Palace of Versailles

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Place d'Armes, Versailles, France

Palace of Versailles Reviews

anupa_rk anupa_rk
40 reviews
Come see how the French nobility lived! May 25, 2016
We've all read about Versailles in our history books. We've all read about Louis and his extravagances, of Marie Antoinette and her view of cakes! But to really understand the extend of all that we've read, we need to visit the Palace of Versailles. It is here that one truly understand why the French Revolution needed to happen. Why the people revolted. And why the French nobility were the way they were :)

Versailles is an hour by RER from Paris. There are trains running quite frequently from Paris (the Notre Dame station is a good one to catch this train) and for a mere 7 Euros and change, you can get a round trip ticket to Versailles. Look for trains to Versailles-Rive Gauche (RER C).

At Versailles, once you step out of the station turn right and walk down for a few minutes. You'll see the Palace on your left. Hard to miss, really.

At the entrance of the Palace is a status of Louis XIV on a magnificent horse.. letting you know that you have arrived someplace special!

The entrance fee is 18 euros for a Passport, which includes the Palace, the gardens as well as entrances to Marie Antoinette's estates and the Trianon. If you're interested in just the Palace, you can buy the 15 Euro ticket. Personally, since there isn't such a big difference is rates, if you plan to stay all day (which you should) I'd say the Passport is the best option. Oh it also includes the use of an audio guide which I believe is invaluable in the visit.

The audio guide takes you room by room, explaining the history and the stories behind the lives of those who lived here. From the regal apartments to the lavish bedchambers, from the gorgeous hall of mirrors to the dining room where apparently the courtiers looked on while the royal family dined!

The audio tour focuses mainly on the opulence and doesn't really talk about the poor sanitation or hygiene maintained. But that's OK. We'll forget about all that and just be wowed! ;)

The gardens of the Palace are extremely well maintained and almost too perfect! There is a lovely fountain on the walk down the gardens. Further on is the Grand Canal with beautiful views all around. There are lovely little walking paths from here to the estates of Marie Antoinette and the Grand and Petit Trianon.

While Marie Antoinette's estates are nothing magnificent, her gardens are splendid. So serene and peaceful. One can spend hours just sitting around and reading a book, watching nature.

Versailles really does deserve a whole day. After all, you're probably only going to visit once :) Oh and there is a branch of the famous Angelina cafe in the palace, serving their ridiculously thick and insanely delicious hot chocolate! MUST have! There's also an outlet for Laudree if you feel like picking up some crazy good but expensive macaroons.

The only thing I disliked about our trip to Versailles was the throngs of people visiting, unfortunately. The audio guide follows a specific path and it was extremely slow moving with everyone wanting to take pictures and listen and take some more pictures! We went quite early in the morning, so I think this was the best we could have hoped for, but it was the most crowded place we visited in France, short of Mont Saint Michel.

That's just the main Palace though. The gardens are massive and spread out and totally conducive to chilling out!
Enter the Palace of wonders!
What a marvelous ceiling!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
amudha_colaco says:
I can vouch for sans sanitation! Opulent on one hand, but the only set of public bathrooms in the palace in such poor condition and the long lines had me crying!
Posted on: Jun 29, 2016
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mdfehmel mdfehmel
233 reviews
Side Trip to Versailles Oct 15, 2014
On a recent 5-day vacation to Paris, my wife and I had a laundry list of sights to check off the list in order to consider the trip a success. Most of those sites were within the city limits except for the Palace of Versailles. As the biggest, and arguably the most extravagant, palace in Europe, it is kind of a must-see. If you don't have a rental car, it is very easy to get to by the metro lines and takes about 45 minutes from central Paris. I highly recommend that you spend a few extra Euros to purchase your tickets through a vendor in the city (we bought ours through the concierge at our hotel) as it is well worth NOT having to wait in the lines that form to get in. In my opinion, once you've seen one French colonial palace you've seen them all, so unless you are dead set on going, you may be able to cross this one off the list. The palace was overcrowded and had poor air circulation inside. I can't say that it wasn't beautiful, because it certainly was. The gardens were very nice, however, in September, the plants were already showing signs of dying off, so I'm sure there are better times of the year to go if you are most interested in the gardens. Admission to the gardens was not included in the ticket; there is a separate ticket for the grounds from the palace entry. The small town of Versailles has a very limited selection of cafes and restaurants and my wife and I were unable to find a good one, so set your expectations low and opt for a simple lunch such as a salad, sandwich or burger. I'm glad I went, but if our time was limited, I would have been disappointed as there were other attractions in Paris that I enjoyed more. Nonetheless, I can now say that I've been to Versailles.
TheInstantClassic TheInsta…
2 reviews
Versailles magnifique Jun 14, 2011
The crowds here are CRAZY and they just don't do a good job of controlling things. Personally, I think this is skippable. There are other chateaus and castles in France to see. If you really want a taste of Versailles but you don't want to stand in huge lines, buy an online ticket to visit the gardens and just look a the Chateau and Marie Antoinette's from outside. The gardens are huge and have amazing sculptures and fountains in them. In fact, when the fountains aren't turned on, I think the gardens are free. I had to buy a ticket to the palace, one to the gardens and one to the Trianon which was all annoying given the lack crowd control and even things like bathrooms.

