Versailles Day Trips from Paris

Visiting the Palace of Versailles and touring its interior and gardens will take you back in time. I tell you how to get there and how much the tickets cost.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

Versailles Day Trips from Paris

Palace of Versailles | ©Mat Reding

To enter the Palace of Versailles is to enter another world. All those period films we have seen about Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette or Louis XVI are condensed in the richness of its rooms and the beauty of its gardens.

There are several types of tickets to visit the Palace and its gardens, some include guided tour or transportation from Paris ... I summarize them all for you to make it easier to choose:

My favorite

Versailles Day Trip from Paris with Palace Guided Tour

The best value for money option to visit Versailles from Paris

Discover Versailles and its gardens with a specialized guide. You will be taken by private bus from Paris.

Duration: from 5 to 7 hours

With this guided tour of Versailles you will join the group from one of the three pick-up points that the bus has in the city of Paris and arrive directly to Versailles, where you can skip the queues at the Palace thanks to the tickets included in this option. Once inside, you will walk through the rooms with your guide, who will tell you the anecdotes and best kept secrets of the Palace and its construction.

You will also take a tour of its impressive gardens, fountains, statues, flowers, colors ... a real wonder.

Lunch is not included, but you will have time to eat or even buy something there.

Why I like this option: with this tour you can visit Versailles and its gardens without worrying about anything, with a specialized guide.

Recommended if... you prefer to join an organized group from the beginning and be picked up in Paris by bus to go to Versailles and back.

The most economical option

Versailles Palace Skip-the-line Guided Tour

The best value for money option to visit Versailles from Paris

Perfect if you want to tour Versailles with an expert guide but traveling at your own pace.

Duration: from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes

The palace and gardens of Versailles are about 50 long minutes from Paris, but it is such a popular point of interest that it is very well connected.

With this guided tour of Versailles with entrance to the Palace and gardens, a local guide will meet you at the palace, show you the entire gardens, tell you all the stories of this historic enclave and then leave you the option to see the palace at your leisure after the guided tour. Please note that the transfer to and from Paris is not included in this tour, but you will get to Versailles quickly and comfortably by train.

Why I like this tour: this is the most economical way to visit the Palace of Versailles and its gardens with a specialized guide in English.

Recommended if... you want to save on your visit and don't mind traveling by public transportation.

Visit Versailles with the Paris Pass

Palace of Versailles Gardens| ©Clark Van Der Beken
Palace of Versailles Gardens| ©Clark Van Der Beken

If you are purchasing the Paris Pass during your visit to the French capital, entry to Versailles will be free as part of the Paris Museum Pass which is included in this pack. What will not be included is the return trip to Versailles because, although this tourist card includes the metro, Versailles is outside the downtown area.

If you want to know more about this "tourist card" you can read this guide that I have written on Paris Pass in which I also tell you about other similar cards with which you will get free entrance to the most important tourist attractions and museums in Paris.

The first Sunday of the month the entrance to Versailles is free, but discard it in high season because the massive influx of tourists can make you not enjoy your visit.

Book your Paris Pass

How to get to Versailles from Paris

Detail of a fountain outside the Palace of Versailles
Detail of a fountain outside the Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles owes its name to the municipality in which it is located; located just outside of Paris (south) about 45 minutes by car. The palace complex and gardens are obviously the main attraction of Versailles so getting to them by any means of transportation is easy and well signposted.

Getting to Versailles by private transport

Organized excursions to Versailles or guided tours of the Palace and gardens usually include transportation from central Paris. Normally the trip is by private bus leaving from a central point in the city, but you can also find more exclusive options that take you by car or in a perfectly conditioned van.

Going to Versailles by train

This is the easiest option. In Paris the metro and RER trains are perfectly integrated and from anywhere in the city you can access the RER C, which is the line that takes you to Versailles with a stop at the palace. However, keep in mind that this line forks at the end of the line so before getting on the train check on the screens that the final stop is Versailles-Rive Gauche and not Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

Getting to Versailles by bus

There is a bus, 'Versailles Express' that leaves from the Eiffel Tower from Tuesday to Sunday and takes you directly to the Palace. The fare is 25 euros and the frequency is only once or twice a day depending on the season; for these reasons people tend to discard it in favor of the city line 171 which will drop you near the Versailles complex for a much lower price.

Book your excursion to Versailles from Paris

What to see in Versailles

One of the most impressive rooms inside the Palace of Versailles.
One of the most impressive rooms inside the Palace of Versailles.

The interior of the Palace

The Palace of Versailles is the main attraction of the complex. The tour is perfectly delimited, so, once you enter through the main entrance (the Gate of Honor), it will be easy to walk through the entire palace without leaving anything behind. The first thing that will impress you is the luxury and ostentation that breathes each of the corners of this palace, but what is really interesting is to know the stories behind each room.

If you have not hired a guided tour, do not hesitate to make use of the audio guide that you are entitled to with your ticket; it will tell you incredible stories of the characters who lived within these walls as Louis XVI or Marie Antoinette. I assure you that the eccentricities of what was the most powerful monarchy in Europe will leave you as impressed as the beauty of the palace and its decoration.

