5 places to discover less than 3 hours from Paris

Woman walking on the beach with colorful umbrellas in Deauville, famous french resort in Normandy

Winter is coming to an end, giving way to warmer air and the budding of nature. There’s nothing like escaping the French capital to enjoy the long-awaited arrival of spring.

Less than 3 hours from Paris, you can find a variety of beautiful places to suit every taste. Whether you’re looking for vast forests, picturesque towns or charming coastal villages, you don’t have to look far. That’s why we’ve put together 5 destinations ideal for a spring getaway. Pack your bags, and let yourself be transported by these picturesque places, far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The beaches of Deauville and Trouville

A weekend of seaside chic
DEAUVILLE, FRANCE - Promenade des Planches, where beach closet are dedicated to famous actors to Deauville, France

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The beaches of Deauville and Trouville are theideal place for a chic seaside getaway. The promenade along the beach is a must, with its famous colorful beach huts and historic casinos. Art lovers can also visit the André Malraux museum, which houses a collection of Impressionist art, or stroll the streets of Deauville to admire the town’s architecture.

For gourmets, don’t miss the chance to sample local specialties such as fresh seafood and Normandy cheese. To get there, the train is the most convenient way, with a journey time of around 2 hours from Paris. For a budget of 150-200 euros per person, it’s possible to spend a pleasant weekend in these coastal towns.

Monet’s gardens at Giverny

Explore art and nature
Jardins de Monet et lac avec nénuphars à Giverny, en Normandie,

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Monet’s gardens at Giverny are an ideal place for a bucolic getaway. This botanical garden was the inspiration of French artist Claude Monet, and he spent the last years of his life designing it. Art and nature lovers can stroll the garden’s paths to discover a variety of flowers and plants, such as Monet’s famous water lilies, which inspired some of his greatest works.

Monet’s garden is about 75 km from Paris, making it easily accessible by train or car. Admission costs around €10 for adults, with discounts for children.

To make the most of this bucolic getaway, we recommend spending a night in the area.

Visitors can also take advantage of local restaurants to savor Normandy specialties, such as tarte Tatin or camembert. A budget of €200 per person should be sufficient for one night’s accommodation and a visit to Monet’s garden.

The Loire castles

Immerse yourself in history by visiting
Château de Chambord, château royal médiéval français dans la vallée de la Loire en France, Europe

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The Châteaux de la Loire are a must-see for all lovers of history and architecture. The châteaux of Chambord, Chenonceau and Amboise are among the most famous and offer a unique experience. Château de Chambord is the largest of the Loire châteaux, and boasts impressive architecture with towers, balconies and sculptures. Château de Chenonceau is famous for its bridge over the River Cher and its formal gardens. As for the Château d’Amboise, it offers breathtaking views over the Loire Valley and boasts a chapel housing Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb.

To get the most out of your visit, we recommend you plan a full day. The châteaux of the Loire are easily accessible from Paris by train or car, and tickets for the châteaux can be purchased on site or online. The average budget for a visit to the three châteaux is around 40-50 euros per person.

Champagne vineyards

A sparkle of happiness
Rangée de vignes dans les vignobles de champagne de montagne de reims, Reims, France

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The Champagne region is famous for its vineyards and cellars, and is an ideal location for a wine-tasting getaway or cellar tour. Start with a visit to Épernay, the capital of Champagne, where you can tour the great champagne houses such as Moët et Chandon, Mercier and Perrier-Jouët.

Enjoy a guided tour of the region’s vineyards to learn more about the champagne production process and discover picturesque landscapes. Once you’ve completed your tour, stop to sample local champagnes and savor local cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the area.

For an overall budget, allow around 150-200 euros per person for a guided tour and champagne tasting, but this may vary depending on tour and catering options. Public transport is limited in the region, so we recommend renting a car for greater flexibility.

The Venice of the North

Explore Bruges in Belgium

Bruges is a medieval city in Belgium, also known as the  » Venice of the North  » because of its many romantic canals. The city is brimming with history and Gothic architecture, as well as museums and art galleries. Highlights include the Grand-Place, the Belfort Tower, Notre-Dame Church and the Groeninge Museum, which houses a collection of Flemish art.

Visitors can also stroll along the canals, take a boat tour or hire bikes to explore the city at their own pace. Belgian chocolates are also a must, and visitors can find them in the city’s many chocolate shops. Transport to Bruges from Paris is by train and bus, and the journey takes around 2h30.

Spring is the ideal season to escape the city and discover new horizons. The destinations we’ve featured all offer different experiences, from relaxing on the beaches of Deauville and Trouville to cultural visits to the Loire castles, discovering the vineyards of Champagne and the romantic city of Bruges in Belgium.

Whatever your preference, you’re sure to find a destination that suits you and lets you get away from it all. So go ahead, plan your getaway and take advantage of spring to explore new horizons less than 3 hours from Paris.