Home to the magnificent Château de Versailles, the epitome of 17th and 18th-century luxury, along with its exquisite gardens and grand halls, Versailles is a small city just outside of Paris in the Île-de-France region that is a must-visit when in France. Built around the Château and its many spectacular buildings, the town features an array of beautifully preserved homes, churches and chapels, grand bridges, and bustling markets to explore. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Chateau de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)
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The Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) is a spectacular French Baroque complex and former royal residence that is famous for its beautiful architecture and turbulent political history. Located about 16 miles outside of Paris in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, the palace was a principal royal residence of France from 1682 until the start of the French Revolution in 1789. The castle is surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens and grounds and has a large boating lake known as the Grand Canal, which are all free to the public. Take a picnic along in the summer and relax beneath the trees or hire a rowing boat and head out on the lake.
Place d'Armes Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France
2.Gardens of Versailles
Spanning 800 hectares around the Château de Versailles, the Gardens of Versailles are a spectacular sight to behold. Designed by the renowned architect of the time, André Le Nôtre, the magnificent gardens took over 40 years to complete and feature exquisitely landscaped terraces, meticulously manicured lawns, rare flower gardens, bosquets (groves), and an Orangery with more than 1,000 boxed orange trees. The gardens also feature many ornate sculptures, water fountains, and parterres (reflecting pools), and dazzling water shows are held throughout the summer. Forming a backdrop to the gardens is the Grand Canal, a 5,450-foot long lake that took 11 years to complete and hosted the King’s fleet of vessels in the summer.
Place d'Armes Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France, Phone: +3313083-78-00
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The Grand Trianon is an elegant pavilion on the outskirts of Versailles that served as a place of refuge for the monarch and a secluded retreat for him to be alone with his mistress, Madame de Montespan. Designed by Louis Le Vau and built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1687, the beautiful balustraded building overlooks enchanting French-style geometrical gardens with landscaped terraces, blooming flowerbeds, green shrubs, and fragrant orange trees. Surrounded by a thick forest, the secluded palace allowed the King to escape from the drama of court. Today, the pavilion is part of the French Republic's presidential residence and hosts foreign officials.
Porte Saint-Antoine, Versailles, France, Phone: +33-1-30-83-78-00
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4.Royal Opera of Versailles (Opera Royal de Versailles)
The Royal Opera of Versailles is a magnificent opera house and theater in the North Wing of the Palace of Versailles that can accommodate 1,200 for opera, stage plays, or orchestral events. Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the theater, also known as the Théâtre Gabriel, was completed in 1770 and was built out of wood that was painted to resemble marble. The wooden interior creates excellent acoustics and the theater can be used for stage performances or grand balls with a full orchestra. The Royal Opera of Versailles was inaugurated in celebration of the marriage of Marie Antoinette to the future Louis XVI.
4 Avenue de Paris, Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France, Phone: +33-1-30-83-78-89
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5.Saint-Louis de Versailles Cathedral (Cathedrale Saint-Louis de Versailles)
The Saint-Louis de Versailles Cathedral is a beautiful Roman Catholic church and a French national monument. Designed by Jacques Hardouin-Mansart de Sagonne as a simple chapel, the edifice was transformed into a church by King Louis XV in 1740 and officially became a cathedral after the French Revolution. Significant architectural features of the cathedral include a 213-foot-high bulb-shaped dome topped with an arrow and ornate Baroque interiors with Corinthian columns, engraved moldings, and sculptures, cornices, and a marble altar. Today, the Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Versailles and has a collection of beautiful period artworks.
4 Place Saint-Louis, Versailles, France, Phone: +33-1-39-50-40-65
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6.Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors is a magnificent hall spanning 240 feet in the center of the Palace of Versailles that is lined with hundreds of mirrors. Connecting the Grand Apartment of the King with the Grand Apartment of the Queen, the hall features more than 350 mirrors lining the walls, 17 mirror-decorated arches, 17 gilded and arcaded windows, and elegant crystal chandeliers, creating a spectacle of glistening crystal and gold. Built between 1678 and 1684, the hall not only served as a daily meeting area and passageway between the two apartments but was also the site of many historical events such as the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919.
Place d’Armes, Versailles, France, +33-1-30-83-78-00
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The Royal Chapel is a beautiful Gothic-style chapel in the Palace of Versailles that was built in 1689 by King Louis XIV. Designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the chapel features two levels and the French kings would sit on the upper floor to show themselves as God’s lieutenants. The chapel has exquisite Baroque interiors with monumental pillars, marble altarpieces and flooring, massive sculptures, and illustrious paintings on the ceilings and walls. The wedding of the future Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette took place in this chapel, and today it is used as a venue for private events and functions, and musical concerts.
