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Welcome to Versailles

Buy your ticket online and avoid waiting times. Due to the vigipirate plan , additional security measures are in place.

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From the seat of power to a museum of the history of France

The estate of Trianon

A place of intimacy

The Gardens

The art of perspective

A haven of greenery


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26 september 2023 - 28 january 2024

Noël Coypel painter of grand decors

A major artistic figure of the 17th century, Noël Coypel is little known among the public today. His work will be showcased in a new exhibition in the Grand Trianon from 26 September 2023.

Plan my visit

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Tickets & prices

guided tours

During guided tours, a speaker from the Palace invites you into lesser known locations otherwise closed to the visitors. You can also book online tours to discover the backstage of the Castle from your home!

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Sunday November 25th 2023

To mark the Coronation of King Charles III, we have brought together the most famous pieces of music from the coronations of James II in 1685 and George II in 1727. The masterpieces by Purcell and Handel display an extraordinarily evocative force that is marvellously well-suited to the choir and the Orchestra of the Opéra Royal directed by Gaétan Jarry.

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Monday December 11th 2023

Ball of the Century

On monday December 11th 2023, for the first edition of the Ball of the Century, we invite you to journey from the end of the 19th century to the start of the 20th century, from Offenbach to Mistinguett, during a grand ball in the magnificent Gallery of Great Battles. 

14 November 2023 - 17 March 2024

Exhibition Horace Vernet

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Online shop

Palace of Versailles X Swatch

To celebrate its 400th anniversary and the reopening of the gallery of the history, the Palace of Versailles and Swatch are launching three exclusive pre-printed watches based on Swatch X You designs inspired by the former royal residence. An artistic tribute to iconic historical figures, the gardens of Versailles and the architecture of the palace, the three designs capture the very essence of Versailles.

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Life on the estate

The Olympic Games at the Palace of Versailles

In 1682, the year the French Court was definitively installed at the Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV had the Great and Small Stables built to accommodate more than 2,000 horses. Horses have been a major feature at Versailles ever since, so it’s only natural that the equestrian events, as well as the modern pentathlon, of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will take place in the Park of the Palace of Versailles.

The Palace of Versailles' Mobile Application

The Palace of Versailles' Mobile App

The app is completely free of charge. It includes the audioguide tours in English and an interactive map of the Estate.

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Choosing your ticket

Tickets, guided tours, free admissions...

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Getting to Versailles

Opening times, access, public transportation...

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Visiting Versailles

Advice and routes to better plan your visit

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The official Palace of Versailles app.

The free application of the Palace offers audio tours to accompany your visit to the Estate (Palace, Gardens, Trianon Estate, etc.) as well as an interactive map.

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Are you a regular visitor?

The best of Versailles for subscribers! For a whole year, benefit from numerous advantages thanks to the SOLO or DUO cards, and unlimited ticket access from only 55€.

22,000 artworks to discover online

With 60,000 artworks, collections of Versailles illustrate 5 centuries of French History. This set reflects the dual vocation of the Palace once inhabited by the sovereigns and then a museum dedicated "to all the glories of France" inaugurated by Louis-Philippe in 1837.

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1787 — Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun

Marie-Antoinette, reine de France, et ses enfants

Le serment du Jeu de Paume, 20 juin 1789

1791 - 1792 — Jacques-Louis David

Le serment du Jeu de Paume, 20 juin 1789

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1701 — Hyacinthe RIGAUD

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1783 — Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun

Portrait de Marie-Antoinette

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1665 — Gian-Lorenzo Bernini, dit (le) Bernin

Buste de Louis XIV

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1678-1685 — Charles Le Brun

Le roi gouverne par lui-même, 1661

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1846 — Horace Vernet

Le roi Louis-Philippe entouré de ses cinq fils [...]

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1777 — Michel-Barthélémy Ollivier

Souper du prince

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1706 — Antoine Morand

Pendule dite "de Louis XIV"

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Logo Versailles

A town to discover

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Did you know that the town of Versailles inspired the urban layout of some of the world's most famous cities such as London, St Petersburg and Washington?

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  • Five tips for a stress-free visit to the Château de Versailles
  • Inspiration
  • Top experiences

How do you avoid the queues at the Château de Versailles? What's the easiest way to get there from Paris? Where should you start your visit?

Visit during the week

One of the top ten most visited sites in France, the Château de Versailles gets its biggest crowds on the weekends and Tuesday mornings (it is closed on Mondays). So aim to visit between Wednesday and Friday . The result? Less waiting and a smoother visit around the palace. And note that buying a ticket in advance online allows you to go straight to Entrance A , without stopping at the ticket office. Also, to make the most of this immense estate and avoid an exhausting rush, do consider setting aside a whole day for your visit. The ideal programme? Arrive early and start with a tour round the palace then head to the Trianon , which opens at 12.30pm. For the rest of the day, enjoy the magnificent park and gardens.

La Galerie des Carrosses%252C Coupé de la présidence de la république%252C château de Versailles%252C 2015.

Try a Passport

The Passport ticket , available for one or two consecutive days, is a pass that gives you access to the whole Versailles estate, from the Château and the Trianon palaces, to temporary exhibitions, the gardens, the park and the Gallery of Coaches – and not forgetting events like the Musical Fountain and Musical Gardens shows .

Take the train

The Château de Versailles is easily accessible from Paris by train from the Saint-Lazare or Montparnasse stations , or by taking the RER C from Les Invalides . It is then a short walk from any of the Versailles stations ( Rive Droite, Rive Gauche or Chantiers ). For a stress-free visit around the estate, the little train is a perfect choice, for families especially. The trains circulate between the Château de Versailles and the Trianon palaces. Sheltered from the elements, comfortably seated, visitors can admire the garden vistas as well as the palace façades, without the effort.

Intérieur du RER C au décor du château de Versailles%252C 2016.

Take advantage of the free entry to the park and gardens

Take advantage of free admission to the palace gardens every day from 8am to 8.30pm to discover this botanical masterpiece created by Le Nôtre, the King's gardener, as well as some spectacular views of the palace. Filled with optical and light effects and majestic perspectives, the Versailles gardens are a sublime arrangement of art and nature. Dozens of statues add to the charm, creating the effect of an open-air museum . The Musical Fountain and Musical Gardens shows offer visitors access to the groves,the leafy copses favoured by the Sun King and his court for entertainment, which are closed to the public the rest of the year. Do note: the gardens close at 5.30pm during the Fountain Night shows .

Les Jardins

Refreshments for all tastes

Good news! Versailles is well equipped when it comes to restaurants. And there is no lack of delicious options. The most prestigious, Alain Ducasse's Ore Restaurant set in the Dufour Pavilion, offers exceptional evening dining. During the day, the elegant café with its contemporary décor provides breakfast, lunch, and a "Thé de la Reine" afternoon tea, which mixes sweet and savoury treats for a truly refined feast. Angelina’s restaurant and tea rooms will delight children and chocolate lovers. On the banks of the Grand Canal, meanwhile, you can have lunch at La Flottille or pick up supplies there for your own picnic. The restaurant La Petite Venise takes you to Italy. Authentic flavours which conjure up the charm of the Italian Peninsula to be enjoyed on sunny days on the shady terrace, with the Apollo basin and the Grand Canal for neighbours. There are also vendors throughout the garden selling cold drinks.

Angelina salon de thé%252C Paris.