Unfortunately, the huge crowds and lack of crowd control really detract from the experience.

And parking is insane around the whole Chateau. I stayed at Hotel du Cheval Rouge for one night. It was within walking distance and they have free parking in a courtyard - so if you go -stay there!

One good thing is that there are plenty of good restaurants near the Chateau - you won't go hungry!
AggieRockStar AggieRoc…
41 reviews
Beautiful and impressive Apr 09, 2011
The sheer size of the Palace should be enough to impress, but the Hall of Mirrors will blow your mind. Most of the rooms are devoid of furniture as it was easily carted away in the French Revolution. What remains are a lot of portraits of white-wigged nobility and an amazing chapel and ceiling decor.

Make sure (as with most of Europe) you don't forget to look up as this is where some of the most impressive paintings reside. I don't envy the person who had that job. The Hall of Mirrors is a veritable testament to the opulence enjoyed by the French Aristocracy and absolutely spectacular.

The painting "The Coronation of Napolean" was much, much larger that I would ever have imagined. I back up across the chamber and couldn't get the entire painting into the shot.

If you are in Versailles, I highly recommend the palace (although if you want to save money the Gardens are worth a visit in themselves).
The Orangerie
Hundreds of statues adorn every wa…
This was a gorgeous gazebo outside…
The main gates
cristinajwu cristina…
2 reviews
Absoultely breath taking and stunning Apr 07, 2011
Nothing like I've ever seen before in my life, your mouth will drop as you walk along the paths of this magnificent palace. Take a full day here, enjoy a sandwhich at the park, eat some gelato, smell the fresh grass and relish in the moment!
julie1222 julie1222
3 reviews
Day of Romance Apr 04, 2011
After taking your 100th tour in Paris.

Visiting this place is great because outside in the back. The garden is like 4 footballs fields. In the back they have little food stands where you can buy baguettes and wine. Lay out in grass and watch people take a row boat on the river and fall a sleep.
brooklynitus brooklyn…
7 reviews
Not a disappointment at all! Feb 02, 2011
Seriously, you can think it's going to be over the top or over done, or a tourist trap, but Versailles was not disappointing AT ALL! It was just as amazing as anyone could imagine. Immense, beautiful - you could feel the history in the walls. It was amazing - go if you are in France!
Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Must-see building Feb 28, 2010
Built by Louis XIV in the seventeenth century, this palace received further embellishments by his successors and came to epitomise the French monarchy. Apart from the historical connection to power, the palace continues to have a political function. The famous Treaty of Versailles was signed here last century, and many politician still congregate here today for important meetings.

The rooms are just amazing. There are quite a few named in honour of ancient gods such as Jupiter or Mars. The Hall of Mirrors has to be the most famous and is just stunning. Decked in an abundance of mirrors and chandeliers, the light in this room really leaves you speechless.

If you visit in late spring or summer, you will be fortunate enough to enjoy the gardens of Versailles too. From a quick glance, these are clipped and trimmed to perfection. The small house for Marie Antoinette should be available for inspection too. I didn’t have the opportunity to see both of these side amusements, but assume they are amazing.

For me, Versailles symbolises the very best of French accomplishment and refinement. Much of today's French culture hangs from the standards and rituals that were carried out by the kings at Versailles, and therefore it has an unforgettable significance. Highly recommended.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
bohemiaworld says:
gutted that i went on a monday without realising the actual palace and marie antoinettes house was closed !! i had no time to go back a second day so ill have to go back to paris for that ! the gardens are amazing and huge !! i mustve spent 2 hours walking them !!
i enjoyed your review
Posted on: Sep 25, 2011
montecarlostar says:
I agree with you, this place is a must for its beauty, elegance and everything that it means. The end of an era. Too bad that when I visited it was HOT, and i almost left unhydrated, lol. But it was definitively worth it. My best day in France. :)
Posted on: Dec 31, 2010
louiseketley louiseke…
21 reviews
Palace of Versailles Sep 30, 2009
Versailles is just a short distance from Paris, travelling from Paris to Versailles is easy via the train (RER) and doesn't cost very much.

Entry to the Palace is free to under 18s, the disabled and unemployed (proof with ID). Other entry fees are between 10€ and 20€. You can book your tickets in advance, which I would really suggest to do.

I highly recommend a trip to Versailles to see the Palace and it's beautiful grounds. There is so much to see, to keep you busy for hours. I would recommend if you plan a visit to the Palace that you get tickets in advance of your visit as you may find yourself spending hours in queues. A thoughroughly outstanding place to visit.
sylviandavid says:
I hadn't heard you can get tickets in advance... good idea....
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
stevemco stevemco
33 reviews
Best Palace in Europe Nov 02, 2009
Although Europe has a plethora of palace, I consider Versailles one of the best. It's a must see while in Paris.
mswim mswim
31 reviews
Mar 21, 2007
Versailles was initially constructed as a hunting lodge for the royal family. Although it was once located in the countryside, however the constant growth of the city of love has caused the château to now be in a suburb of Paris. Louis XIII commissioned the construction of the lodge in 1624. It was designed by Philibert Le Roy and was built from stone and red brick. Louis’s successor Louis XIC took Versailles to a whole new level when he decided the Louvre was no longer lavish enough for him and he moved to the chateau in the 1680’s. When looking at the palace from even just the outside it's hard to believe this is where they came just to hunt.

