Versailles is a French city located 17 kilometres away from Paris. It is mostly known for its palace and gardens, often referred to as simply "Versailles", both listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace's majestic interior and luxurious gardens are what makes Versailles the second most visited attraction in France after the Eiffel Tower.
The Palace of Versailles used to be the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI.
After the revolution, the palace lost its status as a royal residence and, in the 19th century, became the Museum of History of France, with rooms housing collections of paintings and sculptures representing the history of the country.
Today some rooms are still open to the public such as the King's State Apartments, the Gallery of the History of the Palace, the Hall of Mirrors, the Battles Gallery and Louis XV's daughters' Apartments.
Inaugurated in 1682, the gardens of Versailles surround the palace with trees, bushes, fountains and statues. The gardens cover a total surface area of 830 ha. There are 386 different artworks (including 221 statues), various fountains, woods, fields, and even an orangery.
During the Musical Fountains Shows days, the gardens host water displays accompanied by music, a sight not to be missed if you're visiting the palace.
How much do Versailles tickets cost?
The price of your ticket depends on the option and tour chosen, as listed below:
The Palace ticket :
It gives you access to the interior of the palace, temporary exhibitions, the coach gallery, the gardens and the Park.
- Standard price (without Musical Fountains show or Musical gardens): €18
The Passport ticket :
It gives you access to the estate of Versailles and Trianon.
- Standard (Without Musical Fountains show or Musical Gardens): €20
- Standard (including Musical Fountains show or Musical Gardens): €27
- Reduced price for under 18, EU residents under 26, people with disabilities and helper (With Musical Fountains Show) : €10
The two day Passport ticket:
It gives you access to the estate for two days in a row.
- Price if one of the two days doesn’t include Musical Fountains Shows: €25
- Price including at least one day of Musical Fountains Shows or Musical Gardens: €30
The Estate of Trianon ticket:
It gives you access to the Estate of Trianon (The Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and their gardens, Queen’s hamlet).
- Standard price: €12 (it does not include the Musical Fountains Shows or Musical Gardens)
Palace ticket + Tour of the Equestrian Academy of Versailles:
It gives you access to the palace, the temporary exhibitions and a tour to the Equestrian Academy (it does not include the Musical Fountains Shows or Musical Gardens).
The 2 day Passport + Show « la vie de l’Ecuyer »:
It gives you access to the estate and the Equestrian show at the Equestrian Academy of Versailles on Saturdays at 6 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, and some Wednesdays at 3 pm.
- Standard price: €40
- If it includes one day of Musical Fountains Shows: €49
Is there a way to get a free admission?
Yes. If you’re under 18, an EU resident under 26, a person with disabilities or someone accompanying a disabled person, the admission is free for you, except for the days of the Musical Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens, when only children aged from 0 to 5 can get free admission.
Which kind of guided visits are available? Are they worth it?
To enjoy your visit to the Palace of Versailles, we suggest you look at the different options available for guided visits, such as:
- Group tours: a great option if you would like to have a tour with the help of a guide. This way you’ll be sure you won’t get lost and maybe get a chance to visit rooms not seen by the public.
- Private tours: an excellent option if you’re looking to enjoy the visit by yourself or with family/friends. You’ll be able to ask all the question you might have during the visit to an expert.
Are there any combined tickets?
Yes, combined tickets are a great option if you’re looking to visit more than one attraction in one or more day. Some examples could be:
- Versailles + Giverny: Visit the Giverny where lies the house of the famous French painter Monet.
Versailles + Eiffel Tower: Live the full French experience and visit one of the most visited attraction in the world, the Eiffel Tower.
Versailles + Seine river: If you’re looking for a pleasing time in the Seine river, we suggest you look at this ticket combining a Seine boat tour and a Versailles’ Palace.
How to go to Versailles from Paris? How long does it take?
By train: from Paris, you can take the RER C train from the Austerlitz station to go to Versailles. The journey lasts approximately 45 minutes. A half-fare ticket costs between €1,80 and €2,20, and a full-fare ticket between €3,65 and €4,45.
By car: you can reach Versailles from Paris by car by taking the A13 or the A86 highway (it takes between 45 and 50 minutes). However, please note that there are traffic jams in Paris and the suburbs every day. You can also go to Versailles from Paris by taking the N118 highway.
What will you see?
The palace of Versailles is notably known for:
- The Hall of Mirrors: the palace’s central gallery, featuring seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that look out on the Palace’s gardens.
- The Royal Opera of Versailles: the palace’s main theatre. Inaugurated in 1770, it serves as an opera and theater for stage plays, musical events, and proms. It can host up to 712 people as a theatre, and 1,200 as a ballroom.
- The State Apartments of the King. King’s most beautiful paintings are exhibited in the apartments’ various salons. They also served as a place to host its courtiers.
- The Private Apartments of the King and Queen.
Moreover, here are four of the most well-known attractions of the Gardens of Versailles:
- The Grand Canal: the largest pool of the gardens, it is 1,670 meters long and is cross-shaped. Under Louis XIV’s reign, the Grand Canal was the starting place of the fireworks launched during royal parties. During the winter, it became an ice rink.
- The Queen’s Hamlet: it was built for Marie-Antoinette in 1783 and served as a private meeting place for the Queen and her best friends. It was abandoned during the French Revolution but was renovated during the 1990s before finally being opened to the public in 2006.
- Petit Trianon: a small castle built between 1762 and 1768 under Louis XV’s reign. Located in the Grand Trianon park, this neoclassical-style castle had a revolutionary architecture at the time.
- The Temple de l’Amour (« Love’s Temple » in English): a garden built between 1777 and 1778 and imagined by Marie-Antoinette herself. It is notably known for having in its center a replica of the Cupid Cutting His Bow from the Club of Hercules sculpture, hence the temple’s name.
What are the opening hours?
The Palace of Versailles is open every day (except on Mondays and May 1st) between 9 am and 6.30 pm. The last admission is at 6.00pm, and the ticket office closes at 5.50 pm.
The Park of the Palace is open every day from 7.00 am to 8.30 pm, but it can be closed due to bad weather (e.g., snow, violent wind, heavy rain).
The Gardens of Versailles are open every day between 8 am and 8.30 pm but, just like the Park, it depends on weather conditions. The last admission is at 7.00pm. Please note that the Gardens close exceptionally at 5.30pm on Saturdays of Night Fountains Show.
What is the best time to visit Versailles?
The best time to visit would be during late spring or early fall, to avoid the summer heat and big crowds. The densest crowds at Versailles are usually registered during the summer. If you're going during these periods of high attendance, make sure to plan your visit and get there quite early (for example, the 9am-10am time slot sees fewer people coming to visit Versailles, even on the most highly-attended days). You can check the official website of the palace of Versailles for live updates on attendance rates.
Also, booking your tickets in advance online will allow you to avoid the crowds at the entrance of Versailles main attractions. We suggest visitors that are highly interested in visiting Versailles’ gardens avoid winter months. Indeed, during this period, the statues are covered and fountains are turned off.
- Protect yourself from the heat – In summer, the Palace and Gardens of Versailles are highly exposed to heat. Do not forget to bring a hat, summer clothes, sunglasses, and bring sunscreen.
- Get there early – As about 27,000 people visit the Palace of Versailles every day, you have to expect lots of tour buses and queues. As buses come early, make sure to arrive before them, right when the palace opens.
- Do not bring luggage or large bags. Indeed, large bags or suitcases are prohibited to ensure the security of the palace. Also, you might need to show your bag at the entrance, as part of the "Vigipirate" security plan. For more information, visit the Palace of Versailles' official site.