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Everything You Need to Know Before Going to Versailles

Originally a hunting lodge, Versailles was transformed into a symbol of monarchy by Louis XIV in the 1600s, setting the stage for its remarkable heritage today. This UNESCO site attracts up to 7 million people a year, which means tens of thousands of people a day… Here’s a quick guide to make the best out of your trip to Versailles.

Plan Your Time

Although Versailles has 2,300 rooms, you won’t see all of them, because most of them are not open to the public ; the general tour allows you to discover around 50 rooms, including a dozen can’t-miss rooms : the Hall of Mirrors, the bedroom of Marie-Antoinette, etc. You should allocate between 1.5 and 2 hours for the visit of the palace. Then comes the garden and its nearly 2,000 acres.. An hour gives you enough time to see the most famous views and fountains. Interested in seeing Marie-Antoinette’s private castle and farm ? Add an extra couple of hours. In summary, you should plan for 3 hours on site at the minimum, and up to 6 if you want to see as many as possible. 


If you want to use public transport, opt for the RER C train line from Paris to Versailles Château-Rive Gauche station, which takes about 35 minutes to and from Central Paris. It’s located 5 minutes away from the palace, and is pretty frequent – you have a train every 20 minutes or so. If you want a more relaxed way of travelling, you can book a private driver from your accomodation to and from Versailles ; even if Versailles is only 12 miles away from Paris, it takes about 1 hour each way.

Where to Eat

Versailles has a number of options on site. Inside the palace, there’s an Angelina restaurant, open from 10am to 5.30pm ; be aware that you have to be in the palace to access the restaurant. If you’re looking for a snack between the visit of the palace and the gardens, you can go to the Grand Cafe d’Orléans, located right in front of the exit of the palace, open from 9.30am to 6pm. Want to sit down and enjoy a long French lunch ? You have 3 options : either at ORE, a Ducasse restaurant located inside the palace ; or La Petite Venise or La Flottille, two restaurants located at the foot of the Grand Canal. There are also multiple locations inside the gardens to grab a quick bite to eat. And of course, there is always the option to buy food in town and picnic by the Grand Canal!

Transportation on Site

2,000 acres might feel daunting to do on foot ; but don’t worry, there are plenty of transportation options. You can rent golf carts, from 10am, that include an audioguide ; they are located close to the entrance of the gardens. You can also use the train that goes through the gardens to get to the Grand Canal or the Trianon, Marie-Antoinette’s palace ; it is located close to the golf carts, on the other side of the Palace terrace. If you make it down to the Grand Canal, you‘ll find bikes and row boats available for rent as well.


Want to spend a night or a couple of days in Versailles ? Here’s a couple of hotel options : Le Grand Contrôle, a 5 star hotel with an exclusive access to the gardens of Versailles ; the Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace, another 5 star hotel located right next to the park of Versailles ; the “Le Versailles” Hôtel, the nearest four-star hotel to the palace ; and La Résidence du Berry, a three-star hotel located inside a 1700s building in the historical Saint-Louis district of Versailles.


Interested in trinkets and souvenirs? The Palace of Versailles offers many different kinds of shops. You have your classic museum gift shops, located as they should right before the exit. If you are interested in reading more about Versailles, they have a bookstore called the Librairie des Princes, with a full section of English book. if you are more interested in macarons, there are two Ladurée stores, right before the exits of the Palace. And of course, there are two Angelina stores where you can buy bottles of their world famous hot chocolate.

If you want to disocver more things about Paris, you can see our video on YouTube !

If you want to book a tour with My Private Paris: click here.

Article written by Sarah

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