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Versailles with timed entry with kids and museum pass

Hi

We are planning our trip to Versailles on a non musical fountain day in April.

I want to purchase timed entry tickets - does anyone know if I need tickets for kids over 5 but under 18 if I buy 2 timed entry tickets for adults?

On the website it says:
"The reduced rate of the Passport with timed entry (10 euros) allows people who benefit from free admission (people aged 6 to 17 years old outside the European Union and people aged 6 to 25 who are residents of the European Union... - upon presentation of the exemption of entrance fees during access control) to benefit from priority access to the Palace (according to the schedule). It also includes access to the Fountains Shows or the Musical Gardens."

This sounds like if I have a museum pass for the the 2 adults and also want timed entry for 2 kids I should be able to spend 40 euros total for the timed entry tickets for all 4 of us. Online I see no way of getting this reduced fare - total would be 80 euros for all included.

Advice from recent travelers appreciated

Michelle

Posted by
347 posts

We were there in November with our two teens (13 & 16). We had the museum pass for 2 adults and paid 10€ per person (40€ total) for the Private Side tour. I think this is different from the timed entry, but served the same purpose for us. Timed entry tickets weren’t available in November.

Posted by
17 posts

Hi--picking the timed entry passport and a random date in April, I chose a time, and then all the various rates (including the reduced rate) presented themselves.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for letting me know. I tried the date we are going 4/22/20 and I don't see the reduced rate option. There are other days that it doesn't work in April as well, but some that it randomly does work for!

Posted by
17 posts

That's really weird. I wonder if there's a max per day?

Posted by
111 posts

You only need to buy 2 Timed Admissions for the 2 adults total 40 euros. The children will be free when you go to the Timed Admissions Entrance and show proof of their age upon arrival. The reduced fare Timed Admissions is only for children over 5 on Musical Fountain Days. April 22 is not a musical Fountain Day. I was just at the site and they are showing times available for timed admissions on the 22 April.

Posted by
9 posts

Update: the reduced fee option is available only on days with the musical fountains.

I emailed customer service and this was the reply:

Thank you for your email.

We inform you that the Gardens will be free on the wednesday, which means you would not have have pay anything for the day of your visit (and can select the free tickets) as long as you qualify for the free entry.

I have emailed them again to verify since the free tickets I can select say they are for 0-5 year olds.

Posted by
9 posts

Update:
This is the customer service reply:

Madam,

Thank you for your email.

We inform you that as you already have the Paris Museum Pass, you can not book a free ticket to have the timed entry as this will be refused on the day of the visit.


All this is very confusing. I am thinking of just booking on a fountain day and purchasing the 4 reduced tickets so at least I can get timed entry which seems to be an important option during high season.

Michelle

Posted by
17 posts

It is all very confusing, but I see an issue that I wanted to flag. You say "I am thinking of just booking on a fountain day and purchasing the 4 reduced tickets so at least I can get timed entry which seems to be an important option during high season."

I don't believe the Museum Pass gets you a reduced rate for timed entry, and indeed on the fountain days the Visite Passport with timed entry is 27 Euros (rather than 20). You would need 2 of those for the adults, plus 2 reduced rate tickets for your kids. (The reduced rate tickets do appear on the fountain days.) I think the 2nd customer service reply was saying the Museum Pass doesn't qualify you for a reduced rate ticket; only those who generally qualify for free tickets get reduced rates for timed entry. So either the Museum Pass or full-freight timed entry for adults. Can someone confirm?

What it doesn't explain is what you do if you're buying timed entry on a non-fountain day for adults and also have kids over age 5--the reduced rate tickets don't appear, and the only free ones are for ages 0-5/fountain days.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for your reply!
On the Versailles website they have a Pdf that shows many ways to qualify for free admission including "Holders of the “Paris Museum Pass” on sale at the palace: two days, €48; four days, €62; six days, €74".

So think makes it pretty clear that the 2 museum passes and the 2 kids over 5 but under 18 are all "free". They just don't seem to recognize a mechanism to purchase a timed entry ticket on non-musical fountain days. I am not sure why since from what I have read online, it seems like the timed entry is a huge time saver and worth the 40 euro for the family of 4. I think I can get around this by going on a musical fountain day and showing proof of free admission for all 4 in the group (2 museum pass and two elementary kids).

