Palace of Versailles just outside of Paris is one of the best Royal residences in the World.
More than 10 Million tourists visit Palace of Versailles every year.
Yes, that’s right. More than 35,000 tourists visit Versailles every day.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before you visit the Palace of Versailles.
1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Tour duration
5. Free entry
7. Regular vs Skip the Line ticket
8. Guided tour
9. To Versailles by train
10. Bus tour to Versailles
11. Inside the Palace
12. Versailles Gardens
13. Palace map
Where is Palace of Versailles?
Palace of Versailles is in the city of Versailles, in the Ile-de-France region, of Northern France.
It is 20 Kms (12 Miles) West-Southwest of Paris.
Palace of Versailles address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France.
How to reach Palace of Versailles?
Most of the tourists stay in Paris and take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles.
You can get to this tourist attraction by both public or private transport.
Most tourists take a train from Paris to the Palace of Versailles, because that’s the fastest and the cheapest method.
The next best option is to book a tour of the Palace of Versailles which includes transportation as well.
While you can take an Uber from Paris to the Palace of Versailles, it ends up being very costly – around 80-120 Euros for the day’s travel.
Check out our step-by-step guide for your Paris to Palace of Versailles trip.
Palace of Versailles hours
There are lots of attractions within the Palace of Versailles complex.
Each of these attractions has different opening hours, different last admission times etc.
If your question is, “What are the opening times of Palace of Versailles,” here is our short answer:
Palace of Versailles is open from 9 am to 6.30 pm every day except Mondays.
For a more detailed answer continue reading –
Versailles Palace opening hours
On all days it is open, this beautiful Palace built by French King Louis XIV follows these hours –
Opening times: 9 am – 6.30 pm
Last admission: 6 pm
Ticket office closure: 5.50 pm
The Versailles Palace is closed on 1st May every year.
Note: Since Versailles Palace is closed on Monday, the crowd moves towards Louvre Museum.
Opening times of the Estate of Trianon
Estate of Trianon is the place the Kings of Versailles built for themselves so that they could escape the busy court life once in a while.
Estate of Trianon is also open every day except on Mondays.
Opening times: 12 pm – 6.30pm
Last admission: 6.00 pm
Ticket office closure: 5.50 pm
Coach Gallery hours
If you want to truly enjoy the splendour of court life during the Ancien Régime, a visit to the Coach Gallery at Palace of Versailles is a must.
It is the collection of Majestic coaches, small carriages for the Royal kids, sedan chairs and sledges used by the inhabitants of the Palace of Versailles.
The Coach Gallery at Palace of Versailles is open every day except on Mondays.
Opening times: 12.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Last admission: 5.45 pm
The Versailles Garden’s opening hours
One can’t visit the Palace of Versailles without taking a stroll at the Versailles Gardens.
Since the Gardens open early – at 8 am every day – some tourists prefer coming in soon for a stroll.
The staff stop the tourists from entering the Gardens at 7 pm and the Gardens close by 8.30 pm.
During the open hours, pedestrians can access the Gardens via four gates – the Main entrance, the Neptune gate, the Menagerie gate, and the Little Venice gate.
The fifth gate – the Dragon gate – allows visitors in only from noon to 6.30 pm.
The Versailles Park’s hours
Beyond the gardens lie the Versailles Park – greenery as far as the eyes can see.
Versailles Park is open every day from 7.00 am to 8.30 pm. And the entry is free.
To enter the Park, you can use any of the below given gates:
Best time to visit Palace of Versailles
So why does everybody want to know the best time to visit Versailles?
Here are the two reasons:
1) With more than 35,000 tourists visiting the Palace of Versailles every day, the ticketing counters have long lines.
In summers, you may even end up waiting in this line for around 90 minutes.
2) With such large numbers even if you buy online tickets for the Palace of Versailles, you still must wait at the security check line.
The tourists want to avoid waiting here too.
Our short answer:
The best time to visit the Palace of Versailles is after 2.30 pm when the crowd has left.
You can land at the Versailles Estate at 9 am, try out the Versailles Palace Gardens and other attractions and then enter the Palace of Versailles between 2.30 to 3 pm.
For the long answer, please continue reading.
Best time to visit Versailles to avoid the crowd
Most Versailles guides and travel websites recommend that tourists reach the Palace at 9 am for the best experience.
Thus, everybody lands up at the Versailles Estate in the morning itself.
100s of buses full of tourists leave Paris before 10 am and reach Versailles.
Once they are in Versailles, first they wait in the line to buy tickets. Next, they wait in the queue for the security check.
