Have you already been to Montmartre Residence several times or at least to Paris ? What if you discovered France in a different way than through the capital ? France has an exceptional cultural offer, thanks to the richness of its heritage and the authenticity of its art of living. So, for a day, take a break in one of the destinations of our selection and of course, less than two hours from Paris !
Discovering the cities of northern France
Amiens, labeled City of Art and History, is rich in historical and cultural heritage that you should not miss!
The city is particularly known for its jewel of Gothic art : the Notre Dame Cathedral. An impressive building of 145 meters long and 42 meters high, built in less than a century. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the largest cathedral in France ! From April, it is even possible to climb its 380 steps to access the roofs and enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the whole city.
Not far from the cathedral, you will find the Hortillonnages, a set of hundreds of floating gardens spread over 65 km of canals, in the heart of the city of Amiens. A unique site in the world where you can walk or cycle along the Somme.
Conclude your day in the medieval district of Saint-Leu nicknamed the "Little Venice of the North". Ideal district to enjoy the terraces of the Quai Bélu and the charm of the traditional houses.
© image from the website amiens-tourisme.com
Departure Paris Gare du Nord - Arrival Amiens station | 1h
The historical square of Lille represents a real symbol of the city, a former market place dating from the 14th century, it has kept its role of Grand Place as a place of life, celebration and trade. The square is surrounded by several buildings, eight of which are listed or registered as historical monuments.
La Vieille Bourse
On the Grand'Place, you will find the Old Stock Exchange, one of the oldest buildings in the "Capital of Flanders". The building, of Flemish Renaissance type, is composed of 24 private houses overlooking an inner courtyard, open to the public. The Old Stock Exchange welcomes today, in its courtyard, bookshops and in summer tango balls are organized.
Palais des Beaux-Arts
On the Place de la République, in a superb 19th century building, you will find the Palais des Beaux-Arts, a museum of art and antiques which is one of the largest in France in terms of the number of works on display. The permanent exhibition offers nearly 200 pieces of sculptures, paintings and art objects from medieval Europe to the Renaissance, more than 500 painted works from the 16th to the 20th centuries, the museum also has a very rich collection of ceramics from the 16th to the early 19th century.
Le Vieux Lille
The streets of Old Lille are a testimony to the way the city looked in the 18th century, let yourself be surprised by the charm of its cobbled streets and facades. It is with your head in the air that you will have to walk around to admire the perfect mix of bricks and stones.
Departure Paris Gare du Nord - Arrival Lille Flandre station | 1h
A breath of fresh air on the coast
3) Le Touquet-Paris-Plage
Take a deep breath of fresh air on the seafront ! Located on the Opal Coast, it is one of the favorite seaside resorts of Parisians. Wild and preserved, the dunes of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage offer an inspiring setting for all your walks. Go for a hike in the dunes, a 3km route called "loop of the cornice" which lasts about 1h30 on foot.
© image from the website letouquet.com
Departure Paris Gare du Nord - Arrival Étaples Le Touquet station | 1h
The jewels of French Heritage
This castle-museum, located in the middle of the forest, is one of the jewels of the French heritage. Take a leap in time by visiting its apartments with fabulous decorations. The castle houses the largest collection of paintings after the Louvre.
The gardens show the relationship between man and nature for over three centuries. It is on 115 hectares that you will discover several periods of creation : the French garden of the XVIIth century, the Anglo-Chinese garden of the XVIIIth century or the English garden of the XIXth century.
The castle is also internationally known for its stables, which are among the most beautiful in Europe. The building, built in the eighteenth century, hosts an equestrian company that offers original creations to entertain you.
Image : © Jérôme Houyvet
Departure Paris Gare du Nord - Arrival Chantilly-Gouvieux station | 1h
6) Château de Fontainebleau
The Château de Fontainebleau has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1981 and was the residence of all the sovereigns from the 12th to the 19th century. Napoleon called it the "true home of kings, the house of centuries". It is the most furnished castle in France thanks to its exceptional collections, visit the hundreds of rooms of the castle to discover them ! Conclude your visit in the castle's park of 130 hectares.
© image from the website chateaudefontainebleau.fr
Departure Paris Gare de Lyon - Arrival Fontainebleau - Avon station | 1h