For the day two of our Paris trip, we head outside the city and took a short trip to the Palace of Versailles. When planing this trip, I knew that going to Versailles requires almost an entire day. In our case we really wanted to make sure we can see around as much as possible ( trust me there’s a lot!) so we dedicated almost a full day from this Paris trip.
Just like we did for the Louvre Museum, we purchased our ticket online. We bought ours in travelguide.com . From Paris, we took an RER line C train (which is different line from the metro) and took about 40 minutes to Gare de Versailles-Château–Rive Gauche Train Station, just a ten minute walk to the palace.
Since we got there early and arrived before the opening time and spent almost 9 hours of our day, I must say we did a pretty good job of seeing all the highlights inside and outside of the palace. Here are the places you shouldn’t miss:
♦ Inside the Palace of Versailles
Walking inside, we didn’t even know where to begin. There were so many rooms to enter that displayed every single ornaments and pieces of furniture. Albeit persistent, I don’t think we’ve seen every room and every painting there was. But, we did make sure to see the highlights such as the King and Queen’s grand apartments “Appartement de Parade” , The Gallery of Great Battles and some of the most iconic art pieces in history.
♦ The Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces)
The most famous room of them all, the Hall of Mirrors. If there’s one room that you should only visit, it is this room. It’s a long rectangular hall that screams extravagance and elegance from every single corners. The details are intricate and the sunlight bounces through the mirrors and chandeliers. It is breathtaking to say the least!
♦ Gardens of the Château
Inside the palace is only the first part of our day in Versailles, before venturing to the gardens, we fueled ourselves and ate lunch inside the palace’s restaurant. But of course, there are many other choices and a couple of restaurants and cafes are located within the palace grounds. Outside, the gardens are a glorious wonder and luckily, the weather agreed with us too.
♦ Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon
Right in the far side is Marie Antoinette’s very own palaces and was considered as her sanctuary where she spent most of her days. Although not as grand as the Versailles, these palaces along its temples, gardens and landscapes possess a very personal touch. I tried to learn a lot about Marie Antoinette’s history before coming here and seeing these places in person made me understand and rather intrigued of her life more than ever.
♦ The Queen’s Hamlet
Before finishing our day in Versailles, we made sure to make the last stop at the Queen’s Hamlet. One thing I learned that later in the Queen’s life, she desired for a simple living, the reason why she built this mini village. As these buildings are rather for show, you are not allowed to enter them. But just strolling around the area, seeing real planted fruits and vegetables and most surprisingly finding out that there are various farm animals that are actually kept and raised made this small village somehow very real.
By the end of the tour we were so exhausted that the thought of walking all the way back to the main palace’s entrance is just physically impossible. We spent almost 5 hours outside the palace area and for sure we haven’t really seen everything. It’s that vast!
One more thing, they also offer golf carts and bike rentals which is another type of tour. Lucky for us, they also have a mini open bus which is a more cheaper option which we used to ride back from the trianon area back to the main entrance.
If you have the full day (which I highly suggest that you should devote an entire full day) to visit here, you should definitely see all these places including paintings that are only found here. There are many group tours that you could join, but we decided to explore it at our own pace. Either way, I must say visiting Versailles was one of the highlights of our trip!
For more information please check out this video and feel free to ask me some questions 🙂