Theme parks are always a great way to spend time with friends or family, with or without children. Today, I’d like to take you on a tour of the main theme parks around Paris, for young and old, thrill-seekers and fun-lovers alike.

Welcome to a world of festivities, immersion, parades, rides, superheroes and distant universes. A complete change of scenery in the heart of the capital and its surroundings: nothing better for your upcoming weekends and to forget the routine metro-business-sleep. I’ll tell you all about it!

1. Disneyland Paris & Walt Disney Studios

The world’s most famous theme park. Opened in 1993, the park is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and is constantly adapting and adding new attractions. New areas are due to be added in the near future, such as a world dedicated to the Snow Queen. What’s special is that you can choose between two parks: Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios.

The former takes you into a world of its own, with magnificent streets and colorful houses housing stores and restaurants. A complete change of scenery in the different worlds: Indiana Jones, Alice in Wonderland, the House of the Princesses and the Star Wars universe.

In the Walt Disney Studios section, you’ll find an area dedicated to the Avengers, and another that takes you back to the Hollywood of the 50s. Rides and parades welcome you all day and part of the evening, to make the eyes of children and adults alike sparkle. Mickey and company, your favorite superheroes and cartoon characters take turns to make your day the best it can be.

Disneyland offers a wide range of services to make your day as easy as possible: stroller hire, pass, numerous toilets with baby-changing facilities, lockers for your belongings…

How to get there: Bd de Parc, 77700 Coupvray, France

By RER (Réseau Express Régional) :

  • Take the RER A towards Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy.
  • Get off at Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station, which is the station serving Disneyland Paris. The journey takes around 40 minutes from central Paris.

By train:

  • You can also take a train from Gare de l’Est in Paris to Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station. Some TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse) and TER (Trains Express Régionaux) trains serve this line.

By car :

  • If you prefer to drive, take the A4 freeway towards Metz/Nancy. Follow the signs for Disneyland Paris. The park is about 32 kilometers east of Paris, and the journey usually takes less than an hour by car, depending on traffic.

By Magic Shuttle:

  • There are special shuttles called Magic Shuttle that transfer between several locations in Paris (such as airports and some hotels) and Disneyland Paris. These shuttles are convenient, especially if you have a lot of luggage.

By bus:

  • Some buses also run direct routes from Paris to Disneyland Paris. Check schedules and stops before you go.
Theme parks in and around Paris

Photo : Anthony G

2. Parc Astérix

Welcome to the Gaulish village! A little paradise for fans of Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix, it opened in 1989 and is one of the three biggest theme parks in France. It offers total immersion in the world of our favorite heroes, with 6 distinct areas retracing their wild adventures: Gaul, the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, Egypt, the Vikings and Through Time.

More than 50 attractions are available just 35 km from Paris. The attractions are ideal for thrill-seekers, but there’s also something for all tastes and ages, although few are suitable for children under 1 m tall.

By all accounts, this park really does compete with Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios, both in terms of immersive scenery and the attractions and entertainment it offers. Numerous shows are performed every day with all our favorite characters. I can’t recommend it enough for a day out or a weekend away – you won’t be disappointed.

How to get there: Parc Astérix, 60128 Plailly, France

By car :

  • Take the A1 freeway towards Lille.
  • Follow the signs for the Parc Astérix exit. The park is about 35 kilometers north of Paris, and the drive usually takes less than an hour, depending on traffic.

By shuttle (Parc Astérix Shuttle):

  • Parc Astérix offers shuttle buses (Parc Astérix Shuttle) departing from Paris. These shuttles depart from various locations in Paris, including train stations and strategic points. You can check shuttle times and stops on the official Parc Astérix website.

By train and shuttle :

  • Take a train from Gare du Nord in Paris to Chantilly-Gouvieux station.
  • From Chantilly-Gouvieux station, you can take a special shuttle bus that will take you directly to Parc Astérix.

By bus :

  • Some bus services also offer direct routes from Paris to Parc Astérix. Check timetables and routes on the park’s website before setting off.

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3. Jardin d’acclimatation in Paris

This is the only theme park in Paris. Created in 1860 under Napoleon III, it was France’s first theme park. 42 attractions await you in a verdant setting of over 18 hectares. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a fan of more leisurely rides, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste.

The park also focuses on nature, offering workshops on themes particularly suited to children, such as the vegetable garden, farm animals, the large aviary, the apiary and pony rides. You won’t be disappointed either by the park’s more aquatic section, ideal during the heatwaves of recent years, and even more so with little ones in Paris. It’s a breath of fresh air right in the heart of the city.

