Chateau de Chenonceau

Weekend Excursions from Paris

Students in the Paris Institute of Creative Arts have access to some of the finest museums, galleries, theaters, and architectural monuments in the world. Our program features a wide variety of cultural activities that give students an extraordinary opportunity to enhance their experience abroad. In addition to one or two day trips to important historical sites near Paris such as Versailles, Fontainebleau, Provins, Chantilly and  Giverny, PICA students will take one weekend trip during our semester-long programs. These include such spots as the Loire Valley with its world famous chateaux, Normandy with a visit to the D-Day beaches, Rouen, and Honfleur for the wonderful medieval Normandy towns (with a visit to the Atlantic coast beaches in Deauville), Strasbourg in the East of France with its very Germanic flavour, Reims and the Champagne region or Southeast of Paris to the famous wine region of Bourgogne.

Normandy Beach
Omaha Beach Cemetery

D-Day Beaches of Normandy: Our Normandy trip will bring us to the Atlantic Coast to see the site of the D-Day invasion during World War II. Along the way we’ll stop to visit the small town of Bayeux to see the ancient and stunningly beautiful Bayeux tapestries which chronicle another war (this one between the French and the English) during the Middle Ages. We’ll have a chance to taste the wonderful Norman cuisine during our travels.


Loire Valley Chateaux: The Loire Valley is the region of numerous world-famous chateaux such as the Châteaux d’Amboise, Château de Chambord, Château de Villandry and over 300 others. Up until the 16th century French kings mostly resided in the Tourraine region and only with François 1er did they relocate to Paris. During the king’s residence in the Loire Valley countless chateaux were constructed by the kings and their court. A large section of the Touraine region–which including the countless chateaux as well as the Loire river valley–are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and therefore preserved and protected by law.

Strasbourg Cathedral

Rouen, Honfleur and Deauville (Normandy): Rouen is one of the spectacular Medieval architecture towns in France. We’ll explore the history of Joan of Arc (who met her demise in Rouen) along with the spectacular Medieval architecture as seen both in the fabulous churches but also in the more than 200 historically classed and protected private homes in the city.  We’ll also make a trip to the Atlantic coast to take in the charming port town of Honfleur along with a visit to the wonderful beach in Deauville.  

Strasbourg Cathedral

Strasbourg: Capital of the Alsace region coveted by both the French and Germans from the 19th into the 20th century which played an important role in World War I and II. Currently the site of the European Union’s Parliament, Strasbourg has become a very international city while still guarding its very Germanic heritage which is visible in the very different architectural styles in the city as well as the types of food and drink served in the cafés and restaurants. The Grande Ile section of Strasbourg is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Brussels, Belgium
Bruges, Belgium

Bruxelles and Bruges, Belgium: Belgium touches France on its northern border and is a country divided between the Dutch speaking North and the French speaking South. Brussels is the official capital not only of Belgium but also to a number of European organisations (European Commission, Council of the European Union and the European Council) make Brussels the de facto capital of the European Union. Officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium. Bruges is a city near the Atlantic coast and East of Brussels–sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North for its numerous canals. The historic center is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites and hence protected.

Other PICA pages which may interest you: