No matter what your first thoughts of France are, it is undoubtedly full of history. The opulence of France is on full show and there is probably no better place to see this wealth than the Palace of Versailles.
Like many tourists to France we decided to make our way to the Palace to spend a day visiting the royal residences and relaxing in the gardens.
After leaving the B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette a little later than we had hoped for, we hop on the 9 am train to Versailles. Train tickets can be purchased from the train stations. Just tell the ticket office we’re you are going and they will give you the right ticket. Likewise, you can use the automated ticket machines to select your required tickets. Please note; conductors do check your tickets so if you select the wrong one you may find yourself being fined or paying for another ticket. This depends on how the conductors are feeling on the day.
When arriving at Versailles station it is a short walk around to the Palace. Just follow the signs and masses of other tourists. Online purchasing is a good idea as you won’t need to line up for tickets at the ticket office. Unfortunately, you will see need to wait in the entry line unless you’ve purchased a “skip the line” ticket, through a third-party operator, for an extra cost.
We were lucky on the day we were there as everyone wanted to buy tickets from the ticket office. Therefore, no one was using the hidden ticket machines in a different room. We quickly purchased our tickets for the palaces and gardens and headed to the huge line up.
Now, we were prepared for the wait, we had some water, some snacks and our entertainment devices to keep us occupied. If fact Josie and I used to time to write a few posts whilst we waited. The girls listened to some music and sang, harmonising the day away.
It was a 2.5 hour wait but the lines constantly moved, so there was a sense that you were going somewhere. Group tours through travel agencies are always available. These tours get you into the grounds quicker, but you have a limited time for your visit to the Palace and gardens. And the Palace of Versailles is a take your time attraction.
When you make it to the front of the line, you will need to pass through a security checkpoint. So, make sure you are sensible and leave any sharp implements in your room. We have seen people try to enter with their favourite Swiss Army knife, only for it to be confiscated.
Once you’re past the security check the Palace of Versailles shows you its wealth around every corner. This Palace has seen Kings and Queens grace these beautiful halls and their need for luxury is incredible.
Once through the Palace buildings you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the enormity of the Palace grounds. Water fountains, sculptures, manicured lawns and flower exhibits are everywhere. Make sure you grab a map so you don’t get lost.
As mentioned earlier, you should make a day of it. The gardens contain a cafe and restaurant if you are feeling hungry. We ate a nice lunch in the La Girandole Versailles garden cafe at a slightly elevated price. However, it was great to relax for a little while before exploring the gardens more.
Our Passport Ticket also gave us access to the Petit and Grand Trianons, which once housed the Queen’s, Princess’ and Princes of France.
These Trianons are located outside of the main palace grounds with separate security checks being performed at each site.
A fantastic day, the Palace of Versailles is an ideal day getaway from Paris. So, spend a day or book some accommodation in Versailles and tell them Simon of Ourworldinreview sent you!
Additional Information for the Palace of Versailles
Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
Ph. + 33 1 30 83 78 00
- Prices range from € 20.00 – € 30.00 for Passport ticket entry
- Full ticketing information available here
from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm
closed on Mondays
Estate of Trianon
from 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm
closed on Mondays
from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm
from 12:30 pm to 6:30 pm
closed on Mondays
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