Before we said goodbye to France, we’ve managed to squeeze in a little day trip to Versailles and decided to visit Marie Antoinette’s luxurious abode.
Château de Versailles is one of the largest palaces in the world where kings and queens of France settled in before the French Revolution.
The palace is overwhelmingly huge, historically measured, about 17 acres of land (considering that 4 acres would be your average city block in the US) Woah! now that’s humongous!
How to get there?
The cheapest way to get to Versailles from Paris is by train. It’ll cost you 7€ per person (round trip). The Palace of Versailles is about 12 miles away from the center of Paris, It will take you between 60 to 90 minutes to get there. Most of the time you’ll reach the train station of Versailles in 1 hour. Tickets are purchased at your nearest metro station,just buy the tickets going to Versailles-Château – Rive Gauche. The tickets will be good for the metro and the RER by whatever combination of metro or RER lines is the quickest route.
One thing to consider before visiting the Chateau of Versailles is to know a little bit more about it’s history beforehand. The Palace has been the site of many historical events such as the signing of The Treaty of Versailles which was part of the end of World War I in 1919. Another significant event of the Chateau de Versailles was the setting of the French Revolution. It is also one of the most elaborate examples of royal residences from the 15th and 16th century.
To visit Chateau de Versailles, first you need to buy your tickets. There are two options for you to choose from, you can get either the combo ticket (a.k.a”Passport”) which gives you access to the Palace and Garden or the ticket for Palace only.
It is also wise to consider which time you want to visit, as the line could get pretty massive at some point and can get longer until it hits the driveway area.
Our tour started a little early (10:00 AM) so the line wasn’t too overwhelming.
Keep in mind that the Chateau de Versailles is huge, and if you’re planning on touring the whole place, know that you’re going to be on foot most of the time so its best to wear comfortable shoes. Estimated time to tour the whole palace (interior) is 2 hours.
We booked the stand-alone audio tour, where you’ll get head sets and can just freely roam around the palace – garden without following a group. An audio tour is great if you are travelling solo or in a small group of two or three. The audio tour also comes with 11 different languages to choose from.
The Chateau de Versailles’ Garden is about 800 hectares, consisting 50 fountains, 620 water jets and a 5.57 grand canal (as per wiki).
You really don’t have to walk around the whole garden as it may wear you out. However, if you’re up for it, make sure you’re wearing your most comfortable shoes. There are also segway tours (make sure to book beforehand) available and a little train tour with tour guides which is a little pricey but not a bad idea if you belong in a large tour group.
Consider the train tour an option if you are traveling with kids!
I was a bit disappointed that the fountains weren’t turned on during our last visit. I’ve heard that there’s a schedule for it, so you might want to look that up too before visiting.
After the tour, we didn’t had ample time to roam around the rest of Versailles, we did managed to get a taste of their finest french wines from one of the local markets nearby.
Again, it’s really not important to tour the whole garden, you can skip some of it as It would probably take most of your time. Instead, try walking around their local markets and enjoy some local french delicacies. If you’re travelling with children, you might wanna experience the rental boats of Versailles, just make sure the weather is in favor of it.
Visiting Versailles is a bit costly too but nevertheless an amazing experience. You wouldn’t wanna miss it. If there’s anything you’d like to add or suggest to this post, feel free to write a comment below!
Photo Credit: Benjamen Colegado (Jamcole Photography)