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Day trip from Paris: Versailles or Giverny?

We will be leaving Paris for Amsterdam and hope to see both or either of these recommendation. Suggestions much appreciated. Or would it be worth the money to do both on a guided tour for $215 each on a day trip returning to Paris. We only have 4 nights in Paris and want to do it ALL!

Posted by
7007 posts

Both in a day is doable on a tour but ambitious, as they are not very close to each other.
I'd prioritize Versailles by far. There is a lot more to see and do there, and the historical significance is arguably much greater. Also, it is a little bit closer to Paris and thus quicker to get to. But it depends on your interests!

Posted by
121 posts

Hi,
I Agree with Balso 100 percent
While I'm a huge Monet/Impressionism fan and have been there, Versailles is a better take if you have to choose one. More to do and more awe-inspiring, especially if you've never been to one of the other European palaces. It is remarkable - yes its crowded with tourists but hopefully Covid and timed entries are limiting that a little bit .
Get timed tickets and hopefully the security line is manageable. I've never taken the $215 tour: I just take the train from Paris - I think its an RER 1, yellow line or C (but check).
Good luck

Posted by
899 posts

I've been to both twice. Versailles is way more than just the main chateau. It's also the garden, fountains, Trianon palaces, queens hamlet, coach house, etc. You could spend days there. Giverny is very nice but you can see it all in 1-2 hours. It's in a small village with a few shops, art museum, and Monet's grave. Do you want to see an amazing palace in a huge estate or a lovely garden and quaint country house?

Posted by
140 posts

When we were in Paris we decided to go to Giverny and save Versailles for another trip. Giverny was beautiful and we did love it, but I think my expectations were more than what it actually was. Very pretty, but not as big as I expected. Also, be sure to pay attention to the day of the week you go, when we went the whole town was closed so there wasn’t much to do besides the garden.

Posted by
11355 posts

I have visited both and much preferred Giverny.
Versailles’ gardens were beautiful but I did not like touring inside the Palace, much too ornate to enjoy.

Posted by
887 posts

I am with Suki on the tour of the palace: not worth the wait or the crowds; you are herded through the palace, and it is a bit of a letdown, honestly.

The most enjoyable aspect of Versailles is walking the gardens and grounds, discovering Marie Antoinette's hideouts, etc. You can admire the palace from the outside, it is an amazing building, but skip the tour.

Don't attempt both Versailles and Giverny on a single day. That is nuts. Between the two, since you have not been to either, I would vote for Versailles; I describe Versailles as a 3/4 day deal; leave Paris after breakfast, spend a few hours at Versailles, and return to Paris mid afternoon. There are a few places on the grounds where you can get lunch, too.

But really, with only 4 nights in Paris, I would not bother with a day trip. Versailles or Giverny only make sense on longer trips to Paris of a week or longer.

Posted by
772 posts

If this is your first trip to Paris, you would do well to just stay there. You can't do it justice at all in 4 days, let alone fewer. As for Versailles and Giverny in the same day, I can't even wrap my head around that physical impossibility, unless you're planning to spend an hour or two, max, at each. We were at Giverny in mid-May and it was a total madhouse. Your only choice for seeing the grounds was to slowly move along in the snake that encircled the place, stopping at every other step for the photographers/ selfie-takers. The house was so congested that we gave up even trying to go in. The gift shop was so crowded as to be, frankly, unpleasant. I love Monet's work at Giverny, and I'll admit that I had idealized it a bit, but the whole experience was enough to cure me of that. Back to the museums for me.

Posted by
4999 posts

We've been to both and agree with balso 100%. Trying to do both in one day can be done, but will short change them both. Versailles would be our priority.