Our selection

Grandes Eaux, expositions, ballets, concerts, feux d’artifice, fêtes costumées sur bande son classique ou électro, spectacles équestres … au-delà de leur dimension patrimoniale, Versailles et son château réinventent les codes de la fête à travers une programmation riche et éclectique dans un décor toujours majestueux et grandiose.

Prolongez votre visite dans la ville royale de Versailles et découvrez les événements et activités qui font sa renommée.

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Domain of Versailles. Detail of the Castle's grid

  • Copyright image: CRT IDF/Tripelon-Jarry

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Visits to the Palace of Versailles : Guided tours, private tours, all our offers to visit the Versailles Palace, the royal gardens or the Estate of Marie-Antoinette in half a day or a whole day

The palace of versailles was the residence of the kings of france located 20km from the center of paris, the palace of versailles is full of incredible treasures..

Take advantage of our great experience to organize your visit and discover the best of Versailles : The Hall of Mirrors , the King's Apartments , the Queen's Hameau , the Trianon ... Choose between our several departures and returns per day, fast pass tickets, lunch near the gardens, audio-guided comments, free time to stroll through the gardens and the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle.

For more than 25 years, we have offered the most complete range of visits to Versailles. France Tourisme organizes for you the best visit to the Versailles Palace , with round-trip transport from Paris and skip-the-line tickets included!

Cheap, low price

The ideal formula to discover the Palace and the gardens of Versailles in half a day, Entry tickets to the Palace + Audio-guided commentary + Garden entrance. Departure from Paris by comfortable and…

Visit the Versailles Palace with audio guide, queue cutting tickets and access to the gardens

The ideal formula to discover the Palace and the gardens of Versailles in half a day, Entry tickets to the Palace + Audio-guided commentary + Garden entrance. Departure from Paris by comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle

Private guided tour of the Palace of Versailles and the gardens in half a day. Tickets and queue-jumping access included. Meeting directly on site.

Private Guided Tour at Versailles Palace with skip the line access - 1/2 day

From 79.00€

Private guided tour of the Palace of Versailles and the gardens in one day. Tickets and queue-jumping access included. Meeting directly on site.

Private guided tour of the Palace of Versailles and Marie-Antoinette's Estate - Full day

From 150.00€

Private vehicle and driver-guide available from Paris, Ticket and queue-jumping access to the Château, Guided tour of the Gardens. Departure from your place of residence in Paris. Pick up and…

Private visit of the Palace of Versailles from Paris in a comfortable minivan - Half a day

Private vehicle and driver-guide available from Paris, Ticket and queue-jumping access to the Château, Guided tour of the Gardens. Departure from your place of residence in Paris. Pick up and drop off anywhere inside Paris.

Private vehicle and driver-guide available from Paris, Ticket and access to the Château, Guided tour of the Gardens - Lunch included. Pick up and drop off anywhere inside Paris

Prestige Private visit of the Palace of Versailles departing from Paris in a comfortable minivan in 1 day

From 120.00€

The unmissable Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, the shows: ballets and fireworks, unique and exceptional concerts, in the enchanting setting of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Chapel, or in the gardens of the…

Shows and events at Versailles

The unmissable Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, the shows: ballets and fireworks, unique and exceptional concerts, in the enchanting setting of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Chapel, or in the gardens of the Chateau.

From the centre of Paris, a day trip to Giverny and Versailles. Visit Claude Monet's house and gardens, discover the Palace and gardens of Versailles, return transport and entrance ticket included

Tour day trip<br />Giverny and Versailles

Discover the Palace and gardens of Versailles in one day, Entry tickets to the Palace + Audio-guided commentary + Garden entrance. Departure from Paris by comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle.

Versailles palace full day tour


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How To Visit Versailles from Paris in 2024: Tickets, Hours, Tours, and More

Sean Finelli Last Updated: October 29, 2023

Could you really come all the way to Paris and not walk in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI? You won’t want to skip a trip to Versailles’ magnificent gardens and opulent palace , but you might be wondering how easy it is to get there from Paris. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. Versailles is only a short day trip away, but you’ll need to plan your visit ahead of time. Here’s how to visit Versailles.

Pro Tip: Planning to visit the Versailles Palace near Paris? Avoid planning in circles by bookmarking this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re in the city. Check out our guide to Versailles for more planning resources, our top Versailles tours for a memorable worry-free experience, and how to visit Versailles .

How to Visit Versailles from Paris: Overview and What To Expect

Since its completion in 1634, Versailles was the cultural heartbeat of Europe until 1789. It was the grandest palace the world had ever seen and quickly became the envy of every king and queen in Europe.

Today, Versailles is one of the blockbuster sites in Europe, and events here have shaped world history even up to the 20th century. The monumental architecture, gilded royal apartments, and lavish gardens are a sight to behold that leave every visitor breathless by its grandeur.

We’ll dive deeper into how to get to Versailles later, but know that the Palace of Versailles is a 45-minute drive outside of Paris or an easy 35-minute train ride away. The easiest way to get there is by taking RER (the bigger suburban trains) Line C from central Paris. You can easily connect from the underground Paris Metro to catch RER C at major stops like St. Michel (near the Notre Dame & Latin Quarter), Champ de Mars (Eiffel Tower), or Musee D’Orsay.

In this guide, we’ll explore what you need to know about tickets to Versailles, opening hours, what you should see, how to get there, and much more!

  • Hours and info
  • Essential tips for visiting
  • How much time to spend
  • Guided tours of Versailles
  • What to see
  • How to get to Versailles
  • Places to eat nearby

Top 5 things to see in Versailles

Not ready to book a tour? See if a Versailles tour is worth it .

1. Versailles Palace: Hours and Info

Palace of Versailles Gates Adorned with Gold

November 1st – March 31st

  • Palace of Versailles: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5:30 pm
  • Gardens of Versailles: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm
  • The Estate of Trianon: Tuesday to Sunday from 12 noon to 6:30 pm

April 1st – October 31st:

  • Palace of Versailles: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6:30 pm
  • Gardens of Versailles: Daily from 8 am to 8:30 pm
  • The Estate of Trianon : Tuesday to Sunday from 12 noon to 6:30 pm

Versailles Ticket Prices:

There are actually a lot of ticket options to see Versailles on foot or even by bike or rowboat. Here are the most common ticket options and their prices:

  • Versailles Palace Ticket: €19.50 (includes audio guide)
  • Garden of Versailles Ticket: FREE on days without a fountain or music show
  • Garden Ticket with Fountains and Music: €10.50 – €10
  • Passport Ticket: €21.50 to €28.50 (Includes all of the above plus the estate of Trianon. Price varies from high to low season)
  • Petit Trianon: only open for guided tours

Free or Reduced Palace of Versailles Tickets

The first Sunday of the month during November through March is actually free to the public. Anyone can explore the entire estate without a ticket. Otherwise, any non-European residents under 18 have free entry, as does any EU resident under 26. Any disabled people and one escort can also access the palace and grounds without purchasing a ticket. Finally, anyone who has a Paris Museum Pass can also enter Versailles for free.

Versailles Palace Tickets

If you decide to go it alone, an €19.50 ticket includes an audio guide and gets you access to the palace. Access to the gardens is free, except on select days when there are special events taking place in the gardens (between April and October). The fountain show runs almost every day when the weather is nice.

