If you’re in Paris but wondering how easy it is to get to Versailles, you’ve come to the right place. Versailles is only a short day trip from Paris, but you’ll need to plan your visit to Versailles ahead of time. From the magnificent gardens to the inspiring palace, you won’t want to skip a trip to Versailles from Paris.
Pro Tip: The best way to see Versailles is with a licensed guide who helps you access areas unavailable to the general public and shares amazing stories about what you’ll see. Check out our guided small group tour of Versailles that starts in Paris!
Day Trip From Versailles to Paris: Overview and What To Expect
Since its completion in 1634, Versailles became the cultural heartbeat of Europe until 1789. It was the grandest Palace the world had ever seen and quickly became the envy of every King & Queen in Europe. Today, Versailles is one of the blockbuster sites in Europe, and events here have shaped world history even up to the 20th century. The monumental architecture, gilded royal apartments, and lavish gardens are a sight to behold that leave every visitor breathless by its grandeur.
We’ll dive deeper into how to get to Versailles later, but know that the Palace of Versailles is a 45-minute drive outside of Paris or an easy 35-minute train ride away. The easiest way to get there is by taking RER (the bigger suburban trains) Line C from central Paris. You can easily connect from the underground Paris Metro to catch RER C at major stops like St. Michel (near the Notre Dame & Latin Quarter), Champ de Mars (Eiffel Tower), or Musee D’Orsay.
In this guide, we’ll explore what you need to know about tickets to Versailles, opening hours, what you should see, how to get there, and much more!
- Hours and info
- Essential tips for visiting
- How much time to spend
- Guided tours of Versailles
- What to see
- How to get to Versailles
- Places to eat nearby
1. Versailles Palace: Hours and Info
November 1st – March 31st
- Palace of Versailles: Tuesday – Sunday | 9 a.m. – 5:30 pm
- Gardens of Versailles: Daily | 8 am – 6 pm
- The estate of Trianon: Tuesday – Sunday | 12 – 6:30 pm
April 1st – October 31st:
- Palace of Versailles: Tuesday – Sunday | 7 am – 8:30 pm
- Gardens of Versailles: Daily from 8 am – 6 pm
- The estate of Trianon: Tuesday – Sunday | 12 – 6:30 pm
Versailles Ticket Prices:
There are actually a lot of ticket options to see Versailles on foot or even by bike or rowboat. Here are the most common ticket options and their prices:
- Versailles Palace Ticket: €18 (includes audio guide)
- Garden of Versailles Ticket: FREE on days without a fountain or music show
- Garden Ticket with Fountains and Music: €8.50 – €9.50
- Passport Ticket: €20 -27 (Includes all of above plus the estate of Trianon. Price varies from high to low season)
- Petit Trianon: only open for guided tours
Free or Reduced Palace of Versailles Tickets
The first Sunday of the month during November through March is actually free to the public. Anyone can explore the entire estate without a ticket. Otherwise, any non-European residents under 18 have free entry, as does any EU resident under 26. Any disabled people and one escort can also access the palace and grounds without purchasing a ticket. Finally, anyone who has a Paris Museum Pass can also enter Versailles for free.
Versailles Palace Tickets
If you decide to go it alone, an €18 ticket includes an audio guide and gets you access to the palace. Access to the gardens is free, except on select days when there are special events taking place in the gardens (between April and October). The fountain show runs almost every day when the weather is nice.
Versailles Garden & Musical Fountains
On certain days of the week, the gardens are not free to access as the palace has fountain and musical shows that require ticketed access. The musical fountain show ticket (when the garden’s multiple fountains are synchronized to music) costs €9.50, and a musical garden ticket (when music is played throughout the gardens) costs €8.50.
You can check the website for detailed information about the times and days of these events that change throughout the year. Otherwise, simplify your visit by booking a guided tour so you can access everything without a hassle.
Borgo & Trianon
The Grand and Petit Trianon are two smaller palaces (much smaller than the Château de Versailles) which were built as a sort of retreat for King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette. Many people choose to forgo these two palaces in order to spend more time in the gardens, but they are worth visiting if you have the time. And there are fewer crowds!