Depending on the time of the day and the season, the total waiting time (in both the lines put together) can even be as high as 3 hours.
As the day progresses, these lines trickle away.
That’s why you must wait until 2.30 pm to get into the Palace of Versailles.
That doesn’t mean you must reach Versailles Estate at 2.30 pm.
Here is the Versailles itinerary we suggest:
1. Buy online tickets for Versailles, so you don’t have to wait in the ticketing line.
Or buy Skip the Line tickets to partially skip the security check line and completely minimize your waiting time.
2. Reach Versailles by 10 am
3. See the Versailles Gardens, enjoy the numerous fountains and the Coach Gallery.
All these are free to enter (on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays there is a ticket to enter the Gardens, but you would have bought them online, anyway).
4. Have a picnic at Versailles.
5. At 2.30 go to Entrance ‘A’ in the Dufour Pavilion to get inside the Palace of Versailles. The waiting time will be less than 15 minutes.
Note: Tuesday is a bad day to go to Palace of Versailles because Louvre Museum is closed, and a lot of the crowd ends up in Versailles.
Best season to visit Palace of Versailles
Even though the palace attracts a massive crowd, the best season to visit Versailles is the summer.
If you have the option of choosing between summer and winter, go for the warmer season.
A good part of the Versailles experience is what’s outdoors – the gardens, the fountains, the groves etc. During winter, they aren’t in their best form.
Especially since France has harsh winters and the day’s lowest temperature hovers around 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 Fahrenheit).
Best time to visit Versailles for photography
Chateau de Versailles is a photographers’ dream.
However, taking good photos inside the Versailles Palace is quite a challenge.
Primarily because of the crowd and the number of mobiles and iPads the tourists hold over their heads even as they take photographs.
Even if you enter the Palace after 5 pm, you will still find people in your frame.
So, there is hardly a good time for photographs inside the Palace of Versailles.
You can still take some good photographs.
1. There is a lot of artwork on the ceilings of the Palace rooms. Don’t miss them.
2. Some parts of the Versailles Palace are cordoned off. For instance, Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. Such areas allow you to take photos without other tourists in the frame.
3. Step out into the Gardens, and there are lots of fantastic opportunities for both professional and amateur photographers.
Note: Since flash is not allowed inside the Palace, in the darker rooms use a high ISO setting on your camera.
How long does Palace of Versailles take?
Versailles Palace is a legacy built over 300 years.
It has 2,300 rooms spread over 63,154 square meters.
This area is just the covered part – and is equivalent to more than 12 football fields.
There is just too much to see at the Palace.
That’s why you must keep aside one whole day for your Versailles trip.
Note: Take enough breaks in between to stay rested.
Palace of Versailles free entry
Between November to March, on the first Sunday of every month, admission to the Estate of Versailles is free.
However, you also qualify for free entry into Versailles if you are less than 18 years old or are a European Union resident under 26 years of age.
If you qualify for free admission, there is no need to buy tickets.
Go directly to Entrance A in the Dufour Pavilion, with proof of your right to free entry and proof of identity.
Palace of Versailles tickets
This section is a comprehensive guide to the Palace of Versailles tickets, their prices, discounts etc.
We will take you through the various Palace of Versailles tickets and propose our recommendation – you can buy the ticket that suits you best.
Regular tickets vs Skip the Line tickets
There are two queues at the Palace of Versailles.
Line 1: The line at the ticketing counter to buy tickets (this is called Entrance B)
Line 2: The line at the security check (Entrance A)
When you buy regular tickets online, you can avoid waiting in the first line because you will already have your tickets in the email.
Depending on the day of the week and season, avoiding this line helps you save 60 to 90 minutes of waiting time.
But you still must stand in the line for security check.
When you buy ‘Skip the Line’ Versailles tickets, you can avoid standing in both Line 1 and Line 2.
Staff at the Palace of Versailles will merge you at the beginning of the security check line.
Depending on the time and day, a ‘Skip The Line’ ticket can help you save anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, of waiting time.
Here are two photographs to give you a sense of the kind of lines to expect at the Palace of Versailles.
Types of Palace of Versailles tickets
If you are planning to visit Versailles Palace, the number of ticket options available can be baffling.
That’s why our experts have gone through them all and selected the best five options.
The audio guide comes free with all these tickets.
Some of these tickets are seasonal – you can’t book them during winter.
These are smartphone tickets, and you don’t need to take print outs. Just show them on your mobile and walk in.
1. Palace of Versailles tickets – Access all areas
This ticket gives you full access to the Palace of Versailles. You can enter all the below-listed attractions.
