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18 Fairytale Towns & Cities Near Paris You’ll Love

You have seen Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum; now it’s time to visit some beautiful cities near Paris to get a taste of France.

If you’re visiting the City of Love, you may want to go to other cities near Paris that are just as quaint and dreamy. 

You’ll be astounded at how many picturesque towns to visit near Paris match in magnificence.

If you’d like a guide to the beautiful nearest cities, this one will show you that there are many options to choose from.

The most beautiful cities near Paris have impressive architecture, historical value, and artsy energy like no other. 

There are fascinating things to do and see beyond just Paris that will leave you with experiences that will last a lifetime.

18 Fairytale Towns & Cities Near Paris You’ll Love

Here are our favorite cities and small towns near Paris in no particular order. You can easily go on a day trip from Paris to these places with some planning or a professional guide who will arrange everything for you.

1. Versailles

Home to the impressive Royal Palace, Versailles easily makes it to the list of enchanting cities near Paris worth visiting
Home to the impressive Royal Palace, Versailles easily makes it to the list of enchanting cities near Paris worth visiting

If you’re looking for a day adventure to a picturesque town near Paris, Versailles is one of the most popular tourist choices, mainly because it is home to one of the most visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France: the Palace of Versailles.

The French-style gardens, gorgeous fountains, and incredible architecture are enough to draw anyone into the former house of Louis XIV. 

This near-Paris location can get quite crowded, so it is best to visit in spring, autumn, or on weekdays if you’re in season. Alternatively, you can simply buy a skip-the-line ticket and save all the hassle.

There are many guided tours in Versailles, but if you’d like to explore on your own, the Palace of Versailles is absolutely stunning and was the home of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI.

The palace has many things to see, like The Hall Of Mirrors or its lush Gardens of Versailles. 

You can also visit The Estate of Trianon, the Park of Versailles, the Le Potager du Roi garden, and the Royal Stables. 

Pro tip: wear comfortable shoes because you will walk a lot!

Distance From Paris to Versailles:

Versailles is one of the closest cities near Paris at 12 miles away, just a 25 to 30-minute train ride from RER C and SNCF Line N.

Click here to buy your skip-the-line ticket plus tour of Versailles

2. Auvers Sur Oise

Easily reachable by train, Auvers Sur Oise is one of the best and picturesque cities near Paris that is a must-visit
Easily reachable by train, Auvers Sur Oise is one of the best and picturesque cities near Paris that is a must-visit

Cities close to Paris include Auvers Sur Oise, a picturesque place easily reachable by train. 

This location is known as La Ville des Impressionistes as many well-known Impressionist artists, like Monet, visited Auvers Sur Oise for its beauty, and they painted landscapes of the French countryside. 

Vincent Van Gogh also populated Auvers Sur Oise for the last two months of his life and painted 70 artworks in that time, including the famous ‘Church at Auvers.’ 

He passed away at the Auberge Ravoux, which you can also visit. 

If you go to Paris for art, this quaint town has a self-guided walk called The Painters’ Pathway, where several famous impressionist paintings were inspired. 

You can also visit the popular Absinthe Museum commemorating the famous French drink and its importance in France’s 19th-century social and cultural life. 

Distance From Paris:

This picturesque town is 17 miles from the center of Paris and takes about 40 minutes to reach via train from Gare du Nord or Gare Saint-Lazare. 

Click here to buy a day trip to Auvers Sur Oise

3. Chantilly

The gardens of Chantilly Castle
The gardens of Chantilly Castle were designed by André Le Nôtre – Ticiana Giehl / Shutterstock

Of all the cities near Paris, Chantilly is one of the most well-known for its finest porcelain and lacework. 

If you’re a foodie, this beautiful city makes the tastiest signature Chantilly Cream – a tastebud must-have. 

Besides, the Château de Chantilly is simply one of the most astounding castles in France. This castle is home to the second-largest art collection in the country after the Louvre. 

The paintings are still placed in the position the last French King’s son, Henri d’Orléans, chose! 

The museum is called Grande Galerieone and features a library and beautiful gardens. 

You’ll also want to visit the Grandes Écuries, the Chantilly Stables, and Horse Museum. 

These are the second largest stables in Europe, built thanks to the 18th century 7th Prince de Condé’s passion for horses. 

You will have a lovely time exploring the Chantilly Gardens and Chantilly Racecourse. 

Distance From Paris:

Chantilly is 26 miles away, and it will take around 22 minutes to get there via train from the Gare du Nord station. 

4. Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau Palace near Paris

Fontainebleau is a charming town close to Paris, boasting a quaint atmosphere, and is home to the Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Unlike Versailles, Château of Fontainebleau was a sovereign residence built as a hunting lodge in the 12th century but has been graced by many members of the royal family. 

The architecture, art, and finishings are worth exploring, along with the rest of the architectural town. 

Fontainebleau Gardens are just as beautifully designed as other cities near Paris, with zero crowds blocking the view. 

Here you can enjoy a day out hiking Fontainebleau Forests, the second-largest forest in France, or you can explore it on a hot air balloon! 

