Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is an imposing royal palace with over 1974.84 acres (800 hectares) of garden. The Château de Versailles combines history and culture and is one of the most popular destinations near Paris

Declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO over thirty years ago, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous palaces worldwide. Travelers are not only drawn to see its magnificent architecture and its endless gardens, but to discover a palace that was so significant during the history of France.

History

King Louis XIV transformed and enlarged his father's, Louis XIII, pavilion and hunting grounds in the village of Versailles. Years later, in 1682, the Court and Government were moved to the Palace of Versailles. Since then and up until the French Revolution, different monarchs continually improved the Palace.

The gardens were designed in 1661. However, these were not completed until forty years later. The construction took nearly four decades as part of the land was frequently flooded and the rest was a heavily dense forest, thus needing the help of thousands of men to bring in earth and the right flora.

In 1789 the Royal family returned to the capital, and the Château became the Museum of the History of France.

Visiting the Palace

During the visit to the Royal Palace in Versailles, visitors will be able to discover a vast number of beautifully decorated rooms. The most impressive parts of the château are the enormous chapel, the Grand Apartments of the King and the King and Queens’ Bedchamber, with a lot of decorative ornaments.

Equally important is the Hall of Mirrors (Galeries des Glaces), a remarkable gallery, 239 ft (73 m) long with 375 mirrors. It is one of the most acclaimed rooms in Versailles and it is here that the armistice of First World War, in 1919, was signed in the Treaty of Versailles.

Once outside the magnificent palace, the area dedicated to the Domaine de Marie Antoinette stands out. It's an area where Louis XVI's wife enjoyed a simple and country life. You'll find two beautiful palaces - the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon - as well as the Queen's Village, a pleasant space built with the appearance of a small farm that was ideal to escape from the formalities of the palace.

Visiting the Gardens

The impressive Gardens of Versailles are over 800 hectares in area. The grounds have countless types of flowers and trees, as well as lakes, fountains and marble statues.

It is practically impossible to see the whole enclosure if you go by foot. The best way to discover the grounds is to hire a bike, an electric car or take the train that drives through most of the Gardens.

From April until October, visitors can witness the musical fountain show, where the fountains’ water moves to the rhythm of the music. If you’re interested in attending one of these displays, we suggest checking out the timetable before going, as they only take place on certain days and at certain hours.

Visiting Versailles with Enough Time

Currently, the Palace of Versailles is one of the city’s top attractions. Visitors will understand a lot of France’s past and culture by visiting these grounds.  Besides, it's possible to enjoy a bit of nature walking in the gardens.

Nonetheless, it's also important to highlight some of the negative aspects of this visit: the Palace is always crowded, it's quite stressful to see all the rooms and the gardens are too large to be able to see them all.

Excursion to the Palace of Versailles

One of the most common ways to get to the Palace of Versailles from Paris is to book a guided excursion, this way you can arrive worry-free and you'll already have the tickets included.

If you prefer to go on your own, you also have the option to book the trip to the Palace of Versailles by train, or simply buy the tickets before the trip:

Schedule

From April 1 to October 31:
Palace: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6:30 pm
Park and garden: daily from 8 am to 8:30 pm
From November 1 to March 31:
Palace: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5:30 pm
Park and garden: daily from 8 am to 6 pm

Price

Adults: 32 (US$ 34.80) (Includes: Palace, temporary exhibitions and park)
Children under 18, EU citizens between 18 and 25 and disabled persons and their guide: free admission
Between November and March: free admission on the first Sunday of the month
Free entry with the Paris Pass and the Paris Museum Pass.

Tour of the Palace of Versailles 85 (US$ 92.50)

Transport

RER: Versailles Rive Gauche, line C
Train: Versailles Chantiers or Versailles Rive droite

Nearby places

Bois de Boulogne (11.4 km) Musée Marmottan Monet (12.3 km) La Défense (12.9 km) Eiffel Tower (14.1 km) Champs de Mars (14.3 km)