Château de Versailles, Versailles, France, +33-1-30-83-78-00
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8.Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles (Notre-Dame de Versailles)
The Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles is a Roman Catholic church in the Notre-Dame area of Versailles. The area of Notre-Dame was established by Louis XIV to adorn the landscapes around the Palace and the Church was built in 1686 to serve the needs of the growing town. Constructed in the Ne-Classical style, the small church boasts elaborate floor and ceiling designs and houses beautiful sculptures by Noël Jouvenet and Pierre Mazzeline. The Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles is classified as a historical monument, and until recently, registered all births, deaths, and marriages of the French royal family.
2 Rue Baillet Reviron, Versailles, France, Phone: +33-1-30-97-69-70
The Petit Trianon is a small château based within the park of the Grand Trianon that as built by Louis XV for his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, Petit Trianon was constructed between 1762 and 1768 in the Rococo style with four thoughtfully designed façades, grand marble Corinthian columns, elegant woodwork décor, and ornate embellishments. The château is surrounded by beautifully manicured formal French gardens with views over the former botanical garden of the king. The Petit Trianon was later given to Queen Marie Antoinette by King Louis XVI for her enjoyment and it became a refuge for her to escape from her courtly responsibilities.
78008 Versailles, France, Phone: +33-1-30-83-78-00
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The town of Versailles hosts an array of bustling farmer’s markets that have a rich history dating back to the 17th century. The town has open-air markets in the 1700s until they were replaced by a covered market in 1841, one which is still in use today. Several markets flourish in the town, including the Market of Notre Dame, which is the largest outdoor farmers’ market in the Île-de-France region and offers everything from frog’s legs to freshly baked brioche and homemade cheese. The Jussieu-Montreuil market sells high-quality organic produce, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, and organic milk and cheese.
11.Gordon Ramsay au Trianon
© Gordon Ramsay au Trianon
Gordon Ramsay au Trianon is a double Michelin-star award-winning restaurant that offers an exceptional fine-dining experience. Situated within the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace Versailles on the edge of the palace grounds, the world-class restaurant exudes grace and style with contemporary décor in black, white, and green hues, elegant chandeliers and large French windows overlooking the magnificent gardens. Designed by Gordon Ramsay and implemented by top chef, Frédéric Larquemin, the menu boasts exquisitely prepared French specialties accompanied by some of the world’s finest wines. Gordon Ramsay au Trianon promises a once-in-a-lifetime culinary journey like no other.
1 Boulevard de la Reine, Versailles, France, Phone: +33-1-30-84-50-18
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12.La Belle Epoque
© La Belle Époque
Nestled in the village of Châteaufort in the Chevreuse Valley just outside of Versailles, La Belle Époque is an elegant French restaurant with a beautiful shaded terrace that serves classic French fare with global influences. Owned by Philippe's Norman, the restaurant has a traditional stone façade and a beautifully appointed dining space decorated in simple black and white décor that reflects a turn-of-the-century glamor. Seasonal menus boast innovative dishes with a modern twist, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, such as carpaccio of smoked mackerel fillets and a curated wine list features some of the top wines in the region. Huge bay windows and the charming terrace offer spectacular views. La Belle Époque is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday.
10 Place de la Mairie, Châteaufort, Île-de-France, 78117, France, Phone: +33-1-39-56-95-48
© La Véranda
Based within the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace Versailles, La Véranda is an elegant French brasserie that offers a modern take on traditional French cuisine. Overlooking the beautiful gardens of the Palace through large French windows, the restaurant boasts interiors designed by celebrated British decorator Fiona Thompson with stylish black and white décor and ornate chandeliers. Seasonal menus feature a variety of continental cuisine with signature Detox options, and a selection of fine wines from France is highlighted on a wine list assembled by in-house sommeliers. An outdoor terrace with stunning garden views is the best spot for summer dining, and the chic brasserie is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1 Boulevard de la Reine, Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France, Phone: +33-1-30-84-55-55
© Le Sept
Le Sept is a small eatery and wine shop in Versailles' Montreuil quarter with a cozy neighborhood vibe that serves hearty home-cooked French fare and easy-drinking wines. The locally owned restaurant-cum-wine-bar has rustic-chic interiors with aged stone walls lined with wine bottles, timber beamed ceilings, and contemporary décor. Seating is limited as it’s a popular spot with locals and in-the-know travelers, so booking is advisable. Signature dishes include the fresh handmade mozzarella and the terrine de foie gras, and a large selection of elegant wines are on the menu, with pairing suggestions offered by friendly sommeliers.
