Château de Versailles

A trip from Paris to the famous Château de Versailles and the adjoining gardens is a great way to spend a day

The magnificent Château de Versailles
The magnificent Château de Versailles cc licensed photo by jaime1

The Château de Versailles is a rather famous tourist attraction. It symbolised the monarchy of Louis XIV between 1682 and 1789. It was the centre of power during those years thanks to Louis XIV arranging to have the government and all seats of power housed there. Forcing the regional powers to spend a portion of their time at the palace prevented regional forces from gathering too much power.

It has, as many French landmarks have, been redesigned by the resident monarch a number of times. The first design was by Philibert Le Roy which were followed by four major renovations and extensions to the palace. One of the more significant improvements and extensions was the addition of the King's and Queen's apartments.

The Château de Versailles is now open to the public most days of the week. Modern restrooms have been installed and there are free audio guides available in ten major languages. For those who would like to purchase some knick knacks for family and friends there are a variety of souvenir shops and curio stores. They even have a resident photographer who will gladly take your picture, for a fee.

For those that prefer to ride than to walk around a tourist attraction as large as this, there is an electric vehicle hire available which you can take around the gardens and through the Trianon, the Queen's Hamlet, the Grand Canal and the entire estate. There's a mini train that will take you to the estate of Marie Antoinette the Grand Trianon and little Venice.

It is worth noting that it is best to visit the Château de Versailles on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. This is because Tuesdays are busiest as most other French museums are closed.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes, however Entry to the Palace itself is free with the Paris Pass. Admission is also free on the first Sunday of each month from November to March. Otherwise admission charges apply. See the official website for details.

Address: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Phone: 01 30 83 78 00

Official Website: Château de Versailles

Directions

RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
RER-CVersailles - Rive Gauche10 minutes

How to get to Château de Versailles by RER

By RER: Take the RER-C Train to Versailles - Rive Gauche. Exit the station and go right (north) up Av de General du Gaulle the left on Avenue de Paris to the entrance of Château-de-Versailles.

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Reviews

Rated 4.5 out of 5

5 Star Rating You had to tear me away, there is so much to see here. The palace is beyond description, the tour guides are great, friendly and helpful. If you take the train up to Versailles from Paris, a good tip is to grab one of the bike carriages up to the palace cause you will spend the rest of your day walking, so treat yourself and it helps pass part of the crowd. Typically there is a line, but well worth any wait.

DJ Stephens - 7 days ago

3 Star Rating Visited in peak season (although on a particularly wet morning) so turned up at 8.15 with prebooked tickets and managed to be right at the front of the queue and by 8.45 we were happy we had. Definitely get there early if you don't fancy a huge wait. Audio guides are included with the tickets but I didn't feel they were great. There's not a lot of history on them, it mainly talks about the art. Personally I wanted to know about what happened in the palace, living conditions and the like. For example not one thing was said about either the end of the Franco-Prussian War or The Treaty of Versailles whilst in the Hall of Mirrors. This was a huge disappointment to me but you might feel differently if you're "in to art". The gardens are nice and I recommend walking but there are golf buggies to rent if you don't like money (€34 per hour) bicycles or a train so getting around isn't an issue. The other exhibition is worth checking out and makes a full day. On top of that you can row a boat on the grand canal. A nice day out, managed to spend 4 hours looking at everything but someone could spread this out over a whole day with lunch at one of the many food vendors.

Matty Reeve - 17 days ago

5 Star Rating Must see when visiting Paris. Would try to get there early to minimize the queue time. The Palace is easy to do self guided or with audio guide. Take a couple of hours to walk through the rooms and a couple more to go through the magical gardens. From the front gates that greet you to every room inside, attention to detail and ornate beauty is all around. The hall of mirrors is a fun stop as the museum forces you along a path that walks right through it. The garden ticket is worth it. Immaculately maintained, you can have a nice lunch and relax among the beauty.

Peter Gregg - 26 days ago

4 Star Rating The palace is very impressive. Make sure to leave enough time to get through as it can be very crowded on the weekend. Many, many tours come through, so be prepared to wait. You'll have to wait to enter, the palace, even if you purchased tickets in advance. Consider taking time to see the gardens first. As great as the palace is, the gardens and fountains are even more amazing. In particular, head out to Marie Antoinette's house to see the 3/4 size English farm house. Imagine the excess, the understand why the people of France thought she could loose a few inches.

Dan Moldover - 29 days ago

5 Star Rating No other descriptive does this justice other than opulent. This is truly a palace and not a castle. 721,000 square feet in over 700 rooms. Gold and paintings everywhere. Colored marble, carpets, drapes, and tapestries. 700+ acres of gardens with a maze. Fabulously maintained. One small room was recently renovated and to decorate only that room took 176 pounds of gold leaf. Every room had some plus more on the exterior so one can imagine cost to build the entire thing. Started by Louis XIII in 1623 as a hunting lodge, expanded by XIV from 1661--1678 and continuously expanded or rebuilt until 1710. It fell into disrepair after the French Revolution with some restoration done by Napoleon but has since been restored to it's heyday glory at probably more cost equivalent than it took to originally build. Well worth the visit to see the history.

Guy Sykes - 1 month ago

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Video tour of the magnificent Château de Versailles

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