If it is your first (or second, or third) trip to Paris, you are probably debating visiting the famed Chateau of Versailles.
I am not all about re-inventing the wheel friends. I believe in consulting the experts if it will make your life easier. Fellow blogger Mike’s Travel Guides to Europe wrote a stellar explanation on how to get to Versailles from Paris. SO GOOD in fact, that both myself and our Viking Cruise director printed off his directions on different days and had offered them to the same person. Ha!
If you are interested in the most detailed, step-by-step directions on how to get from Paris to Versailles (with PHOTOS for every stop), check out Mike’s post here: How to get from Paris to Versailles
You will need to get to Versailles EARLY. And by early, I mean leaving Paris at 8am to arrive at the opening time of 9. We were there right at 9am, tickets already in hand thanks to the Paris Museum Pass, and the security line looked like this:
Thankfully, we waited only 40 minutes in the line and the palace grounds were basically empty. It seems long but it’s worth it!
The Paris Museum Pass allows you to hop right in the security line for the Palace of Versailles. If you don’t have a Paris Museum Pass, you will have to hop in the ticket line that is through the door to the left of the golden gates. It is also a long line, so I would recommend that you divide and conquer – one person gets in the ticket line while the other holds your place in the security line. To ensure that other travelers are not upset with you, I would have the majority of your party hop in the security line.
WHAT I WISHED I HAD KNOWN BEFORE VISITING
Versailles is a must-see attraction in France (and the lines obviously support that statement!). Other than the fact that you are visiting King Louis’ Palace, they say the best part is the gardens in bloom. I will spare you the disappointment friends: this is not included in the Paris Museum Pass. Yes, you can access Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon, but you will have to exit Versailles and go around the back road. And walk there. And walk. Just a heads up, it’s a lonnnnnng way. Once you exit the Palace, there is no going back in.
Looking back, I probably should not have been cheap and just paid the extra $7 or whatever it was to see the gardens and the fountain show. Of all of the things that I could have saved money on, this was probably not it. My husband and I traveled all the way to France and I’m cheaping out on $7? Probably wasn’t my finest hour.
Luckily, food makes everything better
After our 2 hour trek to Petit Trianon and back, we stopped down a side street near the entrance of the Palace and had the MOST DELICIOUS DUCK GRAVY I have ever had. Jojo begged me not to drink it straight from the cup, but I had a hard time restraining myself.
This is a side note on food in France for all of my North American peeps – if you order something, it comes out on a plate and THAT’S IT. If you order a steak, you get a steak. No salad, no potato, no side of nothing. There is no “would you like fries with that?” aka…overeating at its finest.
I ordered a duck breast (I was trying to be a little bit adventurous) and it came out, just meat on a plate, with this gravy to dunk it in. IT WAS THE BEST GRAVY THAT I HAVE EVER HAD… and I have poutine on a regular basis. The only word to describe it was exquisite. It had whole peppercorns in the bottom that only added to the flavour. To make a long story short, when we revisit France, we are heading to this exact place to experience the duck gravy again.
I traveled here in 2017. As always, be sure to check your country’s travel advisories before booking any trips or excursions. You can check out the Canadian opinion here.
Traveling in France? You might also like: Visiting the Vimy Ridge Memorial, France