If you are planning a trip to Paris, you MUST take a day trip to Chateau Versailles. It was the highlight of my recent trip to visit my sister in Paris. The gardens are absolutely breathtaking and the Hall of Mirrors is unbelievable.
How to get there
Chateau Versailles is easily accessible by train from Paris for under 10 euros per person by taking the RER C train to Versailles-Chateau — Rive Gauche. Once you arrive, you can walk to the palace and gardens, which you’ll easily find by following all the other tourists headed in the same direction (at least we did, it was very busy the day I went) or by following the signs.
Pack a picnic
On our way to the palace and gardens, my sister and I stopped to pick up some baguette, cheese, hummus and fruit to have for lunch in the gardens. There are restaurants and cafes on the palace grounds, but we thought it was so much more fun to sit in the grass and enjoy our lunch under a canopy of trees.
Explore the gardens
Visiting the gardens at Versailles is free, unless the fountains are turned on. When I went the fountains weren’t on, but I can only imagine how beautiful it would be to visit when they are turned on because the gardens are breathtaking even without them.
Inside the palace
The day I visited Versailles it was very busy and we ended up waiting in line for a while to get into the palace. Once inside, the tour is directed through each of the rooms on display, which is very helpful to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The highlight of the tour inside the palace is definitely the Hall of Mirrors, which, you guessed it, is lined with mirrors! It is also home to beautiful chandeliers filling the room. It is such an incredible room, it really blew my mind.
In addition to the palace, you can visit the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. We only ended up having a chance to the visit the Petit Trianon because we didn’t buy tickets for the buildings until later in the day so we ran out of time, but it is also definitely worth the visit, as is the Hamlet and surrounding grounds.
Stay all day
My favourite part of my day at Versailles was the last hour that the gardens were open. By this time, most of the other visitors had left and there is sense of calm over the gardens. My sister and I took this time to take photos without swarms of tourists in them and took a break to sit along the canal to watch the rowers. It was an amazing opportunity to take in the beauty of the gardens and the palace without the hustle and bustle of tourists everywhere.
Have you been to Versailles? Let me know your recommendations in the comments.