Aerial view of the castle of Chantilly, France
Live like a local

7 of the best day trips from Paris

June 18, 2021

Fancy exploring further afield next time you’re in Paris? Here are some of our favourite places for all the family, within easy reach of the city. Where will you choose?
Panoramic view of the facade of Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley

Château de Versailles

Dating back to the 17th century, discover the many wonders of the exquisite baroque Château de Versailles. Originally the site of a modest hunting lodge, Louis XIV transformed the place into the famously lavish palace of his dreams. With so much to see, including the spectacular Hall of Mirrors and the extensive gardens filled with fountains and ornate statues, this really is a grand day out.

12 miles/20km from Paris


The small French village of Giverny is where impressionist painter Claude Monet moved to in 1883, and lived for more than 40 years until his death in 1926. His house and the flower-filled Clos Normand Garden are a joy to behold. The highlight of your visit though will undoubtedly be the discovery of his Japanese water garden, with its abundance of water lilies that inspired so much of his work.

43 miles/70km from Paris

Monet's House in Giverny with full bloom flower
Evening shot of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte façade, just outside Paris

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Another 17th century masterpiece that’s well worth visiting is Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. It provided some of the inspiration for what came later at Versailles, including the spectacular gardens designed by Andre Le Nôtre. One of the best times to visit is on a Saturday evening between June and October, when you’ll be treated to a wonderfully atmospheric candlelit tour of both the house and gardens.

31 miles/50km from Paris


Situated to the south east of Paris, Fontainebleau was originally built in 1528 and enhanced over the years to create the magnificent Italianate château you can see today. A vast swathe of parkland surrounds this impressive property, which is known to have inspired Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir. To complete the appeal, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, nature watching, cycling and horse-riding.

43 miles/70km from Paris

Natural landscape at Fontainebleau, just outside Paris
Aerial view of the castle of Chantilly, France


The charming residential town of Chantilly is located to the north of Paris. Its vast forest and equally impressive château is one of the finest jewels in the crown of France’s cultural heritage. The château’s majestic domes and turrets, ornate interiors, fascinating fine art collection and picturesque gardens, offer something for everyone.

31 miles/50km from Paris

Château de Chambord

This is our furthest destination but with good reason. Château de Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley and the most visited. Created for King François I, a mystery surrounds its architecture but the style is thought to be inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. This magnificent French Renaissance building has over 400 rooms, including 60 of which you can explore. The main staircase is an architectural delight and the beautiful gardens and surrounding parkland are a real joy to behold.

106 miles/170km from Paris

Château de Chambord
Picture of a roller coasters at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

A firm favourite with families is a trip to Disneyland Paris. Meet the much-loved Disney characters and enjoy a whole host of entertaining attractions. From the magical Sleeping Beauty Castle to lively parades and white-knuckle rides, this is a day out to remember.

28 miles/45km from Paris

For more ideas to help you plan your next stay with us at Hôtel Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice, take a look at our #DCmoments Paris guide.

Back to Dorchester Collection Moments
Live like a local
More like this
Collect issue 28

Collect Magazine

View the latest issue of Collect, our bi-annual magazine featuring a curated mix of culture, art and lifestyle, together with the latest news from Dorchester Collection hotels.