Versailles is one of the most special places in all of Europe. Any adult who appreciates history and culture will enjoy it like a child. However, a child will not always be able to enjoy Versailles as an adult.
Moreover, due to the characteristics of the site, which is very large and whose visit can take hours, children can get tired. In this article I will give you 10 tips to make your visit with them as optimal and comfortable as possible, and above all to ensure that they and you enjoy your visit in equal parts!
Book an excursion with a guided tour of the Palace so that the children don't get bored
The Palace of Versailles is the treasure chest of the best French art. Renowned architects, sculptors and painters gave their best to decorate the residence of the kings of France. However, to wander through its rooms can be overwhelming if we do not have context and information. Something that can be boring for adults, but even more so for children!
Therefore, it is advisable to hire an excursion that includes a guided tour by a specialized guide in Spanish whose explanations will make the visit more bearable and children will also be able to learn. However, visiting it will take time. Therefore I advise you, regardless of the modality you choose, to consult these tips to make the most of your visit to Versailles.
Hiring an excursion to Versailles with a guided tour is highly recommended because it offers greater convenience for traveling with children. They depart from Paris, take you directly to Versailles and include a guided tour of the Palace, a visit to the Hall of Mirrors and a tour of the gardens.
Keep the kids from getting impatient in long lines
Versailles is one of the most visited tourist attractions in France. This leads to the formation of huge queues that, no kidding, can gather up to a couple of hundred people. To avoid waiting and children getting impatient, it is best to book a guided tour of the Palace of Versailles without queues.
This option is highly recommended because it will allow you to see the Palace of Versailles in an hour and a half by accessing it directly, without waiting in line. However, transportation from Paris is at your own expense, so you should take this into account when organizing your transfers.
Choose very well how you are going to get to Versailles
Few things make children more impatient than long and boring journeys. And also few things annoy adults more than uncomfortable transportation with baby carriages on their backs, among other inconveniences.
It is therefore advisable to decide how we are going to move to Versailles:
- If we hire an excursion that includes transfer from Paris and entrance, everything is solved.
- However, if we go on our own, we will have to make a balance between comfort and simplicity of the journey.
Below I show you the available means of transport and evaluate them according to these two criteria. Although if you want more detailed information, in this article you can see how to get to Versailles from Paris.
You can use the line 171 that leaves from Pont de Sèvres. The trip takes about 30 minutes and leaves you very close to the Palace of Versailles. Its frequency is about 10 minutes and they are active between 0:10 and 23:50 hours.
The bus can be a bit uncomfortable if you are traveling with a baby stroller. The best thing is that it leaves you very close to the Palace, so you will not have to add extra walking time to the journey. However, if you are staying far from Pont de Sèvres, you will have to take other means of transport that will make the whole journey more cumbersome and time-consuming.
If you opt for the train, the best option is to take the RER line C train. The journey takes 30 minutes and from 4 euros will drop you off at Versailles Rive Gauche station. Check all the details on schedules and frequencies on the website for the RER line C.
It is the most comfortable option if you plan to go loaded with strollers. The drawback, although not very serious, is that it does not leave you exactly in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles but 10 minutes away. A journey you will have to make on foot.
Renting a car
Probably the one that offers the least difficulties whichever way you look at it. However, you have to keep in mind that parking in Versailles brings with it a parking fee available from 12 €.
Opt for a morning visit
The nearly 800 hectares of Versailles are a lot of space. That means that, if you intend a complete visit, you will spend about half a day there. This is, more or less, the time you will need to visit the main attractions:
- Palace of Versailles: between 1.5 and 2 hours.
- Stroll through the Versailles Gardens: 2 hours.
- Visit to the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and the Queen's Village: 1 hour.
The average time to visit the Gardens of Versailles depends, of course, on how long you want to spend in its immense areas. Here you can check what to see in the Gardens of Versailles.
Therefore, if you are traveling with children, I advise you to buy your tickets in advance and go in the morning, making those 5 hours average duration coincide with lunchtime. If you go on your own, it will be very useful to know all the details about how to buy tickets to visit Versailles.
