World-famous as the one-time home of King Louis XIV, and still one of the most wealthy neighborhoods in the Paris region, Versailles has long stood as the epitome of what France once was, and is a source of much of the pride that many of the country’s people feel when they talk about France’s history. The grandest, and most certainly the most famous, chateau in all of France, these days the region is actually a commune unto itself, and while the Palace of Versailles is probably the most famous and visited aspect of the section, there are a wide variety of other sights to be experienced while visiting here, so your trip need not be regulated to only a tour of the Palace.
While taking the train from Paris to reach Versailles is probably one of the more nostalgic ways to get there, many people swear by the roads, either taking a pleasant drive or cycling there. Cycling and walking are probably the two most preferred methods of getting around once you are in the actual Versailles section, largely due to traffic congestion that just doesn’t make for ideal driving conditions. The Chateau de Versailles most certainly looms over everything as the primary thing to see, but there are a variety of other historically significant buildings like the Hotel de Ville, the Eglise Notre-Dame, or the Potager du Roi. Keep in mind that the Chateau itself is similar in many ways to the Vatican. If you plan on touring it get there as early as you possibly can in the morning. Anytime after 10 a.m. or so and you can plan on spending the majority of your day in line.
There are plenty of gardens (with remarkable number of fountains) and restaurants scattered throughout Versailles itself, and while it’s not necessarily the best place to party down, it’s a very easy way to get up close and personal with the locals, although this is a rather affluent section of Paris.
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