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There are several ways to do day trips to Versailles from Paris, and even more ways to see it once you’re there. Let’s find the best way for you.
Versailles Day Trips From Paris
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most opulent attractions in France, and makes an unforgettable day trip from Paris. You just need some tips to do it right.
This guide will look at the best options for taking a day trip to Versailles from Paris, and help you decide if it’s best to book a guided tour or travel there by yourself.
If you opt for a tour, we’ll look at the different kinds you can do.
If you’re doing a day trip to Versailles on your own, this article will also tell you how to do it.
Your 4 Best Options for Day Trips to Versailles from Paris
- Do a guided tour from Paris that includes everything.
- Travel on your own. (Just make sure to get entrance tickets in advance.)
- Book a package that includes transportation, entrance tickets and an audioguide.
- Get to Versailles on your own and do a guided tour once you’re there.
Why Spend A Day in Versailles
However you choose to visit Versailles, it’s well worth the trip. And maybe another.
The first time I went to Versailles I was 16, and I’ve visited several times since. It’s something you don’t get tired of.
I’ve done a group tour to Versailles from Paris, traveled there on my own, and done a combination of independent travel with a short tour of the palace. I’ve even toured the grounds by Segway.
So here are my tips to make your Versailles day trip from Paris easy.
Why is the Palace of Versailles a Top Day Trip From Paris?
Because there is nothing like it.
A French Baroque palace lined with with arched windows, sparkling with hallways of mirrors and dripping in gilt and gold, Versailles was a royal residence unparalleled in Europe.
Also known as the Château de Versailles, or Versailles Castle – because a place this dazzling can’t have too many names – the palace has 700 rooms and more than 2,000 windows.
What’s Best? A Guided Tour or Going On Your Own?
There are pros and cons to both. Let’s look closer.
1) Guided Tours of Versailles From Paris
A guided day tour from Paris is the easiest way to tour Versailles. There is no need to figure out train schedules or how to buy entrance tickets.
The Good Points of Doing a Guided Tour:
🇫🇷 If you’re short on time, a guided tour means no wasting time getting from A to B.
🇫🇷 If you hate trip planning and logistics, a guided day tour makes it easy.
🇫🇷 You’ll have an expert with you so you can learn about the architecture and important figures (and scandals) of the famed Chateau de Versailles.
🇫🇷 If you want to feel taken care of – no shame in that! – you’ll have someone looking out for you.
🇫🇷 Variety. From private luxury tours to affordable bus trips, there is no end to the different types of Versailles tours you can do.
Check out this Full Day Guided Tour With Lunch from Paris to Versailles. From $190 USD.
The Downsides of Guided Tours:
🙁 The downside can be the cost, particularly if it’s a private tour at the luxury end of the spectrum.
🙁 On a group tour, you have to follow a set itinerary and can’t branch out on your own.
🙁 If it’s a large group, you may feel lost in the crowd. In that case, I suggest a small group tour.
2) Versailles Day Trips From Paris On Your Own
If you organize your day trip to Versailles yourself, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility. Just make sure to get your tickets in advance.
This Versailles Palace and Gardens Full Access Day Pass includes timed entry to the palace, plus the gardens and Trianon. From $31 USD.
The Good Points About Travelling Independently:
🇫🇷 Your time is your own.
🇫🇷 You can visit attractions not included on most tours like Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet.
🇫🇷 It can be more affordable than a tour.
🇫🇷 You can make a reservation at Ore, the delectable Alain Ducasse restaurant at the palace.
The Downside of Going on Your Own:
🙁 You’ll spend more time figuring out transportation as well as directions once you get there.
🙁 You won’t get insider juicy gossip about one of the most scandalous and lavish palaces on earth. Er, I mean, you won’t learn as many important historical and political facts.
Booking Transportation From Paris With Entry Ticket and Audioguide
Is this you? You’re more interested in going at your own pace than shuffling along with a group, but still want to know the rich history of Versailles.
One option is to pre-book bus transportation along with a Skip-the-Line ticket and audioguide.
Check out this Paris to the Palace of Versailles & Gardens with Bus Transportation option here. Price from $86 USD.
Doing a Combination of Independent Travel and Guided Tour
One of the best ways to visit Versailles on your own is to combine it with a palace tour once you’re there.
Reminder: You really need to book tickets and tours in advance. Lineups at Versailles are brutal.
