The main entrance to the Palace of Versailles is through the Court of Honor (Cour d'Honneur). Upon entering the courtyard, there are 3 entrances to the Palace of Versailles you must be wary of.
While we highly recommend you pre-booking your tickets, 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 15 minutes and 3 hours. Afterward, you will need to again queue at the security check, which can take another 1-3 hours.
The Château de Versailles is located approximately 12 miles (30 minutes) West of Paris. While the best way to get from Paris to Versailles is by train, here are all your transport options
Take the Bus 171 from Pont de Sèvres (the end of the metro line 9) and get dropped at Château de Versailles.
If you’re driving there by car, you’ll want to get on the Peripherique (the Paris beltway) and exit, direction, Rouen on the A13. With no traffic, you can make it to Versailles in about 20 minutes. However, that’s usually not the case. Especially on summer weekends, plan on a minimum of 45 minutes. There is metered public parking lot in front of the chateau. You pay when you exit, using either a credit card or cash.
The Palace of Versailles is about 12 miles away from Paris proper. In order to get to the suburbs in Versailles, the RER C is your best and most direct bet. However, the whole process of getting on from the metro to RER C, is a little tricky. So here’s how you can go about it.
Versailles is out of the main 4 Zones in Paris, hence, regular metro tickets will not work. You will need to find which metro line will get you from your metro station to the closest RER C station. The RER line C runs through central Paris on the left bank of the Seine with stops at amongst others Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel, Pont de l’Alma, Invalides, Musée d’Orsay, St-Michel – Notre-Dame, and Gare d’Austerlitz.
Once you have arrived at an RER C station get on a train which goes to “Versailles Château/Rive Gauche” (or RG for short). Don’t be fooled by the “Versailles Chantiers,” or “Versailles Rive Droite” because though it takes you to the same city, it will go the long way around and drop you much further away from the Château. RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche it’s just a 10-minute walk to the Palace, so get down from the station and take a brisk walk to reach your destination.
Apart from RER C, you can use the following options to get to Versailles by train:
- From Paris Montparnasse train station, take the Line N to Versailles Chantiers station, an 18 minute walk to the Chateau.
- From Paris Saint Lazare station, take Line L to Versailles Rive Droite, a 20 minute walk to the Château.
When returning to Paris hop onto any train from Rive Gauche station. Most trains from go via Pairs, so any train in the right direction should get you to Paris. There are trains every 15 mins till late evening. Pro Tip : Buy your return train ticket at the beginning of the day, and avoid the maddening line at the station in the evening. Cost is about 7.00€ per person, round trip.
From Versailles Rive Gauche railway station 11:55 PM
From From Versailles Rive Droite railway station 12:15 AM
From Versailles Chantiers railway station 12:31 AM
It is recommended to visit the Palace early in the morning, right when it opens. It is likely the entry line will already be long; however, with skip-the-line tickets, you can enter immediately and enjoy your tour before the crowds pour in. In addition, your priority access tickets will ensure you’re among the first to go through the security line - another long wait if you arrive during busy hours. Tuesdays and weekends generally see the most traffic, especially on days of water fountain shows.
Once your inside, it is suggested that you visit the Gardens first ( time it around the shows if you’re visiting on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday), then tour Palace after which you move onto the Parks and Trianon Estate.
There are several restaurants at your disposal around the Palace grounds. If you pack a picnic, you could find yourself a spot in Park ( not gardens) and have a leisurely lunch there. Be sure to carry water with you as it can get quite hot, especially during summers and exploring the Palace estate involves a lot of walking.
The 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.
Constructed during the late 1600s, the Palace of Versailles was built as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII. As the years went by, the royal family grew increasingly fond of the quaint French village. In 1682, King Louis XIV, Louis XIII’s son, decided to move the royal court from Paris to Versailles, transforming his father’s old hunting pavilion into a magnificent complex with opulent rooms, lavish gardens and magnificent fountains. For nearly 100 years, a succession of kings continued to embellish the palace and reign from Versailles. It wasn’t until the French Revolution that the royal court was forced to move back to the capitol in the October of 1789.
St. Peter’s Basilica, along with St. Peter’s Square, sits in the heart of the Vatican. It is a renowned work of Renaissance architecture and was designed by the likes of Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Maderno and Bernini. On the other hand, the Vatican Museums and its collections are considered to be of the highest historical, scientific and cultural importance. The greatest of all though are the frescoes which adorn the Sistine Chapel, a chapel in the Apostolic Palace and a part of the Vatican Museums.
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 it's 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.
The Palace of Versailles is more than just the Palace. The Royal Estate in its entirety, from the Gardens to the Gallery of Coaches to Marie Antoinette’s Estate and the Park is worthy of your time. There are 5 main areas in the estate that you must cover during your visit.
The Château de Versailles is one amongst the world’s most prestigious monument, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and “Monument historique”. With over 700 rooms, the Palace of Versailles offers a sneak peek into the lives of the French monarchy’s during their most influential years. From the glittering Hall of Mirrors to the stunning portraits that sweep the ceilings of the State Apartments, the Palace takes you back in time. Displaying over 60,000 artwork collections, Versailles is an ode to five centuries of French History.