Versailles Garden & Musical Fountains

On certain days of the week, the gardens are not free to access as the palace has fountain and musical shows that require ticketed access. The musical fountain show ticket (when the garden’s multiple fountains are synchronized to music) costs €10.50, and a musical garden ticket (when music is played throughout the gardens) costs €10.

You can check the website for detailed information about the times and days of these events that change throughout the year. Otherwise, simplify your visit by booking a guided tour so you can access everything without a hassle.

Borgo & Trianon

The Grand and Petit Trianon are two smaller palaces (much smaller than the Château de Versailles) which were built as a sort of retreat for King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette. Many people choose to forgo these two palaces in order to spend more time in the gardens, but they are worth visiting if you have the time. And there are fewer crowds!

Not ready to book a tour? Find out if a Versailles tour is worth it .

2. Essential Tips for Visiting Versailles

Manicured garden of Versailles with pond in the background.

Plan Ahead and Avoid the Crowds

The Palace of Versailles gets most of its visitors on weekends and on Tuesdays. Especially during summer, you’re going to have to get a little strategic and purchase your Versailles tickets or tour in advance.

If you have not planned anything ahead, it helps to arrive as early as possible to tour the palace. We suggest arriving right at opening time—if not a little before. If you did not pre-purchase Versailles admissions or a tour, avoid touring the palace in the late morning and afternoon, when crowds are at their peak.

If you decide to visit Versailles in the afternoon, we suggest touring the gardens first. Then, circle back around in the later afternoon or evening for the palace.

Reserve Versailles Tickets in Advance

If you’ve reserved your Versailles ticket online and have your copy handy, then go directly to entrance A of the palace with your ticket. If you didn’t purchase a ticket in advance, then you can try to go inside and buy your ticket at one of the automated ticket machines that many visitors don’t know exist.

Picnic or Restaurant Lunch in the Garden

We highly recommend packing a picnic lunch. The food options at Versailles aren’t the best. Picnicking is allowed the gardens, so bring a sandwich from a bakery or hit up a market on the way to your train to Versailles.

You can check out Marche du Notre Dame which is a market near the palace where you can buy your picnic lunch—and a little wine if you like!

Don’t Walk, Bike!

Bikes are available to rent in the Versailles gardens. Electric vehicles (golf carts) are also available to rent for those with limited mobility.

3. How Much Time You Should Spend at Versailles

close up of a golden statue water fountain feature at Versailles, France

Short Answer:  6 hours, including transportation time from Paris

Your train ride will take about 1.5 hours round trip, including your walk to the palace from the train station in Versailles. You’ll also want to grab a bite to eat while you’re there, which can take some time. That leaves you with about 3 hours to walk around the palace and gardens.  

If you’re not the picnicking type, don’t worry. There’s a luxury Waldorf Astoria built into the Trianon of Versailles with an epic restaurant named La Veranda (find more about this in at the end of this article).

Sean’s Tip: Personally, I budget 2 to 4 hours for the gardens alone if the weather is nice. If you are going with the kids, bring a stroller and plan to get a meal on the grounds. Try not to rush through the experience, and it will become a positive and long-lasting memory for you and your travel companions. 

4. The Benefits of Guided Tours of Versailles

Like any museum, there is only so much you can do on your own. Tour guides spend years of their lives learning about and understanding historically rich monuments like Versailles in hopes of creating more memorable tour experiences for visitors.

We recommend a tour of Versailles when possible and believe our tours are the best in Paris. Our customer reviews back up that claim!

Our Best Versailles and Paris Louvre Tours

SGT Louvre Blog Tour Card 388 x 200

Top-Rated Tour

Secrets of the Louvre Museum Tour with Mona Lisa

The Louvre is the largest art museum on Earth and the crowning jewel of Paris, which is why it’s on everyone’s bucket list. Don’t miss out on an incredible opportunity! Join a passionate guide for a tour of the most famous artwork at the Louvre. Skip-the-line admissions included.

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Likely to Sell Out

Skip-the-Line Palace of Versailles and Gardens Tour from Paris

Versailles isn’t that difficult to get to by train, but why stress over the logistics? Meet a local guide in central Paris who will purchase your train tickets and ensure you get off at the right stop. Then enjoy a guided tour of the palace and the unforgettable gardens. Skip-the-line admissions included to the palace and gardens.

Not ready to book a tour? Check out our best Versailles tours to take and why .

5. What You Should See at Versailles Palace and Gardens

Avid enthusiasts of beauty could spend an entire day exploring all that Versailles has to offer from the palatial rooms to the Trianon estate. Here are the top places you should definitely see while you’re visiting Versailles:

  • Royal Courtyard
  • State Apartments
  • Hall of Mirrors
  • Royal Chape
  • Letona Basin & Fountains
  • Apollo Basin

Marie Antoinette’s Domain

  • French Pavillion
  • Hamlet 
  • Temple of Love
  • Petite Trianon

Grand Canal

Estate of trianon, 6. how to get to versailles from paris.

The Château de Versailles is not actually in Paris but in the city of Versailles, France. There are three ways for you to get to Versailles from Paris.

How to get to Versailles from Paris

You will need to take the RER C to get to the Versailles Château Rive Gauche train station. Depending on where you are coming from, the train could stop at one of three stations in Versailles.

If you get off on the wrong one it is not a tragedy, but it may require some additional work and maybe a taxi. From the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station, you’re just a 10-minute walk to the palace. Thankfully, there are plenty of signs that clearly indicate which way to go, so don’t worry.

Here are some of the most popular train stations in Paris that can take you to Versailles.

  • Saint Michel-Notre Dame
  • Gar e d’Austerlitz
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Pont de l’Alma
  • Champ de Mars-Eiffel Tower

You’ll need to buy a special metro ticket to get to and from Versailles. A round trip ticket will cost you €7.10. If you’re worried about buying the incorrect ticket, purchase the tickets from a metro service agent instead of the machine.

Using a metro ticket machine, make sure you indicate that your destination is the Versailles Rive Gauche station (there are three destinations in Versailles, so it’s more convenient to choose the right one). Depending on your departure location, the train will take you anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Use Google Maps to check train departure times as they frequently depart every hour. Your ticket for an RER-C train will also cover any underground Metro. Be sure to buy a return ticket to cover the return trip to Paris. You can take any train headed to Versailles or Versailles Rive Gauche/Chateau. Trains depart every 15 minutes.

Pro Tip: Purchase both your tickets (to and from Versailles) while you’re in Paris. If you buy your return ticket to Paris at the Versailles station, there will likely be dozens of other people doing the same thing and the lines can get long.

The best way to get to Versailles is with a tour. You’ll get insights from an experienced guide without the guesswork of which train to catch or which ticket to buy.

The Versailles Express bus departs near the Eiffel Tower. Purchasing a ticket on their site will get you a round-trip bus ticket to Versailles and entrance into the palace (€42) or just a round-trip bus ticket (€24). But note that all their tickets are for half-day transfers, so going this route means you’ll have limited time at the palace.

A second bus option: Bus 171 will take you to the palace from the Pont de Sèvres area, accessible by metro line 9 for the cost of a normal metro ticket (€1.90, or €2 if you purchase onboard the bus).

While you certainly can take the bus from Paris, we recommend taking the train since it’s a smoother and faster transit. It’s what we use on our guided day trips to Paris from Versailles.

