The Palace of Versailles is the 2nd most visited site in all of France. These tips will help you avoid the crowds and make your trip to Versailles even more enjoyable.
The Palace of Versailles is an absolutely incredible place. From the gold leaf gate, to the luxurious interior, to the expansive gardens, the opulence is breathtaking! What started out as the location for the King’s hunting lodge, transformed into his primary residence for over 100 years. The palace was built in the late 1600s, under the direction of Louis XIV and is truly fit for a king.
Visiting the Palace of Versailles is something everyone should do when they are in France. The palace is located only about 10 miles southwest of Paris so it’s extremely easy to get to. With over 10 million annual visitors, most people visiting Paris will make the short trip to Versailles. I have visited the palace twice. I did no research before our first visit and we were punished with huge crowds and long lines.
A year later we went again with our children. Determined not to make the same mistakes twice, I did a little reading before we went. The crowds were smaller and the experience was better than I could have imagined. I’m going to share everything I learned so you can have the best experience too!
How To Get To Versailles From Paris
Getting to Versailles from Paris is really easy to do. The easiest, and cheapest, way to get there is by taking the metro. From downtown Paris, you’ll need to take the yellow RER C line. Versailles is the last stop on that line, so you can board any train that has Versailles Chateau listed as the destination. Depending on where you are in Paris, it will take you about 45 minutes to get to Versailles.
I would recommend purchasing a round-trip metro ticket when you visit Versailles. Versailles can be extremely busy on some days and this will keep you from waiting in line when you’re done. The palace is located in Zone 4 and can be covered if you purchase the right metro pass. It is more economical to purchase a Zone 1-3 pass and buy the ticket to Versailles separately.
Once you arrive in Versailles, the palace is a short 10 minute walk from the train station. Simply exit the station and turn right. You’ll walk about a block and then turn left down the end of the main street. Just follow the crowd, it’s be impossible to miss.
Tickets To Versailles
Basic entrance tickets to the palace will cost around $20. If there is an event in the garden, you’ll have to spend a couple extra dollars for an upgraded ticket to visit the gardens. Children under 18 (under 26 if you’re an EU citizen) are free.
The Palace of Versailles is also included in the Paris Museum Pass. If you’re planning on visiting other museums and monuments in Paris, I would strongly recommend looking into buying the pass. It can easily save you a lot of time and money while you’re in Paris. Like the basic ticket, the Paris Museum Pass does not gain you entrance to the gardens when there’s an event. You would need to purchase a separate ticket for a few dollars on those days.
Pro Tip – Either way, I would recommend buying your tickets before you go. This will save you time waiting needlessly in line when you get there. Plus, when you buy your tickets online, you can reserve a guaranteed entrance time for your visit. Keep in mind that even if you skip the ticket line, everyone must go through security before entering. Unfortunately, that line can be extremely long as well.
Tips For Your Visit
Best Days To Visit – I would avoid visiting the Palace of Versailles on Sundays and Tuesdays. The Louvre is closed on those days so most people will plan a visit Versailles. My first visit to Versailles was on a Sunday and it was like riding a NYC subway during rush hour. The palace was horribly crowded and the lines were super long. Our second time visiting we went on a Wednesday and it was so much better!
Closed On Monday – The palace is closed every Monday. Keep that in mind when you’re planning your trip so you don’t make the trip for no reason.
Go Early Or Late – With so many visitors, you can avoid some of the crowds by arriving very early or later in the day. I would prefer to get there early before the tour buses arrive so you have all day to explore and won’t feel pressed for time.
Audio Guide – A free audio guide is included as part of your ticket. Instead of waiting in line for a headset, download the free app before you go. The app has all of the audio guides and maps so you can avoid waiting in another line and using their shared equipment.
Photography – The palace does not allow you to use selfie sticks when you’re inside. With the large crowds, they’re very serious about this. Don’t be an obnoxious tourist and try to use one anyway.
Paying For Things – When traveling abroad, you’ll always want to use a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and has free travel insurance. This is also important when purchasing your attraction tickets before you leave. Those fees can really add up! The travel credit card I recommend most often is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Plus, new cardmembers can get 100,000 bonus points after spending just $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening their account. These points are worth a minimum of $1250 in free travel.
You can’t go all the way to Paris and not visit the Palace of Versailles. The grandeur and luxury you’ll experience there will completely blow your mind! Go slow and take your time touring the palace and gardens. Hopefully these tips will help make your visit even more enjoyable. Did we miss anything that you would recommend? Leave us a comment below and let us know if there’s something else you discovered that will make the trip better.