– The Palace (with the audio guide)
– The Trianon Palace
– Marie-Antoinette’s Estate
– The Versailles Gardens and the Park
– The Coach Gallery
– The ongoing temporary exhibitions
Adult ticket (18+ years): 20 Euros
Child ticket (0 to 17 years): Free entry
EU Citizen ticket (0 to 25 years): Free entry
Disabled ticket: Free entry
2. Tickets for Palace of Versailles + Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens
Besides the Versailles Palace, this ticket also provides you access to the Fountains Show or the Musical gardens.
During Parisian summer – from 27 March to 30 October – Musical Fountains shows and the Musical Gardens become additional attractions at the Palace of Versailles.
Since these shows are planned only on certain days, you can book this ticket only if you plan to visit Versailles on a Tuesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
What is Fountains Show at Versailles?
On the dates specified below, the fountains at Versailles spout water to the rhythm of the music.
It is something like a musical fountain show.
Usually, these musical displays start from 10 am and last until 7 pm.
As part of the Fountains show, you can also see what is known as ‘Water Displays.’
These happen at the three major fountains at Versailles – Mirror Fountain, Water Theatre Grove, and the Neptune fountain.
These ‘Water Displays’ also start at 10 am and go on until 7 pm. Usually, they last for 10-15 minutes and hence keep getting repeated for the tourists.
What is Musical Gardens show at Versailles?
The Musical Garden show at Versailles is when you explore the French-style formal gardens designed by André Le Nôtre while listening to music.
Musical displays start at 10 am and go on until 7 pm. On a few days, they may end early.
Adult ticket (7+ years): 27 Euros
Child ticket (0 to 6 years): Free entry
Note: You can’t book this ticket during winter
3. Palace of Versailles tickets – Palace entrance
With this Palace tickets, you can enter:
– The Versailles Palace
– The Versailles Gardens and the Park*
– The Coach Gallery
– The ongoing temporary exhibitions
This ticket provides full access to the Palace of Versailles. Well, almost.
Within the Palace of Versailles, you can visit the Hall of Mirrors, Grand Apartments, King’s Chamber, Queen’s Chamber, Apartments of Mesdames etc..
This ticket doesn’t get you access to The Trianon Palace and Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Estate.
*You don’t get access to the Gardens on the days when Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens are on – which are mostly Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. However, for a small fee you can gain access.
4. Skip the Line, Guided tour of Palace of Versailles
This ticket provides you with the three important things you need to make your visit to Versailles Palace memorable –
1. Access to the whole Versailles Palace
2. A human guide to give you inside stories
3. Skip the Line access, so you don’t waste your time waiting in the line
The duration this Palace of Versailles guided tour is approximately 75 minutes. After that, you are free to roam around on your own.
*This ticket doesn’t include transport from Paris.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 40 Euros
Youth ticket (6 to 17 years): 20 Euros
Child ticket (0-5 years): Free entry
5. Skip the Line, Guided tour Versailles Palace + Transport from Paris
This ticket is everything that the previous ticket offered plus transportation from Paris and back.
If you prefer luxury and don’t mind spending extra for the best possible experience, we recommend you buy this package.
The tour starts at 8:15 am from central Paris and ends at 4:45 pm – again in Paris.
At the Palace of Versailles, the guided tour lasts 2 hours.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 98 Euros
Youth ticket (6 to 17 years): 74 Euros
Child ticket (0-5 years): Free entry
Versailles tour from Paris
Versailles is on the itinerary of every tourist visiting Paris.
And not without reason.
After all, Palace of Versailles is one of the best Royal Palaces in the whole of Europe. If not the World. More such facts about Palace of Versailles
Paris to Versailles day trip
Most tourists prefer day trips to Versailles – go in the morning and get back by evening.
It takes approximately one hour to travel the distance between Paris and Versailles.
With two hours lost in travel, visitors get to spend 5 to 6 hours at the Versailles Estate.
For a Versailles tour from Paris, you have four options.
2. Tour bus
3. Taxi / Uber
4. Self-driven car
Paris to Versailles – duration of travel
If you take a train from Paris to Versailles, the travelling time will be around 50 minutes.
And you must walk the last one kilometre from the station, which means the time taken to your destination in Versailles will be one hour.
If you take a bus for your Versailles tour, it will take an hour.
However, if you take a taxi to Versailles, you can reach in approximately 45 minutes.
Paris to Versailles by train
There are two kinds of trains in Paris.
The Metro lines serve the city of Paris, while the RER trains serve Paris and its suburbs.
The Palace of Versailles being in the suburbs you will need to get the RER.
Even amongst all the RER series, RER C is the most comfortable train option to go to Versailles.