7 Rue de Montreuil, Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France, Phone: +33-1-39-49-55-27
15.La Table du 11
© La Table du 11
Helmed by highly acclaimed chef Jean-Baptiste Lavergne Morazzani, La Table du 11 is an award-winning Michelin-star restaurant in the Cour des Senteurs near the castle that promises an unforgettable fine-dining experience. Boasting modern dining spaces with sleek, contemporary décor and distinctive artwork, the restaurant has an open kitchen where diners can watch the expert chefs work their magic. A concise menu features dishes prepared with organic and sustainable produce sourced from local farms and artisanal producers in the region such as hand-raised pork and hand-caught fish. An impressive wine list features 450 organic or biodynamic vintages from local winegrowers who practice sustainable farming. La Table du 11 is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday.
8 Rue de la Chancellerie, Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France, Phone:+33-9-83-34-76-00
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16.Lenotre Tea Salon, Cour de Senteurs Versailles
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Tucked in a corner of the Cour de Senteurs in Versailles, Lenôtre Tea Salon is an elegant tea salon that serves gourmet cuisine and handcrafted macarons. Surrounded by beautiful boutiques on all sides, including the perfumery, Guerlain that sells exclusive handmade perfumes, Lenôtre is the perfect place to take a break from shopping and enjoy delectable French cuisine in an exquisite setting. Overlooking the formal French gardens of the Palace, the café specializes in mouthwatering dessert delicacies, custom cakes, decadent trifles, and an array of macarons in all flavors.
8 Rue de la Chancellerie, Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France
© Nicolas Faramaz/stock.adobe.com
Restaurant Nuance is a casual eatery just a few hundred meters from the Palace of Versailles that serves seasonal French and international fare in a warm, family-friendly setting. An extravagant dining room boasts striking décor with granite, stone, glass, and wood finishes, and soft lighting creates an intimate and elegant ambiance. Seasonal menus feature traditional French and international cuisine, all of which are prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and organic where possible. The food is paired with an extensive list of wines from France and further afield, as well as classic cocktails and fine liqueurs, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
10 Boulevard du Roi, Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France, Phone: +33-1-39-49-58-35
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18.Restaurant La Tour
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Restaurant La Tour is an award-winning Michelin-star restaurant with a rustic and cozy atmosphere that serves a meat-centric menu of outstanding cuisine. Boasting a laid-back bistro-style ambiance with tightly packed tables, a bustling bar, and a patio with outdoor tables, the restaurant is renowned for dishes like Beef Tartare, Andouillette de Troyes, Norman Veal Cutlet, Grilled Veal Kidney in Bearnaise sauce, and the signature Burger de la Tour. There are a few non-meat dishes and fresh salads, and an impressive selection of red wines is available to pair with the food. Restaurant La Tour is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
6 Rue Carnot, Versailles, Île-de-France, 78000, France, Phone: +33-1-39-50-58-46
18 Best Things to Do in Versailles, France
- Chateau de Versailles (Palace of Versailles), Photo: Sergii Figurnyi/stock.adobe.com
- Gardens of Versailles, Photo: Alvydas/stock.adobe.com
- Grand Trianon, Photo: JONATHAN/stock.adobe.com
- Royal Opera of Versailles (Opera Royal de Versailles), Photo: Lotharingia/stock.adobe.com
- Saint-Louis de Versailles Cathedral (Cathedrale Saint-Louis de Versailles), Photo: lapas77/stock.adobe.com
- Hall of Mirrors, Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
- Royal Chapel, Photo: dunhill/stock.adobe.com
- Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles (Notre-Dame de Versailles), Photo: oleg_ru/stock.adobe.com
- Petit Trianon, Photo: Delphotostock/stock.adobe.com
- Versailles' Markets, Photo: pchancel/stock.adobe.com
- Gordon Ramsay au Trianon, Photo: Gordon Ramsay au Trianon
- La Belle Epoque, Photo: La Belle Époque
- La Veranda, Photo: La Véranda
- Le Sept, Photo: Le Sept
- La Table du 11, Photo: La Table du 11
- Lenotre Tea Salon, Cour de Senteurs Versailles, Photo: LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/stock.adobe.com
- Restaurant Nuance, Photo: Nicolas Faramaz/stock.adobe.com
- Restaurant La Tour, Photo: Brian Jackson/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
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