• This is perfect if you want to spend a day away from the city and explore something beautiful. I definitely recommend a trip up to the Palace of Versailles. It was half planned on my list of things to do before I went. And when I’d heard such good things it cemented it’s place on my list of things to see and do. One of my work colleagues raved about how beautiful it was and said he’d remember it forever.

    HISTORY OF THE PALACE

    The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV. Until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France. About 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris.

    The palace has been home to many different people over the centuries including Napoleon, Marie Antoinette and the Royal Opera of Versailles. It has gone through so many renovations which has included adding a parliamentary room, an Opera hall and stage and also many changes to the Royal apartments and rooms.

    CHECK OUT MY OTHER GUIDES ON PARIS HERE.
    palace of versailles
    palace of versailles

    HOW TO GET TO THE PALACE 

    BY TRAIN

    The cheapest and quickest way of getting to the palace is via the trains. To get to the palace via train, I would recommend getting the metro to La Defence and then a normal overground train to Versailles Château Rive Gauche. There are several trains that you can catch to get to the Palace which include Versailles Rive Gauche, Versailles Rive Droite and Versailles Chantiers which are different distances from the Palace.

    The route we took to get to the palace was…

    • Got on the Metro at our nearest station, Porte Maillot.
    • Waited for the train on platform 1 for M1 La Defense – Grande Arche. Stayed on the train for 4 stops.
    • Got off the train at Platform 1. Waited for train VASA Versailles-Rive-Droite. Stayed on the train for 7 stops.
    • Got off the train and walked 18 minutes to get to the palace.
    TRAIN COST

    We had a little bit of trouble buying our train tickets to Versailles with some tickets letting us through and others not. To avoid this I could recommend getting a Navigo Easy card which is a little bit like an Oyster card that you top up and scan at every gate. You can buy a Navigo card for €2 and then top it up with as much money you want to pay for fares.

    BY TAXI/UBER

    It all depends on getting a taxi or Uber to the palace down to the traffic that could be on the roads. It cause delays to your journey or be completely clear and be quicker than getting the train. It’ll also depend on how much you are willing to spend on your journey compared to a couple of Euros on the trains.

    TAXI/UBER COST

    A metered taxi or Uber could cost around €60 for the 35 minute journey. It all depends on if you would be happy spending that cost for a taxi and on if you are travelling alone or with a family. If you don’t feel confident it might be worthwhile booking a taxi over the trains as they can get a little confident.

    Navigate Your Way Around The Palace and Gardens…

    palace of versailles
    palace of versailles

    THE GARDENS

    The gardens are absolutely beautiful, if not more beautiful than the actually palace. The grass and the trees are constantly green and the flowers are all in bloom with a huge array of types from all over the world. Each garden is laid out in a particular way and the grounds follow through in a pleasing manner. Each garden is shown on a map which you can pick up at the start of the tour to find your way around the grounds. Some are laid out like a mini maze and others are more open planned with benches and water fountains to soften the feel of each section.

    BOOKING YOUR TICKETS

    Ticket Prices:
    When buying your tickets for the Palace and Gardens, there are so many different packages and prices to look at. It’s quite confusing with so many choices so I’m going to try and break it down for you to help you decide.

    If you are under the age of 18 and under the age of 26 and a resident in an EU country you can enter the Palace of FREE and only need to pay 10 euros to enter the gardens. You can purchase your tickets here.

    This is the easiest guide and breakdown I could find for the ticket prices as there are so many variations.

    TOP TIPS FOR EXPLORING THE PALACE:
    1. If you visit the gardens before you enter your tour of the Palace, you will have to enter the gardens through a different gate if you want to see the gardens again afterwards.  You can not enter the gardens again through the same gate. Weird I know but I think it’s a way of keeping the crowds down so they are not overcrowded in one spot. There are several gates to enter by which are spread around the Palace grounds. The nearest gate to enter by is the Dragon Gate which comes out right next to the Neptune Fountain.
    2. I wouldn’t recommend the water show which is shown daily, every 15 minutes from 10 am to 7 pm at the Neptune Fountain. It wasn’t that amazing and it repeated the same cycle over and over. The best show to watch is the Night Fountain show which features fireworks, lighting effects and the water fountains dancing to music. It is on from June to September 2019 and is shown at 8.30pm to 10.40pm and fireworks from 10.50pm to 11.05pm. You can find out more information and purchase your tickets here.
    3. Entry to the Palace and Gardens are FREE for all on the 1st Saturday of every month between November and March!
    4. You can take as many photos as you want inside the Palace but please do not use flash photography.
    5. As you explore the Palace, I definitely recommend getting a audio guide with your ticket as it explains all the history and features in each of the rooms. This is great for history lovers who love learning about a countries history.

    Has my guide helped you understand visiting the Palace of Versailles? Would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments.

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    A Guide To Exploring The Palace Of Versailles