That’s why most tourists on day trips to Versailles opt for this train.
Check out the RER C line’s route map:
Here is a step by step guide for a tour to Versailles tour by train –
Step 1: Reach any of the Metro/RER station mentioned on the RER C route map shown above.
If you are not sure, fire up your Google Map and identify which station is near you.
Step 2: Once you are in the station, look for the Green ticket kiosks, and purchase return tickets to ‘Versailles Château Rive Gauche.’
Step 3: For each person, you will get two tickets. Keep the return ticket safely inside your wallet/bag.
Step 4: All trains in Paris are identified by their last stations. You will now need to follow the signs to the RER C platform from where the train to ‘Versailles Château Rive Gauche’ will pass through
Step 5: Once on the right platform, look out for information on the video screen. If your train is the first one displayed on this video screen, it means it is the next train.
You must know that the destination ‘Versailles Château Rive Gauche’ is sometimes abbreviated as ‘Versailles Château RG’ or ‘Versail. Chat’.
Step 6: Once you arrive at ‘Versailles Château Rive Gauche,’ exit the station. The ticket you used to board the train will be needed to exit the station, so don’t throw it.
Step 7: Follow the crowd ahead of you, for they will be heading towards the Versailles Palace. Or open your Google Maps and walk to the Palace of Versailles.
Step 8: Before you walk away, turn back and look at the ‘Versailles Château Rive Gauche’ station for your return journey will start from here.
All trains passing through this station go to Paris.
If all this is too much detail for you, you can always book a visit Versailles by train package.
In this tour package, an expert guide meets you at Paris railway station and handles everything for you.
Cost of Paris to Versailles train
A trip from Paris to Versailles and back by train will cost you approximately 7 Euros per person.
At this price, trains are the cheapest way to reach the Palace of Versailles.
Bus tours from Paris to Versailles
Hundreds of buses travel from Paris to Versailles every day carrying thousands of tourists from all over the World.
These bus tours to Versailles come along with a human guide and ‘Skip The Line’ Versailles tickets – which means, you don’t need to stand in the line at all. Book such a tour now!
A ‘Skip The Line’ ticket helps you save a lot of waiting time – sometimes even up to 3 hours.
These bus tours to Versailles start at between 10 to 11 am.
The whole bus tour to Versailles lasts seven hours.
We highly recommend bus tours to Versailles for multiple reasons.
1. You don’t have to worry about transportation to Versailles and back
2. You will travel in luxury and comfort
3. You won’t have to queue up for hours to get into the Palace of Versailles
4. You will have a human guide you will make your trip memorable*
*If you opt for the guided bus tour, a local expert accompanies you. If you opt for non-guided bus tours to Versailles, you will still get an audio guide to explore the Palace.
Cost of bus tour to Versailles
Here is the cost for both the bus tour options –
Non-guided bus tour ticket
Adult ticket (12+ years): 62 Euros
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): 35 Euros
Infant ticket (0-2 years): Free entry
Guided bus tour ticket
Adult ticket (18+ years): 212 Euros
Child ticket (3 to 17 years): 151 Euros
Infant ticket (0-2 years): Free entry
Paris to Versailles by car
All the top car rental companies such as Avis, Hertz, Dollar, Europcar etc are available in Paris.
For approximately 200 Euros you can rent out a mid-sized car for your car trip from Paris to Versailles.
Parking at Versailles Estate is no issue for there are numerous car parks.
The idea of taking the scenic route from Paris to Versailles feels good.
However, Paris traffic and the high cost of renting out a car for a day weigh down this option.
Paris to Versailles by Uber
If you want the luxury of private transport to Versailles but don’t want to navigate the traffic yourself, you can hire an Uber.
Travelling the 26 Kms (16 Miles) distance to Versailles in an Uber X will cost you between 40 to 60 Euros.
The ride will last 45 minutes or so depending on the time of the day and the traffic.
If you hire an Uber to return as well, your transportation cost alone will be 80 to 120 Euros.
For more on the Uber fare to Versailles, click here.
Palace of Versailles inside
At its peak, around 5000 Royals, aristocrats, and servants lived in the 2,300 rooms inside the Palace of Versailles.
This comprehensive list of the must-see rooms in the palace is a good overview of Versailles Palace interiors.
Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the Versailles Palace, was built as an afterthought.
It replaced a large terrace, and a few rooms from both the King’s and the Queen’s apartments.
Nobody goes inside the Palace of Versailles and walks out without seeing the hall of Mirrors.
It is perhaps the most beautiful room in the whole world.