With a Tour Guide:

Take all the guesswork out and arrange to visit the Palace of Versailles with a tour guide . We take the train to get there, and you won’t have to worry about which Versailles stop to watch for or how long the entry lines are to get into the palace.

7. Best Places to Eat Near the Palace of Versailles

There are some food stands inside the gardens, but if you want to eat near the Palace of Versailles, there are a few options. If you’re in desperate need, there is a nearby Mcdonald’s, but since you’re in France, opt for something local. Here are some restaurant recommendations near the Palace of Versailles :

Outside the palace:

  • Le Pinceman – This cool place is about an 18-minute walk from the Palace, so you will get a bit of a local feel. A 3-course menu will cost €40, not including drinks, and it’s an excellent choice. You will have to make reservations ahead of time though!
  • Angelina Paris (€€€) – This restaurant is inside the palace and famous for its various dishes as well as its Hot Chocolate. The decor is classic and a great place to unwind after a day of touring
  • Marche du Notre Dame – is a great little market to buy some fresh produce and bubbly to have a Versailles picnic. You won’t be able to bring food inside the palace, so you can either do the gardens first or exit the palace to get food prior to heading to the gardens.  They are separate entrances with separate admissions so you won’t lose anything but exiting the palace, getting food, and re-entering the garden. Its 15 minutes away by foot

Inside the palace:

There are at least six places to eat on the palace grounds: Two inside the palace grounds and four in the palace gardens, which is handy as you explore the extensive grounds.

  • Ore – Ducasse au château de Versailles – If it is a cool, rainy day and you want a very nice meal, this is the place. Reviews are not what you’d expect but this a premier Ducasse restaurant so take them with a grain of salt. The food is worth any slip in service you might experience.
  • Angelina Paris – Small snack and pastry bar to get some quick bites on the fly. 
  • Brasserie De La Girandole – A great place to grab a salad or burger in the gardens.
  • La Flottille – Super cool inside/outside dining right up against the lake where you can rent a boat. If I am not eating at La Veranda, which I probably am, I would eat here. 
  • Le Petite Venise – Coffee, crepes and ice cream—just what you’d expect when you see this little food shop.
  • La Veranda – If your budget allows, head to La Veranda, located in the Waldorf Astoria in the Versailles gardens. The food is going to be expensive and delicious, and the view is amazing. Make a surprise reservation here and surprise your travel companion with the best view (and possibly meal) at Versailles.

Additional contributions added courtesy of Angel Castellanos.

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About Sean Finelli

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The Palace of Versailles: A Complete Visitor’s Guide

The statues and beautiful facade of the Palace of Versailles in France

The Palace of Versailles. A decadent symbol of royal power and influence that, to this day, still wows visitors. It’s one of the most-visited attractions in Paris. The Palace offers an incredible insight into French history, illuminating the lavish and ostentatious lives the former monarchs used to live.

Over 10 million people visit this extravagant palace each year. After the Eiffel Tower, it’s the most popular attraction in the country. It is the symbol of France and this detailed visitor’s guide will help you avoid the crowds, learn what to see, do, and how to maximize your visit!

It’s one of my favorite spots in Paris so I want to make sure you have the best time and avoid all those tour groups who clutter the palace!

Table of Contents

  • A History of the Palace
  • Visiting the Palace of Versailles

Travel Tips for the Palace of Versailles

  • How to Get to the Palace of Versailles
  • Frequently Asked Questions

History of The Palace of Versailles

the extravagant art and interior of the Palace of Versailles in France

The tiny hunting lodge was initially transformed into a proper chateau by Louis XIII, who bought up the surrounding land to extend his park and gardens. However, it was Louis XIV, aka the Sun King who turned this into lavish country estate as a way to escape Paris and diminish the influential grip of the French nobility. He moved the court to Versailles, which forced the nobility to spend more time away from their homes, thereby lessening their ability to establish regional power that could challenge him. (Plus, partying nobles are less likely to revolt against you!)

The first major construction was started in 1661 and took almost twenty years to complete. The expansive construction and intricate interior designs were expanded upon over subsequent decades (the gardens alone took over 40 years to complete!).  

How to Visit the Palace of Versailles: My Experience

To help you get the most out of your visit to the Palace of Versailles, here’s a video of my experience in which I walk you through the rooms of the palace!

The palace is located at Place d’Armes, Versailles. It is open Tu–Su (9am–5:30pm) with the last entry at 5pm. It’s closed Monday. “The Passport” ticket gives you admission to all the palace tours (grounds, Trianon Palaces, and Marie Antoinette’s estate), the Musical Fountain Show, the Musical Gardens, and the exhibitions and costs 27 EUR (one day) or 30 EUR (two days).

Lines are incredibly long, so pre-purchase tickets in advance online. Keep in mind a museum pass will NOT let you skip the security line (everyone must wait in the security, though pass holders may have access to a shorter security line).

There are several different areas of the palace and grounds you’ll want to visit during your trip:

  • The Gardens – the gardens of the palace are gorgeous and cover a huge tract of land. There are also plenty of sculptures and fountains to admire as well.
  • The Main Palace – This is where you’ll spend most of your time (plan for at least 2-3 hours) as there are over 2,300 rooms in the palace itself. Some of the more famous rooms are the Hall of Mirrors, Marie-Antoinette’s bedrooms, and the King’s Apartments and Royal Bedchamber.
  • Trianon Estate – These buildings are much less crowded than the main palace though equally as stunning. If you have an entire day, be sure to spend time exploring the Grand and Petit Trianon.
  • The Queen’s Hamlet –This rustic getaway was built for Marie Antoinette in 1783 as a place where she could escape palace life and enjoy some private time with her closest friends.

Since this is one of the most popular tourist sites in the country, you’ll need some tips to help you make the most of your visit. These tips will help you save money, beat the crowds, and have a memorable visit:

  • Get there early – Around 10 million people visit the palace every year (an average of over 27,000 people per day). Expect lots of tour buses and queues. These buses come early so you need to get there before them right when the palace opens.
  • Get there late – If you can’t get there early, get there at the end of the day when the crowds have died down and the tour groups have left. Just never go mid-day!
  • Avoid the weekends – It’s so busy that the palace is too crowded to even enjoy.
  • Get free admission – Admission to The Gardens is free during the low season (November-March) and it’s also free when there are no Musical Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens going on. On the first Sunday of every month from November to March, the entire estate is free (including the Palace).
  • Don’t eat at the palace – There are some restaurants in the palace and they are very expensive. Eat elsewhere to save your money.
  • Don’t follow the crowd – Most people see the Palace first then the gardens then Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. Go in reverse order to avoid the biggest crowds.
  • Get a guide – If you really want to take a deep dive into the palace, take a guided tour. Guided tours will cover specific areas of the palace, many of which are off-limits otherwise. The Private Apartments of the King’s was a 90-minute tour is an additional 10 EUR. It covers a lot of rooms not seen by the public. I highly recommend it. For a skip-the-line tour of the Palace, book a tour with Get Your Guide .
  • Buy a Paris Museum Pass – While it won’t let you skip the security line, it will give you priority access once you’re inside.
  • Download an audio guide – You can get a free audio guides at the palace, or download their free app . I’d suggest you get Rick Steve’s audio guide instead, as it is free and has a lot more detail (and more corny jokes!).
  • Enter for free – Free admission is available to anyone under 18 as well as EU residents under 26. Additionally, persons with disabilities (and one person accompanying them) will also qualify for free admission — just be sure to bring proper ID if you qualify.

