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 Paris Travel Guide:

Best Daytrips   - Versailles

 

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The Latona Fountain, Versailles

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This section of our  Paris Travel Guide describes our choice of Versailles as  the  best daytrip from Paris. 

  • If you can only fit in one daytrip, a visit to Versailles is our recommendation.
  • Versailles's scale defies imagination.  The buildings are intricate, ornate and filled with period furniture and interesting exhibits.  The grounds are stunning and extensive.  Wear  comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to spend half of your time indoors and the remainder touring the grounds.
  • Don't forget that our pictures will show captions when you "mouse" them in Internet Explorer or Firefox.
 

Fountain of Apollo at the Grand Canal, Versailles

Daytrips from Paris  
The Latona Fountain, Versailles
Highlights of the interior of the Château include: The Hall of Mirrors, Royal Opera, Marble Staircase, Mars Drawing Room, Venus and Diana Drawing Rooms, and The Royal Chapel
Click for a photograph of the glorious Royal Chapel in Versailles.

The Queen's Hamlet, Versailles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERSAILLES  Click for a panormic photograph of the entrance to Versailles(panoramic image) 

Versailles is the world’s most opulent historic chateau.  It is surrounded by a spacious, luxurious, park filled with fountains, sculptures, and beautiful gardens. This “must see” attraction is a comfortable day trip  from Paris (approximately twenty-five minutes to the Versailles Rive-Gauche Station by train - RER).

Versailles was created by Louis XIV as a country retreat - an alternative to living and ruling the country from Paris. However, there was so much intrigue among the nobility and politicians during his reign, that he was afraid to have them out of his sight. So, he  built Versailles large enough to house his entire court and ordered them to accompany him when he was in residence.

Take a self-guided tour of the grounds but sign up for a guided tour of the lavishly decorated interior. Be sure to research Versailles before you go, as it contains many treasures that you might miss if not prepared. In addition, get there early, as exploring all of Versailles will require the better part of a day. See what you can and leave when you are pooped.

 

Most visitors focus on the Château, which served as the palace and was the residence of the king and his court.  The palace  is enormous, beautiful and presents an almost overwhelming array of attractions.  Be sure to see the State Apartments (both King and Queen's), Opera  House and the Chapel Royal.  Don't miss the beautiful Hall of Mirrors, which re-opened to the public in June of 2007 after undergoing a thorough, three year restoration.

The section of Versailles associated with Marie Antoinette reopened in the summer of 2006 (after substantial restoration) as "Marie Antoinette's Estate", which includes the Petit Trianon, Chapel, Queen's Hamlet,  the replanted English Garden and other delightful attractions.  

 

Versailles and Giverny Day Trip
 
From Viator Tours

 

Marie Antoinette's Estate is a classic example of the contrasts at Versailles and you should reserve time in your schedule for a tour.  The Petit Trianon, her small but ornate neoclassical residence also known as "Little Vienna" and its gardens combine to form a beautiful setting.

Have your camera ready, as Versailles is one of the best picture opportunities in France. The grounds are lush and filled with monuments, statues, canals, and other signs of an ostentatious design. The  Grand and Petit Trianon and their gardens are worth a slow walkthrough as they will provide you with additional insights into the extravagant spending required to build Versailles and the contrast between the royalty and the commoner in France at that time.

Versailles is in the midst of a renovation program that will last until 2020. Various areas of the Chateau will be closed as they are restored.   Regardless, there is so much to explore at Versailles that the closures simply make it easier to choose what to see. Other buildings may close for emergency repairs.  

  • See the official Versailles website for more information  on the buildings available for touring and temporary closures.
  • There are several different tickets to consider and all are described at the website linked to above.
  • In the Low Season (November 1 to 31 March) the Palace is closed on Mondays, but open the rest of the week from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
    • The Trianon Palaces and the Marie Antoinette Estate are closed Mondays, but from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
    • The Garden and Park are open from 8a.m. to 6 p.m.  every day except Mondays
    • Last admissions are a half-hour before closing time.
  • In the High Season (April 1 to October 31) the Palace is closed on Mondays, but open the rest of the week from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
    • The Trianon Palaces and the Marie Antoinette Estate are closed Mondays, but open from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. the rest of the week. 
    • The Garden is open every day from 8a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    •  The Park is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for vehicles and 8:30 p.m. for pedestrians.
    • Last admissions are a half-hour before closing time.
  • The time and availability of some attractions are subject to change. In addition, the Palace, Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette's Estate are closed on December 25, January 1, April 5, May 1, May 24 and November 1. We advise you to review the official website for specific details before your visit.

 

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The Grand Trianon, Versailles

 

 

 
Versailles Small Group Day Trip from Paris

From Viator Tours

 

 

 
Versailles Walking Tour with Optional Fountain Show

From Viator Tours

 

 

 

 

The Best Places to Visit in Paris

Champs Elysées
Louvre 
Marais
Latin Quarter -Île de la
Cité

Invalides
Eiffel Tower
Montmartre 

Or consider Daytrips to
Fontainebleau
Giverny
Chantilly

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