Book a Skip-the-line Ticket with a 90-minute palace tour here.
Good Points of Doing a Tour Once You Get There:
🇫🇷 You still have the freedom to explore before and after your tour, but you’ll also get expert info about the main attractions and history.
🇫🇷 You can spend as much (or as little) time in Versailles as you like.
🙁 You still have to figure out the logistics of getting there.
🙁 Versailles is huge and if you don’t know where you’re going from the start, you can waste a lot of time.
Booking the Right Tour for a Versailles from Paris Day Trip
If you are going to do a guided tour for your Paris to Versailles day trip, which is best: a private tour or a group tour?
Let’s look at the pros and cons:
Benefits of a Private Tour
There are a lot of reasons to splash out on a private tour of Versailles. For one thing you have the freedom to customize the itinerary and can go at your own pace.
Other benefits include:
🇫🇷 Personalized Experience
The guide’s attention is solely dedicated to you and your travel companions, allowing for more interaction and a chance to ask questions.
The Château de Versailles is a place of mythical extravagance where luxury knows no bounds, and it’s fun to tour it like a VIP.
🇫🇷 Private Tours Can Make Sense If You’re Traveling with a Group
If you’re travelling with a group of friends or family, private tours can make financial sense as you pay a group price instead of buying individual tickets.
Check out this Private Tour to Versailles From Paris with hotel pickup here. From USD $1,320 for groups up to 8.
Benefits of Small Group Versailles Tours From Paris
Small group tours to Versailles have a lot of good points, too. In fact, they’re often my preferred choice of organized travel. Like Goldilocks would say, the size is ‘just right.’
Not As Expensive as Private Tours
Small tours are much more affordable than private tours, because you’re sharing the cost with others and not paying for the exclusive attention of the guide.
They’re ideal for meeting other like-minded travellers – intimate enough that you can get to know the other participants.
(Unless you get the annoying tourist who wants to monopolize the guide with questions about Louis the XV’s beloved lock collection.)
Two Small Group Day Trip Tour Options
Paris to Versailles by Deluxe Minibus
This Paris to Versailles Guided Tour by Deluxe Minibus is a 4-hour tour that includes a guided tour of the palace and free time on the grounds. From $157.
Versailles and Giverny Day Trip from Paris
Two top French sights for one.
If you want a day trip that includes a visit to Monet’s Garden, this Giverny and Versailles Palace Guided Day Trip is a popular one. Book it here.
Benefits of Regular Group Tours to Versailles From Paris
Guided group tours from Paris are often the number one choice for visiting Versailles. There are a couple of good reasons for that.
This is an obvious one! Group tours to Versailles from Paris are more affordable than private tours because costs are shared among a higher number of participants.
You’ll Focus on the Highlights
If your goal is to see the main attractions of the sumptuous Chateau de Versailles, group tours have this down pat.
While you won’t get flexibility with the itinerary, you’ll see the blockbuster sights with an experienced guide.
Hate bus tours? Check out this Skip-the-Line Versailles Palace Tour by Train from Paris from $99.
Specialized Versailles Day Trips
Unlike the days of old, when Versailles was the haunt of the elite (not that they don’t haunt in now – I’m sure there are a few ghosts), these days there is a Versailles for everyone.
Here are a few ways you can tailor your day trip:
Versailles With Children
If you’re travelling with your kids and don’t think they have the patience for a large group tour, this 2-hour Versailles Private Family Tour Designed for Kids is specifically adapted for children between 7 and 17.
Cycling Versailles On a Day Trip From Paris
Getting 5-star reviews is this cycling Versailles tour. Go beyond the palace to discover the the town, gardens and, of course, the Château de Versailles on this day trip from Paris.
Exploring the Versailles of Marie Antoinette
Here’s a tour topic close to my heart. The story of Marie Antoinette is a let-them-eat-cake tale of privilege and tragedy.
A Palace of Versailles and Marie Antoinette Tour is a chance to learn about her private life.
Planning Versailles Day Trips On Your Own By Train
Is there anything as exhilarating as independent travel? (Or as confusing?)
But millions of tourists do day trips to Versailles from Paris on their own and you can, too.
Here are some important tips on how to get there, how to get tickets and what to see.
Getting from Paris to Versailles
Versailles is about an hour away by public transportation from Paris even though it’s only 17 km in distance.
I suggest the train.