How to Get to the Palace from Paris

There are three ways to get to the palace but the RER option is by far the easiest:

  • RER Line C to Versailles Château – Rive Gauche, followed by a 10-minute walk to the Palace.
  • SNCF train from Gare Montparnasse to Versailles Chantiers, followed by a 15-20 minute walk to the Palace.
  • SNCF train from Gare Saint Lazare to Versailles Rive Droite, followed by a 15-20 minute walk to the Palace.

F.A.Q. About The Palace of Versailles

The extravagant gates of the Palace of Versailles in France surrounded by visitors

How much are tickets? Tickets are 27 EU per person. This is for “The Passport” ticket, which will give you access to the palace tours (for the grounds, Trianon Palaces, and Marie Antoinette’s estate), as well as access to the Musical Fountain Show, the Musical Gardens, and any ongoing exhibitions. It’s the best value ticket, especially if you want to see everything.

If you think a single day isn’t long enough, you can purchase a two-day “Passport” ticket for 30 EUR per person.

Where is the Palace of Versailles located? The Palace of Versailles is located at Place d’Armes, Versailles. It’s about an hour from Paris by car or by train.

When is the best time to visit the Palace of Versailles? The summer will offer you the best weather, though you’ll also face bigger crowds. Consider visiting in the shoulder season (late spring/early fall) as you’ll get decent weather with significantly fewer crowds. Weekends are also busy so try visiting during the week.

Is the Palace of Versailles worth visiting? Definitely! While it will require some planning, it is definitely worth a visit. You’ll learn a lot about French history and see one of the most incredible buildings in the world. No visit to Paris would be complete without seeing the Palace of Versailles with your own eyes!

The Palace of Versailles is one of my favorite things to visit in Paris . I’ve been about five times now. Though thanks to an increasing number of tour groups, it’s a lot more crowded than it used to be, there are still ways to enjoy it and take in the opulence, history, and beauty of the palace and surrounding gardens.

This place is truly gigantic and should not be rushed. Be sure to visit the secondary palaces too as they are just as beautiful and have a lot fewer crowds! Don’t miss this place!

Get Your In-Depth Budget Guide to Paris!

Get Your In-Depth Budget Guide to Paris!

For more in-depth information, check out my guidebook to Paris written for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel around Paris. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on- and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, transportation and safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today!

Book Your Trip to Paris: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My favorite places to stay are:

  • St. Christopher’s Canal
  • 3 Ducks Hostel
  • Les Piaules

If you’re looking for more places to stay, here for my favorite hostels in Paris . If you’re wondering what part of town to stay in, here’s my neighborhood breakdown of the city !

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Looking for More Information on Visiting Paris? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Paris for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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Visiting versailles: tips for a fun day trip from paris.

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The most glittering jewel of France’s royal past is undoubtedly the Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles in French). Once home to kings and queens of France, the palace is perhaps the most extravagant and beautiful in Europe.

At Versailles, you can walk the corridors and gardens where Queen Marie Antoinette enjoyed an incredible life before meeting her famous and untimely end. Imagine yourself as a courtier attending a ball in the Hall of Mirrors and enjoying a stroll in the beautiful gardens.

One of our favourite day trips from Paris, it does require a bit of planning so you make the most of the experience. Here are our tips for visiting Versailles.

What's in this article

Why you should visit the Palace of Versailles

10 tips for visiting versailles, guided tour of versailles from paris, hotels near versailles, inspiration for your trip to versailles.

Versailles is one of the most important places in France and has been recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO .

Originally a small summer palace, the Chateau de Versailles rose to significance in when King Louis XIV decided to develop the site.He moved the French Court to Versailles, 20 kilometres from Paris in 1682.

For just over a century Versailles was the centre of diplomatic activity in Europe, hosting emperors, kings and queens at sumptuous banquets and events. No doubt they were all dazzled by the opulence and grandeur of Versailles.

The palace under King Louis XVI and his Queen Marie Antoinette quickly became a symbol of luxury and excess. But this extravagant living did not impress everyone.

In October 1789 the royal family were forced to leave Versailles by a march of hundreds of women angry at the chronic shortage and high price of bread. The march is seen by many as the beginning of the French Revolution whose events changed France forever.

Join a half day guided tour of Versailles departing from Paris to discover its stories and history

The best time to visit Versailles

Versailles is beautiful all year round but especially so in spring and summer when the gardens are in full bloom. The chateau hosts special events at that time of year and the magnificent fountains in the gardens are turned on in a display that absolutely must not be missed.

On some summer nights the fountains and gardens are illuminated followed by a spectacular fireworks show. For the dates and times of these special events click here .

The Palace is open year round (except on 25th December and 1st January) from 09:00am to 17:00pm – except Mondays when it is closed. 

The gardens are open daily from 08:00am however the Trianon estate and the Coach Gallery only open in the afternoon.

Plan your Paris to Versailles day trip in advance

Expect to spend the best part of a day getting to and from and exploring Versailles, the gardens and the Trianon palaces.

Versailles is around 16 kilometres from central Paris and the return journey takes about 2½ hours by train including a modest amount of time for queuing to enter the palace.

If you want to avoid the busiest times, plan to arrive at 09:00am when the chateau opens and visit the main palace first followed by the gardens. The busiest days are Tuesdays and on weekends so it is best to avoid these times if you want to 

A time ticket must be purchased in advance . Security lines can be long too. We have heard reports of well over an hour at peak times.

Your visit to the palace interior takes around an hour and a half and you could easily spend another 2 hours exploring the gardens and summer palaces.

Getting from Paris to Versailles

The best way to get to Versailles from Paris is by train. The closest station to the palace is Versailles Château Rive Gauche on Line C of the RER regional train system. 

To find out the best routes from where you are staying use Google maps or  Citymapper

Note – This train line is separate to the metro and you need a different ticket. The cost is around €7 and the journey takes around an hour from central Paris.

From the train station in Versailles it is a 10 minute walk to the chateau.

Make sure you buy a return ticket to avoid queues going back to Paris

Navigating this system during peak hour is not a relaxing vacation activity. If you prefer not to DIY your transport to Versailles you could join a tour that departs from central Paris.

Tickets for Versailles Palace

Book in advance to skip the ticket line at Versailles . You can pre-book tickets for access to the entire complex from €20. If you want to visit the gardens during summer for the fountain and music show there is an additional €7 charge. It is free to enter the gardens on days when the fountain show is not running. 

Access to the Palace and the estate of Trianon is free for visitors under 18 (worldwide) or under 26 (residing in the EU). You will need to buy a ticket for the gardens on site on days when the fountain show is on.

Children under 6 can visit the gardens during summer for free.

Note – all members of your group must have skip the line tickets even if there is no charge for them to enter. 

Highlights and must sees

Did you know that there are over 2,000 rooms in the Versailles complex? At its height the court was home to 5,000 people. These days you can only see a handful of the most grand apartments and galleries. Each has its own story to tell of intrigues, gossip and scandal.

Absolute must sees are:

  • the King’s State Apartments
  • Hall of Mirrors
  • the King’s private apartments
  • the Queen’s apartments and
  • the Gallery of Great Battles. 

Apart from the palace interior you could spend several hours in the gardens alone. Wander through the magnificent parterres or formal gardens.

Make sure to enjoy the many fountains and bosquets – formal plantation of trees. 