Distance From Paris:

Fontainebleau is 35 miles away and takes 45 min to 1 hour via train from Paris Gare de Lyon station.

Click here to buy the day trip to Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte Castles

5. Chartres

Beautiful trees along Eure River embankment by the cathedral in Chatres City near Paris

One of the most beautiful towns near Paris is Chartres, the home of the impressive Chartres Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can explore the beauty of the European milestone Gothic cathedral with most of its original stained-glass windows. 

The cathedral also has a 13th-century labyrinth for those seeking a spiritual walk to clear their mind. You can also enjoy the charming houses by walking down the river Eure. 

Distance From Paris:

Chartres is 59 miles and an average 1-hour and 10-minute train ride from Paris. 

6. Provins

View of Provins medieval city from Cesar tower

Provins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Middle Ages, and today you can see knights’ performances as a tourist enjoyment in one of the most beautiful cities near Paris.

You can also enjoy a day out experiencing the panoramic views of 12th and 13th-century buildings, the medieval tower Tour César, and Les Souterrains de Provins tunnels. 

There is also a Provins Medieval Festival in June, which is well worth the experience!

Distance From Paris:

Provins is 56 miles south of Paris, an hour and 30-minute train ride away.

7. Amiens

Amiens is one of the cities near Paris that is worth visiting

If you’re looking for cities close to Paris, Amiens is worth putting on your itinerary. Here you’ll find the largest Gothic cathedral in France – the Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens. 

Amiens also offers tourists the Musée de Picardie, a massive museum with an impressive collection of artifacts, some dating from prehistoric times.

Quartier Saint-Leu in Amiens has medieval architecture, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes for travelers to discover, so it is worthwhile to make a day trip or even to stay over at this beautiful city.

Distance From Paris:

Amiens is a city near Paris that is one hour and 40 mins away via train from Gare du Nord. 

8. Lille

The city of Lille is another incredible city near Paris that is worth a visit

Lille isn’t the city nearest to Paris, but it is close enough and well worth a visit. 

Located on the Deûle River, Lille has been around since the 11th century, and today it is an industrial hub. 

La Grand Place is a good place to start in Lille, as there are many stores, cafes, and restaurants to enjoy, surrounded by classical 17th-century Flemish Renaissance architecture. 

Lille is the place to be if you want to experience the buzz of French life. 

Marché de Wazemmes is a Lille market that runs throughout the week where you can find wholesome food, flowers, clothing, and many other goodies. 

If you’re looking for a dose of art, you can visit Palais des Beaux-Arts or Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary, and Outsider Art.

Distance From Paris:

This beautiful city near Paris is a 204-mile, 1-hour train ride from Gare du Nord, city center. 

Click here to buy a ticket to a 2-hour walking tour in Lille

9. Giverny

Giverny is charming city near Paris that is worth checking out

The cities near Paris list would be incomplete without Giverny

The famous French painter Claude Monet (really, one of the most famous people from France) settled here until he passed away in 1926, and his home and garden are on display for art connoisseurs to visit. 

There are other sightseeing opportunities in Giverny, as it is populated with quaint shops and cafes waiting to be explored. 

You can also visit the gardens and art at the Museum of Impressionism Giverny.

Distance From Paris:

The trip from Paris takes about an hour using Gare Saint Lazare to Vernon train station and then a shuttle to your desired location. 

10. Reims

Reims is one of the beautiful cities near Paris that is a must-visit

Reims is a beautiful city near Paris and is bursting with things to do and see. This prime location is known for the finest champagne worth tasting. 

The Reims Cathedral is where nearly the French King was crowned, and the architecture is astounding, with many fine sculptures to see. 

Next to the cathedral is the Palace of Tau, decorated with fine tapestries and sculptures. 

Some other Reims attractions include Villa Demoiselle, Saint-Remi Basilica, 18th century Champagne Houses and tunnels, and the fine arts museum Musée des Beaux-Arts. 

You won’t run out of activities to do in the beautiful city of Reims. 

Distance From Paris:

Reims from Paris only takes a 1-hour 20-minute train ride. 

11. Rouen

Another picturesque city near France worth paying a visit is Rouen in Normandy

Rouen is a picturesque town with Old Market Square, a perfect place to drink coffee and people-watch. 

You can visit Jardin des Plantes, a large city garden, for a delightful picnic or walk around admiring the architecture. 

If you want a trip near Paris that isn’t overcrowded by other tourists, Rouen is a great choice.

Their most notable attraction is the tallest French cathedral, Notre Dame de l’Assomption de Rouen. Rouen also has plenty of little villages and stunning countryside to tour. 

Distance From Paris:

If you’re taking the train, Rouen is 1 hour and 30 minutes from Paris city center. 

12. Strasbourg City

Strasbourg is a gorgeous city near Paris that should be on the list of beautiful cities near Paris
Strasbourg, Ponts couverts

Strasbourg has the gorgeous Saint-Pierre Le Jeune Church, packed with a fascinating history of changing from Catholic to Protestant and vice versa. 

Today the church is Protestant, and many travelers love to visit its rich beauty. 

