A magnificent palace built by king Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles is perhaps the most extravagant symbol of royalty in the whole of Europe. About an hour away from the heart of Paris , it sees more than 10 million visitors every year. Widely considered to be one of the most popular attractions of Europe, it mesmerises visitors with its decadent architecture, extensive gardens and whimsical fountains. A powerful symbol of the French Monarchy, it also offers a glimpse into the world of powerful kings and queens. Whether it is strolling through the passages that was once frequented by Queen Marie Antoinette or witnessing the Hall of Mirrors where many a courtier attended extravagant balls, the Palace of Versailles is sure to mesmerise you with its other-worldly charm.
Why Should You Visit The Palace Of Versailles?
A powerful symbol of French History
During the reign of Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles served as much more than just another palace. Apart from housing the royal subjects, it also housed many important administrative offices and was considered to be the statehouse of France.
One of the largest royal domains
From a mere hunting shed away from the hustle and bustle of Paris, the Palace of Versailles transformed into an extravagant royal dwelling under the leadership of Louis XIV. Once the construction was completed, it housed more than 20,000 rooms, numerous gardens and even a private zoo.
The elaborate gardens and ancient fountains
The gardens surrounding the palace are no less magnificent. Spanning a vast area of 800 hectares, it houses numerous fountains, a plethora of trees and even a canal. It is said that it took Louis XIV more than a decade to complete the royal gardens alone!
Situated at a distance of 12 miles from Paris, the Palace of Versailles is accessible by all modes of transport. Merely half an hour away, it would make the perfect addition to your Paris tour.
The Palace Of Versailles Tickets
To get you started, we have made a list of the best of Palace of Versailles tours. Depending on the time you are willing to spend and your budget, you can take your pick from the numerous tours that are available.
Palace of Versailles Essentials: Opening hours & How to reach
Opening HoursThe Palace
Tues - Sun from 9AM to 6:30PM (high season) 5:30PM (low season)
Last entry to the palace is at 6PM (high season) and 5PM (low season)Carrosses Gallery (The Royal Stables) Hours
Tues - Sun from 12:30PM to 6:30PMLast entry is at 6PM
Open every day, between 8.00 AM and 6.00 PM
How to ReachBy RER or SNCF train
Take the RER line C to Versailles Château - Rive Gauche train station, which is just 10 minutes away from the palace.
Take the SNCF train to Versailles Chantiers train station which is 18 minutes away from the palace or to Versailles Rive Droite train station, which is 17 minutes away.By Bus
171 of the RATP bus system runs between Pont de Sèvres and the Palace of Versailles. It takes approximately 30 minutes for the journey.By Car
Drive along the Autoroute A13 towards Rouen and take Exit 6. You can expect a cab fare of about €70 if you are traveling from Paris to Versailles.
Tips To Visit The Palace Of Versailles
If you are planning to visit the Palace of Versailles, be there as early as possible. Otherwise, you will waste precious time waiting in line. The palace is one of the most popular attractions in the city and tends to get quite crowded. If you are not a morning person, go in the evening instead. Most of the tour busses leave a few hours before closing time so chances are you will get to explore the palace without bumping into visitors at every corner.
Go on a weekday
The golden rule for avoiding the crowd is to plan your trip on a weekday. Avoid visiting the Palace of Versailles on the weekends at all costs. You will waste precious time waiting in line to purchase your Versailles tickets. If you can not go on a weekday, opurchasing skip-the-line tickets would be a good option.
Buy your ticket in advance
Once you reach the palace, you will have to get through security and purchase the ticket. Both these tasks can turn out to be quite a time-consuming task, considering the sheer number of people visiting the palace on any given day. To make your visit hassle-free purchase your Versailles ticket well before time.
Go on a guided tour
The Palace of Versailles is rich in history and culture. It is advisable to invest in a Versailles tour so that you get to make the most of your visit. Moreover, guided tours often include many areas that are off-limits to the public.
Plan your visit for the offseason
While summers are undeniably the best time to visit the Palace of Versailles owing to the pleasant weather, it can become quite crowded. If you want to beat the crowd, consider going in late spring or early fall. You will find that the number of visitors has significantly reduced. At the same time, you will not have to compromise on the weather.
Do not miss the fireworks
If you do decide to visit the palace during summers, make sure that you stay on for the fireworks show. The sight of the illuminated gardens with fireworks lighting up the night sky is not to be missed. However, this event takes place only on certain nights during the summer months, so make sure that you check before you go.
Keep aside a few hours to explore the palace
The Versailles Palace has quite a few places to see within the compound. Exploring the main palace with more than 700 rooms in itself will take quite some time. Apart from this, the gardens, Marie-Antoinette’s estate and the King’s bedchamber are all worth a visit. So make sure that you have enough time to spend at the palace.
Things to keep in mind while visiting the Palace of Versailles
Almost as splendid as the Main Palace itself, The Gardens surrounding the Versailles Palace is definitely worth a visit. You can easily spend hours here, exploring hidden fountains and secret statues. While you usually have to purchase a ticket to visit The Gardens, admission is free from November to March. Admission is also free on all Wednesdays and Thursdays during the high season. Similarly, if you are under 18 years of age, you can enter the palace for free. Admission is also free for EU residents under the age of 26.
Follow the reverse route
If you notice the crowd, you will realize that most people visit the palace first and then the gardens, after which they head over to Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. If you want to avoid the crowd, follow the reverse order. Start from Marie-Antoinette’s Estate and end your tour at the Main Palace. This is a sure-shot way to beat the crowd! However, make sure that you have ample time left to explore the palace.
Have a nice picnic in the gardens
If you are a budget traveler, do not be tempted by the restaurants in the palace as they are quite expensive. Instead, opt for a nice picnic lunch in the gardens. Despite the crowd, it will be easy for you to find a quiet little spot because of the sheer size of the gardens.
Leave your luggage at home
Because of security reasons, large bags, suitcases, etc are not allowed inside the palace or the gardens. If you are carrying them, you will have to leave them at the luggage desk. Similarly, items such as selfie sticks and umbrellas are not allowed inside the premises.
Dress according to the season
If you are visiting the Palace of Versailles during the summer, it is advisable to carry a hat as it can get quite warm. Similarly, the winter months tend to get windy so make sure that you carry an extra jacket. Once you enter the palace, you will have to walk quite a bit. Therefore, you should wear comfortable shoes.
Should I buy Palace of Versailles tickets in advance?
Yes, it is always a good idea to buy Palace of Versailles tickets in advance. This will help you save both time and money.
Which Palace of Versailles ticket should I buy?
Headout offers a variety of Palace of Versailles tickets such as skip-the-line tickets, passport entry tickets etc for you to choose from.
Are Palace of Versailles skip-the-line tickets worth it?
Yes, Palace of Versailles skip-the-line tickets are definitely worth investing in as they help you save a lot of time.
Can I bring my backpack inside the Palace of Versailles?
Due to security reasons, backpacks, metal objects, pointed objects such as umbrellas etc are not allowed inside the Palace of Versailles.
Can I bring food inside the Palace of Versailles?
While you can bring food into the gardens and grounds, you cannot take it into the palace itself.
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