Versailles was built in 1624 by Louis XIII and became the de-facto capital city of France from 1669 onwards. The palace is a magnificent example of Baroque architecture and the whole site is of great historical importance.
The one hour Versailles travel time can be off-putting but as Versailles consists of three parts:
- The Palace,
- The formal gardens and park, and
- Marie Antoinette’s estate,
it makes for a wonderful day-trip.
The most popular areas of Versailles are covered by the museum pass, but if you do not have one you can buy a day ticket for all of Versailles at any RER station, ( Forfaits Loisirs Versailles are no longer available !). Prices for the one-day ticket start at 16 euros. This avoids the long queues at Versailles itself and also includes an audio guide. Coach tours offering Versailles travel are very expensive.
When planning your Versailles travel aim to
- dress comfortable,
- start early, and
- bring a picnic to eat in the beautiful gardens or by the Grand Canal (there are bistros in the gardens for a more formal meal)
Read as much as you about Versailles beforehand, it is an immense site with an enormous history and a little background knowledge will help your Versailles travel itinerary make sense.
Versailles is closed Mondays, and very busy over the weekends and in peak season so plan your Versailles travel avoiding these times.
How to get there
When you make Versailles travel plans allow at least one hour to get there. Take the RER C-5 direction Versailles-Rive Gauche (approximately every 15 minutes), then there is a ten minute walk to the chateau from the station. The round-trip fare is 5.30 euros.
Useful to plan your visit with maps etc
Other interesting things
- Forfaits Loisirs Versailles SVP – NO longer available ! according to http://www.transilien.com/web/site/accueil/guide-du-voyageur/billets-abonnements/Versailles/lang/en
- Quite a few small cafes around the area
- A nice welcome break from the hustle of site seeing in Paris
- Ideally suited during a longer visit to Paris.
- The garden and the park are closed on some days during winter due to bad weather.
Museum Pass (Carte Musee et Monuments) provide access to
but NOT to
- State apartments
- The Grand Eaux displays
Tickets for above should be purchased separately.
- 1 November – 31 March – €16
- 1 April – 31 October
- €20 on weekdays (€25 on some tuesdays of April, June, July and September)
- €25 including access to Grandes Eaux Musicale at weekends, from 22 March to 28 September (except on 1 May) and on public holidays
Alternative free audio guide
is Rick Steves (Free) guides to Versailles at
Definitely worth listening to before your visit and during !
Marie Antoinette’s home is a must visit
- Because of the fairy tale like appearance
- But it is a very long walk and a hike from the palace through a garden.
To get around..
- The small train is convenient and affordable for 2 Euros.
- Renting a bike to explore the gardens and the surrounding area is another option. Make sure either you have a cycle lock or get one from the rental company!
- Renting a Golf cart is another convenient way to get around in Versailles