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Paris and Beyond: The Best Day Trips by Train for an Unforgettable European Adventure

By Jillian Wyatt, Posted on 09 Mar, 2023 at 04:31 pm

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Paris and Beyond: The Best Day Trips by Train for an Unforgettable European Adventure

Paris is a city that needs no introduction. Known for its stunning architecture, world-class museums, and romantic atmosphere, it's a must-visit destination for travelers from around the globe. But what many visitors may not realize is that Paris also serves as an excellent hub for exploring nearby European cities by high-speed train. In this post, we'll take a closer look at some of the top destinations you can reach from Paris by rail, as well as how to get there and what to see along the way.
 

Nearby European Cities

London

While London may not technically be in Europe anymore (thanks to Brexit), it's still easily accessible from Paris via the Eurostar high-speed train. The journey takes just over two hours and deposits you right in the heart of London at St Pancras station. Once there, you'll find endless things to see and do, from visiting iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to exploring world-class museums like the British Museum and Tate Modern.

 

Brussels

Belgium's capital city is just a quick 90-minute train ride from Paris on board Thalys or Eurostar trains. Once you arrive in Brussels, don't miss out on sampling some of the country's famous chocolate and waffles or admiring the stunning architecture of Grand Place.

 

Amsterdam

The Dutch capital is another easy day trip from Paris via high-speed train. You can reach Amsterdam in just over three hours on board Thalys trains or slightly longer via Deutsche Bahn trains with a transfer in Cologne. Once there, explore picturesque neighborhoods like Jordaan or indulge in some retail therapy at hip boutiques along Nine Streets.

 

Barcelona

While it's not quite as close as other destinations on this list (the journey takes around six hours), Barcelona is still within striking distance of Paris by rail. You'll travel aboard TGV or Renfe-SNCF trains through scenic landscapes before arriving in Catalonia's vibrant capital city. There, you can soak up sun on sandy beaches, marvel at Gaudi's whimsical architecture, or sample delicious tapas at bustling markets.

 

How to Commute between Paris and London

As mentioned earlier, getting between Paris and London couldn't be easier thanks to Eurostar trains which operate multiple services per day between St Pancras International station in London and Gare du Nord station in Paris. Trains run every 30 minutes during peak times and take just over two hours each way.

 

Popular Rail Routes from Paris

In addition to the destinations listed above, there are plenty more places you can travel to from Paris by rail. Here are some popular routes:

 

Lyon

France's second-largest city is just two hours away from Paris via TGV trains. Lyon boasts a charming Old Town with winding cobblestone streets lined with bouchons (traditional restaurants) serving up local specialties like coq au vin.

 

Marseille

Travel south along France's Mediterranean coast to reach Marseille via TGV trains which take around three hours each way. Once there, visit Vieux-Port (Old Port) which has been a bustling center of commerce since ancient Greek times.

 

Zurich

Switzerland's largest city is reachable by rail from Paris via both TGV Lyria or ICE Deutsche Bahn trains with transfers in Basel or Mannheim respectively taking approximately four hours each way.The picturesque old town features several historic churches including Fraumünster church known for its impressive stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall.
 

Tip for Traveling on a Budget

Traveling by high-speed train can be an affordable way to explore Europe, but there are still plenty of ways to save money and travel on a budget. Here are some tips:

Book in Advance

One of the easiest ways to save money on high-speed train tickets is to book in advance. Many rail companies offer discounted fares for tickets purchased well ahead of time, so be sure to plan your trip as early as possible.

Look for Deals and Discounts

Keep an eye out for deals and discounts offered by rail companies or travel agencies. For example, Eurostar often runs promotions with reduced fares or special package deals that include hotel stays or attraction tickets.

Consider Alternate Routes

While direct routes may be the most convenient, they're not always the cheapest option. Consider taking a slower train or making a transfer along the way to save money on your journey.

Pack Lightly

Many rail companies charge extra fees for checked baggage, so try to pack lightly and bring only what you need for your trip. This will not only save you money but also make it easier to navigate train stations and board trains quickly.

Eat Local

Eating out at restaurants can quickly add up, especially in touristy areas. Instead, opt for local markets or grocery stores where you can pick up fresh produce and snacks for much less than restaurant prices.

