Versailles was the one thing I really wanted to do in Paris. And then I listened to one-too-many horror stories about what a waste it was to travel all the way out there just to wait in line for hours, making it the one thing I really didn’t want to do in Paris. But the last full day of our jaunt in this part of the country rolled around and we figured now or never. Verdict?
My two cents::
This is common knowledge to some, but a surprise to others:: Versailles is not just a quick metro stop away. To get to Chateau Versailles from Paris–> Take an RER C train [main metro stations include Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, and Invalides] to Versailles Château-Rive. You won’t be able to miss the crowds once you arrive.
Yes, arrive early, but it doesn’t have to be Disney World-early [unless maybe you’re visiting in June or July– then be there by the 9am opening]. We were in line by 11am or so and didn’t wait more than 45 minutes to get in the main palace.
Buy your tickets ahead. of. time. Admittedly, we did not. But thanks to our INSIDR phone, we were able to buy them once we were already in the yes-we-do-already-have-our-tickets-monsieur-line [#sneaky].
Please leave your selfie stick at home. For the love of gawd. I saw a lot of sad things on this trip, but the obnoxious tourists who ran room to room to take a few quick photos without pausing to think for a moment about this place’s history and appreciate the fact that they’re standing in a room that was built 300+ years ago? You can leave.
If you’re willing to spend close to a full day there, make a point to visit the Trianon Palaces and Marie Antoinette’s Estate, further away from the main palace.
Versailles is closed on Mondays, but visit on Tuesday and you’ll also be able to enjoy free music and fountain shows in the gardens. However, these two things do tend to make Tuesdays more crowded.
Do not visit if you experience any sort of claustrophobia.