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Visiting Versailles

I am trying to buy tickets to visit Versailles Palace and I only got half a day for the visit. I see that there are many types of passes. Can someone recommend which pass to buy?

Posted by
16740 posts

With only half a day, just get the cheapest one (Palace only @ 15) or Passport (including gardens @ 18 euro). Train from central Paris takes 40 minutes plus a 10 minute walk to get to the entrance.

Posted by
4534 posts

A clarification to Sam's advice. The Passport ticket gets you the palace tour (which you want) and entry into the Trianons and Hamlet. With only a half day, you may or may not have time to go through those sites. Explore the Versailles webpage to see if those look important to you. Another thing to consider, entry into the gardens is usually free and you can see the Trianons and Hamlet (but not go inside) for free by just walking around the gardens. But if you go on a day when the fountains are turned on, there is a charge to enter the formal gardens. The Passport covers that cost too. The Passport only costs 3 euro more than the Palace ticket, so if your not sure, it might be best to pay the extra cost.

Posted by
8 posts

We visited Versailles during August last summer. I bought tickets before we left and was so glad I did when we arrived. We bypassed the hour long line-up for tickets and went directly into the 20 minute line-up for those who have tickets. Even so, arrive before 9am. Just so you know, when you get off the train, follow the signs to "the Chateau" to get to the Palace of Versailles. There are no signs directing you to "Versailles". That is the town's name. We lost some time figuring that out. We got a full day pass but without the Hamlet and Trinion. After you walk through Versailles itself, the inside of other buildings is anti-climatic. What we were not prepared for while we were doing our planning, is the affect that these incredible historic places have on a person. You can easily feel overloaded after a few hours. It takes all morning to walk through Versailles, then there are the maze of gardens with all the fountains, the Grand Canal, and the Hamlet. These are long walks from the Chateau itself. It took us 30 minutes to walk to the Hamlet which was quaint and picturesque. So, a lot of time is spent walking and exploring the property. It is huge! Because Versailles is 40 minutes out of Paris, the travel time needs to be factored into the day. You may want to spend most of the day in Versailles, not rushing but enjoying the experience, have an early supper in the town and then continue sightseeing in Paris. When you read the travel books they encourage you to see 10 things in a day. We found that just isn't possible without feeling stressed and overloaded. Better to see fewer things well and enjoy the experience. This isn't Disneyland. Paris is a feast for the eyes, not a fast food stand. My advice as you plan, would be to allow yourselves the time to savour and experience the trip. Happy travels!

Posted by
8277 posts

"Paris is a feast for the eyes, not a fast food stand"
I love that carol, so well said!
I have to disagree that the inside of other buildings (Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon) on the grounds of the palace are anti-climactic... not for me and not if you know the history and what went on there. I almost like them more because they are so much more intimate.
But I totally agree that ideally you really need a full day to see the palace and the grounds (I love both equally) to do them justice.
We love renting bikes down by the grand canal to ride all over the grounds and visit/see everything. They also have a train and a horse drawn wagon (holds a lot of people) to get people around. We even rented a golf cart once, after my son had heart surgery. So, there are many ways to get around and see the gardens and grounds... you don't have to walk everywhere if you don't want to.

Posted by
697 posts

Does the Paris Museum Pass cover Versailles? Anyone know? Merci bien!

Posted by
16740 posts

Yes, but you will need to pay a supplemental fee to visit the gardens on the days that the fountains are operating. Check the website for "musical water shows".
They start April 1 and are generally Tuesdays and weekends, but occasionally other days or evenings. The fee is not that much, as I recall, in the 5 euro range.