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Versailles in late March with granddaughters

Hi husband and I will be visiting Paris for 9 days with our 13 year old granddaughters the last week of March/first week of April. We are wondering whether it is worth it to take our granddaughters to Versailles. We will have the Museum Pass, but don't know what the lines, especially for security, will be like that time of year? Is it less crowded than in summer? Maybe it is better to take them on another outing outside of paris?

Posted by
3391 posts

It will certainly be less crowded than summer...but still crowded.
There are plenty of other places outside the city you could visit that are similar...Fountainbleau, Vaux le Vicomate, Chenonceau, etc. But nothing really compares to Versailles. That's why it's crowded! :)

Posted by
3122 posts

If you want a wide-open space where kids can walk/run around and see the non-urban side of a lovely landscaped park -- plus a chateau with museum exhibits, fountains, great architecture -- there's the Parc de Sceaux, located at the southern edge of Paris not far from Orly airport. The RER gets you there with a Zone 3 ticket.
http://www.beyond-paris.com/parc-de-sceaux.html

Posted by
2313 posts

hey elsapj74
i really like epitd recommendation.
pack up a picnic lunch and sit in the park, let the girls run around and enjoy.
it seems like no matter when you go to versailles it is crowded and the girls will probably get antsy just waiting.
went to angelinas for yummy hot chocolate and pastries, like an afternoon tea party. it does get busy, go early, make an online reservation, and bring patience.
curegourmande.com is a candy/cookie store on ile st louis, fun little shop. (loved the marshmallow sticks)
tuktukinparis.com you pick what tour you like, only saying because you never know when the girls will say "i'm tired and feet sore"
pariscityvision.com has a "fly over paris" i did this in vancouver canada and was so nice.
yake the girls for dessert souffles if they like them "la cuisine de phillipe or le souffle" reservations
cooking class: lacuisine.com, cooknwithclass.com, lefoodist.com
take a walk thru some street markets, stop for crepes, sit and relax with glass of vino and people watch.
stop at luxembourg gardens, look for the "i love you wall". thinking of the girls but you guys need to enjoy and compromise. you'll have a fun and great time. enjoy
aloha

Posted by
9424 posts

There is no substitute for Versailles, it is amazing and so historical. We were there end of February 2017 and there was no line at all. We walked right in. Only a few people in each room. It was a joy.
If you go on a weekday, i recommend Wed or Thurs, and if it’s not a holiday time, i’d expect it to be very uncrowded and well worth seeing.

Posted by
8119 posts

I would buy King's apartment tours for everyone -- it is about 10 Euro a head I think and you get them on the regular website. You pair them with regular tickets (buy ahead) or museum pass for the adults and the girls are free (plus the special ticket) You thus bypass the long security line -- once you are through with the tour you can proceed through the rest of the palace. Plan a full day. There are restaurants at the foot of the gardens -- you can picnic on the grounds, not the gardens, but you cannot bring the food into the palace or check it in the cloakroom so unless the tour is in the afternoon that is a problem. If you can book an afternoon tour and do the garden and grounds first the picnic would work. Note that the Trianon is only open in the afternoon though (no loss IMHO)

Sceaux IMHO while beautiful is not a substitute for Versailles. Vaux le Vicomte comes close. but Versailles is Versailles -- so with careful planning I'd do that. If you cannot get King's apartment tours, I would get timed entrance tickets (again the kids go with you). and if not that, get there 45 minutes before the chateau opens at 9 to be near the front of the security line. NOte that now there is perimeter security as well as the regular security line for the chateau (which is what you skip with the tour tickets or timed tickets). You need to give a few minutes extra to clear perimeter security if you have a timed ticket so you don't blow your time slot -- I'd give it 30 minutes although probably conservative for March.

Posted by
360 posts

We visited Versailles on a Wednesday and arrived around 8:40 a.m. and were one of the first few in the security line (didn't realize a tour of the King's apartments would bypass that), though I had the Paris Pass that granted us admission. Agree with the others that Versailles is its own experience, for you can't really imagine how ostentatious it is until you see it in person -- and it's in fairly good condition (we were somewhat quick in our visit and wound up being only one of four people in the Hall of Mirrors!).

Posted by
2612 posts

Versailles is quite spectacular, don't miss it...I visited on a rainy day in early May and while it was still crowded it was manageable. The very best part of the day was exploring the two Trianon palaces and Marie Antoinette's hamlet, a bit removed from the main palace and gardens--the rain had stopped and somehow I had the lovely farm area all to myself aside from some friendly ducks and geese--my most cherished memory of that day. Travel via RER included it was a 7 hour expenditure, and I still had the energy to visit the Orangerie upon returning.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks so much, everyone, for your responses. They've all be very helpful. I'm still trying to figure this Versailles trip out. So, other questions, if we elect to buy the timed entry passes at Versailles, do we also get to skip the security line?

Plus, when I went to buy these time entry tickets at Versailles, the only entry time they gave me was 9 AM. It seemed weird to have no other options. And I'm assuming that, if 9 AM is the time, then we would have to be there within 30 minutes, correct? Thanks so much again for all the suggestions.