Best Tips for a Day Trip to Palace of Versailles

January 22, 2024

This blog post has the best tips for a day trip to Palace of Versailles – the opulent palace, immaculate gardens, and the allure of French royalty just a short trip from Paris.

Visiting the Palace of Versailles is like stepping into a lavish fairy tale, where opulent halls adorned with gilded decor showcase the grandeur of French royalty.

While the meticulously manicured gardens invite a leisurely stroll amidst fountains and ornate sculptures.

Both providing a day of regal immersion just outside the bustling heart of Paris.

This blog post is part of a four part series for visiting Paris including A Complete Guide to Visiting Paris, Top Things to See and Do in Paris, and A Day Trip to Veuve Clicquot in Reims.

In a rush?

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How to Get to the Palace of Versailles from Paris

I used the Louvre as the starting point in the above map as that is the most central location to most arrondissements that you might be staying in.

You can find exact directions to the Palace from your own location by using the City Mapper website here.

Based on where I was staying for my first three nights in Paris before my daughter joined me and how long the train option would have taken, I decided to take an Uber X to the Palace of Versailles. This one way trip cost right around $65…

Then instead of getting an Uber back to Paris, after walking through the Palace Gardens and Trianon, I walked to the Waldorf Astoria Versailles and asked them to call me a taxi.

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Another option is to use the company My Day Trip. I recently used them on my December trip to Germany and found them to be an incredible company that was very easy to work with ;).

Which Ticket to Buy

I absolutely recommend purchasing your ticket online as soon as you know your itinerary! They are timed tickets (with a 30 minute grace window). Be aware – the Palace of Versailles is closed on Mondays!

It is also free on Sundays from November to March ;).

I will say that the line outside the gates surprised me – it was similar to how everyone lines up 30 minutes before an airplane starts boarding… what’s the reason? No clue!

I chose to find a bench and wait for my ticket time of 10:30 before going to the line (which moves extremely fast 5 minutes before the entrance time on your ticket ;0).

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I purchased the ‘Passport’ ticket which gave me access to the Palace, Trianon Estate Buildings (Marie Antoinette’s “cottage”), and the gardens.

Most people only take the time to visit the Palace and that is such a shame! There are fountain shows in the gardens via pleasant walks.

But my favorite part of the entire grounds is going inside the Trianon buildings which include Marie Antoinette’s home – you have to walk THROUGH the gardens to get to these stunning buildings and they truly are a DO NOT MISS part of your visit!

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How Much Time You Need

I left my hotel at 9am for a 10:30am ticket time and arrived with plenty of time to get some outside the gates photos and even make a few phone calls (remember I did not stand in that weird unnecessary line that most of the other 10:30am ticket holders did ;0).

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I knew I had to meet my daughter at our Paris AirBnb at 3pm so I made sure I saw everything I wanted to see on the Versailles grounds and still get in a taxi back to Paris by 2pm.

However, I did not actually take any time for a lunch break! I figured I would find a quick snack in the gardens once I made it through the Palace but I didn’t find any snack carts (see below for food options on the grounds).

There is a Laduree shop at the beginning of the Palace tour – and I totally should have purchased a few macarons to tide myself over had I known that would be my only snack option ;0.

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The Palace

The interior of the Palace of Versailles is a breathtaking spectacle of opulence and grandeur, with ornate chandeliers, intricate tapestries, and gilded details adorning every room giving you a glimpse of the extravagant world of French royalty.

I spent one hour in the Palace with the highlight being the ever popular Hall of Mirrors.

Since I was there on a Friday morning in late August, I expected high season crowds and was therefore not surprised with how many people were in the Palace with me.

And this is exactly why I HIGHLY recommend visiting the gardens and Trianon as well as the Palace – there were ZERO crowds in those parts of the grounds ;)!

However, there are still plenty of places inside the Palace to get some excellent photos (it just takes a little more awareness and effort on your part ;)).

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The Gardens

The gardens at Versailles are a collection of meticulously manicured lawns, grand fountains, and geometrically aligned flower beds, offering a breathtaking outdoor escape.

Electric cart rentals are an option if you would rather not walk around the 2000 acres ;). You can learn more about this option here.

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With the minimally detailed maps given at the entrance, it is quite easy to get lost in the Gardens and you must navigate them to get to the Trianon estate buildings.

So I used Google maps for fear of getting lost amongst the 2000 acres ;0!