Taking the Train from Paris to Versailles
🇫🇷 Travel Tip: Buy a return ticket to start with, otherwise you’ll have to wait in another long lineup to get a ticket back.
The Versailles Rive Gauche Station is the closest station to the palace. Follow the crowds heading towards the palace.
The other stations, Versailles Chantiers and Versailles Rive Droite, are farther away.
- The RER C is the most common way to get to Versailles from Paris by train. You can catch the RER C from a number of stations including St-Michel Notre-Dame and Orsay. Buy a Paris to Versailles Rive Gauche ticket (zones 1-4).
- Or, from Paris Montparnasse train station take an SNCF train to Versailles Chantiers.
- Or, from Paris Saint Lazare train station take an SNCF train to Versailles Rive Droite.
Buying Your Versailles Entry Ticket
Timed Entry to the Palace
You can buy a timed entry ticket to Versailles for as little as $22.
Full Access Day Pass (Most Popular)
If you want a full access day pass that includes entry to the two Trianon palaces in the park and the Queen’s Hamlet you can buy it here from $31.
Paris Museum Pass
If you have a Paris Museum Pass you can use that for your ticket. It doesn’t include the Musical Fountain Shows or the Musical Gardens.
🇫🇷 Travel Tip: Entrance to the gardens is free except during Fountains and Musical Gardens shows.
What To See At Versailles
Paris to Versailles day trips are an opportunity to see some amazing sights, both inside the palace and on the extensive grounds.
Inside the Palace
The number one draw for me is the Hall of Mirrors, a glittering hallway lined with hundreds of mirrors, gilded windows and sparkling chandeliers.
If there is one place to picture the bejewelled and bewigged courtiers in their over-the-top finery this is it.
Other top sites include the majestic State Apartments, the King and Queen’s private apartments and the King’s Chapel.
🇫🇷 New! Here is some exciting news. Marie Antoinette’s private apartments were closed for years but have reopened in 2023.
Right now there are scant few tickets but you can try your luck on the Château de Versailles website.
What to See On the Grounds
There are also some other fascinating landmarks on the palace grounds including, of course, the magnificent gardens.
Le Petit Trianon
This intimate château served as a private retreat for French royalty, most notably Marie Antoinette.
Also on the palace grounds is the Queen’s Hamlet, Marie Antoinette’s faux country village complete with a mill, dairy and farmhouse. Oh, yeah. There were sheep, too.
Grand Trianon, with its pink marble facades, is another top sight at Versailles. It was built by King Louis XIV in 1687 and was used as a getaway spot for the King and his mistress Madame de Maintenon.
What To See in the Town
The town of Versailles is well worth exploring with a market, a cathedral and plenty of shopping. You can even do a French period costume photo shoot.
Check out my guide for things to do in Versailles.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Versailles?
If you’re doing a Versailles day trip from Paris you need to know when to go and what time to go.
Versailles Opening Hours
- The Château de Versailles is open at 9:00 a.m. Tuesdays to Sundays and closes at 6:30 p.m.
- The Estate of Trianon opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 6:30 p.m.
- The gardens are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
What is the Best Day to Visit Versailles?
Don’t go Mondays because Versailles is closed.
Tuesdays can be crowded because the Louvre, another top Paris attraction, is closed so people head to Versailles instead.
Weekends will also be crowded so aim for Wednesday or Thursday … Friday in a pinch.
What is the Best Time of Day to Visit Versailles
The earlier the better as far as I’m concerned. If you can’t be there right at opening time, consider visiting the palace in the late afternoon before closing.
Why Day Trips to Versailles From Paris Are Worth It
Versailles day trips are journeys into the lavish world of the French monarchy … and the excess that brought the royal family down.
Considered one of the top things to do in Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a showcase of grand architecture, exquisite art, and meticulously-landscaped gardens that highlight the artistic genius of generations past.
With such a variety of tours and transportations options, it’s one of the best Paris day trips you can do, whether you travel by train, on a guided tour, or even by bicycle.
The park of Versailles is huge. You can walk, rent a bicycle, take the Petit Train or rent a golf cart.
Versailles. Nowhere else can you explore such a lavish combination of grand architecture, beautifully-designed gardens, history (and scandal!), and 17th century French culture.
If you like independent travel, taking the train is a great way to visit Versailles on a day trip. Just make sure you buy palace tickets in advance.
If you don’t like sorting out the logistics of travel, a guided tour is a better option.