We loved the Orangery and the incredible Apollo fountain but my favourite part of the garden is Latona’s fountain with its 24 cheeky frogs peeking out of the water. 

A 30 minute walk through the gardens will take you to the Trianon Palace, Petit Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet . Reopened to the public in 2018 after extensive restoration works, the Queen’s Hamlet was created for Marie-Antoinette in her image of an idyllic country retreat. 

For those traveling with children or people with mobility issues – you can jump aboard the little train that covers a circuit including Petit Trianon  and Grand Trianon.

Audioguides, apps, maps and tours

Personally I am not a fan of audioguides particularly in crowded places. If you do like them, the palace offers free audioguides in 11 languages or you can book skip the line tickets with audio guide .

More useful are the smartphone app guides – there are two apps – one each for the palace and gardens. For more information on the apps and audioguides click here

The palace offers guided tours of the King’s Private Apartment in English. They are available for an additional €10

Where to eat in Versailles

Make sure you bring a small bottle of water and a snack. There are several dining options onsite however they do get very busy.

If you want to revel in your luxurious surroundings, you can eat at celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s gorgeous fine dining restaurant Au Trianon . Another option is to have a picnic in the grounds. Pick up supplies from the Marché Notre Dame – a lovely covered market not far from the train station.

There are designated picnic areas at Saint Anthony Plain and the Lake of the Swiss Guard inside the chateau grounds. If you are visiting Versailles as an interlude from your foodie trip to Paris , Versailles has some excellent restaurants – click for recommendations .

What not to bring

Security is tight at Versailles as with most major sites in Europe. Some items are not allowed into the palace – umbrellas, pushchairs, and baby carriers with metal frames. You can leave them at the left luggage desk.

Make sure you leave large bags, suitcases, rucksacks and sharp objects at your accommodation. Items larger than 55 x 35 x 20 cm are not allowed on the estate including the gardens.

You may not use a selfie stick inside the palace.

What to wear

To ensure your comfort make sure to check the weather for your Versailles day trip.

You will be doing quite a lot of walking so whatever the season wear comfortable shoes. The walk from the train station is over cobblestones that are hard on your feet too.

The area around the chateau is open and can get quite windy so take a warm layer of clothing in every season. In summer the palace and grounds can be very warm – remember your hat and sunscreen. If there is a chance of rain a plastic poncho or rain jacket will come in handy.

Please note, for your safety and to comply with French regulations, face masks must be worn inside the palace and indoor areas as well as on public transport. 

Click here for the Versailles weather forecast

Visiting Versailles with kids

We attempt most cultural activities with our kids but I would think twice about Versailles. It is a long day, a large site and perhaps not the most exciting for small children.

Pro tip – pushchairs, strollers and baby carriers with metal frames are NOT allowed inside the palace

If you are determined to go, I recommend taking a guided tour from Paris so you can focus on the kids and having a great day – not navigating the Paris transport system and crowds.

The added advantage of this is being able to skip the lines for tickets and having an expert help guide you through the extensive grounds.

On site, once you have done your tour spend most of your time in the gardens where you can hop on the little train or hire a golf cart to get around. 

There is a little farm at the Queen’s Hamlet that is fun for kids.

From March to November you can hire row boats on the Grand Canal or bikes to ride around the grounds. On the gardens app there is a children’s trail that takes you around the most interesting fountains.

The onsite bathroom facilities are adequate and many have change tables.

>> Click to read our full guide on visiting Paris with kids for more tips

We think the best way to see Versailles is with a small group tour . When you explore this incredible royal complex with a guide you uncover the stories and legends that make this one of the most important sites in French and world history.

With a tour guide you can easily navigate the train and ticketing system meaning you are able to relax and enjoy your time at the palace. Rest assured these charismatic local guides will take care of the logistics and make sure you have all the juicy details of court life at Versailles. So you can relax and swan through the palace corridors and gardens just like Marie Antoinette > more info

Versailles bike tour

If you’re looking for a fun way to tour Versailles, join a palace and bike tour ! You’ll spend a full day exploring the palace and its grounds, visiting a local market to pick up picnic supplies and enjoying life on two wheels. This is a great activity if you’re keen to combine a day of culture with some outdoors fun. Plus you’ll see parts of Versailles many miss because they are tired from walking > more info

If you want to spend a full day exploring the palace and gardens why not stay close by and soak up the regal atmosphere. Notable hotels within walking distance of the palace include

  • Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace – located opposite the Palace of Versailles, many of the luxurious guest rooms are inside the Trianon Palace building. Facilities onsite are fit for a queen and include a heated indoor pool, Michelin starred restaurant and day spa – for the latest deals and to read reviews click here
  • Le Louis Versailles Château [MGallery by Sofitel] – just a 5 minute walk to Versailles palace, this modern hotel offers elegance and sophistication as well as an impressive location. There is a restaurant onsite and parking is available – to read reviews and check availability click here
  • Novotel Château de Versailles – a great pick for families, this hotel has several large room sizes and offers daily breakfast and room service. The Novotel Versailles is only a 10 minute walk from the chateau and the town of Versailles. – for more information and room rate – click here

Just for fun here’s the trailer from the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette .

Sophia Coppola brought the palace to life and it was a feast for the eyes.. even if it was a little lacking in historical detail.

Disclaimer –  Untold Morsels assists our readers with carefully chosen product and services recommendations that help make travel easier and more fun. If you click through and make a purchase on many of these items we may earn a commission. All opinions are our own – please read our  disclosure  page for more information.

The creator, writer and photographer behind Untold Morsels , Katy has been travelling and tasting the world since she was a teenager.

Now the proud mum of twins, she hopes they grow up to share her passions of great food, wine and travel. Favourite destination: Italy

versaille france visit

Visiting Versailles: Hall of Mirrors

How to Visit Versailles From Paris (Complete Guide + Tips!)

Visiting Versailles is at the top of many Paris trip wishlists–and considering that the palace and expansive grounds make up one of the most opulent royal residences on the planet, it’s not hard to see why!

Planning a day trip to Versailles from Paris is fairly straightforward, but you’ll definitely want to go in with a plan in place.

That’s what we’re here for !

We’ve been lucky enough to visit Versailles Palace, its gardens, and the lesser-known palaces on the property in both the depths of winter and the height of summer.

And while there are many wonderful day trips from Paris , there’s no doubt that Versailles is among the best of them!

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Versailles from Paris, from how to get there to whether or not a guided tour is right for you.

Table of Contents

Should you book a guided tour of Versailles?

Top things to do at versailles, tips for visiting versailles from paris, when to take a day trip to versailles, getting to versailles from paris, getting around when visiting versailles, faq about visiting versailles from paris.

Visiting Versailles: Fountains in the Gardens

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

One of the first questions travelers planning their first Versailles visit tend to have is whether it’s worth having a guided tour to help structure your day.

And the answer is: it depends!

The Versailles estate–which as we’ll cover in this Versailles guide extends far beyond the iconic palace–is enormous enough to be overwhelming, and packed with enough history that a live tour guide can add lots of context!

If your goal for your day trip to Versailles is to see and learn as much as possible about the palace itself, while not stressing about finding your way around the estate, then a well-reviewed guided tour like this is an excellent option.

