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Drive by of Versailles

Having read so much on this forum, in RS guides, etcetera...we are taking the advice of seasoned travelers and going to Vaux le Vicomte instead of Versailles. I was wondering if it is possible to drive by Versailles and see it just from the outside...i.e. is it near a roadway? My travel companion wants to see it in passing but we have no idea if this is possible. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
2903 posts

Other than seeing the gates and the outside of the palace, you won’t be able to see any of the things that make Versailles so special. IMHO don’t waste your time. Buy your companion a post card. ;>)

Posted by
6698 posts

Won't see much if anything on a drive-by. But if you have an hour or two you could find a place to park and go in to the gardens only - if it's not a 'fountain' day the gardens are free to enter and you can wander around and see the whole palace from the outside.

Posted by
2466 posts

Not even remotely possible.
I'd go to Vaux le Vicomte instead of Versailles. There are far fewer tourists around.

Posted by
441 posts

To each her own. There's no reason why you can't do a drive by. Yes, it's near a roadway. Because others don't think it's worthwhile doesn't mean it won't be worthwhile to your companion.
There are drawbacks, as others have pointed out. But maybe your companion will be satisfied with just having been there, up close, in person.

Posted by
8293 posts

Well, Vaux le Vicomte was the inspiration for Versailles so you will actually be visiting the original, if that makes you feel better.

Posted by
4535 posts

As noted, you could park and just walk into the gardens for a look around if you have the time. From the street, you'll sense the massive scale and see the front of the chateau, but that's it.

Vaux le Vicomte is a great chateau and was the inspiration for Versailles (Louis XIV had the owner imprisoned and then hired his design team), but let's not pretend it is anything like Versailles.

Posted by
3365 posts

You can do better than a can drive onto the grounds of Versailles through the Queen's Gate at the north side of the grounds. Park by the Grand Canal, near one of the Trianons, or the Petite Hameau. There are several places to park in the grounds. If your time is limited this might be a great option for you...parking on the grounds is much cheaper than the giant lot at the front. If you park in the lot by the Grand Canal you can approach the palace through gardens from the back, see the orangery, and the view back over the Grand Canal, which is beautiful!