I'll probably be in Paris, in january, for 4 days, from London. I'm a huge history buff, so Versailles would be a sure hit, but, in 4 days, I think my schedule will not be relaxed enough to devote a full day to Versailles. I already cut some places I wanted to go, but time will not allow (Saint Germain and the Archaeological Museum, Senlis, Chateaux de Chantilly, Provins (the one it hurted me more so far), Reims). Logic would demand that I cut Vincennes Castle too, but I really don't want to. I know it sounds absurd, to consider cutitng Versailles in order to go to Vincennes, but I want to know there and this forum showed me a very important thing: I need to prepare my itineraries for me, not for my friends that will stay at home.
Then again, Versailles is a very, very important place in history, but contemporary and modern (the Treaty of Versailles basically shaped our actual world), so, my major question is: considering that I'll go in the winter, and that I would not want to venture the garden more than 5 minutes even in the summer, can I visit just the main palace in half day? Like, departing form Paris at 7 or 8 AM and returning around 2 PM? I know I'll be missing the secondary palaces, but they're really secondary for my goals. I want to know if it's doable or it's a dream.
FYI, here's what I'm planning (since I'll come from London, I'll not have jetlag issues):
M - Arc to the Orsay through the Place de la Concorde to the Orsay (I'm not a huuuuuuge art fan. I like the classics, I have a mild interest in impressionsts and I hate modern art. I'll go to the Orsay more to see the beautiful architecture and Monet/Van Gogh highlights. Quick, 1h tops)
A - Invalides
M - Ile de la Cite (Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle and the Conciergerie)
A - empty
M - Vincennes Castle
A - Musee du Cluny, Pantheon (resting place of a major part of french history) and the Arenes (I know it's not the most preserved roman place in the world, but it's interesting enough for a peak)
Louvre (I'll be with the PMP, so I can make breaks if I get overload)
If Versailles is doable as a half day, I can change spots in this itinerary, preparing a more relaxed afternoon somehow. If not, I can find something to do. Maybe I can go to Saint Germain in the end, or Saint Denis, to see even more royal heritage.