Paris is undeniably beautiful and there are just so many things to do– see the Eiffel Tower, visit the famous artworks in the Louvre Museum, go shopping, munch on some baguette and macaroons, marvel at the beauty of the Haussmannian style architecture, walk on the beautiful alleys, etc. etc.
A few days may be enough for this city but if you’re staying for a while, it could be overwhelming (or underwhelming, at that), especially for those who prefer to be surrounded by nature. Worry not because we got you!
Here are 8 trips that you could take from Paris using the RER Line!
1) Versailles (Zone 4)
Did you know that Versailles is considered as the most Parisian City but the thing is it’s not even in Paris! This is also one of the most extravagant districts in France and it’s not hard to see why– this is home to one of the largest and most opulent castles in the world, the Versailles Palace where King Louis the XIV resided.
The thing is, there’s more to this area than the Chàteau de Versailles itself. Linger a little more around the area and wander around its famed garden, see a show at the Academy of Equestrian Arts during the weekends, marvel at the beauty of the Church of Notre Dame, visit the dairy farm of La Ferme de Viltain where you can also buy their fresh produce, and even shop at a traditional French market at Marché de Notre Dame.
2) Rambouillet (Zone 5)
If you’re traveling with kids, Rambouillet is a good stop for you to just relax and take a breather. While walking all day and wandering at huge palaces is lovely for us, I’m not sure our kids will be very amused.
Being situated at the edge of the Forest Rambouillet, there’s plenty of space for you and your kids to just walk around the forest. Visit the Espace Rambouillet (a forest and animal park) where you and your kids can spot a herd of deer, eagles, and boars; climb trees; ride ponies; take a guided tour; and even train as a one-day forester! The Bergerie Nationale (a farm) will also make the kids go crazy with their rabbits, goats, pigs, draft horses, ducks, cows and sheep!
I suggest you stay here even for a night because there are so many things to do. You can even visit Château de Rambouillet which served as the summer residence of every French President up to 2009 and even go swimming at the Étangs de Hollande beach by the lake.
3) Fontainebleau (Zone 5)
This is another historic town that happens to be a favorite weekend destination among Parisians. Top attractions include Château de Fontainebleau (the only palace which was inhabited by all crowned heads of France from the 12th to the 19th Century), Fontainebleau Forest (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve), Samois-Sur-Sein River, picturesque villages, art galleries, and so much more. Time will fly by fast as alley after alley will impress you with the exceptional French heritage.
4) Parc de Sceaux (Zone 3)
A perfect day trip from Paris will be to Parc de Sceaux, being only 10 kilometers away. A stroll by the park will take all your stress away, especially during the Cherry Blossom Season (from mid-March to late April) where it becomes twice as beautiful. To give you an idea, the park was designed by Andre Le Norte, the same person who designed the Versailles and Tuileries Garden. Also, don’t miss out on the main chateau which is now the Museum of Ile-de-France.
5) Rueil Malmaison (Zone 3)
If you want a quiet picnic by the Seine River, then this is the place to be. Aside from munching on your croissant and drinking your French wine with a view, another thing here that you can’t miss is the Château de Malmaison, home of Napoléon Bonaparte’s first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais. Close by the Chateau is Atelier Grognard where you’ll see exhibitions of exquisite paintings and sculptures.
6) Saint Germain en Laye (Zone 4)
More or less 20 kilometers from Paris, this neighborhood is so close but it seems so far from the city. The moment you go down the train station, you’ll see how different it is from our dear Paris. People are more laidback, kids are playing, and it’s just an absolutely nice place to chill. Another beautiful thing about this small town is that you’ll only need to walk for 4 minutes from the Acherères-Grand-Cormier Metro and you’ll find yourself right in Saint-Germain-en-Laye Forest (where you can pick up chestnuts usually by October)! Free chestnuts, everyone! How does that sound? 🙂
Top attractions around the area include Chateau de Saint Germain, Priory Museum, Musee d’Archeologie Nationale et Domaine, and Chapelle Saint Louis.
7) Marne La Vallee (Zone 5)
Well, a trip to France isn’t complete without visiting The Happiest Place on Earth– Disneyland! I’m sure even grown-ups would agree!! One full day is sometimes not enough (depending on how crazy you or your kids are about the rides, the parade, or the fireworks) so I suggest you book a hotel close by.
One more thing, if you’re crazy about shopping high-end brands, you might want to go to La Vallée Village which houses 110 fashion and designer outlet stores like Carolina Herrera, Coach, Guess, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Céline, Givenchy, Longchamp, Marc Jacobs, Valentino and a whole lot more! P.S. You’ll be shaking when you see the good prices! My shopaholic friend did! :p
8) Provins (Zone 5)
This is a medieval town recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Stroll around half-timbered houses (which is very different from the Haussmannian Style Architecture), crawl under its medieval tunnels, and walk around Tour Ceasar. If you’re visiting during the summer, a visit to the Rose Garden of Provins is a must!
This is usually a sleepy town so for people who loves taking IG worthy photos, you might really fancy having a city break and a photoshoot here.
WHY THE RER LINE?
RER is an express train system which connects Paris to its surrounding suburbs. This is composed of 5 lines– RER A, B, C, D and E. What makes these lines extra special is that you can use your Navigo Pass for Zones 1-5 with it and using them will guarantee that you get the most out of your money. This is perfect for residents of Paris holding a Navigo Pass!
ARE THERE ANY OTHER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TICKETS AVAILABLE TO GET TO THESE PLACES?
Sure. There are several options which you can use. You can either use a Navigo Week Pass Découverte, Navigo Day Pass, Paris Visite Ticket (for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days), or Ticket Mobilis. To learn more about these tickets, click here.
WHERE TO STAY
Planning your trip to France but don’t know where to stay yet? Book using our affiliate link to help us sustain our website! This wouldn’t bear ANY additional cost on your part 🙂
The next time you visit France, keep in mind that there’s more to this country than the City of Lights! I’m sure there are more places to see than what I’ve mentioned in this list so if you know any, leave it in the comments below so we can keep updating this article. Don’t forget to follow our The French Adobo’s Journey as Expats in France. BRB as I plan our weekend getaway! ♥