If your ideal day at Versailles sounds more like seeing the Hall of Mirrors and a few famous spots and then wandering through the gardens, relaxing, maybe renting a rowboat, and not stressing about seeing each place, then booking a timed entry ticket in advance may be enough to make sure you have a wonderful day.

front facade of palace of versailles, a paris bucket list sightseeing destination

There are no wrong answers here: Versailles tours are definitely valuable, but depending on your travel style, may or may not be right for you.

One other thing to consider?

Some Versailles tours, like this one , include transportation from Paris–and others, like this one , meet up in the town of Versailles itself (about a 40-minute RER C train ride from Paris, plus the time it takes you to get to the RER C train).

As you consider your trip to Versailles, be sure to keep in mind whether or not you want to be responsible for your own transportation!

Book your Versailles entry ticket or guided tour of the estate today!

kate storm in the gardens versailles day trip from paris

Though “visiting Versailles” is often touted alone as something to do when it’s discussed in more general Paris posts, the estate is–clearly–enormous.

Even within Versailles itself, there are plenty of things to do, and most trips to Versailles won’t be able to cover them all.

Be sure to prioritize your personal list of things to do at Versailles to make sure you don’t miss anything that is important to you!

To help you make your plans, here are some of the best things to do at Versailles.

Visiting Versailles from Paris: Grand Trianon

Tour the palace of Versailles.

Obviously, touring the Versailles Palace belongs at the very top of this list!

Most people visiting Versailles will already know of its most recognizable room, the Hall of Mirrors, and many more gilded areas are open to the public as well, including the State Apartments and the Royal Chapel.

The details, history, and beauty of the Palace of Versailles is the cornerstone of any visit to the estate, and the center point of virtually every guided tour of Versailles !

Visiting Versailles: Exterior of the Palace

Pay a visit to Grand Trianon.

Built by the Sun King, Louis the 12th (grandfather of the famed Louis the 14th), Grand Trianon is incredibly beautiful.

Grand Trianon boasts more understated elegance than what you will experience at the over-the-top opulence of the palace of Versailles , and it’s an interesting window into the evolution of the French aristocracy.

Tucked into a quiet corner of the sprawling property, Grand Trianon feels worlds away from the hectic nature of Versailles.

Visiting Versailles: Interior of Grand Trianon

Duck inside Petit Trianon.

This small palace was built by Louis the 13th as a gift for his longtime mistress, before being gifted to Marie Antoinette when Louis the 14th took the throne.

Though small (especially as compared to the palace of Versailles or even Grand Trianon), Petit Trianon is lovely, surrounded by beautiful gardens, and is isolated from the main palace of Versailles.

Standing inside this small (by Versailles standards, anyway) palace, it’s easy to see why it would have been considered a quiet escape from court life !

kate storm on the grounds of versailles enjoying a day trip to versailles from paris france

Flounce around Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet.

What do you do when you’re a teenage queen looking to get away from court life?

Why, turn the gardens of Trianon into a pretend rural village, of course!

The Queen’s Hamlet consists of an entire grouping of rural buildings built around an artificial lake.

Visiting Versailles: The Queen's Hamlet

In Marie Antoinette’s day, it functioned as a working farm, complete with plenty of animals and fields, the purpose of which was to contribute to the education of the royal children.

Marie Antoinette herself used the hamlet to relax or host small gatherings.

Visiting the hamlet while on a day trip to Versailles definitely gives a bit of a feeling of being out of place–which makes perfect sense given the context of how the hamlet came to be!

Today, the hamlet is once again a working farm, and as you explore, you’ll likely spot growing food or even some animals in this part of the property.

tower at marie antoinette hamlet as seen from across the water on a visit versailles

Rent a rowboat on the Grand Canal.

Versailles’ Grand Canal–which is located west of the palace, straight back into the gardens–is home to a collection of wooden rowboats that are available to rent.

If you’d like to get an unusual perspective on the palace and the gardens, consider hitting the water as part of your tour of Versailles!

travelers enjoying rowboats in the versailles gardens on a versailles tour

Wander through the maze of gardens.

Spanning more than 8.2 square kilometers, the gardens of Versailles are more than just beautiful flowers and well-manicured trees–they’re the perfect place to get lost!

Definitely dedicate a chunk of the time that you are visiting Versailles to exploring the gardens!

Each section has its own perks, from baroque fountains to ice cream stands.

Especially be sure to check out the Ballroom, the Apollo Baths, the Enceladus Grove, and, of course, the beautiful and easy-to-spot Leto’s Fountain, which is situated right at the top of the gardens.

Unlike most of the estate, the gardens are free to visit from November to March.

While they certainly aren’t at their best then, they’re definitely still worth a stroll even during a winter visit to Versailles.

Visiting Versailles: Flowers in the Gardens

Check out an exhibition or event at the palace.

If you’d like to make your visit to Versailles extra special, consider visiting Versailles for a special event!

Most popularly, the Musical Fountains show is put on during some summer days, and though it requires a special ticket, allows you to admire the gardens at their very best, with live baroque music and the fountains turned on in all their glory.

Various exhibitions and events also take place throughout the year, so if you have your eye on a unique visit to Versailles, be sure to check the calendar to see what’s going to be available during your trip!

Alternatively, popular guided tours like this often include a stop at the shows (during the season) as well!

grove of 3 fountains spraying water on a day trip to versailles france

Hire a bike and explore the grounds.

If walking around the grounds of Versailles feels too slow and a golf cart feels too removed from the environment, consider renting a bike for the day !

Not only is riding through the grounds lots of fun, it will also make your schlep out to Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet much easier.

Visiting Versailles: Tour the Gardens

Buy skip-the-line tickets in advance.

The lines for visiting Versailles are nearly always ridiculously long: with 7 million visitors per year, Versailles doesn’t really have anything approaching a deserted period during opening hours.

For that reason, if you’re visiting Versailles independently, we strongly recommend purchasing timed entry, skip-the-line tickets before arriving.

C onsidering the amount of time it saves, there’s absolutely no reason not to!

Bear in mind that though purchasing tickets for Versailles in advance does allow you to skip the (usually enormous) ticket line, you’ll still need to pass through security–there’s no way around that one.

You’ll also need to visit the palace itself at the entry time you choose–all the other attractions of Versailles can be visited at your leisure.

Book your Versailles tickets today!

Visiting Versailles: Girl in the Gardens

Consider touring the gardens and Trianon first, then the palace.

This depends somewhat on what time you arrive, but especially for those of us who are a bit challenged by early mornings, it can pay off to reverse the order of your traditional visit.

On one of our previous Versailles day trips, we walked right around the enormous security line to enter the palace when we arrived and instead made our way into the much more accessible gardens.

From there, we visited Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet at our leisure before looping back to the palace of Versailles just a couple of hours before closing–and as a result, we waited less than 5 minutes in the security line!

If you book a timed entry slot to the palace (which we highly recommend in 2023), this won’t apply to you–but just in case you’re planning a last-minute trip, it’s worth mentioning!

Keep in mind that the outer buildings only open at noon, so if you’re an early riser and are able to get into the security line before the palace of Versailles opens, the traditional route might still be better for you.

Visiting Versailles: Gardens of Trianon

Bring cash with you.

Whether you want to buy a coffee or an ice cream from one of the vendors in the gardens, rent a rowboat for a romantic paddle in lake, pick up a golf cart for a few hours, or hop a ride on the small tram in the gardens to make the trek out to Trianon a bit easier, odds are you’ll find something while visiting Versailles that you want to drop some cash on.