The gardens

A classic French-style layout, a vegetation cared to the millimeter, fountains and statues as decorative elements and an area of 800 hectares; these are the gardens of Versailles. Many people do not know that the gardens of Versailles are actually free (except on occasions when a show is held) and you do not need to buy the entrance to the palace to access them.

If you are going to access the palace, I recommend that you see the gardens afterwards because then you can use the audio guide; the stories of the fountains that adorn the gardens will delight you if you are a fan of mythology. Like the palace, the gardens of Versailles are not only an aesthetic beauty, but the symbol of an era and the culmination of a political regime that was one of the most powerful in Europe.

The Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon

With the full ticket (which is the one I recommend you buy as it only has a difference of about two or three euros compared to the one that only serves for the Palace and gardens) you will have access to these two separate palaces called trianons. The style of both these palaces and the surrounding gardens is different from the Palace and the main gardens, so if you are thinking that visiting them is "more of the same" you are mistaken.

The Grand Trianon is a baroque palace built by Louis XIV as a place of recreation and later occupied by many French monarchs and Napoleon. The decoration of this palace is of exquisite taste, but, between the two trianons, my favorite is the Petit Trianon.

The Petit Trianon was a gift from Louis XV to one of his mistresses, but later Marie Antoinette used it for her private use. The palace inside looks like a dollhouse, but what is most charming are its surroundings known as The Queen's Village. With no other purpose than to serve as a decorative element for her amusement, Marie Antoinette built this miniature rural village with a mill, a farm, a lake and cottages with small vegetable gardens.

Book your excursion to Versailles from Paris

Plan your visit to Versailles

Interior Frescoes of the Palace of Versailles
Interior Frescoes of the Palace of Versailles

When to go

Regardless of when you go to Versailles, it will be crowded. The Palace is one of the most important tourist attractions in Paris and is visited by eight million tourists every year. However, it is so large that you won't feel crowded, especially if you leave the interior of the palace for the afternoon or if you go into the more hidden areas of the gardens.

Special shows

At the Palace of Versailles on Tuesdays there is a musical show in the gardens and on weekends they light up the fountains; even if there are more people, it is worth visiting the complex during a weekend because the lighted fountains give much more life to the gardens. As for the time of year, it is best to plan your visit to Versailles for a sunny day to enjoy the long walk around the Palace.

Duration of the visit

On the day of your visit to Versailles, book your entrance ticket in advance to save time, otherwise expect a minimum of two hours of queuing in high season. Touring the interior of the palace will take you about two long hours, especially if you use the audio guide, which I recommend.

After that, visiting the gardens and the trianons can take as long as you want, but seeing the whole thing will take no less than three hours. All in all, between the round trip, the visit inside the palace, the gardens and the trianons, seeing the Versailles complex can take you a full day.

What to bring

The palace is not accessible with backpacks or large bags; you must leave them at the ticket office. Your bag must also pass through the security checkpoint. If you go to Versailles in summer, include sunscreen in your luggage because you can get sunburned during your visit to the gardens and, of course, do not forget your camera.

In some rooms of the palace it is not allowed to take pictures or take them with flash, but the colors and vegetation you will find in the gardens deserve more than one shot. On the other hand, wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking a lot and don't forget to bring water with you during your visit to the gardens.

Where to eat

Throughout the Palace of Versailles complex you will find different food stalls and restaurants. Can you go out to eat in the surroundings and come back in? I do not recommend it, as you will lose unnecessary time since there is no restaurant in the vicinity that stands out for its quality or prices above those you will find inside the palace.

What you can do and not everyone knows is picnic in certain areas of the gardens enabled for it, so do not hesitate if you visit Versailles on a day with pleasant temperatures.

Going to Versailles with children

Children get free admission to Versailles and both the palace and the gardens are perfectly equipped for family visits. Around the outside of the complex children will find more than one place to run around, but visiting the inside of the palace may tire them out a bit more due to the length of the tour.

If you are hesitating about which day to go to Versailles, on Tuesdays there is a musical show in the gardens and on weekends they light up the fountains.

Book your tour to Versailles from Paris

If you are interested in the Palace of Versailles, you will also like

There is nothing in Paris comparable to the Palace of Versailles. In fact, the closest thing in all of Europe is Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna. Versailles is unique, but if you want to learn more about the absolutist monarchy and about the history of the French Revolution (which is what you will learn most about on this visit) I recommend taking one of the walking tours through the center of Paris.

It is where they will tell you more stories about the past of the city and you have a wide variety of options that you can consult in this article I wrote on Paris Tours.

If you feel like discovering one of the many symbols of the city, I can recommend (of course) the Eiffel Tower, the Garnier Opera or the Louvre. I leave you linked here my articles on the subject in case you are interested in exploring some of the options: Eiffel Tower Tickets: how to buy and prices, Paris Opera Garnier Tours y Paris Louvre Museum Tickets and Tours: how to buy, prices and discounts.

Book your excursion to Versailles from Paris