Hi....I have looked at the day trips from Paris discussed here and also at my Rick Steves France and Paris. But I'm still needing suggestions. My daughter-in-law, granddaughter (14) and I will be in Paris for 5 days in early July. I have seen all the suggestions of chateaux and palaces to visit outside of Paris and also wine tours but we might like just a day (or half a day) in a pretty French town within 1.5 hours of Paris and using public transportation (taxi from train station OK). Especially a town with a historic centro. RS suggests Rouen. What do you think of Rouen and do you have other suggestions? Thank you in advance.
I've suggested this before, but what the heck. Consider Chantilly and nearby Senlis. The chateau of Chantilly, which was reconstructed in the 19th century, is one of those only-in-Europe museums where the paintings are stacked on the walls so that you have to break your neck to see what's at the top. It also has the glorious Tres Riches Heures, an illuminated manuscript by the three Limbourg Brothers created for the Duc de Berry in the 15th century (last time I was there, unfortunately, only a replica was on display because the original is too fragile). Senlis is a charming medieval town that still has part of its Roman wall and lots of tiny streets just made for wandering. These two sites may not be at the top of your list, and Chartres, Giverny, and all the rest are wonderful. But these two are a bit different. Rouen is a lovely city, but it's another city, and, IMHO, Beaune and Dijon are just too far for a day trip, although Burgundy is a spectacularly beautiful landscape (where, happily, I will be in June for my fourth visit). The only thing is that Chantilly and Senlis aren't that easily accessed by public transportation; ParisVision does a day trip just to Chantilly that includes a visit to the famous stables but doesn't include Senlis. They do also do a day trip to Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau, another wonderful possibility; Vaux is my favorite.
Posts: 597 | Location: New York City | Registered: 04 February 2010
I agree with Jeri about Chantilly. I would think that a 14-year-old girl might especially enjoy the horses / equestrian show. Here is the website with more information.
Edited to add: You can easily take the train to Chantilly from Paris; we did, and it's a pretty fast trip. The station is a bit of a walk from the chateau, but not too long unless it's awfully hot. You can get a taxi at the station though.
If you search this forum on Chantilly, you will find other discussions.
I agree that Chantilly and Senlis is a nice day trip. The bus to Senlis leaves from the Chantilly train station and is timed with most train arrivals. On the way to Senlis, the bus goes right past the chateau, so let the bus driver know if you want to stop. Sit on the right hand side of the bus for the best views. I believe if you buy the train ticket in Paris through to Senlis (Senlis, although no longer having an active train station, is still part of the train system) you will not have to pay for the bus ticket. Just show the bus driver your train ticket.
Another nice town to visit and one of my favorites- Provins. Lots of history, charming and beautiful walls/ramparts with a path along the outside of the walls, providing a nice walk and views of the countryside.