The War Room
Master architect Hardouin Mansart started building the War Room in 1678.
Artist Le Brun painted the ceiling, depicting the victories of France.
His paintings paid tribute to the military victories which led to the peace treaties of Nijmegen.
The decoration of the War Room was over by 1686.
The Peace Room
The Peace Room is exactly symmetrical to the War Room.
However, here artist Le Brun decorated the ceiling with the benefits of peace brought to Europe by France.
Initially, this room was considered part of Queen’s Apartments.
However, with time this room got added to the suite of State Apartments.
The Gallery of Great Battles
The Gallery of Battles is one of the most power-packed inner rooms of the Palace of Versailles.
It covers almost the entire first floor of the South Wing of the Palace and depicts nearly 15 centuries of French military successes.
The 30 plus paintings decorating the walls of this room, light up the interiors.
Kings State Apartments
This group of seven rooms was used to host the French King’s official ceremonies.
Back in those days, visitors who wanted to catch a glimpse of the King and his family waited in these rooms.
They could share a word or pass a note as the Royals crossed these rooms on their way to the chapel.
The Hercules Room
The Hercules Room was the last room to be built by King Louis XIV.
Hercules Room once used to be the Palace Chapel.
While the work on the Hercules Room was over early, the interior decoration wasn’t over until 1736.
François Lemoyne took four years to paint the ceiling depicting The Apotheosis of Hercules.
To give you an idea of the scale of this painting – it has 142 people in it.
The work had taken such a massive toll on Lemoyne, that one year later he committed suicide.
The Hall of Plenty
When the King gathered their courtiers, and other visitors in the State Apartments, Hall of Plenty served as a refreshment room.
There was plenty of coffee, wines, and liqueurs to consume.
Since the King kept his curios in this room, it has often got other nicknames too – Cabinet of Curiosities and Room of Rarities.
The Venus Room
Along with the Diana Room, the Venus Room also acted as one of the main entrances to the State Apartments.
Le Burn painted the ceiling here as well. The interiors of this room light up thanks to Venus depicted on the roof as the goddess of love.
During Evening gatherings, the Venus Room was the place to fill the tables with fresh flowers, and rare fresh fruits such as oranges and lemons.
The Diana Room
Once inside this room of the Palace of Versailles, you can’t miss Diana, the Goddess of the hunt and the sister of Apollo on the ceiling.
Like the Venus Room, the Diana room served as a lobby to the State Apartments.
During evening get-togethers with the inner circle, this room doubled up as a Billiards Room.
The Mars Room
The Mars Room marked the start of the King’s Private Apartments.
It was also referred to and used as a Guard Room.
No wonder then, that the interiors of this room are a dedication to the God of war.
On the ceiling of the Mars Room, Claude Audran painted Mars on a chariot pulled by wolves.
When you visit this room, don’t miss out on the cornice.
Since the theme of the room is war, the cornice is decorated with a variety of helmets and military headgear.
The Mercury Room
The Mercury Room was also known as the ‘bedroom.’
The interiors of this room in Palace of Versailles were highly decorated, but Louis XIV had to melt them down to finance the War of the League of Augsburg.
When Louis XIV died, his body was displayed in this room for eight days – from 2 to 10 September 1715.
The Apollo Room
Apollo Room was the sovereign’s Ceremonial Room.
From 1682 onwards, the Apollo Room got used as a throne room.
Since King Louis XIV had adopted the symbol of Sun, this room’s ceiling got dedicated to Apollo, the Sun God.
However, in 1689 Louis XIV’s famous silver throne was melted to pay for a war, and gilded chairs doubled up as thrones.
And the Apollo room stopped being used as the throne room.
Palace of Versailles gardens
Palace of Versailles gardens is one of the most extensive gardens ever created.
These French-style formal gardens cover 800 hectares (1976 acres) which include 300 hectares (741 acres) of forest and two ‘French’ gardens called ‘Petit Parc’ and the ‘Trianon.’
Work on the gardens started at the same time as the work on the Palace of Versailles and continued for around 40 years.
When the Versailles Gardens were complete, they included 372 statues, 55 water features, 600 fountains, and over 32 KMs (20 Miles) of canals.
Over the years, the Gardens of Versailles have become a favourite haunt for the locals, people from Paris and visiting tourists.
Palace of Versailles map
Versailles Palace is the World’s largest royal domain and exploring it requires a lot of walking.
While trying to absorb French piece of art, one can quickly lose track of time and way.
Carrying a map of the palace will not only save you from getting lost but will help you find the attractions faster.
If you can’t take a print out of this map, we suggest you bookmark this page for use on the day of your visit.