Louis XIV has a flair for the opulent. He was a self-centered egotistical leader who considered himself a god. He was nicknamed the Sun King due to his adoration for gold. Despite this, Louis was a very smart man. He brought meaning to the statement keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Fearing that his government officials would try to overthrow the government, he required nobles spend time each year at Versailles. This prevented them from creating power in their home regions.

Louis added thousands and thousands of square feet to what would become his palace. Many of the rooms are named after painting on the rooms ceiling. There is a series of rooms named after Roman gods and goddesses in what is know as the Grand Appartement du Roi. These rooms are named the Salon de…. Diane, Mars, Mercure, d’Apollon, Jupiter, Saturne and Venus. I'm pretty sure he had every intention on naming a room after me as well, he just didn't get around to it.

Probably the most famous portion of the palace isn’t even a room at all, it’s a corridor known as the Hall of Mirrors. Did you know that in the 17th century mirrors were one of the most expensive items that one could possess? This is because the Venetian Republic maintained a monopoly of the manufacturing of these now everyday items. Knowing this, imagine how visitors most have felt upon seeing the Hall of Mirrors which is covered with floor to ceiling mirrors modeled in the same dimensions as the windows on the other side of the halls. It is in this hall where in the 19th century the second German Empire was established and where the Treaty of Versailles was signed ending World War I.

Louis XIV was quite a demanding man having installed a series of rules of etiquette that had to be enforced on the grounds. It was his own way of being a mini-Hitler by controlling the behaviors at Versailles. Most of these rules were extremely absurd and weird. For instance:

a. When a gentleman sat down he had to slid his left foot infront of his right, place his hands on the sides of the chair and gently lower himself onto the seat. This was done because if a man sat down too fast, his pants might split. Makes sense, right?

b. If you wanted to speak with the king, knocking on his door wouldn’t get his attention, but it might get you in some serious trouble. Instead, you would use your left pinkie finger and scratch the door until you were allowed in. I bet some rebels used their middle fingers instead.

Of course there are countless others but it would take forever to go through them all. Just know that despite his great taste in interior design, this man had some serious control issues.

I think one of the most beautiful places on the entire property is the gardens. They represent the largest formal gardens ever created! Here you will find countless canals, fountains, manicured hedges, gorgeous flowers and statues. In Louis’s day water was pumped in from the city to the fountains, which was rather costly. Not only did Louis have staff whose job it was to wipe his rear end, he also had people responsible for turning on the fountains as Louis walked by so that he could enjoy them. When he walked away, they simply turned the water off. Talk about water conservation, who knew Louis was such an environmentalist?

The palace is absolutely astounding both inside and out. I highly recommend a visit to Versailles as a day trip from Paris. You could spend as little as a half a day here or as much a few days here, it’s up to you. Each time I come back I find something new that I didn’t find before, I will definitely be back again not only to stroll the gardens but to also get some decorating tips.
kvom says:
For those interested in Versailles as it was under Louis XIV and XV, I can recommend the book "Daily Life at Versailles in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries", by Jacques Levron.

Louis' policy was to keep most of the nobility in residence at Versailles, where they could be kept under control; as such, he needed to keep them occupied with trivialities as opposed to plotting against him.
Posted on: Jun 27, 2012
sylviandavid says:
nice review...
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
fredleal fredleal
35 reviews
Jun 28, 2006
I know it's a classic sight-seeing spot, with tourists coming and going all day, every day. Still, there's a reason for it - besides its obvious beauty and greatness.Like so many museums in France - or anywhere in the world, for that matter -, Versailles shows a respectable amount of art, not only on its pictures or sculptures, but pretty much everywhere you look.What makes it different is that it's not just a building filled with paintings, but a castle written about in history books. It's a living part of France history, and a way to know and understand better how some traces of all western civilizations' culture appeared - things that are still an essential part of our everyday life.The Palace of Versailles was home for the french Royal court from 1682, when King Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789. Nowadays, Versailles is a suburb of Paris, accessible by train (RER) or bus.If you have some extra time to spend, or not that big of an interest in art, the amazing gardens of the palace are enough to fulfill a day with beautiful scenery and memories.
sylviandavid says:
sounds great...
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
helenan says:
Versailles is probably one of the most stunning places I've ever been. It's like time travel and we get a small taste of what life for the French monarchy was. Granted, it's a real small taste, but still it's the perfect complement to the history books.

The gardens are as beautiful as the interiors and I fell in love with the place immediately. But I still prefer the inside, the famous hall of glasses where famous (and infamous) history was made.

The village around the castle is lovely and must be great to live in, but I didn't get the chance to stay there. Maybe some day, huh?
Posted on: Jul 07, 2006

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