One of the things I was most excited about when visiting France was the Palace of Versailles. I had watched the show Versailles (available on Netflix) and fell in love with its history. I always loved history growing up and being able to see all the details of this mesmerizing palace and knowing who had lived there centuries ago was quite amazing.
The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence for the royal family of France from 1682 under Louis XIV until the start of the French Revolution in 1789 under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of Paris. The history of the Palace of Versailles starts during the 17th century. It was first a hunting lodge, then a seat of power, and finally, from the 19th century onwards, a museum. Comprised of the Palace, the gardens, the Park, the Trianon estate and several buildings in town, the Estate of Versailles spans over 800 hectares.
Now let’s talk about the tour:
You can purchase a ticket there or online in advance (recommended). The line to buy a ticket there is extremely long, so buying online is the best way to save time. Some companies offer a guided tour, where they charge 10 euros on top of the ticket cost, but since the audio guide is included in the ticket cost (with many languages available), I don’t see a need for a person to guide you during your visit.
They have a few types of tickets available to be purchased. One is called PASSPORT, which allows you to visit the palace, the gardens and Estate of Trianon. They also have tickets to visit ONLY the palace or ONLY the gardens, but honestly, it’s best to experience everything.
There were so many things that I loved about the Palace, but the Hall of Mirrors was definitely my favorite part. This room was created to pay tribute to the political, economic and artistic success of France during that time. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
You should set aside at least half a day to visit Versailles. The trip via train takes around 40 minutes from Paris, and to walk around the palace, gardens and Estate of Trianon will take around four hours (if you’re quick). There are golf carts / little trains available that you can take around, but none of those are included in the ticket; you’ll have to pay separately and it’s expensive per hour.
Passport or Passport with timed entry (less line): 27 euros
Palace ticket: 18 euros
Estate of Trianon ticket: 12 euros
*Don’t forget that the only ticket that allows you access to the entire Estate is one of the Passports.
Visiting the Palace of Versailles is a MUST in France. Even if you don’t have too much time, try to squeeze into your trip, it’s well worth it. Follow me on Instagram @eat_travel_andlove to watch all the videos and pictures I took during my visit.