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Versailles-Half Day

Hi All,
Due to a scheduling snafu, my wife and I will only have a half a day or so to visit Versailles during our trip to France at the end of June. I’ve read that it can be extremely crowded during the summer months and that by booking a tour of Private Apartments we can skip the ticket line and go through a special security screening line. Is this true? Also, do you have to go through security screening to visit the gardens? If not, to avoid the extended wait, I hope to visit the gardens first around lunch and then do the guided tour at 3:00. Would there be any problem with this?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Posted by
4535 posts

You just walk into the gardens unless it is a fountain day, in which case you first must buy a ticket to enter. No security or screening. The tour sounds like a good idea given your short time schedule.

Posted by
1 posts

I'm in Paris now and Highly recommend you purchase a Musee Pass for 2, 4 or 6 days.
They include priority access so no waiting or very little... Metro and bus in city zones
I'm planning my Versailles day trip and it looks like a half day is enough if you are pressed for time.
I'm taking the metro there so I can go and leave when it suits me and use the audio guide
When I arrive. The pass is good at most places you want to visit but saves you time in line
Waiting to buy day passes! Yes it's busy in Paris it always is but this is a gem really.
Enjoy your trip!
http://en.parismuseumpass.com/musee-musee-national-des-chateaux-de-versailles-et-de-trianon-64.htm

Posted by
32231 posts

seth,

Visiting Versailles with only half a day at that time of year could be "challenging"! I made that trip about the same time last year, and even with a Paris Museum Pass it took me well over an hour standing in a LONG queue just to get into the Chateau. Keep in mind that travel via RER is going to take about 45 minutes in each direction (plus waiting times). Add to that another 10-15 minutes in each direction to walk from the station to the Chateau. You may be able to have a quick look at the Chateau with only half a day, but I really doubt that you'll have any time to see the incredible gardens.

One other important point to mention is that I wouldn't recommend visiting Versailles on a Tuesday. The Louvre is closed that day so lots of tourists go to Versailles on Tuesdays.

Posted by
11507 posts

I think by this point the Kings Apartment tour may be booked.. but I have only read satisfied reviews of it.. so if its available it is a good option for you.
I think visiting the gardens then doing the tour is a good option.. and even if you can't get on the tour.. you could still visit the gardens and visit the palace after about 3. or 3.30 as most of the tour buses are gone by then so lines are not as horrendous.

The Museum Pass does allow you to skip the Ticket line.. but not the security line for the palace.. .. and the security line can be very long. We arrived pass in hand about 10.30 in am.. big mistake as we had to wait at least another 45 minutes in hot sun to get through security.. doing the gardens first makes good sense as once my dd and I slept in and didn't arrive at Versailles till after 1.30 and there was almost no line for security ( that was almost 5 years ago though. lines are worse now, hence try after 3.. )

The palace will be crowded,, and its great to see,, but really for most the highlights of Versailles are enjoying the grounds ,, and getting out to Marie Antionettes Hamlet and the Grand and Petit Trianons.. so do grab the little trolley ( extra fee) because just walking to those parts of the estate can take a half hour.. one way! Fine for those with time.. but you are really pushing it with a 1/2 day to see everything.

Posted by
9424 posts

What Pat said. And I recommend going on a Wednesday or Thursday.