Stay in Budget Hotels:

Campanile Paris 15 - Tour Eiffel

30 Rue Saint Charles, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

The Campanile Paris 15 - Tour Eiffel hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city, with easy access to major tourist attractions and transportation links. The hotel boasts a variety of modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi connection, comfortable and inviting guest rooms complete with flat-screen TV and private bathroom with shower, 24-hour front desk service offering daily newspaper, and a buffet breakfast served every day in the dining area. Additionally, guests can explore the many nearby attractions such as River Seine just 500 metres away, Les Invalides and Trocadero within walking distance, or use Metro Dupleix just 450 metres away to reach any part of Paris.
 

rates from EUR 0.0

Hôtel de la Butte aux Cailles offers comfortable and modern accommodations in the heart of Paris. The hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Corvisart Metro Station, providing direct access to the Eiffel Tower, AccorHotels Arena, Notre Dame Cathedral and Opéra Bastille. Guests of Hôtel de la Butte aux Cailles can enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast every morning, or explore the many restaurants and bars in the surrounding area. For added convenience, there is also paid private parking available 500 metres from the property. Each air-conditionned room features a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer, as well as complimentary WiFi for guests' convenience. For additional comfort, guests have free access to the hotel's hospitality corner which is offering coffee tea and sweet treats all day long.
 

Au Pacific Hotel

11 Rue Fondary, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

Au Pacific Hotel Paris offers guests a home away from home experience with comfortable and stylishly appointed rooms. All rooms feature modern amenities such as air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms. They come complete with complimentary toiletries, a hairdryer, and free WiFi access for your convenience.

Au Pacific Hotel's convenient central location means you can get to popular attractions quickly and easily - the iconic Eiffel Tower is only a 15-minute walk away, while Avenue Emile Zola Metro Station is just 350 metres away. The hotel also offers great transport links to Orly Airport (25 minutes' drive) and Charles de Gaulle Airport (30 minutes' drive). Gare de Montparnasse Train Station is only one metro stop away from the Pacific Hotel on line 6. Other close by attractions include Paris Expo Porte de Versailles which is reachable in 20 minutes on the metro and Parc des Princes Stadium, only 10 minutes' drive away.
 

Hipotel Paris Gare du Nord Merryl

7-9 Rue Pajol, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

Hipotel Paris Gare du Nord Merryl provides its guests with a convenient and comfortable stay. All the rooms feature en suite bathrooms, elevators to make it easier for guests to access the upper floors, and modern amenities such as telephones and TVs. The hotel is conveniently located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, just 150 metres from La Chapelle Metro Station. From this station, guests can easily reach nearby attractions such as Montmartre or the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica. For those travelling by train, Gare du Nord Train Station offers connections to Eurostar and Thalys trains and is a 12-minute walk away from the hotel. Guests can also enjoy a buffet breakfast served in the breakfast room every morning with staff available 24 hours a day to provide directions and recommendations on local restaurants and stores.
 

ibis Paris Montmartre

5 Rue Caulaincourt, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

ibis Paris Montmartre 18ème is a great choice for travelers looking for a convenient stay in the city. Located within walking distance of popular attractions such as Moulin Rouge and Sacré-Cœur Basilica, it offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. For added convenience, there is also a public car park onsite that can be used at an additional cost. The hotel is also ideally located close to the metro Place de Clichy, 2 km from Gare du Nord Train Station and 20 minutes away from Parc Monceau. Each room includes its own telephone for your convenience. Additionally, the hotel features an onsite snack bar and a delicious buffet breakfast composed of sweet and savoury dishes like eggs, fruit salad, yogurts, juices and more - available every day from 04:30 to 10:00! Pastries baked on site and fresh French Madeleine cakes are also available.
 

Hôtel Du Plat d'Etain

69 Rue Meslay, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

Hôtel Du Plat d'Etain Paris offers guests an ideal base from which to explore the city. Located in the heart of Paris, just a short 10 minute stroll from the iconic Pompidou Centre and 170 metres from Strasbourg Saint-Denis Metro Station, it provides easy access to all the sights and attractions that this vibrant city has to offer. 

The hotel's air-conditioned en suite rooms are equipped with satellite TV and a minibar, as well as providing free fiber-optic WiFi access throughout. Guests can also enjoy daily newspapers in the lobby and make use of the 24-hour front desk service. A buffet breakfast is served each morning, offering a variety of hot and cold beverages and food. 

