International Destinations

Paris Day Trip: The Palace of Versailles

Versailles is a suburb of Paris, located about 12 miles from Point Zero, and it served as the seat of political power from 1682 to 1789. The Palace is open for tours every day, except Mondays, from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm; and the gardens and parks are open every day from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm. (Trust me on the Monday thing – we figured this one out the hard way.) I recommend getting there a little before or at the time the gates open or else you will have to wait for a while. The Palace can get full quickly making it difficult to see some of the artifacts so the earlier, the better. I also recommend purchasing the Passport ticket for 20€, which provides you access to the most amount of things while you are on the estate.

Getting to Versailles

The train is the easiest and cheapest method of traveling to Versailles. The ride is generally about 20 minutes and costs 7€ for a round-trip ticket. You will be riding along the RER C line towards Versailles-Rive Gauche. Conveniently, that is your stop and the last one on the line so you can’t miss it. Just follow the signs for the chateau, which is about a five-minute walk from the station.

The Palace

The Palace contains 2,300 rooms and is around 679,784 square feet in size. During your visit you will get the chance to explore, the King’s State and Private Apartments, the Queen’s State and Private Apartments, a series of other apartments, a walk through The Museum of the History of France, the famous Hall of Mirrors. The whole tour takes around 1.5 hours, but plan for more time if it is a crowded day (Tuesdays and weekends).

The Gardens

The Gardens are located to the west of the Palace and be viewed from the Hall of Mirrors.

Louis XIV started the process of laying out the gardens in 1661. The whole process took around 40 years to create and consists of 800 hectares. The “tour” around the gardens takes around 2 hours. The plus side is the gardens are open every day, so you if you just want to see these then go on Monday when the palace is closed. I recommend heading down to the Great Lawn and grabbing an ice cream cone before you start exploring. If you

The Estate of Trianon

The Estate of Trianon is home to the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon palaces, as well as additional ornamental gardens. Unfortunately, this Estate is also closed on Monday, so we missed the chance to see inside. But our walks along the Palace grounds lead us to these estates. The Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon construction began under Louis XIV but is most closely associated with Queen Marie-Antoinette, the wife Louis XVI. The estate was constructed to provide the royal family a bit of respite and privacy from life at the palace.

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