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Questions: Paris Eiffel Tower & Versailles

I've been doing a lot of research on Paris sights and have some unanswered questions that I am hoping this Forum can help with.
1. We will be going to Paris May 3-5, 2022. I plan to buy a ticket ahead for the Eiffel Tower elevator for opening time on that Wed. Can anyone give me an idea of how long the security line might be to access the elevator? I'm thinking maybe 30min if I get there for opening time? Trying to decide if it's worth the wait to go up if it will be much longer than that.

Also going to Versailles on Thurs and have questions on that.
2. Does the Paris Musuem Pass include Queen's Hamlet? I know it does include Trainons and not sure if that is considered part of that? Also, it was noted that a "Guided tour" is required to view inside Queen’s House. Are they referring to Queen’s Hamlet or Petit Trianon? I'm thinking the later.
3. Do I need to buy the musical and fountain garden tickets since that is not included? Given we will be there on a Thurs and in early May, it appears this only runs on weekends and not open til later May? Their site has conflicting info on this and is confusing.
4. Lastly, I know this one is subjective but, in your opinion, is the King's Apartment worth the extra 1.5hrs?
Would appreciate any input. Thanks.

9/30 We did decide to skip King's Private Apartments so ignore that question. Any input on rest would be much appreciated. Merci beaucoup!

Posted by
5261 posts

Hi Patti,

Can anyone give me an idea of how long the security line might be to access the elevator? I'm thinking maybe 30min if I get there for opening time?

Unfortunately, this will depend on how many others are planning to get there at around the time you plan to arrive.

When my daughter and I were in Paris a few years ago, we cleared security within a few minutes ( we arrived prior to our timed ascend) but then when it was time to line up for the elevator, a large tour group (around 30 persons) happen to be in front of us, so our wait was much longer than expected.

Some people will tell you that it’s not worth going up the ET, that the view is better from other places, but IMO, it was well worth the wait to go all the way up to the summit!

Make sure you go to the Trocadero ( across the river) to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle after sunset.

I’ve not visited Versailles, so will let others chime in with the information you seek.

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
104 posts

Hi Patti-
I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower both in the morning and afternoon. Although with Covid, circumstances may be different (as is everything), but I don’t remember waiting exceptionally long. I’ve gone on both occasions on tours via Viator. I think it’s a must at least once to go to the summit. I’d love to hear the responses regarding Versailles. I went on a group tour and enjoyed it despite being winter and not being able to enjoy the greenery/fountain/etc. it was crowded when we got there but cleared out by the time we were probably 3/4 off the way through.

Btw the queens quarters wasn’t open when I was there…. Renovations….

Posted by
115 posts

Danielle and Prescilla, thanks for your input on the Eiffel Tower. I guess we can just plan to go and see how long the wait is to go up. I will be purchasing a ticket ahead for opening time and we will plan to get there 30min prior. Hopefully that will help. We definitely want to go up if we can. We just have such limited time in Paris and there is so much to see I just hope the line won't be too long.

Danielle, when did you go to Versailles when the Queen's Hamlet was closed d/t renovations? That would be a bummer since that looks like one of the highlights IMO. I didn't see anything about that currently on the website. Hopefully it will be open now.

Still hoping to find out if Queen's Hamlet is included in the Paris Museum Pass as part of Trainons or does that require a seperate ticket? And get clarity on the Musical Garden and Fountain Garden tickets. I'm thinking those will be closed when we go. I will still roam the gardens as there will be other smaller fountains active periodically.
Thank you!

Posted by
104 posts

We went there February of 2019. I think I read somewhere that the Queen’s Hamlet is open, but I am not certain. I would get your Eiffel Tower tickets before you travel…. I hope you have a fantastic time!

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks for your input everyone. Still hoping to get a reply on these 2 outstanding questions please.

  1. Does the Paris Musuem Pass include Queen's Hamlet? I know it does include Trainons and not sure if that is considered part of that? Also, it was noted that a "Guided tour" is required to view inside Queen’s House. Are they referring to Queen’s Hamlet or Petit Trianon? I'm thinking the later.

  2. Do I need to buy the musical and fountain garden tickets since that is not included? Given we will be there on a Thurs and in early May, it appears this only runs on weekends and not open til later May? Their site has conflicting info on this and is confusing.

Posted by
33339 posts

Unless they have added extra days for 2022 that I'm not aware of, the Fountains are only ever weekends only.

Posted by
7083 posts

And even then, the fountains are not every weekend. They are a nice 'plus' but it is very hard to time a visit around them...

Posted by
115 posts

Thank you for clarifying. Can I still access the gardens to walk around in (without these shows) as part of my Paris Museum Pass or do I still need an extra "garden" ticket? I was thinking the extra garden tickets were just for those shows. Is that correct?

Posted by
4535 posts

The gardens are generally open and free. The only times a ticket is needed is on fountain show days.

You should also know that the Hamlet is a loooong way off from the palace. There are trams and other transportation options to get you there and back, but be prepared. Those options might also require a wait.

Posted by
1536 posts

It is 2.6 km or 1.6 miles from the Palace to the Queen's Hamlet according to Google Maps

Posted by
115 posts

Yes I had read the Trianons were quite a walk from the main palace (~30min). We plan to rent a golf cart or take the tram. Thanks for heads up on that. I can't wait to see it!

Posted by
8240 posts

If the musical gardens don't run on Thursdays, then of course don't buy tickets for that.

I would strongly recommend a timed ticket for the Chateau and skipping the Kings apartments. I don't know how many chateaux you have seen, but the king's apartment is nowhere near as interesting as the public rooms of Versailles and visiting Versailles, seeing the public rooms and then the Trianon and Hameau is a very big day even if it isn't a fountain day. If it is not a fountain day you can freely visit the garden and see the fountains -- but I would strongly recommend a fountain day if it is possible with your timing. when I was doing this Fountain days were weekends and Tuesdays but the website will let you know. FWIW. the fountains only run for about 90 minutes in the morning and again late in the afternoon for a couple hours so you need to orchestrate the day around that too. Here was our fountains only visit a few years ago.
https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/fountains-of-versailles-a-little-chaos/
The Kings apartment tour is time consuming and IMHO just not worth the extra time. Seen one rather ordinary gilded room and you have seen-em all and you can read up on Louis XIV without having to stand around in not particularly. interesting gilded rooms and hearing about him from a guide. The public rooms are spectacular and there are lots and lots of them and the whole day is long and tiring -- we felt we just used up a lot of our energy on 90 minutes that were not particularly interesting. WeI did it because timed tickets were not available the day we went with friends and this meant no standing in the hideous security line -- BUT if timed tickets are available do that instead. You might feel differently -- we have seen chateaux all over France and had been to Versailles before about 30 years ago -- but I still would recommend not doing it.

Posted by
115 posts

Janet, I agree w/you on the King's Private Apts. After looking at the pictures of it online it doesn't appear to be worth the added time and like you said, we are going to have a very full day as it is. We decided to just get the timed ticked hopefully for opening time. How far in advance can you book your tickets for this? I was thinking I'd start checking their site in Jan. Thanks for confirming my thoughts on this.