Wear the most comfortable shoes you packed.

Visiting Versailles includes a lot of walking.

Even if you take advantage of bike or golf cart rentals for exploring the grounds, you’re still going to end up spending the bulk of your time on your feet .

W e both walked away from Versailles with feet just as sore as the day we visited Disneyland Paris, and that’s saying something!

This is not the place for new shoes or heels of any kind: do yourself a favor and stick to something cozy.

Visiting Versailles from Paris: Girl near Petit Trianon

The palace of Versailles and the Trianon Estate are not open on Mondays.

Though the park and gardens are still open, if you’re taking a day trip to Versailles from Paris, you’ll obviously want to avoid coming on a Monday.

Consider avoiding Versailles on Tuesdays.

If you have the opportunity to schedule your visit to Versailles on any day of the week, Tuesday is best avoided.

Given that the palace of Versailles is closed on Monday and the Louvre (along with the Musee Rodin and some other Paris museums) is closed on Tuesday, Tuesday is one of the most popular days to visit Versailles.

T he resulting heavier-than-usual crowds are best avoided if possible !

Visiting Versailles from Paris: Bedroom Interior

Expect to spend a full day at Versailles.

It is possible to get a glimpse of Versailles in half a day, especially if you book a guided tour, but if you want to see the bulk of what Versailles has to offer, expect to spend a whole day there… and to leave with feet so sore that you’re not interested in sightseeing with any time you have left in the day.

If you only have a few days in Paris and can only dedicate half a day to visiting Versailles, we recommend booking a tour to ensure that you make the most of your time.

This half-day tour from Paris will ensure that you see the best of Versailles, fast!

Visiting Versailles: Gardens of Versailles

Don’t forget about the town of Versailles!

While for visitors, visiting Versailles from Paris is synonymous with the visiting royal palace and grounds, Versailles is also a town!

If you’d like to step outside the typical route and see Versailles beyond the relics of the royals, consider paying a visit to the beautiful Versailles Cathedral, admiring the adorable French homes in the quarter of Saint-Louis, and checking out the Musée Lambinet.

And, of course, no visit to a French town is complete without wandering the quiet, beautiful streets while ducking into the occasional pastry shop!

Visiting Versailles from Paris: Interior Doors of Palace

At this point, we’ve been lucky enough to visit Versailles in both the summer and winter, and the truth is… summer is undeniably better.

Sure, it’s a bit more crowded, but the grounds truly come to life in the summer (especially the Queen’s Hamlet), and it’s much easier to immerse yourself in the grounds and lose track of yourself wandering the estate during the summer.

That being said, we did also adore our visit to Versailles in the winter, and if you happen to have a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris in the winter , we wouldn’t recommend skipping Versailles just because of the season.

T he palace is stunning at any time of year, and there is a peacefulness to the grounds in winter, as well.

Visiting Versailles from Paris: Porch of Grand Trianon

To visit Versailles from Paris, the easiest thing to do is to take the RER C train to the Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche station.

Once you get on the RER C train, the journey is about 40 minutes from the center of Paris.

Keep in mind that the RER is a separate train system from the metro, even though they both exist in some of the same stations in Paris!

Be sure to intentionally buy an RER ticket to Versailles, and not simply use a Paris metro ticket.

Visiting Versailles from Paris: Train Station

When you purchase your train ticket to Versailles, be sure to purchase a round-trip ticket (and then keep track of which ticket you validate first, so you don’t accidentally try to reuse a ticket on the way home!).

The crowds can get very heavy at the Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche station, especially around the time that the palace closes, and it’s much simpler to already have your return ticket in hand when heading out to Versailles.

Once you arrive at the Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche station, it’s an easy 10-minute walk to the palace.

While visiting Versailles via the RER C line is fairly simple, if you’d prefer not to have to worry about transportation, consider booking a tour of Versailles that leaves from Paris .

Visiting Versailles from Paris: RER C Train

The grounds of Versailles are enormous!

Regardless of how you decide to get around Versailles, you’re virtually guaranteed to finish your Versailles visit with sore feet–hours of walking is the nature of the beast.

However, if you’d like to expedite your way around the grounds, you have a few options.

Y ou can rent bikes, hop on the tram, rent a golf cart for the day, or even sign up for a bike tour of Versailles .

I f you think you might want to take advantage of these options, be sure to bring some cash with you on your visit to Versailles!

Book your bike tour of Versailles today!

view of the versailles gardens from just outside the palace on a versailles day trip from paris

Is Versailles worth visiting?

Yes, Versailles is definitely worth visiting!

As one of the most opulent and (in)famous palaces in Europe, Versailles is both beautiful and extremely historically relevant.

There’s a reason Versailles is widely considered one of the best day trips from Paris !

jeremy storm standing in the hall of mirrors in versailles palace

Do you need a whole day for Versailles?

If you want to explore Versailles in-depth, including the gardens, palace, Queen’s Hamlet, and Trianon Estate, you’ll definitely want a full day to visit Versailles.

However, if you’re limited on time and only have half a day to spare, it’s still worth seeing the palace and gardens in a shorter timeframe.

travelers admiring artwork inside versailles palace

Can you walk around Versailles for free?

The gardens of Versailles are free to visit when the fountain shows and musical gardens are not happening.

The shows are seasonal, from April to November, and you can check the exact days here .

A couple of other offbeat areas, like the park and Gallery of Coaches, are also free.

However, if you want to truly experience the estate, you’ll be better off purchasing a ticket.

Personally, unless you’re on a very strict budget and also extremely motivated to see Versailles, I’d recommend skipping Versailles and sticking around Paris longer if you don’t want to purchase a ticket (after all, there are an overwhelming number of wonderful, free things to do in Paris).

kate storm walking through leafy trees in the versailles grounds

What’s included in a ticket for Versailles?

Most travelers visiting Versailles from Paris will want to book the passport ticket , which is the “main” Versailles ticket.

It includes access to the palace, grounds, Queen’s Hamlet, and Trianon Estate (note that these tickets are more expensive on days when the fountain and garden show plays).

There are also tickets strictly for the palace or the Estate of Trianon if you’re planning a more limited trip to Versailles.

Book your tickets to Versailles today!

building located inside the queens hamlet in versailles france

What should you wear to Versailles?

The most important things to consider about what to wear when visiting Versailles are the weather and your comfort!

A trip to Versailles almost inevitably includes a lot of tightly packed crowds and a lot of walking.

The Queen’s Hamlet, for example, is about a 30-minute walk from the palace.

Opt for comfortable shoes and clothes you don’t mind wearing all day when planning your day trip to Versailles from Paris!

Visiting Versailles from Paris: #versailles #paris #france #parisdaytrip #travel

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

2 thoughts on “How to Visit Versailles From Paris (Complete Guide + Tips!)”

This is really useful info. I know that the palace and Trianon estate are closed on Mondays, but I was wondering if you can still wander around the grounds and look at the outside of the Trianons and Queens Hamlet without going inside them on a Monday? Thank you.

Hi Ruth! My understanding is that you can visit the exterior of the Trianons on Mondays, and I know the gardens are certainly open. I’m less sure about the Queen’s Hamlet, as it’s set a bit further out than even the Trianons, but I suspect your odds of being able to walk through the area are good.

If you do happen to visit on a Monday, we’d love to hear what you find out on your trip! 🙂

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