One of the main reasons so many millions of people flock to France each and every year is because of the nation's unique history, heritage, and culture. France has a fascinating past, being the birthplace of political movements, social progression, bold new art forms, and incredible stories of royalty and revolution, and there's no better place to witness the beauty, wonder, and intrigue of France's past than at the Palace of Versailles.
Also known as the Château de Versailles, this breathtaking palace was home to France's royalty from the late 17th century all the way up until the French Revolution in 1789. It's located in the Yvelines department in the Ile de France region, just a dozen miles outside of Central Paris.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws in around 8 million people each and every year, the Palace of Versailles is a must-visit location for anyone interested in the history, art, and culture of France, and doing a day trip to Versailles from Paris is easier than you might think. Here’s how to organize and plan out the perfect day trip to the Palace of Versailles.
Getting To Versailles From Paris
Since Versailles isn’t too far outside of Central Paris, it’s actually quite easy to get there, but you won’t be able to reply on the standard Parisian metro system. You’ll need to take either a car, taxi, train, or bus. Here are the best ways to get to Versailles from Paris:
Getting To Versailles From Paris By Car
The journey from Paris to Versailles by car can take up to an hour due to the often congested conditions and roads around the city. It's worth noting that Paris isn't the easiest city in the world to drive around, with a lot of traffic and some very complicated road systems, so anyone unfamiliar with the city or uncomfortable about driving to Versailles from Paris should consider taking a taxi, train, or bus.
If you do wish to drive, you can head out of Paris and follow the A13 or A86 towards Versailles, following the signs to reach the palace. The easiest and fastest way is to take the A13 and get off at exit 5. There are several parking areas at the Palace, but you'll need to pay to park.
Getting To Versailles From Paris By Train
The train is the most popular form of transport for getting to Versailles and is also the easiest. The simplest way to take the train to Versailles is to hop on the RER C line to Versailles Chateau - Rive Gauche.
You can take this train from several stations around Central Paris including St Michel - Notre Dame, Musée d'Orsay, and Invalides. The train takes around 45 minutes to get to Versailles. Once you get to the station, the palace is just a 5-10 minute walk away.
Getting To Versailles From Paris By Bus
Those wishing to travel to Versailles from Paris by bus have a few different options available to them. Th RATP bus line 171 runs from Pont de Sevres to the Palace of Versailles, and it only takes 30 minutes, so this is actually one of the fastest options for getting to Versailles. Plus, you can get to Pont de Sevres by taking line 9 of the metro.
There's also the 'Versailles Express' shuttle bus which runs from the Eiffel Tower to the Palace of Versailles most days of the week and at weekends. The first departure of this bus is at 7.45am, and it heads back to the Eiffel Tower at 3.15pm, so this gives you plenty of time to explore the palace.
Important Information And Things To Do At Versailles
- Tickets - Any visitors aged under 18 can visit the Palace of Versailles for free. All EU citizens aged 26 and under can also visit the palace for free, but others will need to buy a ticket. There are several ticket options available, with some tickets granting access to additional areas and shows like the Musical Fountain Shows and Musical Gardens. A standard Passport for the Palace of Versailles comes with full access to the palace itself, the gardens, the park, and the estate of Trianon.
- Opening Times - The Palace of Versailles is closed on Mondays and May 1, but open every other day of the year. It opens up at 9am and closes at 6.30pm, with the last admissions occurring at 6pm. Other parts of the estate and palace grounds have their own unique opening and closing times. The park, for example, opens up at 7am and closes at 8.30pm, while the estate of Trianon opens at 12pm and closes at 6.30pm.
- Facilities - Visitors to the Palace of Versailles will find plenty of facilities and amenities dotted around to make their stay more enjoyable. You'll find restrooms, mobile charging stations, Wi-Fi areas, audioguides, and more. There are also several food stands and an Italian restaurant, as well as gift shops.
- What To Expect - The Palace of Versailles is an enormous former royal residence with a lot of history and many rooms to see and explore, as well as extensive grounds. A tour of the palace itself is an essential part of any Versailles visit, with rooms like the Hall of Mirrors being particularly popular with guests. There are also the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon residences dotted around the park, as well as the small rustic Hameau, which was a second home to Marie Antoinette, and many beautiful gardens.