Congratulations! You’ve been accepted at ESCP Business School and your next semester will take place in Paris. You can already picture yourself wandering in the Latin Quarter, having a picnic next to the Eiffel Tower or getting your portrait made in the quaint streets of Montmartre.
The Paris region also has a lot to offer, and is worth looking into: Unesco World Heritage sites, medieval villages, and breathtaking castles, to name only a few. Today we are taking you on a tour of our top 10 favorite places nearby Paris, all of which are doable as a day trip!
Naturally, the Versailles Castle made the top of the list. A breathtaking palace built for the Sun King Louis XIV, it contains more than 2,300 rooms, the most famous one being the Hall of Mirrors. Don’t forget to spend time in the wonderful gardens and admire the delicate fountains. One word of warning, though: you won’t be the only one to appreciate its beauty. If you want to avoid the biggest part of the crowds, we advise you to go early in the morning.
If you have already had the chance to discover the Orsay or Orangerie Museums in Paris, then you will love visiting Giverny. It was the home of Claude Monet, and you can visit his house and gardens, the inspiration for so many of his works, including the famous Nympheas, as well as the Museum of Impressionism.
Climb in a time machine and discover the Middle Ages with a day trip to Provins. Every year, medieval festivities take place in June for a whole weekend. Live shows including falconing and jousting add to the authentic location: get ready to meet knights in shining armor!
Chartres is particularly famous for its wonderful gothic monuments: the Cathedral and St Pierre Church. For a few months each year, the city runs a free light show on the cathedral, surrounding churches, and throughout the city. We recommend booking a room there to spend a night and enjoy this magical moment.
A day in Chantilly gives you the opportunity to visit the beautiful castle and the park that surrounds it. You will also be able to visit the Horse Museum, which explains the importance of the relationship between people and horses in all civilisations.
Meaux is a nice town located 30 minutes away from Paris which has a lot to offer. You will be able to visit its beautiful cathedral, discover its World War I Museum and learn more about cheese at the Brie Museum. Another fun activity for you and your friends: rent a small boat and share a little apéro (a very French tradition!) on the Marne river.
#7 Saint Denis
The Cathedral of St Denis hosts the tombstones of 43 kings and 32 queens of France. We recommend you to book a guided tour to get a better understanding of this masterpiece of Gothic architecture, where light plays a crucial role.
#8 Enghien Les Bains
Do you feel like treating yourself? Book a day trip to Enghien-Les-Bains and enjoy the only spa with thermal water in the Paris area. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your luck at the nearby casino!
Fontainebleau is home to a beautiful castle built during the Renaissance period. After your visit, you will be able to spend time in the huge forest that surrounds the castle and do activities such as rock climbing.
#10 Ile de loisirs d’Etampes
Living in Paris is exciting, but it can sometimes feel overwhelming. If you need to cool down and relax in a greener area, Etampes is the perfect place for you. You will be able to try different outdoor activities: ziplines, canoeing and miniature golf, to name a few. Perfect for a fun day with your ESCP friends!
We hope that this list will help you build wonderful memories with your new friends during your semester(s) in Paris!