The park also offers a wide range of themed vacation festivities. No characters or parades like the first two, but a change of scenery all the same. The countryside in Paris, you might say.

How to get there: Bois de Boulogne, Rte de la Prte Dauphine à la Prte des Sablons, 75116 Paris, France

By Metro and Bus :

  • Take the metro to Les Sablons station (line 1).
  • Exit at Les Sablons and take bus 43 towards Neuilly – Bagatelle.
  • Get off at the “Jardin d’Acclimatation” stop.

By bus from central Paris :

  • Some buses, such as bus 43, bus 73 or bus 93, serve the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Be sure to check specific routes and stops based on your location in Paris.

By car:

  • If you’re driving, use a navigation service or follow the road signs to the Bois de Boulogne. The Jardin d’Acclimatation is located inside the Bois de Boulogne, and you’ll find directions to the park there.

By Vélib’ (self-service bicycle):

  • If you prefer cycling, you can use the Vélib’ service to rent a bike and get to the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Make sure you have a Vélib’ app to locate stations and bike availability.

By Uber, Taxi or VTC:

  • You can also use transport services like Uber, cab or VTC to get directly to the Jardin d’Acclimatation.

4. France Miniature

France Miniature is a park that lets you tour France without leaving the capital! Can you believe it? Yes, it is!

This park lets you visit 117 French monuments on a scale of 1:30, all staged over an area of almost 5 hectares. Castles, ports, forts… All the main points of interest in our beautiful country are represented. With friends or family, you can also enjoy 24 fun and interactive attractions and experiences, including archaeological digs, prehistoric caves and the incredible Fort Boyard experience.

It’s the perfect way to relive French history and explain it to children, but from a much more amusing angle. A success and a change of scenery guaranteed for this original park.

How to get there: 25 Rte du Mesnil, 78990 Élancourt, France

By train and bus:

  • Take a train from Gare Montparnasse in Paris to Gare de La Verrière.
  • At La Verrière station, take bus 419 in the direction of “France Miniature.” Get off at the “France Miniature.” stop.

By car:

  • If you’re driving, use a navigation service or follow the road signs to Élancourt. The France Miniature park is located in Élancourt, in the Yvelines department. You can get to the park via the A12 freeway and the D58.

By shuttle (from Paris):

  • Some shuttle services or sightseeing tours may offer direct routes from Paris to France Miniature. Check the options available with these services.

By Taxi or VTC :

  • You can also use cab, Uber, or VTC services to get directly to France Miniature from Paris.

5. The Sea of Sand

A change of continent for this park in the colors of the Far West. Welcome to the American West. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, this 45-hectare park offers total immersion in the land of cowboys and Indians. Ideal for children or family outings, you’ll meet the pioneers who shaped today’s United States.

There are three worlds to explore over the course of the day: the Valley of the Mississi’ptits, the Colorado Canyon and the New Mexico Desert. The program includes attractions, shows, picnics, workshops and much more. It’s all designed to make for an incredible day out, and above all to make your children’s eyes shine, as they’re eager to play cowboys and Indians for real! This is possible here, with total immersion in this captivating universe.

How to get there: N330, 60950 Ermenonville, France

By car:

  • The easiest way is to take the A1 freeway towards Lille.
  • Follow the signs for the “Senlis” exit (exit 8) and continue towards Ermenonville.
  • La Mer de Sable is well signposted once you’re in the area.

By train and bus :

  • Take a train from Gare du Nord in Paris to Survilliers-Fosses station.
  • From the station, you can take a bus or cab to La Mer de Sable, which is just a short distance away.

By shuttle (from Paris):

  • Some shuttle services can offer direct routes from Paris to La Mer de Sable. Check with these services for available options and schedules.

By bus (from Paris):

  • Some bus operators may offer special trips or excursions to La Mer de Sable from Paris. Check available options.

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Bottom line

Here’s a quick rundown of theme parks in Paris and around to try. Whether with friends, family or colleagues, there’s plenty to keep you entertained for days on end. The parks are regularly renewed, offering a wide range of activities to plunge you into another world, far from your everyday life. And it’s true that they do it very well!

As far as I’m concerned, every time I go, it’s a breath of fresh air that gives me new energy. And above all, it’s a great way to spend quality time with loved ones!

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