All ticket options to the Palace of Versailles gives you access to the Chateau. The cheapest Versailles ticket option comes with an audio guide and costs €18. However, this does bring along an indefinite waiting in the queue for 30 mins to 2 hours. Our recommendation would be a skip the line ticket or a guided tour with priority access to beat the queue and enter the palace from a dedicated gate with almost no wait.
Tuesday to Sunday | 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM (high season) 5:30 PM (low season)
Last entry to the palace is at 6:00 PM (high season) and 5:00 PM (low season)
Places to visit inside the Castle
Entry to the following are included in basic entry tickets:
Some of the other areas to explore in the Castle are the Museum of History, Battle Gallery, Royal Chapel, Royal Opera, The King’s Inner Apartment, The Apartments of the Dauphin and the Dauphine. All these areas in the Palace are along an easy trail which you can follow without getting confused.
The main entrance to the Palace of Versailles is through the Court of Honor (Cour d'Honneur).
Entrance A (to the left)
This entrance is reserved for guests who have already purchased individual tickets online. For those who haven’t, you will have to queue up at the ticket counter which could take anything between 15-30 minutes and then queue up at Entrance A for security check.
Entrance B (to the right)
This entrance is for groups with a reservation for a guided tour as well as those carrying skip the line tickets.
Reserved for guests with disabilities.
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.
Entry to the Carrosses Gallery is free and does not require an admission ticket.
Tuesday - Sunday | 12:30PM to 6:30PM
Last entry is at 6:00 PM
The Carrosses Gallery is located at the right side of the courtyard, across from the Castle entrance.
To take a breather from regal affairs and matters of the court, the Kings of Versailles built themselves a few intimate spaces close to Palace park. Adjacent to the Petit Park is the estate of Trianon, home to the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon palaces, as well as the Queen’s Hamlet and a variety of ornamental gardens. The estate is perhaps most closely associated with Queen Marie-Antoinette who commissioned marvellous landscaped gardens centred around a hamlet of cottages.
The Grand Trianon is a unique architectural building which King Louis XIV used as a private residence where he could spend time with Madame de Maintenon. It was originally known as the ‘Marble Trianon’ on account of the pink marble panels which adorned the palace’s elegant façades.
The Petit Trianon was a neo-classical masterpiece built for King Louis XV. This royal residence was a symbol of the king’s passion for the botanical sciences: he was keen to have a home in the heart of the gardens to which he devoted so much of his time.
The Queen’s Hamlet was a result of the queen’s fascination with the charms of rural life. The model village was inspired by the traditional rustic architecture of Normandy and included a windmill and dairy, as well as a dining room, salon, billiard room and boudoir. Although it was reserved primarily for the education of her children, Marie-Antoinette also used the hamlet for promenades and hosting guests.
Tuesday - Sunday | 12:30PM to 6:30PM
Last entry is at 6:00 PM
Entrance to the Marie Antoinette’s Estate, Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet is included only in the Passport Ticket. Your general admission ticket does not allow entry to these parts of the Estate.
Designed by André Le Nôtre by taming and levelling the surrounding woods and marshes, the Gardens at the Palace of Versailles are a testimony of French designing and detailing. They are marked by myriad fountains, carefully sculpted sculptures, parterres and groves with the palace in the backdrop and a canal in the forefront, offering a spectacular sight. All these elements of this incredible place come alive with the rhythm of tunes, colourful and dramatic lighting effects during the musical shows staged regularly.
Tuesday - Sunday | 8:00AM to 8:30PM
Last entry is at 7:00 PM
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.
The Musical Fountains Shows are one of the major attractions at the Palace of Versailles gardens. One of its kind, the show brings alive scores of historical fountain masterpieces dancing to the tunes of Baroque music. These shows are on every weekend during summer months (31 March to 28 October 2018) and on Tuesdays from (22 May to 26 June 2018) besides a few more public holidays.
The immense gardens at the Palace of Versailles present an extraordinary experience when accompanied by the French Baroque period music playing in the background providing just the feel of 17th century Royal French style ambience and setting. The groves and other preserved areas of the Gardens are accessible on certain Tuesdays and a few Fridays from April to October for a musical promenade.
Fountains Night Show banks on the magic of illumination, music and staged effects at night glorifying the formal French garden with splendid visuals and musical extravaganza. Climaxing with spectacular fireworks this show leaves a indelible mark on the viewers. The show features every Saturday from 16 June to 15 September 2018 with water displays from 8:30 PM to 10:40 PM and fireworks from 10:50 PM to 11:05 PM.
The Musical Fountains Show, the Night Fountains Show and the Musical Gardens are musical walks in the Gardens. The groves, usually closed to the public are accessible during these events.
|Musical Fountains Show||Night Fountains Show||Musical Gardens|
|Opening of the groves||✓||✓||✓|
The Park is situated beyond the Gardens and thanks to the two large water features - Grand Canal and Lake of the Swiss Guards - the Park extends the gardens seamlessly. 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. The Park covers approximately 800 hectares, marked with straight paths going in and out of wooded areas and farmed lands.
Tuesday - Sunday | 7:00AM to 8:30PM
Last entry is at 6:00 PM
- The Grand Canal
- Lemon Tree Walk