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Train to Versailles from Paris

Does anyone have advice to getting to Versailles from Paris? Is it challenging to take the train there? The bike tour through Viator is booked up for the time we will be in Paris, so I was wondering if anyone knew of other bike tour options, including just renting bikes once in Versailles and then visiting the Palace.

Thanks!

Posted by
2030 posts

It's very easy to take the train from Paris to Versailles, and bikes, segways, golf carts can be rented there to get around. Consult any guidebook for details.

Posted by
20443 posts

It is VERY easy. Just pick up the RER C at any station along the Left Bank of the Seine. Tickets are just a few EUR at the ticket window. The front of the train will say "VICK" on the front and the TV monitors on the platform will indicate its destination as "Versailles Rive Gauche-Chateau". Many stations have Metro connections if you are coming from elsewhere in Paris. If that is the case, the price includes Paris connections, so you can buy a ticket anywhere you enter the Metro system. Hang onto the ticket because you will need it to exit the station at Versailles.

Posted by
11507 posts

If you want to take a bike tour just check directly with the actual companies that run them.. not Viatour..

Fat Tire Bike Tours

Or

Blue Bike Tours..

They likely DO have spots available. Never mind Viatour.

If not, yes you can rent bikes on the grounds near the canal head.. the bike tours are a lot more fun however. and I have done it both ways( I have been to Versailles at least 9 times now I think , over many years of course..)

The train is easy to take. You cant get lost once you get off train as you will just follow the crowds for the short walk to the Palace.. or look at the signs everywhere.

Go BEFORE the place opens if not on a tour.. or you will wait in security lines for a long time..

Posted by
4535 posts

Many stations have Metro connections if you are coming from elsewhere in Paris. If that is the case, the price includes Paris connections, so you can buy a ticket anywhere you enter the Metro system.

Just to be clear, you must have a ticket valid all the way to Versailles. A regular Metro ticket is only good for the central Paris area; Versailles is out of that central zone.

Also, the RER is a regular commuter rail line so trains run very frequently. The Versailles Rive Gauche Station is the end of that line (it branches off to several other destinations, that's why you must board the Rive Gauche train).

Once off the train, you turn right out the station, walk a couple blocks, turn left on the main avenue and, poof, there is the chateau.

In the gardens down by the grand canal is a bike rental. Bikes make the most sense in the gardens that extend out from there. Rentals are first come, first serve.

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you so much for all your responses. This definitely seems pretty easy and doable.

I just looked on Google Maps and it says that it should take about an hour to get to Versailles on the Metro. Does that seem accurate?

Also, just to be clear - it is okay to ride bikes around the property of the Palace, right? Not just around the town? And there are bike racks for when you go inside for a tour, I take it?

Lastly, the town seems pretty close to the Palace. Any recommendations for things to do within the town?

Thank you!

Posted by
2466 posts

Make sure to "compost" your ticket in the machines before entering the train platform. You will risk a fine, if you don't.

There is an outdoor market in the town square - easy to find on GoogleMaps. You might think about buying picnic provisions here.

Posted by
20443 posts

When did they start "composting" tickets on the RER C? You use your ticket to open the turnstile gates to get to the platform, then use it again to open the turnstile gate at your destination station to exit. Doesn't scanning your ticket and opening the gate constitute "composting"?

Posted by
7209 posts

Yes, of course, bikes are allowed in the actual gardens of the Chateau. You can actually rent bikes WITHIN the gardens if you like.

Posted by
8225 posts

RER stations in Paris all have stiles that automatically compost tickets BUT many more rural stations do not and you need to find the device to validate them before boarding the train. I can't remember what the Versailles station has, but if not a stile then it is important to validate the ticket.

Posted by
4535 posts

First - the word "composting" is not something very many people are going to be familiar with in regards to ticket validation. It refers to manually stamping your ticket to validate it (a timestamp is imprinted on the ticket). There are machines at the head of the platform to do this.

Second, Versailles Rive Gauche hasn't used that system in many years. You pass through turnstiles to validate your ticket. Same with Metro stations in the city.

Posted by
11507 posts

As said.. of course you can ride the bikes you rent on the grounds of Versailles on the grounds..however you may not ride them in the formal gardens next to the palace ( where all the fountains are for instance) .. and frankly you wouldn't want to anyways as it s mostly pea gravel paths.

Have you looked at a map of the grounds?

Bring a bike lock. One thing we discovered is if you want to check something out.. like the gardens behind the Grand Trianon..with their amazing view up the canal to the palace.. that you don't want to leave your bike alone unlocked and they don't ( or didn't used to ) supply them.. very frustrating.

Posted by
61 posts

Pat, good advise about bringing locks. Are there reports of rental bikes being stolen and the consequence? Since the bikes are the property of Versailles, wouldn't that prevent someone from taking them through the gates? Wouldn't the bikes be returned or would the hapless renter still be responsible for their lost? I'm curious to know my financial responsibility incase of theft.