Versailles is well known as one of the most opulent palaces in the world and for good reason. The art and decoration within the palace is incredible, but the expansive gardens are just as impressive.
You will need a few hours if you want to see everything at this attraction, including the palace and the gardens, located about 45 minutes outside of Paris.
The palace at Versailles
Originally a hunting lodge, the Château de Versailles, is one of the most impressive palaces in the world to visit. Louis XIV updates and drastically expanded the hunting lodge while moving the government and court from Paris out to the more remote but incredible palace in 1682.
From the famous hall of mirrors to the apartments, every room is ornate and well preserved. It is difficult to comprehend how such a building was created hundreds of years ago.
The gardens at Versailles
The gardens of the Château took over 40 years to complete, including the digging of the Grand Canal that runs through the gardens. You could easily spend an entire day trying to walk through the expansive area; you can also rent a golf cart for €30 to give yourself a quicker tour of the area and to ensure that you can see everything that you want to.
Getting to Versailles
Be sure to go as early as you can as the lines get very long – even if you have the Paris Museum Pass the crowds inside will make it difficult to see everything. There are bus tours that can take you to the museum including a tour or just for transportation. Hiring a car can actually be a decent deal as well, around €90 for a round-trip journey, compared to the €40-€50 per person that you may pay for a tour via bus.
Via the trains from Paris:
RER C: To get to the palace of Versailles, make sure to buy a “Paris – Versailles Rive Gauche” ticket (zones 1-4) (T+ ticket is not valid for this journey).
Arrive at Versailles Chantiers station from Paris Montparnasse
Arrive at Versailles Rive Droite station from Paris Saint Lazare
Opening Times for Versailles
The palace is closed on Mondays.
In the high season from April 1st to October 31st
Palace: Open from 9 am – 6.30 pm (Last admission: 6 pm – Ticket office closes at 5.50 pm)
Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate: Open from 12 pm – 6.30 pm (Last admission: 6 pm – Ticket office closes at 5.50 pm)
Garden: Open from 8 am – 8:30 pm
Park: Open from 7 am – 7 pm for vehicles; 7 am – 8.30 pm for pedestrians
In the low season from November 1st to March 31st
Palace: Open from 9 am – 5.30 pm (Last admission: 5.pm – Ticket office closes at 4.50 pm)
Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate: Open from 12 pm – 5.30 pm (Last admission: 5 pm – Ticket office closes at 4.50 pm)
Garden and Park: Open from 8 am – 6 pm
Ticket prices to visit Versailles
€18: Passport (Palace, gardens and Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate)
€25: Passport (Palace, gardens and Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate) on days with garden music shows
€15: Palace only
€10: Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate only
Entrance is free and there is no need to wait in the ticket line if you have a Paris Museum Pass – the lines for tickets can be extremely long and there is a second line to get into the palace. The price of the museum pass is well worth just bypassing this line. The pass does not include the gardens.