The Palace of Versailles has been one of the longest standing items on my bucket list. When my Mother and I visited Paris last spring, we knew a day trip to Versailles needed to be apart of our itinerary. Located only 12 or so miles from Paris, Versailles is the perfect location for a quick day trip from the city. Versailles is the type of place you can spend all day at or just a few hours if you want to get in and out. My Mom and I took almost a full day visiting Versailles and could have stayed longer if we were not dying of exhaustion. There is so much to see and do, along with a ton of walking!
To get to the Palace you will need to take the RER C train for about 7 Euros round trip. The RER is a train system that services Paris and its suburbs (the metro runs within the city and there are regional trains- simply referred to as “trains” which lead to further away cities/countries). Once you get off the train, it is just a few minutes walk to the Palace gates.
For entrance, I recommend getting the Paris Museum Pass, which I have spoken about before. With the Paris Museum Pass, you will be able to skip most of the lines and save valuable time and headache.
The Palace of Versailles was originally built to be a large hunting lodge for King Louis XIII in 1624 but was gradually expanded over the years and became the official royal residence in 1682. The Palace alone covers 17 acres, has over 700 rooms, 1,250 fireplaces and 67 staircases. The most famous of all the rooms being the Hall of Mirrors which reflected light from the parallel architectural windows and the large crystal chandeliers hanging from above.
Next we headed outside, down a few steps and into the gardens of the estate. There was a trolley you could take for a fee from the palace to the other buildings passed the gardens (the Trianon Estate), but my Mom and I wanted to explore the grounds and take it all in. Did you know it took over 40 years to complete the gardens? Decorated with orange trees, fountains, statues and grand canals/ponds, every detail of the garden grounds was important to King Louis XIV.
The gardens seemed never ending, we leisurely strolled around enjoying the blooming flowers, mazes of cypress trees and the intricate fountains and statues. We finally found ourselves entering the Trianon estates which includes the Petite Trianon, Grand Trianon and, my favorite, the Queen’s Hamlet (aka her little farm/common folk village the Queen had built when she wanted to escape royal life) Check out my recap of the Queen’s Hamlet- here.
The Grand Trianon’s exterior is a beautiful pink marble, with impressive (and also excessive) flowerbeds outlining the estate. It was at the Grand Trianon where King Louis XIV came to spend time with his mistress, Madame de Maintenon.
The Petit Trianon is a smaller version of the Grand Trianon and is best known as the getaway estate (along with the Queen’s Hamlet) of Queen Marie Antoinette. Although the Petit Trianon is smaller and lacks the exterior grandeur of the Grand Trianon, I found the architectural details more impressive and full of charm.
I hope you are able to squeeze a visit to the Palace of Versailles during your next trip to Paris. enjoy a few photos of the Palace, Gardens and Trianon Estates below!
Looking for more on our trip to France? Check out our hotel here, our tour of the Louvre with Walks of France – here, some Post Cards from Paris- here and the beautiful Cathedral in Reims- here, some fine dining at Le Foch in Reims- here, a Visit to Paris’ Arc de Triomphe- here, recap of Climbing the Towers of Notre Dame, Paris’ Love Lock Bridge- here, The beautiful stained glass of Sainte Chapelle – here , Champagne Pommery with Tastyside to Life Tours- here, Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur- here, Paris and the Eiffel Tower at Night- here, Part 2 of my Tasty Side to Life tour at Champagne Bernard Pertois- here, the Pantheon in the Latin Quarter of Paris (here) the Enchanting French Chateau Fontainbleau- here, the Hamlet of Marie Antoinette- here, Playing around Outside Paris’ Palais Royal- here, Eating like a Parisian with Secret Food Tours- here and find out if The Eiffel Tower is Worth the Climb- here.