If you are spending some of your time in Paris, be sure to organize at least one day visit to the Palace of Versailles. There royal residence of France has in store for you enchanting treasures of art and architecture and preserves wonderful gardens, all to be discovered step by step.
- Where is it and how to get there
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- What to see and how to visit the Palace of Versailles
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes and curiosities: what to know about the Palace of Versailles in Paris
- User questions and comments
Where is it and how to get there
There are two alternatives to reach the Palace from Paris, namely:
- train of the SNCF: starting from Paris Montparnasse station and getting off at Versailles Chantiers; or starting from Paris Saint Lazare and getting off at Versailles Rive Droite; Journey time about 40 minutes.
- line C5 of the RER: starting from the Champ de Mars, Porte Maillot, St. Michel, Orsay or Gare d'Austerlitz stations and getting off at the Rive Gauche terminus; travel times vary between 25 and 35 minutes depending on the station of departure.
- Directions: Get directions
Hours and prices
- every day except Monday. Palaces 9: 00-18: 30 (in winter the closing is earlier at 17:30); gardens until 20:00 in summer. Extraordinary closures: 1st May, 1st January and 25th December.
- Best time to avoid queues: at opening and at lunchtime
- € 18,00. It includes: the Royal Palace (with audio guide), the temporary exhibitions exhibited in the building, the gardens (excluding musical performances) and the parks, the Coach Gallery.
- Ticket Passport: € 20,00 for one day, € 25,00 for two days. It includes: the visit of the Palace with audio guide, the house of Marie Antoinette, the temporary exhibitions installed in the palace, the gardens and the park, the musical show of the fountains or the garden and the Coach Gallery.
- Free: under 18 and EU citizens under 26.
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- Guided day tour with lunch included: from € 154,00 - find out more
- Priority entrance, audio guide and transfer: from € 59,00 - find out more
- Versailles and Gardens: Entrance Pass with Audio Guide: from € 18,00 - find out more
What to see and how to visit the Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is an enchanting place where art and nature combine perfectly. It was Louis XIV, better known as the "Sun King", who transformed a simple family estate into one of the most spectacular royal complexes in the world. Its purpose was to create a glitzy place away from the city of Paris, in order to "protect" the monarchy from the conspiracies of the capital. Here is some information on what to see at the Royal Palace.
First floor rooms
- Apartments of the Delfino and the Delfina: originally intended for the first members of the royal family. Currently they maintain the structure and furnishings dating back to the time when they were inhabited by the son of Louis XV and his second wife.
- Lower Gallery: it constitutes the principle of the circuit that leads to the discovery of the apartments of the "Mesdames", or the daughters of Louis XV. Here are some of the sculptures that were initially located in the gardens.
- Grand Cabinet de Madame Victoire: in 1763 the Mesdames considered Louis XIV's octagonal cabinet obsolete and replaced it with elegant furnishings.
- Madame Victoire's room: in this room, the princess's close circle of courtesans carried out the daily ritual of choosing clothes, make-up and hairstyle.
- Grand Cabinet de Madame Adélaïde: Princess's main reception room and music room, which houses an organ.
- Salle des Hoquetons: it is the only room to have kept the decorations of 1672 and housed the "hosquetons", the guards in charge of the internal security of the Palace, so called because of their tunics similar to those of medieval archers.
Rest of the complex
- King's Room: located in the central section of the Palace, it represented the fulcrum of court life.
- Gallery of Mirrors: a vast gallery built by Hardouin-Mansart in 1678 and decorated by Le Brun; it has 17 windows which correspond to 17 arches decorated with mirrors.
- Queen's Room: between these walls two queens and two dauphines died, besides 19 "sons of France" were born.
- Battle Gallery: commissioned by King Louis Philippe for the French History Museum; it contains a series of important historical paintings dedicated to "all the glories of France".
- Royal chapel: the traditional King's Mass was held here, in which the entire court participated every morning.
- The Great Trianon: 25 minutes walk northwest of the Palace of Versailles, it used to be a private retreat for the King. It is in a classic French style intertwined with the Italian one with pink marble columns.
- The Little Trianon: it is a small detached building surrounded by gardens built in a mixed style between Rococo and Neoclassical, at the behest of Madame Pompadour, who intended to use it to alleviate the King's boredom.
- The Summer of Marie Antoinette: the complex that goes from the Piccolo Trianon to the Giardini della Regina, passing through the Hamlet. Opened in 2006, it reveals the queen's private life, far from the glories of Versailles and as bucolic as possible.
Gardens and fountains
The palace gardens are 800 hectares of artwork, dotted with groves, fountains and sculptures, stretching along the Grand Canal. The visit of the gardens is free, but not the fountain shows, which are actually worth admiring at least once in a lifetime (book your ticket online).
It is possible to visit the area aboard electric karts (similar to those of golf courses) or by Segway, but it is very fascinating to discover on foot with a guided tour the marvelous open spaces characterized by splendid fountains. Here are some of the most beautiful fountains:
- Les quatre bassins des saisons
- Les cabinets des animaux
- Le bassin du dragon
- Le bassin de Neptune
- Le bassin de Latone
- Le bassin d'Apollon
- Le bassin du Miroir
- Le bain des Nymphes
- Le bassin de la pyramide
- Le bassin des enfants Dorés
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the queue at the entrance to the Palace of Versailles is always practically infinite. We therefore recommend that you get up early and show up at the gate well before 9:00 am, which is open to the public.
- Watch out for restrictions: every visitor must undergo security checks. To avoid slowdowns and wasted time, remember not to bring anything that could be mistaken for a weapon (e.g. the Swiss Army knife).
- Minimum time: at least a full day. The Reggia, the gardens and the annexes are really big: arrive early in the morning and spend the whole day visiting it calmly.
Historical notes and curiosities: what to know about the Palace of Versailles in Paris
Modified by illustrious artists of the time at the behest of King Louis XIV, the palace of the Palace of Versailles, once a simple hunting lodge, it is among the most sumptuous in the world. It was the Sun King who transferred the Parisian palace here in 1682, and which remained here until the French Revolution, after which Louis Philippe transformed it into a Museum dedicated to the History of France.
One of the most evocative rooms of the Versialles Palace is certainly the gallery of mirrors. Here, the light reflected from the mirrors floods the rooms, highlighting the stuccos and paintings of Le Bun. It was in this splendid hall that the Treaty of Versailles was signed, which ended the First World War on June 28, 1919. Also here, the Presidents of the French Republic welcome the international heads of state.
From the central window of the gallery of mirrors you can admire the huge park of the Palace of Versailles. Within the gardens there is also the Gran Canal which it was even able to accommodate boats and that was the backdrop to numerous parties. In fact, starting from 1669, Louis XIV made small boats and reproductions of vessels pass through it, so much so that the Serenissima in 1674 also sent two gondolas and four gondoliers there, making them take the name of Little Venice.