Wednesday, March 19, 2014

{a day at Versailles}

One of the biggest things on my list for our time in Paris was to take a day trip out to the Palace of Versailles which is located about an hour by train outside of the city.  When we visited Paris the first time we were only here for a handful of days and couldn't justify spending a quarter of our trip outside of the city.  We waited until March to visit the palace hoping for the nicest weather possible given the winter months were here and we were not disappointed.  Temperatures in the high 60s and radiant sunshine awaited us when we got off the train and made our way up the steps to Versailles. Read below for my tips on visiting Versailles.

 {view of the back of the palace from the gardens. in the winter months the fountains are drained which isn't ideal but certainly doesn't take away from the beauty of the property.}

 {hall of mirrors}

 {maria antoinette's bedroom. epic floral overload.}

 {adorable swans in the pond outside the restaurant}

 {golf carts. best kept secret at versailles.}

 {marie antoinette's hamlet- aka peasant town where she pretended to be one of the "simpler" folk- definitely do not skip this part of the property as it is completely intriguing to see in relation to the over the top spectacle that is the palace}

{pink marble at the grand trianon}

Tips for visiting Versailles:
  1. Buy Tickets in Advance: This is really not negotiable- you need to do this. It's very simple and they can scan the tickets directly from your phone at the entrances so no need to print.  Unless you enjoy standing in 1 to 2 hour long lines upon arriving, buy your tickets online here.  
  2. Pick up the audio tour of the palace: While most museums offer audio tours at an additional cost, the one for the palace at Versailles is included in the ticket price and it really enhances your experience walking through the interior palace portion.
  3. Where to go first:  A lot of sites recommend starting out at the Grand and Petite Trianons at the far side of the grounds first and then doing the main palace last.  Even the Versailles official visitor website recommends this, but the day that we went it wasn't that busy so we started with the Palace first, then went through the gardens following by the Trianons and Marie Antoinette's Hamlet ending with a lunch.  After lunch we leisurely walked back through the gardens. 
  4. Rent Golf Carts:  There are golf carts available to rent by the hour outside the back of the palace which you can use to quickly get you to opposite end of the property where the Trianons and Hamlet are located.  This may sound incredibly lazy to rent a golf cart to get you around, but the palace property is massive.  If you would like to see everything at a nice pace and not feel incredibly rushed then the use of a golf cart will cut out hours of time walking between the sites. Golf carts cost $30 euro per hour and we used ours for 2 hours.  Note there is a 4 person maximum on the carts.
  5. Eat lunch on the Property: While normally museum restaurants are overpriced and not all that great, the ones at Versailles are absolutely wonderful.  You basically have 4 options for food ranging from a nicer restaurant (aka white tablecloths) to a casual sit-down bistro to a take-away cafe.  We chose to eat at the casual restaurant (which has beautiful outdoor seating if the weather permits) and were surprised at the great food at reasonable prices. 


  1. I visited Versailles. It is a great place ^^ Very elegant

  2. Versailles and the steps at Sacre Coure are my favorite places in (and near) Paris. I would love to take a paddle boat ride at Versailles in the spring!