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Strasbourg is also a jaw-dropping site well worth the trip. Its Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, and astronomical clock are magnificent.

If you want royalty sprinkled in, you can visit Palais Rohan, and other enjoyments include the nearby Place Kleber for restaurants and other curiosities. Place Kleber is located on Grande-île de Strasbourg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Petite France in Strasbourg is an area where tourists can enjoy the picturesque intriguing half-timber houses along the river of this beautiful city near Paris. 

Distance From Paris:

If you’d like to visit Strasbourg via train, it is 2 hours from Gare de l’Est Paris. 

13. Chablis

Chablis is a medieval town close to Paris that is a recommended place to visit
Two Romanesque towers in the famous wine village Chablis, France.

Chablis is another medieval town where you can see the Obédiencerie monastery, known for the monks that started winemaking. 

Chablis is a wine region with signature Chardonnay grapes grown in nearby vineyards that tourists can visit and go wine tasting at the many wineries in town. 

There is ample beautiful architecture in Chablis, including the Saint-Pierre and Saint-Martin churches.

Distance From Paris:

Chablis is near Paris, but it does take 3 hours by train to get there, so it might be better to travel by car as that only takes 2 hours. 

14. Tours

Tours is a historic city near Paris that's worth visiting

This ‘cities close to Paris’ list would be incomplete without the magnificent Tours

It is the largest city in the Centre-Val de Loire region, a region with the largest concentration of chateaus which also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You can visit the Tours Cathedral, which took over 370 years to build, which is why it captures Gothic evolution most beautifully.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts has an impressive art collection, and you can travel around the rest of Tours experiencing its river, markets, wineries, and beautiful castles. 

The castles include Château de Villandry and Château d’Amboise. Or the nearby Château de Chambord, Château Royal de Blois, and Château de Chenonceau

Distance From Paris:

Tours can take up to a 2-hour train ride, the fastest with the direct TGV INOUI, so it is best to make the journey a whole day trip. 

15. Caen

Caen is an impressive tourist attraction and one of the best cities near Paris that is worth visiting

Caen is a bit further away from Paris but close enough to put on your list of places to visit in France. 

William the Conqueror called Château de Caen home, and now it is an impressive tourist attraction. There are many wonders in Caen. 

You can fill your days in Caen admiring its medieval architecture, interacting with exhibitions at Caen Memorial Museum, visiting the Honfleur waterfront, and exploring the oldest wooden church in France, St. Catherine’s Church.

Caen is also popular for all the WWII events that took place in the surrounding areas, including many D-Day sites worth checking out.

If you have some time left, make a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel, a tidal island and mainland commune in Normandy with a magnificent abbey at the top of the island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Distance From Paris:

You can expect Caen to be a 3-hour train ride from Paris, which is around 124 miles away. 

16. Colmar

Colmar is one of the beautiful cities close to Paris that is worth checking out
Colorful traditional french houses on the side of river Lauch in Petite Venise, Colmar, France

Colmar is a Medieval paradise decorated with half-timbered buildings, tiny, cobbled allies, market squares, and many other things to uncover. 

Petite Venise is a canal that looks similar to the one in Venice, and the houses will stun you with their magnificence.

You can also visit the lovely St. Martin’s Church, Unterlinden Museum, and the many markets, restaurants, wineries, and cafes. 

Distance From Paris:

Taking a train from Gare de l’Est Paris city center to Colmar will take 2 hours and 30 minutes. 

17. Dijon

Dijon is a historical city close to Paris worth venturing into

Dijon is near enough to visit after Paris and is equally as rich in history, architecture, and things to do. 

You’ll want to see Place de la Libération, home to the Dukes of Burgundy in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Musée des Beaux-Arts gives you a taste of the artistic culture of France, and Musée Magnin does the same with over 2,000 artworks.

While you’re there, you won’t want to miss a special, lucky carving where you can make a wish by touching the Parcours de la Chouette, The Owl of Dijon, with your left hand. 

These 22 owl carvings were sculpted in the 1500s, and the rock shines from all the wishes people made through the centuries. 

Distance From Paris:

Dijon takes around 2 hours to travel via train from the Gare de Lyon station. 

18. Épernay

Épernay is one of the finest cities near Paris worthy of a visit

You can start your tour in Épernay in Avenue de Champagne to marvel at the divine architecture. 

You can enjoy some of the finest sparkling wine in this near-Paris city at the Mercier and De Castellane cellars. 

You can also visit Moët et Chandon underground tunnels on this route. It is also worth stopping at the 19th-century mansion and museum Château Perrier. 

Distance From Paris:

A train from Paris city center to Epernay will take a minimum of 1 hour and 20 minutes from Gare de l’Est but can take up to 2 hours and 30 minutes, depending on the interchanging trains.

Final Words

We hope you enjoyed learning more about these beautiful cities near Paris. Because the French capital city has such good connections, it isn’t hard to visit other picturesque towns and cities around the country.

If you have some suggestions for charming towns and gorgeous cities near Paris, feel free to drop their names below and help us inspire others.

Enjoyed reading about these cities near Paris? Then share this article on your social media!

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