Paris and its surroundings - 6 places to see near Paris
If you know the French capital by heart and, don’t hesitate to expand your field of activity, go ahead and discover its vicinity! Castles, palaces, gardens, temples, museums - the ideas you can choose from are hard to count! Below you’ll find some of the most interesting sites.
Basilica of Saint-Denis - the necropolis of French rulers
Start exploring the surroundings of Paris from Saint-Denis. Located on the outskirts of the agglomeration, this town has an amazing atmosphere. Inhabited by immigrants from all over the world, it is a kind of cultural melting pot - a visit to the local market will make you feel like in an Arab or African country. However, it is not the local bazaar that is the purpose of your visit but the biggest local attraction: the Gothic Basilica of Saint Denis built in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is a massive church with stunning architecture, which plays an extraordinary role in the culture and history of France - it used to be the necropolis of French kings, who were buried here until the 19th century.
Versailles - the insane vision of the Sun King
And speaking of French kings, of course your French tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Versailles, the most famous royal residence and also one of the most important palaces in the entire Europe. It is an impressive building that will not only enchant you but also somewhat overwhelm with its grandeur and splendour. One thing is guaranteed - it certainly won’t leave you indifferent! This place was designed following the vision of Louis XIV - an absolutist monarch who wanted to show with this edifice the power of the state - which can be seen at every turn, from the individual rooms to the interior furnishings. However, be aware of the huge crowds: the later on the day you get here, the more crowded you will find it. Don't forget to reserve some time for a walk, a ride through the famous gardens or a romantic boat cruise on the Grand Canal.
Palais Vaux-le-Vicomte - a journey to the origins of the French Baroque
Although the mighty Versailles with its symmetrical gardens is one of the most important residences in France, the Baroque palace of Vaux-le-Vicomte is also worth exploring. After all this place, in a way, was a model for a plethora of palace and park complexes across Europe. Maintained in the type “entre cour et jardin” (between courtyard and garden), it invites you to see the rich interiors and beautiful French-style gardens where Molière once staged his plays.
Vincennes Castle - a fortress unlike any other
If you want to discover the origins of French power, head to the outskirts of Vincennes to see another royal residence. Its history dates back to the 12th century and is linked to the figure of Louis VII. The present shape was given to the castle in the 14th century and during the subsequent 17th-century modernisation. A completely different architecture awaits you here, you can admire solid medieval fortress with thick and austere walls, without any ornamentation or decoration. Their absence is compensated for by a magnificent chapel, representing the stunning style know as the Flamboyant Gothic.
Disneyland - back to childhood
Although French suburbs are famous for their castles and palaces, the list of attractions is not limited to them only. When asked what else is worth seeing near Paris, there can only be one answer - Disneyland! This one of the world’s most popular theme parks is a magical place not only for children. Adults will also spent here some great time that will make them feel like in the old days full of carefree and joyful fun. A visit to Disneyland will transport you to the world of your favourite Walt Disney characters, filled with lots of attractions, carousels and everything you need to forget your responsibilities for a day (or more!).
Museum of Aviation and Astronautics - not only the conquest of space
After the sensational experience at the theme park, it’s time to go for a flight to the Museum of Aviation and Astronautics! This place boasts to be one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It will delight everyone, not only fans of aircraft and space conquests, as there are amazing exhibits here, including several milestones in the development of air transport. You’ll surely be interested by the two Concorde supersonic aircraft; the two largest passenger planes: the American Boeing 747 and the European Airbus A 380, as well as the Arian V rocket. Ready for take-off?