You’re in Paris, so you should make the most of your time and explore! One fantastic way to do that is by taking a day trip to Versailles.
A day Versailles Tour will take only about 50 minutes by train from Paris. The admission price is not too steep — about $3 for adults – and includes entrance to the palace, all of its gardens, the Trianon park with its fountains and basins, and the Grand Trianon.
You can see many things on a guided tour of the palace, but your most extended wait may be to see the splendors of the Château de Versailles.
Read on for a quick overview of what you’ll see and how to get there!
Where is Versailles? What’s so special about it?
Versailles is located at the eastern end of Paris, near the town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Its name means “the residence of the lord,” and that lord was King Louis XIV. It was once the home of Marie Antoinette and the scene of some of the most lavish parties of all time.
The palace is still a royal residence but houses two museums, an art gallery and a library. It has over 40 buildings within its walls – among them is the spectacular Hall of Mirrors (where you’ll find one of the most beautiful fountains in France), the Hall of Mirrors which contains more than 300 different mirrors, a theater and other beautiful “pavilions.
Although the palace is named for Louis XIV, his grandson, Louis XV, built this château as what he called “a diversion” from his rather dreary life.
It was not until the reign of Louis XVI that this building became known as Versailles and became a significant part of French history.
Where to Go?
Versailles is best seen on a guided tour. You can either visit it by train or by car. The former option is probably the easiest for tourists, but you’ll need to rent a car and park near the palace.
The latter option allows you to pack in way more of the château’s history, but if you’re starting with a trip to Versailles, I’d suggest taking the train and then making your way over to explore some of its landmarks.
How to Get There?
Versailles is located outside Paris, but it can be reached via the RER A10 line. The ticket to Versailles is only 1.68 euros, and the train ride takes about 25 minutes. You can also take a bus to Versailles, but the train is much cheaper and more convenient. The best way to get there by public transportation is via line C of the RER A. The train station at Versailles-Rive Gauche (the stop’s name) is very close to the château. It takes about 5 minutes on foot to get from the station to place d’Armes square in front of the palace itself.
When to Go?
I recommend going in the warmer months, but that isn’t a hard rule. The visitors’ center is open from 9 am to 7 pm and closed from mid-December through mid-February. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time before your visit so you can tour the different rooms in the palace and take in all that Versailles has to offer – especially once it starts getting dark.
What else is there to see?
The Royal Gardens (Jardins du Château) is one of the most popular sites associated with Versailles. It is located about 700 meters from the gardens’ entrance at the château. As you can see from the photos below, they are absolutely breathtaking and well worth an afternoon of exploration. You’ll find many different fountains, statues, grottoes and other features that will enchant both young and old alike. If you want a little bit faster-paced, look at the Carrousel du Louvre (or the Carrousel du Palais Royal in Versailles).
The carousel is located within the gardens at Versailles and features many of the same amazing fountains, sculptures and statues you’ll find here. Be sure to check it out if you want something a little more boisterous than the gardens but don’t want to make a full day of it.
What to Eat?
There are several restaurants close to the palace and train station at Versailles, but with a large population of tourists in this area, you will find that everything is costly.
Some of my favorite restaurants in Paris are located just a short walk away from the château and offer much cheaper meals with equally delicious food. I highly recommend trying one of the restaurants in Parc André Citroën, located just 800 meters from the château. I recommend checking out a beautiful restaurant in a house once Marie Antoinette’s home, La Borde. It’s about 2 km from the château, but with a bike rental nearby, it’s not hard to get there and back.
Where to Stay?
If you aren’t already staying in Paris, then the best place to stay near the château is the Hôtel de Guénégaud. It’s about 1 km from the palace, and it’s a great deal (even if it does look like a small, old house outside). The service is excellent, and the rooms are immaculate.
I recommend booking a stay here as early as possible because it’s very popular and all rooms tend to book up several weeks in advance. If you’re ok staying outside of Paris, then Perfect Hotel Versailles (just about 1 km from the chateau, the gardens and the train station) is a great choice. This is a very new hotel, but it has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay and is in a great location.
In this article, I’ve shared all of the information I could find about Versailles and the château. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to comment below! As you can see, this is one of the most beautiful and incredible places in all of Paris, and it shouldn’t be missed.
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