The exquisite Palace of Versailles is one of the most extraordinary achievements in 17th century European art. Situated just 30 minutes outside Paris, in the village of Versailles, this elaborate complex once thrived as an epicenter of political power for the Kingdom of France.
Built in the late 1600s, the Palace of Versailles was initially just a hunting lodge, constructed for King Louis XIII. As the years went by, the royal family grew increasingly fond of the quaint French village. In 1682, Louis XIII’s son, King Louis XIV, decided to move the royal court from the bustling city of Paris, to Versailles, transforming his father’s old hunting pavilion into a magnificent complex of rooms, gardens and fountains. For nearly 100 years, a succession of kings continued to embellish the palace and reign in Versailles. It wasn’t until the French Revolution that the royal court was forced to move back to the capitol, in October of 1789.
Today, the Palace, also known as Château de Versailles, contains 2,300 rooms spread across 63,154m². Illustrating more than five centuries of French history, the Palace not only houses remarkable works of art - it stands as a work of art itself. One of the most ornately designed rooms of all, the Hall of Mirrors features 357 mirrors, including seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows overlooking the gardens. The Versailles Palace Gardens span an impressive 250 acres, and continue to thrive as a beautifully manicured plot with 400 sculptures and 1,400 fountains.
Each year, it is estimated that approximately 5 million people visit the Palace of Versailles, and between 8 and 10 million people walks its gardens. A place of immense beauty, Versailles stands as a symbol of France’s monarchy and lives on as the location of several important peace treaty signings, including two treaties of the 1783 Peace of Paris, by which Britain recognised the independence of the US, as well as the Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended the First World War.
With over 700 rooms, the Palace offers a peek into the lives of the French monarchy’s most influential figures. From the glittering Hall of Mirrors to the stunning portraits that sweep the ceilings of the Royal Apartments, tour the Palace and travel back in time.
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)
Places to visit inside the Castle
Entry to the following are included in basic entry tickets:
- The Grand Apartment of the King
- The Grand Apartment of the Queen
- The Hall of Mirrors
Some of the other areas to explore in the Castle are the Museum of History, Apartments of Mesdames, Battle Gallery, Royal Chapel, Royal Opera, Congress Hall, Marie-Antoinette’s Interior Cabinets, Favorites Apartments, The King’s Inner Apartment, The Apartments of the Dauphin and the Dauphine.
The main entrance to the Palace of Versailles is through the Court of Honor (Cour d'Honneur). Entrance A, (at the top of the courtyard to the left), is reserved for all guests who have pre-purchased tickets online (this applies to all Online tickets). Entrance H is reserved for guests with disabilities.
2. Carrosses Gallery (The Royal Stables)
Step back in time as you browse through the works showcased at the the Carrosses Gallery. Created by Louis-Philippe, the gallery houses a valuable collection of carriages, sleds, cars and harnesses.
Tues - Sun from 12:30PM to 6:30PM
Last entry is at 6PM
The Carrosses Gallery is located at the right side of the courtyard, across from the Castle entrance.
3. Marie Antoinette’s Estate (Domaine de Trianon)
Visit Marie Antoinette’s Estate and tour the buildings constructed for her to escape the rigors of courtly life. Visit the discret Petit Trianon and Queen’s Hamlet, and get a glimpse into her private life.
Tues - Sun from 12PM to 6:30PM
Last entry is at 6PM
Places to visit inside
- Petit Trianon
- Grand Trianon
4. The Gardens
Spread across hundreds of acres, roam around the serine French Gardens and admire the Versailles fountains, ponds, sculptures and groves.
Tues - Sun from 8AM to 8:30PM
Last entry is at 7PM
5. The Park
Situated around the Grand Canal, the Versailles Park offers incredible views of the Gardens and Palace. Picnic on the lawn or ride around on a Segway tour as you take in the grandeur of the Royal Estate.
Daily from 7AM to 8:30PM
Last entry is at 6PM
Places to visit inside
- The Grand Canal
- Lemon Tree Walk
On select days, a variety of musical fountain shows take place in the Gardens of Versailles. To access the gardens and attend these shows, you will need a Versailles Passport ticket or a Versailles Guided Tour with Priority Access + Passport ticket.
1. The Great Musical Waters
Witness the basins, the groves and their waters as they come alive to the rhythm of Baroque style music in the Gardens of Versailles.
Saturdays & Sundays from April 1st - October 29th
2. Musical Gardens
Enjoy a musical walk through the groves as you roam about the heart of Versailles’ French gardens.
Tuesdays and Fridays from March 31st to October 31st
3. The Great Nocturnal Waters
As night falls, be a part of the garden’s exclusive light and water spectacular and witness the finale firework show as it lights up the Grand Canal sky.
Every Saturday from June 17th to September 16th
From 8:30PM to 11:05PM (the grand finale firework show begins at 10:45PM)
While we highly recommend you pre-book your ticket, if you arrive without one, you will need to line up at the ticket box office to the left of the courtyard. The line here can take anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Afterward, you will need to again queue at the entrance and security check, which can take another 1-3 hours.
The main entrance to the Palace of Versailles is through the Court of Honor (Cour d'Honneur). Upon entering the courtyard, you will find 3 entrances that take you into the Castle:
Entrance A (at the top of the courtyard to the left)
For guests who have already purchased tickets online (this applies to all Headout tickets).
Entrance B (at the top of the courtyard to the right)
For groups with a reservation. (If you book any Guided Tours, your guide will direct you to this entrance.)
Reserved for guests with disabilities.
The entrance to the Gardens can be found further left of Entrance A, in the Court of Princes. Extending beyond the main Castle and the Gardens, you will find the Grand Canal and the Park. (The Grand Canal separates the Park and the Gardens.) To the left of the Grand Canal is Marie-Antoinette’s Estate (the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon).