Classified as French historical monument e World Heritage Site by UNESCO Palace of Versailles it is a must to visit during a tourist stay in Paris. Especially since the visit is not limited to the castle. Indeed, the area is very extensive with numerous gardens and large parks to visit.
With 2300 rooms spread over over 63 000 m², the Palace of Versailles is one of the largest palaces in the world. It was the home of the kings of France for over a century, and remains today a symbol of the ancient French monarchy, visited by over 7 million visitors every year.
Later you will find all the necessary information on how to visit the Palace of Versailles: how to get there, timetables, tickets and small tips to spend a pleasant day.
How to visit the Palace of Versailles?
The collection of the Palace of Versailles contains approx 60.000 works. Of course, you won't be able to see them all. There are several ways to visit the palace ...
Visit the Palace of Versailles without a guide
The most adopted option is certainly to visit the palace alone, without a guide. This allows you to organize in full autonomy the day and it is also the cheapest solution and with the least constraints.
However, you have to get organized and don't arrive without having a precise idea of what you want to visit based on the time you have available.
THEVersailles audio guide is offered free of charge to all visitors in 11 languages ,.
Guided tour of Versailles
Many think that this is the best way to visit it. The castle is steeped in history and with more than 700 rooms inside, a guide is almost essential.
There are several guided tours of the Palace of Versailles. For the first time, it is better to opt for a rather classic guided tour, which allows you to see the essentials, understand the history of the castle and those who have stayed there.
They are also proposed more specific guided tours with various themes: the hidden places, the stables and the carriage gallery, Louis XIV in Versailles, the splendours of Versailles ...
What to visit - main attractions
The estate of the Palace of Versailles is huge, and it is difficult to admire all its beauty in one day. We have chosen five places for you not to be missed during a visit to Versailles.
The hall of mirrors
73 meters long and decorated with 357 mirrors, this gallery represents the know-how of the artisans of the time of Louis XIV. It mainly served the king to reach the queen's apartments, but it also hosted major events in history.
In the castle gardens there are no less than fifteen groves, small green spaces decorated with fountains and sculptures. The peculiarity of the Salle du Bal is that it is the only one that has not changed over time. In the lower part of the grove there is an amphitheater fountain, decorated with gold vases.
The queen's village
It is located in the Domaine de Trianon, right next to the Petit Trianon. This place, straight out of a fairy tale, was commissioned by Queen Marie Antoinette, who wanted to get away from Versailles and have a more rustic lifestyle. It consists of 12 thatched-roof cottages, including a farm, dairy, mill and the Queen's large house.
The Carriage Gallery
This museum, which is part of the Domaine, is located opposite the castle, on the other side of the Place d'Armes. It is open from 12:30 until 18:30 in high season and until 17:30 in low season. Admission is free. The gallery features various XNUMXth century carriages.
The royal chapel
This chapel, commissioned by Louis XIV, took 23 years to complete. Built on two levels, this is where the court attended the king's mass at 10:00 each morning.
Shows at the Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles regularly hosts many shows and concerts. THE Fountains and Musical Garden are the best known. During the high season it is possible to discover them in the gardens and groves which are open for the occasion. Stroll through gardens with fountains where the water flows rhythmically with the music. All the details!
The different tickets for the Royal Palace
Il individual ticket to visit the Palace of Versailles costs 18 €. However, this ticket does not allow access to the Domaine de Trianon and the gardens on the days of the Grandes Eaux and Jardins Musicaux shows.
Book your ticket online at the same price as the ticket at the cash desks and avoid the queue!
You can buy a ticket for the whole area, said "passport", which costs 20 € per day, o € 25 for two consecutive days. It allows access to all spaces and audio guides are included.
On the days of the Grandes Eaux and Jardins Musicaux events, the same ticket goes from 27 € for one day to 30 € for two days, and of course includes the gardens.
You can also choose on the Internet a passport ticket with time of booking, which allows you to choose a specific time for your entrance to the castle (until 14:00). Your access will be guaranteed up to 30 minutes after the scheduled time on your ticket and you will not queue.
THETrianon area it is accessible for 12 €, and includes the Grand Trianon castle with the eventual temporary exhibition, the Petit Trianon castle and the two parks including the famous queen's village.
Finally, for those who wish to deepen their visit, they are possible various guided tours of areas not open to the public. It is preferable to book them online and they cost around € 10 in addition to the cost of the entrance ticket to the castle. Attention, the ticket is non-refundable if you do not show up.
Il advantage of booking your ticket online, especially in high season is that you can access the palace with a dedicated entrance, almost without going through the long line outside ...
Un advise: you can also buy the ticket in the tourist office, located between Versailles-Castle station and the castle entrance. You will find a lot less queue!
The Palace of Versailles for free!
Different categories of visitors enter Versailles for free! The exemptions concern: minors under 18, minors under 26 resident in the European Union, students, teachers in France, disabled people and carers, people looking for work in France and beneficiaries of social minimums. You will find all the exemptions HERE.
It is also possible to visit the whole area for free the first Sunday of the months from November to March, but you have to come well before the opening to hope to enter without queuing up ...
How to get to the Palace of Versailles?
The castle of Versailles is located in the commune of Versailles, in the department of Yvelines, 16 km southwest of Paris. The area of the Palace of Versailles includes the Palace, Gardens, Park and Complex of Trianon. To reach the Royal Palace, you can take the train, bus or car.
La railway station closest is Versailles Château Rive Gauche, a 10 minute walk from the entrance. It can be reached with the RER C, which leaves approximately every 15 minutes. It takes about 1 hour to get there.
The advantage of the C line of the RER is that you can take it easily since serves the main points of interest of the capital: Gare d'Austerlitz, Saint-Michel / Notre-Dame, Orsay Museum, Champs-de-Mars / Eiffel Tower ...
The trains SNCF depart several times a day:
- line N - from Montparnasse train station to Versailles Chantiers train station, 18 minutes walk from the palace.
- line L - from Saint-Lazare train station to Versailles Rive Droite train station, 17 minutes walk from the palace.
Starting from Montparnasse station, you can get there in 20 minutes or 40 minutes if you leave from Saint-Lazare.
- A shuttle offers transfers to the Palace of Versailles from the Eiffel Tower from Tuesday to Sunday.
- Line 171 of the RATP also leads to Versailles, starting from the Sèvres bridge (terminus of metro line 9), in about 1 hour.
- The TRI bus goes around Versailles stations (Rive Gauche, Rive Droite and Chantiers) and leaves in front of the Castle.
From the highway A13, take theexit 5 towards the center of Versailles, then follow the signs for the Palace.
It's possible to park on the Place d'Armes opposite the castle, but parking here is quite expensive (€ 4 per hour). Or you can park in the city, it's cheaper, but you have to walk a bit to get to the entrance.
How to access the Palace?
Arriving at the Palace of Versailles, the entrance will be at the court of honor. On the left of the courtyard is the main ticket office. At the end of the courtyard is the famous one Royal Grid, covered with gold leaves.
To the left and right of the gate, are the inputs A (Dufour pavilion) and B (Gabriel wing) of the castle. Entrance A is reserved for visitors with tickets and people who benefit from free admission, while entrance B is reserved for groups.
Before entering, a ticket control it's a security control people and their belongings which can take time. There row can be awesome and on busy days, the wait before entry can last more than 1 hour. The ideal is to arrive 30 minutes before opening.
If you haven't bought your ticket, you have to go to the box office where you spend even more time queuing to buy tickets. Here because It is absolutely necessary to book tickets in advance to avoid multiplying the queues!
For access to the gardens, you can go to the court of the Princes, near the entrance A.
THEaccess to the Park it has three entrances that allow you to access it from the city: the Grille de la Reine, on the Boulevard de la Reine; the Porte Saint-Antoine, on the D186; and the Grille des Matelots, on the road to Saint-Cyr.
As regards the Estate of Trianon, it can be accessed on foot from the castle through the gardens and park (about 30 minutes), or from the park entrances themselves.
As for opening hours, the high season runs from April 1st to October 31st. The low season runs from November 1st to March 31st.
The timetables of the castle of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles can be visited every day except Mondays. It is closed on December 25th, January 1st and May 1st. As for timetables, it welcomes visitors from 9.00 to 17.30 in low season and until 18.30 in high season. Last admission at 17.00 pm in low season and 18.00 pm in high season.
Opening hours of the park and gardens of Versailles
Il park it is open every day of the year from 8.00 to 18.00 in low season and from 7.00 to 20.30 in high season. Exceptional closure if necessary in case of bad weather.
I gardens they are accessible every day from 8.00 to 18.00 in low season and from 8.00 to 20.30 (last access 19.00) in high season. Exceptional closing at 17.30pm on Saturdays when the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes shows take place.
The opening hours of the Domaine de Trianon and the Galerie des Carrosses
Il Estate of Trianon it is open every day except Mondays, December 25th, January 1st and May 1st. In low season, open from 12.00 to 17.30. In high season, the Domaine is open from 12.00 to 18.30.
La Carriage Gallery it can be visited every day except Mondays, December 25th, January 1st and May 1st. It is accessible all year round from 12.30 to 17.30 (until 19.30 in high season).
Would you like to know more about the opening hours? The official web site lets you know the details.
When to visit the Palace of Versailles?
Il best time to make the most of the castle and its estate is during the high season, from April to October, when the gardens are in full splendor. Unfortunately, it is also the time when there are more visitors.
However, if you only want to visit the castle or the Domaine de Trianon, the off-season is a good time, as there are usually fewer people. But during this time, the gardens are less pleasant to visit, the sculptures are covered, most of the groves are closed, and the weather can be a little more capricious.
Advice on how to visit the Palace of Versailles
Book your ticket online, so you don't have to do two lines (ticket + entrance to the Castle) and you don't waste much time.
The best is arrive before 9am, in order to be among the first. Visit the castle until 10 am, which is when the crowds begin to arrive. Afterwards, take a leisurely visit to the gardens, and enjoy a long walk in the groves. At 12.30, take advantage of the opening of the Domaine de Trianon to visit the palaces of the Grand and Petit Trianon, as well as the Hameau de la Reine.
Applications for the Castle, gardens e Trianon they are also available on the Appstore and Google Play. These applications offer an audio guide, an interactive map and the ability to geolocate live on the map, and they are all free.
- Non-flash photos are allowed in the castle, but selfie sticks are prohibited. Photos are prohibited in temporary exhibitions, except in exceptional cases.
- Strollers and baby carriers with metal frames are not allowed in the rooms and can be left at the entrance. Attention, it is forbidden to carry a child on the shoulders.
- Watch out for pickpockets in and out of the castle, especially where crowds gather, such as the Hall of Mirrors.
- Prepare comfortable shoes as you will be walking a lot during the day, especially in the gardens.