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Advice on tours for Versailles

Unfortunately, the only day we have available for visiting Versailles is a Saturday. Knowing that there will be crowds, is it worth it to go with a tour company/guide? Advice? Recommendations? Thanks so much.

Posted by
4 posts

want to hear this also.
is Versailles worth the visit to miss a day in Paris - more traveling and more stress... seems there is so much to see in Paris itself. Thoughts? thanks

Posted by
27 posts

Versailles is a wonderful Palace and grounds to visit. Don't worry about 'the crowds' as it's ALWAYS busy! The inside of the palace can be so incredibly elbow to elbow crowded... don't let that make you grumpy because when you get out into the gardens... ahhhhh absolutely gorgeous!
Don't use a tour company... that's like paying someone to guide you through the Magic Kingdom. Be sure to wear very comfortable shoes! There a lot of walking!
At the back of the property is a compound of smaller buildings. I found them to be frankly more beautiful than the inside of the great Palace.

Posted by
916 posts

I've been to Paris twice and still not been to Versailles because there is so much to see in Paris and environs. Plus everyone I know who's been there said there are crowds and I hate crowds in confined spaces. I don't feel like I've missed out on anything but if you want to go see it, just be prepared for crowds and selfies and go.

Posted by
506 posts

We didn't go with a guide (or book the tour of the King's Apartment) but we did take the advice in the RS book and see the gardens first and tour the palace late in the afternoon. It worked pretty wall, but this was in April. You don't mention when you're travelling.

"is Versailles worth the visit to miss a day in Paris - more traveling and more stress... seems there is so much to see in Paris itself." - this is a very difficult question to answer for another person, it's really a decision you have to make for yourself and partly depends on how many days you have in Paris total. I would guess that if you have seen other palace interiors and don't have enough time in Paris for what you want to see then you'd be happy skipping Versailles. Personally I had seven full days in April and dedicated one to Versailles and one to Giverny and didn't regret either decision. The trip report: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/april-in-paris-1e48a51b-4933-490e-9e0d-e8bdf1035b47

Posted by
5715 posts

a guide does not IMHO add value but I would not go especially in summer without a timed ticket for entry. Without you will be stuck in an hours long security line. (or get there an hour early and have at least an hour in the security line) I would book the chateau for mid day and do the gardens morning and late afternoon when the fountains are on and the chateau in the middle. If you have time then visit the wider estate. You can enter and leave the gardens on fountain days with your passport. The chateau is miserable in hot weather with people cheek by jowl. The time tickets get you in within a half hour of your time and others have reported it is generally more like 10 minutes.