Let’s be honest: Paris is so full of sights, culture, history, and atmosphere that you’re not likely to run out of things to do anytime soon. But like any big city, visiting the French capital can get tiring. So if you need a break from museums, a little nature and outdoorsy action, or if you’re simply on a longer trip with a few days to spare for the fantastic attractions lying within easy reach of the capital, rejoice: there is plenty to lure you out! Whether you’re on a romantic city break or traveling with your young ones, here are 3 exciting suggestions to escape the capital for a day trip that will appeal to children and older children alike.
Flickr photo via Panoramas
An hour ride on the RER D train from one of the central Paris stations will lead you straight to Versailles Rive Gauche. From there, it’s only a short walk to the gates of the majestic Royal Palace built by Louis XIV, France’s most emblematic monarch, also known as the “Sun King”. Although the Château de Versailles is currently the world’s most visited non-religious building, the castle’s 2,300 rooms and 2,013 acre grounds will guarantee you’re not fighting for space! To make the most of your day, book your visit of the Palace’s landmarks (€15) or a themed guided tour (€7 extra) ahead of time from the Château’s website. For a perfect mix of history and greenery, follow your walk down the Hall of Mirrors with a lazy afternoon strolling around the landscaped gardens, fountains, statues, trianon castles, and Grand Canal Lake that make up the Palace’s park.
* Top tips: Entrance to Versailles is free on the 1st Sunday of the month from November to March. Between April and October, the Grandes Eaux (High Waters) and Jardins Musicaux (Musical Gardens) Festival brings the gardens to life. The park can be enjoyed in many different ways – the paddle boats on the lake are particularly prized by children and couples!