Heading to Paris and want to know how to visit Versailles? It is easier than you think and we’ve broken it down into 6 steps including Versailles tickets, hours, tours, and more!
Pro Tip: The best way to see Versailles is with a licensed guide. A guide elevates your experience and makes it more memorable which is the reason we start our company! Check out our guided small group tour of Versailles that starts in Paris!
1. Château de Versailles Hours & Admission Costs
Versailles Seasonal Hours
November 1st – March 31st
- Palace of Versailles: Tuesday -Sunday | 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Gardens of Versailles: Every day | 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- The Estate of Trianon: Tuesday – Sunday | 12 – 6:30 p.m.
April 1st – October 31st:
- Palace of Versailles: Tuesday -Sunday | 7 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
- Gardens of Versailles: Every day from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- The estate of Trianon: Tuesday – Sunday | 12 – 6:30 p.m.
Ticket & Admission Prices:
- Versailles Palace Ticket: 18€ (includes audio guide)
- Garden of Versailles Ticket: 0€ (Wed & Thurs)
- Garden Ticket with Fountains & Music: 8.50€ – 9.50€
- Passport Ticket: 20€ -27€ (Includes all of above + Estate of Trianon. Price varies from high to low season)
- Petit Trianon: only open to guided tours.
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 is almost every day when the weather is nice.
Versailles Garden & Musical Fountains
On these days, you’ll have to purchase a separate ticket to enter the gardens. A 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.
If it sounds confusing at this point that is because it is confusing. We exist as a tour company to take away the guess work and you can see that in our positive reviews.
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 super cool.
2. How Long to Budget for Your Versailles Palace Visit
After you get your Versailles tickets you’ll need to start budgeting your time.
Short Answer: 6 hours round trip
Your train ride will take about 1hr 40 mins hours round trip including your walk to the Palace from the train station in Versailles.
You’re going to want to get some lunch while you are out there which will be at least another hour – it’s France. Then you are going to want to spend at least 3 hours walking around the palace and gardens.
Sean’s Tip: Personally, I am going to 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.
You may not be a “picnic” type so there is literally a Waldorf Astoria built into the Trianon of Versailles with an epic restaurant named La Veranda. I will probably set aside two hours for a boozy lunch on a nice day but there are also other restaurants on the grounds – see section 6 below.
3. Guided Tours of Versailles
Like any museum, there is only so much you can do on your own. Guides spend years of their lives learning and understanding historically rich monuments like Versailles in hopes to create 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 that up!
Check Out Our Best Versailles & Paris Louvre Tours
4. Visiting Versailles Tips
1. Avoid the Crowds
The Château de 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 will help 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.
2. Reserve Versailles Tickets in Advance
If you’ve reserved your Versailles ticket online and you’ve already printed it, then you can 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 which many visitors don’t know exist.
4. Picnic or Restaurant Lunch in the Garden
Strongly consider packing a picnic. 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 to buy your picnic items including some vin!
5. 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”.
5. Getting 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.
First, By Train:
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 in the wrong one it is not a tragedy, but some additional work and maybe a taxi. Look for “Versailles Château Rive Gauche” train station. Once here, you’re about a 10-minute walk to the palace, but signs will clearly indicate which way to go so don’t worry.
Here are some train stations in Paris that head to Versailles.
- Saint Michel-Notre Dame
- Gare d’Austerlitz
- Musée d’Orsay
- Pont de l’Alma
- Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel
You’ll need to buy a special metro ticket to get to and from Versailles – A round trip will cost you €7.10. If you’re worried about buying the incorrect ticket, purchase the tickets from a metro service agent.
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 you need to choose the right one). Depending on your departure location, the train will take you anywhere from 30 to 60+ minutes, so plan accordingly.
Insider 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 to skip the lines.
Check Out Our Best Versailles & Paris Louvre Tours
Second, By Bus:
(Take the train – it is much more simple. We use the train on our tours.)
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).
Third, Go 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 get off on – because there are two!
6. Places to Eat Nearby and Inside
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. There is a McDonalds right by the train station but you need to resist. Here are some restaurant recommendations near the Palace of Versailles:
- 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 set, 3-course menu will cost 40€ not including drinks and it is excellent. Reservation Mandatory
- Angelinas (€€€) 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 6 places to eat on the palace grounds. Two inside the palace grounds and at least four in the palace gardens. Your options are endless so you are going to want to really explore the gardens and not be cheap with your time here.
- Ore – Ducasse au château de Versailles – If it is a cool rainy day and you want a very nice meal, this is it. Reviews are not what you’d expect but this a Ducasse restaurant so ignore them. Most refer to waiters being condescending which are as Parisian as it gets and comes with the territory.
- Angelina Paris – Small snack and pastry bar to get some quick bites on the fly.
- Brasserie De La Girandole – Temporarily closed due to the low-volume of COVID but on a normal tourism year, it is a great place to grab a salad or burger in the gardens. Expect this place to be reopened and a hit when tourism kicks back in.
- 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 – what you’d expect when you see it.
- La Veranda – Depending on my travel budget, this is going to be my pick. There is actually a Waldorf Astoria in the Versailles Garden which is really cool. They have an incredible restaurant known as La Veranda. The food is going to be expensive and delicious and the view is amazing. I would make a reservation here and don’t tell your travel partner – act cool when you arrive and be like, “oh, you didn’t know about this little place?”