When you have had your fill of ogling at the magnificent sight of the Eiffel Tower, how about you consider venturing out of Paris for day trips? Paris sure has an inimitable heart and soul, but its surrounding havens claim to be no less! By Shubhanjana Das
If you drive just 23 km from Paris, you’ll find yourself at the City of Royals, Versailles. The iconic Versailles Palace holds the key to one of the benchmark moments in world history. It was in its stunning Hall of Mirrors that the Treaty of Versailles was signed. As much of a cultural tourist magnet as of the history-enthusiast, Versailles Palace can be visited if you book the tickets prior through the website to skip the queue. If you do have to face a queue, roam around the beautiful, lush gardens of the palace.
2. Chateau de Fontainbleau
This UNESCO World Heritage Site, inhabited by the French royalty for a stretch of seven centuries, is undeniably one of the most underrated and lesser-known day trips from Paris. Talk about the decor, you should be expecting nothing less than Renaissance frescoes, gorgeous porcelain, stunning furniture from the Second Empire. Book yourself a guided tour of the chateau to explore the newly renovated spaces of the Imperial Theatre, Marie Antoinette’s Turkish Boudoir, Napolean III’s study, and Eugene Lacquer’s room. After soaking up this heavy dose of architectural finesse and history, consider a stroll along the canal or its manicured gardens.
3. Chateau de Chantilly
The wider-known of the lot, Chateau de Chantilly, located on the northern edge of Paris, houses one of the finest, if not the finest, art galleries in France, Musée Condé. It is ideal for losing yourself in a trance of all the beauty and the art that surrounds you. The gardens here as well are worth spending hours in. One of the perfect day trips from Paris, this is suited as much for the laid-back traveller as it is for the active explorers.
4. Reims and the Champagne Region
As the name aptly suggests, the Champagne Region is one sumptuous affair. Reims, the main city of the Champagne Region, is home to one of the most elaborate and beautiful cathedrals from the Middle Ages. For as long as 1,000 years, French Kings have been crowned there. As for the Champagne Region itself, well, your possibilities are endless, really. From Champagne-tasting to learning how to make it, a visit to its vineyards promises an experience to be remembered.