then explore the town on foot. The town hall, covered market and eccentric villas are sure to delight your eyes.

3. Le Havre

Le Havre

Photo credit: Shutterstock – wantanee chansawad

    📍 197 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 2h

    🚆 By train: 2h (from Gare St Lazare)

    📷 What to see / What to do: admire Perret’s architecture, swim in the English Channel, admire the landscapes that inspired the Impressionists

Le Havre will probably not be the first of your weekend ideas around Paris, as its reputation as an « ugly city » is quite tenacious. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to get off the beaten track, you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised.

In fact, the entire city of Le Havre has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, precisely because of its architecture, typical of the post-war period. What’s more, you can swim on its beautiful pebble beach or take a day trip to Étretat.

But Le Havre is also a great weekend getaway from Paris for art lovers of all kinds. First of all, the MuMa (Musée d’Art André Malraux) will delight lovers of Impressionism, as it boasts the largest collection of paintings from this period after the museums in the Paris region.

Next, fans of modern and contemporary art, as well as street art, will be in for a treat. The city of Le Havre has invested heavily in open-air art in recent years. Don’t miss the container arches near the port, the « gouzous » by graffiti artist Jace or the concrete portico on the pebble beach.

4. Somme Bay

Baie de Somme

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Wilfried Photo

    📍 225 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 2h20

    🚆 By train: 1h57 (take the train to Noyelles-sur-Mer then the Baie de Somme steam railway to Le Crotoy or Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme)

    📷 Things to see/do: hiking, sea canoeing to meet the seals, swimming

The Baie de Somme is truly one of the best weekend getaways around Paris you can find. Indeed, the destination is little-known and relatively uncrowded by holidaymakers and tourists. Yet it’s an incredible nature destination.

Start with a trip on a sea canoe to observe the seals (yes, seals, in France!) in their natural environment. Then head to the Parc du Marquenterre to observe the thousands of migratory birds in the Baie de Somme.

You can also cross the bay on foot, swim on the Crotoy beach sung by Alain Souchon or admire the majestic cliffs of the southern bay.

Finally, in the evening, you can feast on the culinary specialties of the Baie de Somme: bouchot mussels, salt-meadow lamb, early potatoes… All in all (got it?), it’s a delicious idea for a weekend around Paris!

5. Troyes

Troyes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Leonid Andronov

    📍 178 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 2h

    🚆 By train: 1h40

    📷 What to see / What to do: eat an andouillette, drink champagne, medieval stroll through the streets, shopping in the factory outlets

Here’s an idea for a gastronomic weekend around Paris. Troyes en Champagne is one of France’s Cities of Art and History. So you can completely cut your ties with everyday life for a weekend.

First, treat yourself to regional specialties. Eat AAAAA andouillette, taste Prunelle, a local brandy, and visit the Champagne cellars.

But while you’re filling your stomach, don’t forget to fill your eyes too! Troyes is also a great weekend getaway from Paris for lovers of heritage and old stones.

Visit the cathedral, with its impressive stained-glass windows. Or take a tour of the MOPO, Musée de l’Outil et de la Pensée Ouvrière, run by the Compagnons du Devoir, where the scenography is truly magnificent.

6. Veules-les-Roses

Veules les roses

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Delpixel

    📍 190 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 2h30

    📷 What to see / What to do: visit the watercress beds, go to the beach, stroll along the banks of the Veules river

Here’s an idea for a weekend around Paris in one of the « most beautiful villages in France ». Veules-les-Roses is a charming village. Here, you can admire typical Norman architecture as you stroll through streets lined with thatched-roof, half-timbered houses.

The twists and turns of the Veules, « France’s smallest river », will take you to secret corners. It’s not every day you get to travel a river from source to mouth, and on foot too!

Finally, take advantage of being on the Côte d’Albâtre to go for a swim on the sandy beach. In fact, despite its wild romantic side, its cliffs and its pretty beach, Veules-les-Roses remains relatively unspoilt by mass tourism. A great idea for a weekend getaway around Paris!