Here was my route for you to reference for your own garden wandering:

I was lucky to coincidentally be on the grounds at the right time on a day that there was a fountain show set to period music. While I am not sure I would have rushed any part of my day to see this show – it was certainly a pleasant surprise!

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Trianon Estate

My absolute favorite part of the entire Versailles grounds!! As I have said multiple times already in this post – these buildings and surroundings are a DO NOT MISS in my opinion!!

This delightful escape from the crowds of the Palace include the Grand Trianon’s elegant pink marble, the charming pink cottage of the Petit Trianon, and lush peaceful gardens.

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Can’t you just envision Marie Antoinette walking around in these flower beds and entertaining in the rooms?

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Where to Find Food

As mentioned above, I did not run into any easily visible snack carts while wandering the grounds of Versailles.

That is not to say that there are not options – I wasn’t necessarily looking for where to eat as I was focused on seeing Trianon before having to get in a taxi before 2pm.

You can find all the dining options on the Palace of Versailles grounds here or bring your own picnic to enjoy on the lawn.

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What to Wear for a Day Trip to Versailles

I wore a dress with a light sweater for my day trip to the Palace of Versailles.

However, as is always the case while traveling, the most important outfit item is comfortable shoes!

I have to share a photo of an obvious “Instagrammer” walking around with a fancy outfit with her photographer in tow.

Yes – I know I have an Instagram account where I share travel tips – but it’s scenes like this one that leave a bad taste in my mouth ;(.

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Our Full Itinerary in a Nutshell

  • Day 1 Fly San Diego to Paris via Dallas on British Airways
  • Day 2 Arrive Paris
  • Day 3 in Paris
    • Explore Louvre grounds
    • Walk along the Seine River to Saint Germain des Pres neighborhood and Odette Pastry Shop
    • Walk to Jardin du Luxembourg
    • Tour Sainte-Chapelle
  • Day 4 in Paris
    • Day trip to Versailles – 10:30am ticket (while my oldest daughter arrived in Paris)
    • Dinner at Cafe de l’Homme
  • Day 5 in Paris
    • Brunch at Monsieur Bleu
    • Walk along Seine to get different viewpoints of the Eiffel Tower (best is Passerelle Debilly)
    • Dinner at Girafe Cafe
  • Day 6 Day trip to Reims to tour Veuve Clicquot champagne house
  • Day 7 in Paris
    • Eiffel Tower (11am tickets)
    • Walk down Avenue George and Avenue Champs-Elysees (see Arc de Triomphe) and Avenue Montaigne
    • La Galerie Dior (3:30pm tickets)
    • Drinks at Bar 228 in Le Meurice Hotel
    • Dinner at Les Deux Magots
    • Drinks (again) at Le Rooftop at the Peninsula Hotel
  • Day 8 in Paris
    • Brunch at Le Consulat
    • Walk around Montmartre
    • Visit Sacre Coeur and the sinking house and photo booth
    • Drinks at Hemingway Bar at the Ritz
    • Seine River dinner cruise
  • Day 9 – take Eurostar to London
    • Visit Leadenhall Market and Sky Garden
  • Day 10 in London
    • Walk through St James’s Park to Buckingham Palace tour (11am tickets)
    • Lunch at Harrods Department Store
    • Go to Camden Market
  • Day 11 in London
    • Brunch at Sketch
    • Walk around Covent Garden and Neal’s Yard
    • Dinner at Mamma Mia the Experience at the O2
  • Day 12 fly home to San Diego nonstop on British Airways

I hope you found this post helpful in planning your day trip to the Palace of Versailles.

Visiting the Palace of Versailles offers a regal journey into French history and opulence, where the grandeur of royal chambers, sprawling gardens, and the Trianon Estate create an immersive experience of unparalleled elegance.

Visiting the Palace of Versailles offers a regal journey into French history and opulence, where the grandeur of royal chambers, sprawling gardens, and the Trianon Estate create an immersive experience of unparalleled elegance
Visiting the Palace of Versailles offers a regal journey into French history and opulence, where the grandeur of royal chambers, sprawling gardens, and the Trianon Estate create an immersive experience of unparalleled elegance

June 2010 family visit to Versailles

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Life is short, the world is wide.

I want to make some memories.

~Mamma Mia

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Have a wonderful day my friend! I hope something makes you smile today ;).

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