What time does Versailles open?
It depends on the place:
- Palace of Versailles and palace buildings: from 9 am;
- Gardens of Versailles: from 8 am.
This way, you can do the math for whatever works best for you. If you arrive at 9 am, you will finish your visit right at lunchtime (around 2 pm). If you arrive at 8 o'clock, you can start seeing the gardens and finish the entire visit at 1 pm. There are restaurants on the grounds where you can get something to eat. There are even picnic areas, so there is no need to return to Paris on an empty stomach.
For more information on opening times, find details on the opening hours of the various attractions at Versailles here.
Go to the restroom before entering the Palace of Versailles
Who hasn't been there? You're peacefully visiting a museum or monument and suddenly the little ones have an overwhelming urge to go to the toilet. To avoid this unwelcome urge, it is always a good idea for them to go to the bathroom before starting the visit. Especially since, as you can see, there are many things to see at the Palace of Versailles.
There are toilets at the entrance, next to the lockers and in the cloakrooms. There are also restrooms scattered throughout the gardens. These are usually less crowded than those at the Palace of Versailles. Here you can check the locations of the toilets in Versailles.
Bring a cloth baby carrier if you are going to enter the Palace of Versailles
For safety reasons aimed at optimal evacuation in case of emergency, strollers and metal baby carriers are not allowed inside the Palace of Versailles. It is therefore recommended that you carry a cloth baby carrier, which is totally permitted.
However, this does not mean that you cannot go to Versailles without a stroller. It can be very useful for touring the gardens! The only thing you will have to do is to leave it in the luggage room once you decide to enter the Palace.
Explore the fairytale Versailles with children
Just because Versailles is a palatial and very "stuffy" environment doesn't mean that there are no places where children can feel like they are in a fairytale setting. This is especially true in the Queen's Village. A place that Marie Antoinette had built for her leisure.
It has different attractions, such as, for example, English gardens (that imitate nature) and a lake with carp and pike. She also had 12 wooden cabins built in Flemish and Norman style that will look like something out of a fairy tale to children.
It is located right next to the Petit Trianon, so don't hesitate to go there with the kids. They will have a great time.
Bring a backpack with you with food and drinks
You are allowed to enter Versailles with a backpack. In it you can carry some snacks and drinks, in case the kids get hungry. However, the gardens of Versailles are full of kiosks and places to buy food. For more information on this, you can check here where to eat in Versailles.
However, it never hurts to arrive at Versailles well stocked just in case. In fact, there are areas where you can have a picnic. These are:
Entertain them with a train ride
What child doesn't love a ride on a little train? Moreover, given the huge surface of Versailles, it can be a good way to discover the surroundings without tiring them. There is a tourist train, called Train Versailles, which you can use in these cases.
The tour is quite complete and passes through the Palace, the Petit Trianon, the Grand Trianon and the Head of the Grand Canal. Here you can check which are the stops of the tourist train:.
The ticket can be purchased from 7,50 € (adults), from 5,80 € (under 18) and free for children under 12. And these are their schedules:
- From November 1 to March 31: First departure at 11:10 am and last departure at 5:10 pm;
- From April 1 to October 31: The same schedule except for the last departure, which takes place at 5:50 pm.
Keep an eye on the children
Versailles is a place built to provide the comforts of absolute kings, but it is not without its risks. We recommend that you be especially vigilant in the following contexts:
- Inside the palace: With the number of visitors and outbuildings, it is not uncommon for us to lose sight of children.
- On the paths of the gardens: It is advisable to keep a close eye on the children while walking along the paths and trails, as it is common for vehicles such as the tourist train or motorized carts available for quick visits to the gardens to pass by.
- In the vicinity of ponds and lakes: Versailles is a place full of fountains, lakes, canals and ponds, so it is easy to become absorbed in the beauty of the surroundings and lose sight of the little ones for a few seconds. It is therefore advisable to be extremely vigilant in these environments.
If you take all these tips into account, you can be sure that your visit to Versailles with children will be as comfortable as possible, and that they, like you, will enjoy the experience just as much!