One of the most iconic places to visit in Paris is the palace of Versailles. It is located 20 km from the center of Paris. The palace was an official royal residence since King Louis XIV moved all his royal court and the French government to Versailles in 1682. Here is a guide to the palace of Versailles.
Naturally after exploring all the famous sites in the center of Paris, Cody and I decided to go to the palace of Versailles. First of all, we needed to buy the tickets. We found an official website where you can buy tickets online. It gives you a chance to decide when exactly do you want to come to Versailles (the tickets have the time on them) and also a choice to skip the long line in front of the palace. The basic tickets costs 20 € per person.
After you pay for the tickets you will receive them to your e-mail. To visit the palace, we actually needed to print the Versailles’ tickets. Cody did it in our hotel at the reception. Although I heard that the rules were changed and you don’t need to do it anymore, just show them on your phone.
Don’t forget to bring with you your passport and printed tickets. And my advice to everyone who reads this article, please wear comfortable shoes, since the palace and the gardens are huge and there will be a lot of walking.
The easiest and cheapest way to get to the palace of Versailles is by train. You need to take a subway to the station “Gare Montparnasse” and from there walk about 1-2 minutes to the train station with the same name “Gare Montparnasse”. The train runs every 15 minutes and the ride to the station “Gare de Versailles Chantiers” will take just about 12 minutes.
From the station “Gare de Versailles Chantiers” to the palace of Versailles you will need to walk about 20 minutes. The walk is very pleasant and a nice way to see the area around the palace. You of course can take bus number 4, but it still drops people 10 minutes’ walk from the palace.
The whole way from the center of Paris to the palace of Versailles just cost us 14.40 €. And it took about an hour. Our hotel was in the first arrondisment so if you are staying anywhere near the center of Paris, your time should be about the same.
If you are staying close by the Eiffel Tower you can get to the palace of Versailles very easy by the RER C train as well. Go to the station “Gare Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel” and from there in about 25 minutes it will take you to the station “Gare de Versailles Chantiers”. Otherwise just find the nearest RER station and go from there.
You also can get to the palace of Versailles by bus. Next to the Pont de Sevres, you can easily go from the subway station called “Pont de Sevres”. You can get on bus #171 which will take you to Versailles in only 30 minutes.
Of course, if you are ready to pay you can take a taxi to the palace of Versailles. The Uber taxi from the center of Paris to the palace will cost around 25 € and depending on the traffic will take from 20 to 40 minutes.
Well, that is probably a weird question. What else could you do except go in, no? But there is one small problem. When we arrived to the palace, there was a huge line and no signs indicating where to go if you have a skip-line ticket. After trying to understand what is going on and asking other tourists who know the same as you know (aka nothing), I can tell you exactly what to do. Go to the end of the golden gates on the left, where they have an open door in the building, there you will be let through with your ticket and documents. We didn’t know how to do this, but Cody walked straight up there with the intention of asking what buying the skip-the-line ticket actually got us. The attendant just said this is the skip-the-line entrance, so he doubled back to the end of the line and brought me in.
At the entrance of Versailles we got audio guides and went to explore the palace. The whole palace excursion along with the garden took us about three hours. The palace is magnificent, there are lots of amazing things to see and learn, and you really need to spend at least half a day for the whole trip there and back.
The first thing I saw and one of my favourite parts is the front façade of Versailles. The stunning scene of the beautiful building with French roof covered with golden elements takes your breath away. Especially the fantastic golden-blue clock at the top of the roof. I actually waited there for a while to take a picture with no other people.
Another absolutely amazing part of the palace of Versailles is the Mirror Hall. Mirrors were expensive in the 17th century which is why to have a Mirror hall in the palace was important, since it indicated how wealthy and important you are. Every mirror in the palace faces a big window that leads to the garden.
During your excursion in the palace, pay attention to the ceilings. Every room has a beautiful distinctive ceiling. The work of the architects, artists, and sculptors on each ceiling is enormous. Every small detail makes it known how much money was invested into Versailles. And I could never imagine how much time they needed to decorate this place.
And of course, the best parts of any palaces are the gardens, especially here at Versailles. The gardens and fountains are magnificent. I recommend to take some snacks with you, so after the excursion in the palace, you can have a small picnic in the garden of Versailles.