Other nearby attractions include Marais and Beaubourg districts, which are both within walking distance of the hotel. The Eiffel Tower and Montmartre district are easily accessible via direct transport from Strasbourg Saint-Denis Metro Station. In addition, Gare de l’Est is 9 minutes away by metro while Gare du Nord is located 10 minutes away.
 

hotelF1 Paris Porte de Châtillon

21/23 Avenue De La Porte De Châtillon, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

hotelF1 Paris Porte de Châtillon is located close to a variety of attractions for all ages. The stunning Notre Dame Cathedral is 5.7 km away and the iconic Eiffel Tower is 6.2 km away, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline. Furthermore, guests can visit the picturesque Luxembourg Gardens which are just 4 km away, while Orly Airport is only 12 km from the property.

At hotelF1 Paris Porte de Châtillon, guests can enjoy modern accommodation with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room includes a flat-screen TV and access to a shared bathroom. There's also a 24-hour front desk available for added convenience. For those looking to stay comfortable during their stay, microfibre towels are available for an additional cost of EUR 3 each at the hotel. In addition, guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast for an additional charge or take advantage of vending machines in the lobby.
 

Motel One Paris-Porte Dorée

295 Avenue Daumesnil, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

Motel One Paris-Porte Dorée offers guests a comfortable and modern stay with all the amenities they need. Each of the air-conditioned rooms come equipped with a desk, flat-screen TV and private bathroom with a shower, hairdryer and free toiletries. The property also features an on-site bar, garden, 24-hour front desk, lift service and complimentary WiFi access throughout the premises.

Guests can enjoy a freshly prepared buffet breakfast each morning featuring organic and fair trade produce. Motel One Paris-Porte Dorée is conveniently located in the 12th district of Paris just a 6 minute walk from Porte Dorée Metro Station making it easy to explore the many attractions in the area. Popular sites such as Opéra Bastille, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Pompidou Centre and Place de la République are all within 6 km of the property. Paris - Orly Airport is 12 km away providing quick access to other parts of France.
 

Hotel du Nord et de l'Est

49 Rue De Malte, Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

At Hotel du Nord et de l'Est Paris, guests can enjoy a unique and pleasant experience in the comfort of their own room with a flat-screen TV, private bathroom with a hairdryer, and safe. Guests can also relax in the interior patio surrounded by fragrant flowers and the calming sound of the fountain. Access to Grand Boulevards and Galeries Lafayette department store is just 2 minutes away with Oberkampf Metro station nearby. Guests can take advantage of the hotel's lift services for easy access to all rooms. The vibrant Place de la Bastille is just a 20-minute walk away, while breakfast can be enjoyed either in guest rooms or the dining room.
 

ibis Budget Paris La Villette 19ème

57 - 63 Avenue Jean Jaures 19 Arr. , Paris, France

rates from EUR 0.0

Ibis Budget Paris La Villette 19ème offers an unparalleled level of comfort and convenience to its guests. It boasts of a terrace restaurant, a modern fitness centre with cardio and strength training equipment, as well as a bar. The hotel also provides free luggage storage and car hire services for added convenience. For those seeking to explore the city, the hotel is only a short walk away from some of the city's major tourist attractions such as Canal de l'Ourcq, La Géode, Parc des Buttes Chaumont and Place de la Bastille. There are many restaurants and bistros located nearby, making it an ideal place to stay for both business and leisure travellers alike.
 

Conclusion

Paris truly serves as an excellent hub for exploring nearby European destinations by rail thanks to its central location within Western Europe coupled with world class transport infrastructure provided by national railway companies such as SNCF ,Deutsche Bahn etc . Whether it’s soaking up sun on Mediterranean beaches , sampling Belgian chocolate , marvelling at Swiss alpine scenery , exploring Dutch art galleries or immersing oneself into any one of Europe’s cultural capitals – all these experiences become possible when based out of one most romantic cities -Paris!

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About Author

Jillian Wyatt

Jillian Wyatt is a travel blogger who has seen more of the world than most people ever will. She's passionate about exploring new cultures and tasting new foods, and she loves to share her experiences with others through her writing. Jillian is also an accomplished photographer, and her pictures capture the beauty of the places she visits in a way that words cannot.