Versailles is one of the most beautiful places in the world and one of the architectural symbols of France. We will tell you about the alternatives to visiting the Palace of Versailles from Paris.
Leaving the French capital, it is possible to go to the palace, tour it, visit its magnificent gardens, and return the same day.
Depending on your time, budget and preference, you can choose to go to Versailles from Paris on your own by public transport, car, or on an organized tour.
The Palace of Versailles is only 25 kilometers from Paris. Moreover, Versailles is a fairly accessible destination from the capital, so it is easy to get there.
We explain how to get from Paris to Versailles in different ways.
To go by train to Versailles from Paris, you must take the RER line C and go to Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. It is the closest to the Palace of Versailles.
As it is one of the most touristic destinations in France, there are usually departures every 15 minutes.
The trip takes 40 minutes or an hour, depending on where you start your journey.
The stations where you can take the train to Versailles are:
- Musée d’Orsay,
- Pont de l’Alma,
- Champs de Mars – Eiffel Tower.
Another option is to take the SNCF N or L train. The N leaves from Gare Montparnasse station and the L from Gare Saint-Lazare.
If you are traveling in a group, you may want to take a cab. If shared by 3 or 4 people, the cost does not vary much from that of a train.
A cab ride from Paris to Versailles takes between 30 and 35 minutes. But you save the time of moving to the train or bus stop and the time waiting for public transportation.
However, avoid rush hours on weekdays, as traffic in Paris is very heavy, and you may encounter heavy traffic jams.
You can also go by RENTAL CAR.
Another way to get to Versailles from Paris is by bus. You must take the 171 of the RATP.
You have to go to the stop Pont de Sèvres and get off at the Place d’Armes Versailles stop.
Buses leave every 15-20 minutes and take about 40 minutes.
The bus ride is a little cheaper than the train.
Hiring a tour is a very comfortable way to go from Paris to Versailles.
There are many excursions to the Palace of Versailles. Here we recommend 3 options, each one designed for a different budget.
*Please note that if you have purchased the Paris Pass or Museum Pass, you have the entrance tickets to the Palace of Versailles included!!!
Excursion to the Palace of Versailles
The excursion to the Palace of Versailles includes a bus transfer from Paris and a two-hour guided tour. The best part is that you don’t have to wait in line to get in.
Once inside, you will see the King and Queen’s Grand Apartments, the super-decorated corridors, and the Hall of Mirrors, where the famous Treaty of Versailles was signed, which agreed on the end of the First World War.
Then you will have free time to tour the incredible palace gardens. You will find numerous fountains, statues, trees, and flowers.
Guided tour of the Palace of Versailles
This visit does not include the transfer from Paris, so you will have to go on your own and there you will meet the expert guide who will let you know the palace’s secrets.
After visiting the most important rooms of the Palace of Versailles and touring the gardens and the palace park, you will see the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon.
These are two buildings located within the palace park.
The Petit Trianon was where Marie Antoinette took refuge when she wanted to escape the pomp and etiquette of French royalty.
While the Grand Trianon is a mini palace of pink marble, with which Louis XIV sought to achieve perfection.
If you prefer to walk around at your leisure and no one rushes you, you can buy the entrance ticket and take care of the rest.
The good thing is that you can enter without waiting in line with this ticket.
This mode gives you the peace of mind of being able to tour the palace unhurriedly if you want to stay longer contemplating a painting or a statue, or if you want to rest on the palace lawn, you can do so without feeling the pressure of being late.
Of course, you won’t have time to see the palace’s more than 2,300 rooms anyway.
It depends on individual tastes, but we believe that the best two times to visit Versailles are:
The first is from April to June, and the second is between October and November.
During these months, the temperature is warmer, and you can enjoy strolling through the gardens and park, one of the things we love most about Versailles.
If you do not mind the cold and prefer to visit the palace without so many people, it is ideal to go in the low season, between November and March.
But without a doubt, to see the gardens of Versailles in all their splendor, you have to go in spring.
