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There are plenty of day tours to Versailles on offer, but it is just as easy to get there on your own, with the added benefit that you are on your own schedule and can spend as little or as much time there as possible.
Versailles is a wealthy suburb approximately 20km southwest from the centre of Paris, the main attraction being the palace of the same name. Construction of the palace began originally as a hunting lodge in 1624, during the reign of Louis XIII. It was his successor, Louis XIV, who later had it expanded into one of the largest palaces in the world.
Getting there: Versailles Rive Gauche is the closest train station to the palace. From Paris, take the RER C5 line to get there. Some stations where you are able to catch this train include St Michel-Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, Invalides, Pont de l’Alma and Champ de Mars. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes, with trains at roughly 15 minute intervals. Please note that a t+ carnet ticket is only valid within Zone 1 and is therefore not valid for this journey. Instead, you will need to purchase an RER ticket to/from Versailles Rive Gauche for €4.20 one way. Alternatively, you may like to consider purchasing a 4 zone Mobilis ticket for 1 day of unlimited travel on the Metro system for €11.20. Once at Versailles Rive Gauche, turn right at the station exit and then left onto Avenue de Paris. It is about a 10 minute walk to the palace.
Palace open on Tues-Sun 9am-6.30pm with last admission at 6pm from 1 April-31 October and 9am-5.30pm with last admission at 5pm from 1 November-31 March
Trianon Palace and Marie Antoinette’s estate open on Tues-Sun 12pm-6.30pm with last admission at 6pm from 1 April-31 October and 12pm-5.30pm with last admission at 5pm from 1 November-31 March
Garden open everyday 8am-8.30pm from 1 April-31 October and 8am-6pm from 1 November-31 March
Tickets: Palace €15, Trianon Palace and Marie Antoinette’s estate €10, both for €18, FREE with the Paris Museum Pass and on the 1st Sunday of the month from November-March
Sights: If you have purchased a combined ticket, the first part of your visit will take you through the palace interiors, where you will be able to visit the King and Queen’s Bedchambers, the Royal Chapel and the Hall of Mirrors. Once you have toured the palace, the exit towards the back will lead you towards the palace gardens. You may choose to walk through the immaculate gardens, or alternatively you can take a mini train to the Trianon Palace and Marie Antoinette’s estate for €7.50 return. Even if you choose the mini train option, you will be walking a long distance on this day, so remember to wear comfortable shoes!
Now that you’re ready for your day trip, it’s time to simply let the pictures do the talking. I hope you enjoy exploring the Palace of Versailles as much as I did!
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