2. Essential Tips for Visiting Versailles
Plan Ahead and Avoid the Crowds
The Palace of Versailles gets most of its visitors on weekends and on Tuesdays. Especially during summer, you’re going to have to get a little strategic and purchase your Versailles tickets or tour in advance.
If you have not planned anything ahead, it helps to arrive as early as possible to tour the palace. We suggest arriving right at opening time—if not a little before. If you did not pre-purchase Versailles admissions or a tour, avoid touring the palace in the late morning and afternoon, when crowds are at their peak.
If you decide to visit Versailles in the afternoon, we suggest touring the gardens first. Then, circle back around in the later afternoon or evening for the palace.
Reserve Versailles Tickets in Advance
If you’ve reserved your Versailles ticket online and have your copy handy, then go directly to entrance A of the palace with your ticket. If you didn’t purchase a ticket in advance, then you can try to go inside and buy your ticket at one of the automated ticket machines that many visitors don’t know exist.
Picnic or Restaurant Lunch in the Garden
We highly recommend packing a picnic lunch. The food options at Versailles aren’t the best. Picnicking is allowed the gardens, so bring a sandwich from a bakery or hit up a market on the way to your train to Versailles.
You can check out Marche du Notre Dame which is a market near the palace where you can buy your picnic lunch—and a little wine if you like!
Don’t Walk, Bike!
Bikes are available to rent in the Versailles gardens. Electric vehicles (golf carts) are also available to rent for those with limited mobility. To find out more about these options, click here, then click on “Leisure and transport.”
3. How Much Time You Should Spend at Versailles
Short Answer: 6 hours, including transportation time from Paris
Your train ride will take about 1.5 hours round trip, including your walk to the palace from the train station in Versailles. You’ll also want to grab a bite to eat while you’re there, which can take some time. That leaves you with about 3 hours to walk around the palace and gardens.
If you’re not the picnicking type, don’t worry. There’s a luxury Waldorf Astoria built into the Trianon of Versailles with an epic restaurant named La Veranda (find more about this in at the end of this article).
Sean’s Tip: Personally, I budget 2 to 4 hours for the gardens alone if the weather is nice. If you are going with the kids, bring a stroller and plan to get a meal on the grounds. Try not to rush through the experience, and it will become a positive and long-lasting memory for you and your travel companions.
4. The Benefits of Guided Tours of Versailles
Like any museum, there is only so much you can do on your own. Tour guides spend years of their lives learning about and understanding historically rich monuments like Versailles in hopes of creating more memorable tour experiences for visitors.
We recommend a tour of Versailles when possible and believe our tours are the best in Paris. Our customer reviews back up that claim!
Check Out Our Best Versailles & Paris Louvre Tours
5. What You Should See at Versailles Palace and Gardens
Avid enthusiasts of beauty could spend an entire day exploring all that Versailles has to offer from the palatial rooms to the Trianon estate. Here are the top places you should definitely see while you’re visiting Versailles:
- Royal Courtyard
- State Apartments
- Hall of Mirrors
- Royal Chape
- Letona Basin & Fountains
- Apollo Basin
Marie Antoinette’s Domain
- French Pavillion
- Temple of Love
- Petite Trianon
Estate of Trianon
6. How To Get to Versailles from Paris
The Château de Versailles is not actually in Paris but in the city of Versailles, France. There are three ways for you to get to Versailles from Paris.
You will need to take the RER C to get to the Versailles Château Rive Gauche train station. Depending on where you are coming from, the train could stop at one of three stations in Versailles.
If you get off on the wrong one it is not a tragedy, but it may require some additional work and maybe a taxi. From the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station, you’re just a 10-minute walk to the palace. Thankfully, there are plenty of signs that clearly indicate which way to go, so don’t worry.
Here are some of the most popular train stations in Paris that can take you to Versailles.
- Saint Michel-Notre Dame
- Gare d’Austerlitz
- Musée d’Orsay
- Pont de l’Alma
- Champ de Mars -Eiffel Tower
You’ll need to buy a special metro ticket to get to and from Versailles. A round trip ticket will cost you €7.10. If you’re worried about buying the incorrect ticket, purchase the tickets from a metro service agent instead of the machine.
