One of the most popular places to visit near Paris is the Palace of Versailles. You can easily take a day trip to Versailles from Paris. The Palace of Versailles also known as Château de Versailles, is located 12 miles west of Paris city center.
Walking the halls of the Palace is a surreal experience. Knowing that you are stepping on the same floors as those stately Kings and Queens you only read about in history books is an unusually fascinating experience. The palace is vast and intricate, and even if you are not into history, you will be awe-inspired by all of the sights.
Paris to Versailles: How to get to Versailles from Paris
The cheapest route to take a for a day trip to Versailles from Paris, is to take the train from Gare Montparnasse station in Paris. The Paris to Versailles train is RERC. Then get off at the Versailles-Château – Rive Gauche station. The ride takes 30 minutes and about 7 euros for the train ticket one-way.
Palace of Versailles hours
Palace 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, Tuesdays thru Sundays
Gardens: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily
Estate of Trianon 12:00 pm to 5:30 pm, Tuesdays thru Sundays
During Covid, everything except the Gardens are closed.
Tickets for Palace of Versailles
Book tickets for a day trip from Versailles to Paris for your intended date and time in advance online at the palace website, or risk facing a long queue! You can even download your tickets to your smartphone for easy scanning upon entry. Currently, tickets (called Passports) are 20 Euros for entry into almost all areas of Versailles. For those dates where Fountain shows are taking place and you want an entry for those, ticket prices go up to 27 Euros. I recommend getting a timed Passport to avoid entry lines as much as possible.
You can purchase a 2-day Passport for 25 Euros or 30 Euros for the fountain shows. If you want to just see the Palace, the Gardens and the Coach Gallery, tickets are 18 Euros, but you will only have access to those areas. Finally, you can purchase an Estate of Trianon ticket, which includes that Estate, plus the Garden and the Coach Gallery for 12 Euros. Audio guides are provided free of charge with your Passport.
Another option, if you will be visiting multiple places in Paris, is to get the Paris Museum Pass, which includes entry to Versailles.
Facts about the Palace of Versailles
- The Palace of Versailles was built for King Louis XIV way back in the 17th century (which is not a long time in European architecture.)
- It served as the Royal residence up until the French Revolution and has been home to many French noblemen and their families, as well as government officials.
- Today the Palace of Versailles is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for over 30 years.
The Overall Experience
With over 2,000 rooms in the palace, not all of them are open to the public, but you wouldn’t have time to visit them all anyway! There is so much to see around the entire property and you could easily spend an entire day here. So make the most of it! Some things not to miss are the Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces), the Garden, the Royal Apartments, the Petit Trianon and the Hamlet of Marie Antoinette (Hameau de la Reine).
The Hall of Mirrors
A room in the palace that is over 230 feet long and lined with 17 wide mirrors designed to match and reflect the windows facing the garden. The ceiling has 30 painted scenes depicting the reign of Louis XIV, with large chandeliers hanging down. It is quite a sight and probably the best part of Versailles, so don’t miss it!
It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer expanse of these gardens, so take them in slowly! It is awe-inspiring to think about all of the meticulous work and detail that goes into making such a large space landscaped in such a pristine way. Everything from the trees to the flower beds to the fountains and sculptures are perfectly well-kept.
Tips and Tricks
- Arrive EARLY. There is so much to see here, and the crowds can get thick later in the morning and afternoon. You will have more time to take everything in without feeling rushed. The Palace opens at 9am and is closed on Mondays, but the gardens are open daily and free to the public, except for special garden shows. The estate of Trianon and the Coach Gallery are only open in the afternoons.
- Summertime is the high season (huge crowds) and winter is the low season, when the weather tends to be iffy. The optimal times for visiting are the Spring and Fall.
- From mid-June through late September, Versailles has Fountain night shows run at certain times on Saturdays for an extra fee. These are spectacular and a must-see if it fits your schedule.
- To avoid lines for receiving your audio guide and headset, download the free mobile app ahead of time.
- Take a guided tour and get more inside information on the Palace, which also takes you into rooms not open for self-guided tours.
Is a day trip to Versailles from Paris on your list? Why or why not? Comment below!
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