France is most famous for its Eiffel Tower, glamorous designer brands, and exquisite cuisine, and although most international flights land in Paris, the country has much more to offer than just its city of lights.

While dreaming tasting, its 1600 kinds of cheese, and the fluffiest croissants in the world, several questions about traveling to France might come to mind.

For example, you might be wondering "Do I need a visa to go to France?". The truth of the matter is that if you're a US citizen, you just need your passport for short trips to France for the time being.

You could also be thinking "What is the most beautiful part of France?". Well, that depends mostly on your taste. Do you enjoy visiting museums and historical monuments or are you trying to get away to a charming little village? Or, perhaps you're looking for a place to go soul-searching?

Luckily, the French Republic ticks all of these boxes. Read on to discover options for all of these below -including some places you can get to from Paris by train in just a few hours, and quick flights or bus trips as well.

Whether you're looking for a more relaxing getaway or a less-urban experience of France, you will find our roundup of places to visit aside from Paris truly inspiring.

Quick trips around France from Paris

Here are our favorite destinations from Paris, complete with how to get there, how long it will take, and reasons to visit them.


If you're short on time and want to see one of the country's most impressive palaces, make sure to take a 30-minute train ride and hop over to Versailles.

There, you will find the UNESCO-listed Château de Versailles in all its 17th-century baroque glory complete with formal gardens and gorgeous fountains.


Want to see experience more French culture? Take a 3.5-hour train ride to the south of France and visit Marseille. When you get there, make sure to walk around the charming streets of Le Panier neighborhood, Marseille's colorful Old Port, and check out the Marseille Cathedral, as well.

Marseille's museums Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditeranée and the Villa Méditeranée are also wort a visit.


Craving a weekend in the sun? Hop on a quick 3-hour flight over to Palombaggia, in South Corsica, one of the most well-known beaches in France -and for good reason. It does get quite busy during the high season, so make reservations ahead of time.

Palombaggia's soft sandy beaches are surrounded by a perfect backdrop of pine forest and pink granite.


Looking for a more secluded beach in France? Head off to the island of Porquerolles near Hyères (4-hour train ride to Hyères followed by another 15-minutes by ferry). This national park is protected since the seventies and, hence, offers a more off-the-beaten-path experience to visitors.

Make sure to spend a day at the remote Plage Notre Dame, which boasts crystal-clear waters and is surrounded by trees. Please note there are no cars on Porquerolles island and smoking is banned outside town.

Château Gaudrelle

Just a 3-hour train ride from Paris lies one of France's greatest vineyards right in the heart of the Loire Valley. The picturesque views of Château Gaudrelle include perfect rows of grapevines and the Vouvray Cliffs.

Wine lovers can enjoy the region's Chinon red wine and take workshops on cheese and wine pairings. While you're in the region, make sure to check out its many castles including Château du Chinon.


For a more cultural and urban experience, complete with dozens of museums, head off to Lyon. The third-largest city in France, Lyon is just a 2-hour train ride from Paris. For a panoramic view of Lyon, make sure to visit Fourbière Hill.

Other worthwhile locations include the city's historical center -le Vieux Lyon-, the Notre Dame de Fourvière Basilica, and Tête D'Or Park.


For a more rural, rustic experience, take a TGV trip of just under 4 hours to Aix-en-Provence. There, you can see endless fields of sunflowers, thyme, sage,  lavender -an absolute treat for the senses!

The countryside in Provence is crowned with charming little hilltop towns known as villages perchés, including a walled medieval village called Saint-Paul-de-Vence. From there, you can easily get to the French Riviera, including Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice, and Monaco.

Now you know where else to go in France once you're done roaming the streets of Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe. Bon voyage!