Using a metro ticket machine, make sure you indicate that your destination is the Versailles Rive Gauche station (there are three destinations in Versailles, so it’s more convenient to choose the right one). Depending on your departure location, the train will take you anywhere from 30 to 60+ minutes, so plan accordingly.
Use Google Maps to check train departure times as they frequently depart every hour. Your ticket for an RER-C train will also cover any underground Metro. Be sure to buy a return ticket to cover the return trip to Paris. You can take any train headed to Versailles or Versailles Rive Gauche/Chateau. Trains depart every 15 minutes.
Pro Tip: Purchase both your tickets (to and from Versailles) while you’re in Paris. If you buy your return ticket to Paris at the Versailles station, there will likely be dozens of other people doing the same thing and the lines can get long.
The best way to get to Versailles is with a tour. You’ll get insights from an experienced guide without the guesswork of which train to catch or which ticket to buy.
The Versailles Express bus departs near the Eiffel Tower. Purchasing a ticket on their site will get you a round-trip bus ticket to Versailles and entrance into the palace (€42) or just a round-trip bus ticket (€24). But note that all their tickets are for half-day transfers, so going this route means you’ll have limited time at the palace.
A second bus option: Bus 171 will take you to the palace from the Pont de Sèvres area, accessible by metro line 9 for the cost of a normal metro ticket (€1.90, or €2 if you purchase onboard the bus).
While you certainly can take the bus from Paris, we recommend taking the train since it’s a smoother and faster transit. It’s what we use on our guided day trips to Paris from Versailles.
With a Tour Guide:
Take all the guesswork out and arrange to visit the Palace of Versailles with a tour guide. We take the train to get there, and you won’t have to worry about which Versailles stop to watch for or how long the entry lines are to get into the palace.
Check Out Our Best Versailles & Paris Louvre Tours
7. Best Places to Eat Near the Palace of Versailles
There are some food stands inside the gardens, but if you want to eat in near the Palace of Versailles, there are a few options. If you’re in desperate need, there is a nearby McDonalds, but since you’re in France, opt for something local. Here are some restaurant recommendations near the Palace of Versailles:
Outside the palace:
- Le Pinceman – This cool place is about an 18-minute walk from the Palace, so you will get a bit of a local feel. A 3-course menu will cost €40, not including drinks, and it’s an excellent choice. You will have to make reservations ahead of time though!
- Angelina Paris (€€€) – This restaurant is inside the palace and famous for its various dishes as well as its Hot Chocolate. The decor is classic and a great place to unwind after a day of touring
- Marche du Notre Dame – is a great little market to buy some fresh produce and bubbly to have a Versailles picnic. You won’t be able to bring food inside the palace, so you can either do the gardens first or exit the palace to get food prior to heading to the gardens. They are separate entrances with separate admissions so you won’t lose anything but exiting the palace, getting food, and re-entering the garden. Its 15 minutes away by foot
Inside the palace:
There are at least six places to eat on the palace grounds: Two inside the palace grounds and four in the palace gardens, which is handy as you explore the extensive grounds.
- Ore – Ducasse au château de Versailles – If it is a cool, rainy day and you want a very nice meal, this is the place. Reviews are not what you’d expect but this a premier Ducasse restaurant so take them with a grain of salt. The food is worth any slip in service you might experience.
- Angelina Paris – Small snack and pastry bar to get some quick bites on the fly.
- Brasserie De La Girandole – A great place to grab a salad or burger in the gardens.
- La Flottille – Super cool inside/outside dining right up against the lake where you can rent a boat. If I am not eating at La Veranda, which I probably am, I would eat here.
- Le Petite Venise – Coffee, crepes and ice cream—just what you’d expect when you see this little food shop.
- La Veranda – If your budget allows, head to La Veranda, located in the Waldorf Astoria in the Versailles gardens. The food is going to be expensive and delicious, and the view is amazing. Make a surprise reservation here and surprise your travel companion with the best view (and possibly meal) at Versailles.
Additional contributions added courtesy of Angel Castellanos.