If you want to enjoy the splendor of the fountains with the water shows, the best days to walk around the Palace of Versailles are Saturdays and Sundays, as these are the days they turn on the fountains.
You can visit and see all schedules on the official website of the palace.
Keep in mind that since it is less than an hour from Paris, it is expected that during the day there will be many tourists.
Therefore, the best way to see the palace without so many people is to go in the early morning or late afternoon.
We believe there are two situations in which it is a good idea to go on a tour of the Palace of Versailles from Paris.
The first is when you don’t feel like dealing with the necessary paperwork and preparations.
If you hire a tour, they take care of everything. You don’t have to buy tickets, you don’t have to worry about the palace’s opening hours, and they will take you around the worthwhile corners.
In addition, they include a guide who tells you the best stories about the place, so you don’t have to do much research to understand what you are seeing.
The second situation to go on a tour of the Palace of Versailles is when you don’t have much time. By knowing what time they leave Paris and how long it takes, you will know precisely how long the entire tour will take.
On the other hand, if you do it on your own, you depend on the train schedules, the number of people in line, and the time you take to go through all the rooms of the palace.
Sometimes you take much longer because you don’t know what is worthwhile or because you don’t know the actual dimension of the place.
The palace gardens are baroque and feature more than 50 fountains, created in styles inspired by Greco-Roman myths.
Between April and November, there are night fountain shows and some musical fountain shows, enlivened with French baroque music.
The nightly shows are combined with visual effects and fireworks.
Each fountain has its own show, and since they only last a few minutes each, you can enjoy several of them.
Please note that the traditional ticket does not include entrance to the gardens to see the fountain shows.
In addition to these shows, Versailles also offers the Musical Gardens, which allows you to stroll through the gardens to the sound of music. This takes place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
We recommend you check which months of the year you can see this show.
Another of the shows that can be enjoyed in the park of Versailles is the Royal Serenades. These are typical French-style dance sessions that take place during the summer.
What to See in Versailles Beyond the Palace
If you have time and dedicate a whole day to the city of Versailles, you will see that there is more to do than just the famous palace.
This city was the capital of the kingdom of France for almost a century, so it was the seat of power. So a lot of history was created here.
You can visit the Lambinet Museum, the Palace of Foreign Affairs, and the Navy.
You can also stroll through the city’s most exciting neighborhoods, such as the Notre Dame and Saint Louis neighborhoods.
To take a break from all the walking, you can visit and rest in one of the city’s parks, such as the King’s Garden and the Swiss Pond.
And if you want to go for traditional French food, a few streets away from the Palace of Versailles, there is the Marché Saint Louis. Of course, it never hurts to try some French bread and cheese.
It was a royal residence from 1682 to 1789. It is the most important architectural complex of the European monarchy and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979.
Although the first works began during the reign of Louis XIII, Louis XIV is considered its actual creator since he was the one who gave it the magnitude and style that we can see today.
Undoubtedly, one of the most important events in the history of this palace was the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, almost as famous as the palace itself.
With the French Revolution of 1789, the people took over the palace, and the king and his family had to move to Paris.
In 1792 it was totally sacked and would never again be occupied by royalty.
Schedule and Recommendations for Your Visit
- Palace hours: Open daily at 9:00 a.m., except Mondays, when it is closed.
- Parks and gardens hours: Every day from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm. Access is free, except on days when the Great Waters and Musical Gardens shows are performed.
- Parking: There are several parking lots inside and outside the palace grounds. It is only free for people with reduced mobility.
- Access to the palace and gardens: The entrance to the palace is through the Courtyard of Honor. There you will find different entrances, depending on whether you have tickets or not, and if you go on tour or alone, you will have to go to one of those entrances.
- You will be doing a lot of walking, so dress comfortably.
- You will want to take thousands of pictures, so bring a good camera and a well-charged battery.
- For security reasons, you cannot enter with large bags or tripods. If you bring any of this, they make you keep it in a locker.
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