On my recent holiday to Paris, we decided to go out on a limb and get out of the city to see the Palace of Versailles. I’d heard of it before but never knew what to expect or if it was worth a day out. We were not disappointed! Here’s what to expect when visiting the Palace of Versailles.
We took the RER train from the Notre Dame to the Château de Versailles. Upon arrival we purchased the Passport ticket giving us access to the palace, the gardens, the Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. We went on a Saturday (which I would definitely recommend) which made our ticket slightly more expensive but it was worth it to see the musical fountain shows from 3:30pm to 5pm where the fountains came to life with a show along with music.
We listened to the audio guide (which was included in the ticket price) while we walked through the palace which told us the history of the kings who lived there and how the rooms and gardens have changed over time. The rooms were decorated in beautiful gold and royal decorations but I personally would recommend seeing the gardens only if you have kids or are short on time. The gardens were really the highlight of the day! You could spend hours just walking around the gardens and marveling at the many sculptures, hedges, water features and fountains. However, if you’re really into French history or royl palaces, then definitely go for it. Just be prepared for a lot of walking.
We decided to make our way over the other side of the gardens to the Trianon palaces as it was included in the tickets. We went through the Grand Trianon and were very disappointed – don’t waste your time and effort walking here! It took less than 5 minutes to walk through it and was nowhere near as impressive as the main palace. I wouldn’t bother with this, especially if you’re spending the day walking around the palace and the gardens – it’s tiring enough!
Overall, I would suggest only doing the gardens of Versailles if you’re ever in Paris. You can easily make a day of it however, it can be done in half a day depending on the weather and how much walking you’re willing to do. I would definitely wear your walking shoes for a day out here as the gardens are huge – it covers 800 hectares! The gardens have been maintained and improved over many years and seem to keep getting better so be sure to check them out.