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Best day/time for Eiffel Tower and should we do Palace of Versailles?

I am looking to buy tickets for the ET in August, I can pick Friday (night), Saturday, Sunday or Monday (morning). Any recommendations on which day would be best, in terms of least busy? I realize it will be generally busy since its summer and that by using a "lighter day" means a busier day for whatever else we do on the weekend. Also any suggestions on morning, afternoon or evening? We will be going all the way to the top.

Secondly, one of my kids (teen girl) would like to do Palace of Versailles, using Google Maps it is about an hour away. Without knowing the rest of our plan (because I don't fully know yet) is it worth a trip considering it will use at least half of one our days? Is there anything to do there besides look at things? Anything fun for a boy to do?

Posted by
3122 posts

Regarding Versailles, it will be extremely crowded in August so just know that will go with the territory. Is there anything fun for a boy to do? Well, you can rent a golf cart to drive around to the outlying locations in the vast gardens: the hameau, the petit & grand trianons. I'm not sure how old the person needs to be to drive the golf cart; I would guess 16 but you'd have to check. The gardens are much, much less crowded than the interior of the chateau because most tourists don't bother going outside. Basically what you do at Versailles is look at things, and it can be done in half a day or 3/4 day, meaning if you get an early start you can be back in Paris by midafternoon.

Posted by
6622 posts

For the tower, Sunday night and Monday morning would seem likely to be the least crowded times, depending on whether you want to see the view at night or in daylight.

For Versailles, the RER "C5" train to Versailles Rive Gauche (not the separate Versailles Chantiers station) puts you a short walk from the chateau entrance. The chateau is closed Mondays so you'll be stuck with a weekend day. I suggest getting there before it opens, or in the afternoon, to minimize waiting time. I think you can buy tickets online which would save time when you get there (but there will still be a security line for the chateau).

Not knowing your boy's age, it's hard to tell whether there would be something fun for him to do. If he's too young for the chateau (i.e. most of what he'll see will be other people's legs), the gardens might be a better choice. But the teen daughter probably should get to see inside the chateau. If there are two parents, you could split up, or send the teen into the palace on her own with plans to meet at a specific place and time outside.

Posted by
598 posts

If your son likes farm animals, then definitely visit the hameau. You can research French animal noises beforehand. https://www.annieandre.com/top-25-french-animal-sounds-onomatopoeia/

If your son like bicycling, you can rent them at Versailles for exploring the grounds: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/plan-your-visit/facilities/bike-hire You can also rent rowboats.

You can give him a less-crowded glimpse of palace life by being at the Grand Trianon when it opens at noon. The grounds are free but you'll need a ticket or Paris Museum Pass to tour the buildings (or at least the adults will, not sure about chldren).