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PARIS DAY TRIPS: SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE

saint-germain-en-laye day trip from paris
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Around twenty minutes west of Paris by ReR regional train, lies the quaint town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Complete with its own royal palace, a couple of other museums and enough patisserie shops to make you drool, it’s the perfect place to go on a day trip out of Paris…

Region: Île de France

How to get here: RER A direction Saint-Germain-en-Laye from Auber.

Population: 41,000

Language: French

Known for: The birthplace of Debussy, the amazing view over Paris, vast woodlands to walk in. There is also a tourism office in the center of the town with plenty of information on nearby attractions.

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Musée Archéologie

The château at Saint-Germain-en-Laye was once key to the French court and kings of France before they moved to Versailles. It was here that Napoleon I created his cavalry training school in the 19th Century. Today the palace is a museum, the National Archaeology Museum for France.

There are particularly good displays about pre-History. There is also a chapel that you can visit.

Visit: between Wednesday and Monday.

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Domaine Saint-Germain-en-Laye

The amazing view over the former gardens allows you to see all the way to La Defense (and on a clear day, Paris itself). The woodland and long plane tree lined avenues are lovely to walk around and make a great place to have a picnic.

At the very end of the garden is the Jardin Anglais (English Garden). The wending pathways here were created with the introduction of the railway line in order to ‘beautify’ the garden when the new tracks cut up its previous periphery.

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Maison Debussy

Located on the first floor above the Tourism office, the house of composer Debussy is free to visit. Although it is not known in exactly which room the famous French composer was born, the museum consists of many of his personal possessions and it is here that he lived with his wife and daughter ChouChou.

Visit: between Wednesday and Monday.

Where to Eat: Gouley

This award winning patisserie shop has more patisseries that I have ever seen in my life! From macarons to tarts, there is a rainbow of flavours, fruits, and sweets to choose from. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to go for the pistachio and raspberry tart.

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Place des Marchés

Situated in the very heart of the town is the main square. Surrounded by independent boutiques, cheese shops, boulangeries and, of course, patisserie shops, it is a great place to stop, drink an expresso and go people watching.

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Annnddd, if you want to see more, I’ve done a vlog of my trip:

saint-germain-en-laye day trip from paris, france, home to debussy and the archaeological museum

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Mathilde
    3rd June 2017 at 8:02 am

    The museum about thé french painter Maurice Denis is also a interesting place to discover on Saint Germain en Laye

  • Reply
    Christine Tatum
    12th September 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing the vlog! I WILL be watching it over and over and dreaming of my trip!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    16th February 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Awesome! I want to visit Paris someday- what a gorgeous city with so much history!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Reply
    Maddy
    15th February 2016 at 11:37 pm

    I am so in love with this post! I’m visiting Paris for the third time this summer and I feel like I want to spend a day or two outside of the city! I’ve never heard of this town but it looks so quaint and perfect for a day trip. Especially since it’s so close by.

    After all of the deliberation, was the pistachio and raspberry tart a good choice? It sure looks like it was! YUM.

    Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

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