7. Chartres

Chartres

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Leonid Andronov

    📍 90 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 1h20

    🚆 By train: 59 minutes

    📷 Things to see/do: street art walk in the streets, visit the Picassiette house

This idea for a weekend around Paris will delight city trip enthusiasts. Because Chartres is only an hour from Paris by train, you can get there very quickly and make the most of your two days. A historic city, Chartres is also modern, dynamic and very green.

With the Eure River running through it, you’ll find magnificent green spaces along the riverbanks for quiet, relaxing moments.

Don’t miss the two events that set the pace in the city. First, Chartres en Lumières. Twenty-four sites in the city center are illuminated with colors and large-scale decorations. Among them, the cathedral, of course, but also the Musée de Beaux-Arts, the médiathèque, the bridges… A magical moment.

Then came the Rencontres du street art, known as Boulevard du Graff. Today, street art works are included in the contemporary art trail that runs through the city center. So Chartres is also a great idea for a weekend around Paris, both culturally and artistically.

8. Lyons-la-Forêt

Lyons La foret

Photo credit: Flickr – Clément S

    📍 100 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 1h40

    📷 What to see / What to do: hike in the woods, admire the 17th-century buildings.

If you’re looking for a green weekend getaway around Paris, head for Lyons-la-Forêt. Red brick and half-timbered facades… you’re definitely in Normandy! Don’t hesitate to stroll through the streets to admire the charming buildings typical of the region.

As its name suggests, the little village, which has been named « France’s most beautiful village », is located on the edge of a large forest. There’s not much else to do here than stroll through the woods, and that’s what makes it so charming.

So you can stroll along the banks of the Eure, walk in the forest or discover the town’s arboretum to recharge your batteries… Numerous hiking trails will also delight cyclists, walkers and even horseback riders.

9. Le Perche

Parc du perche

Photo credit: Instagram – parcregionalduperche

    📍 135 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 2h

    📷 S ightseeing: Nogent le Rotrou, hiking in the Perche regional nature park

For a relaxing weekend getaway around Paris, choose the Perche region. Between forests, hedged farmland and picturesque villages, you’ll find plenty to rest your eyes from the grey of the city.

Drive through the region on a mini-road trip to see the wonders of Perche. But be warned, you’re in for an overdose of green.

For example, start in Nogent-le-Rotrou, the capital of Perche. Then visit the Landes stud farm and discover the Percheron horse breed.

Then take a tour of the Petite Rochelle garden, guided by the owner who created it from scratch…

And don’t hesitate to sample local specialities such as boudin and cider. Because as well as being relaxing, the Perche is also a great idea for a gastronomic weekend around Paris!

10. Amiens

Amiens

Photo credit: Shutterstock – llgonisf

    📍 160 kilometers

    🚗 By car: 1h50

    🚆 By train: 1h07

    📷 S ightseeing: hortillonnages, cathedral, Perret tower

At first glance, Amiens doesn’t seem like a very appealing weekend getaway from Paris. However, the city is splendid and richly deserves its nickname of « Little Venice of the North ». Right in the heart of the city, the hortillonnages (floating gardens surrounded by canals) form an immense green lung covering more than 300 hectares.

You can even explore them by small boat. The city also boasts a number of beautiful parks, including Parc Saint Pierre. Close to the city center, it offers a beautiful view of the cathedral. It’s a great place to stroll, do some sport or get some fresh air.

But Amiens is also a city with an impressive heritage. In fact, it is France’s leading city in terms of Unesco listing! Discover the Jules Verne house, open to visitors, as well as the Perret Tower (you know, the architect who rebuilt Le Havre above), the cathedral, the belfry, the circus…

In fact, the town has been awarded the « Ville d’Art et d’Histoire » (Town of Art and History) label for its outstanding enhancement of this heritage.