Thoughts?

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks Barbara
I don't read (or speak) French but I used google translate. This is helpful and I think the French site is easier. On the French site it says:
FREE RATE: Access to the Château and the Trianon estate is free for those under 18, those under 26 for residents of the EU ... Check whether you benefit from the free conditions.
PLEASE NOTE: Access to the gardens on open water days and to the Musical Gardens is free only for children aged 0 to 5.

This would make it seem like I could get 4 free rate tickets since we are all Free (2 hold museum passes and 2 school aged kids).

Customer service said: "Madam,
We inform you that the Gardens will be free on the wednesday, which means you would not have have pay anything for the day of your visit (and can select the free tickets) as long as you qualify for the free entry."

But when I sent a follow up request confirming that I should select 4 free entries (even though it says for only for kids 0-5 on the english version of the site), they said: "We inform you that as you already have the Paris Museum Pass, you can not book a free ticket to have the timed entry as this will be refused on the day of the visit."

I've just sent another query to see what I should do.

Posted by
575 posts

The only other option for timed entry would be to buy 4 tickets for the Private Apartments tour, which has a separate entry, not the main line. Your teens aren’t eligible for this tour free.

https://billetterie.chateauversailles.fr/guided-tour-versailles-private-side-visite-chateau-de-versailles-22-avril-2020-css5-chateauversaillesmobile-pg101-ri6783241.html

Use your Museum Pass for the adults entry, and the teens passports for their free entry. Plus the tour tickets for the separate timed entry.

Posted by
17 posts

The plot thickens! I just tried April 22 Passport without timed entry, and voila, there is an option for just "free admission"--no confusion at all with the 0-5 age or fountains. The "see conditions" link takes you to the list you quoted.

PASSPORT TICKET WITHOUT MUSICAL FOUNTAINS SHOWS OR MUSICAL GARDENS € 20.00

*FREE ADMISSION See conditions € 0.00

But as you found out, the free admission option with timed entry (still for April 22, not a fountain day) links you only to free tickets for fountain days (bolding mine) "See conditions" says ages 0-5.:

FREE ADMISSION *WITH** FOUNTAINS SHOWS OR MUSICAL GARDENS See conditions € 0.00

*PASSPORT TICKET WITHOUT MUSICAL FOUNTAINS SHOWS OR MUSICAL GARDENS € 20.00

Do let us know how it all turns out! I'm even less inclined to buy the Paris Museum Pass hearing all of this, but still would wonder what to do about our 13-year-old if we were buying timed entry for me and my husband when we go in June.

Posted by
17 posts

See this thread:
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/france/paris-museum-pass-and-versailles-60fc9d35-1d26-4904-a51a-7d588a6bd107

Janettravels44 says:
The PMP provides no advantage at Versailles; there is no pre-booked time possible except by buying a timed passport; there is no way to book a time with the PMP. You could book a behind the scenes tour which could be used in conjunction with either a ticket or a PMP. Otherwise you wait in the long long line or get there an hour before opening to be close to the front.

Posted by
5700 posts

Yes. You cannot book a timed entry with the PMP -- don't use the Museum Pass for Versailles. Kids don't need timed tickets, they just walk in with you. The kids tickets are for fountain days as kids need garden tickets.

Posted by
506 posts

Another way to do it is to tour the grounds and gardens in the morning, show your PMP at the Grand Trianon when it opens at noon, and eat lunch afterwards at the Petit Trianon. Stroll around the Hamlet, catch the cute tram back to the main palace, then show your PMP and get in the very short security line around 3 pm. We did this in late April 2018 and there was no waiting. The children will see more in the Grand Trianon because the rooms aren't mobbed. In the main palace rooms will be packed and I'm not sure how much they will be able to see. Eat dinner before you catch the train back to Paris because everyone will be exhausted.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for all the advice. I wanted to update that I got a reply from customer service (see below). My plan now is to sign us up for 4 free timed entry passes on Wednesday 4/22 since we will be 2 school aged kids and we will have 2 PMPs and it is not a garden day. Will let you all know if it works after we try it in April.

--- RESPONSE FROM VERSAILLES CUSTOMER SERVICE-----
The Paris Museum Pass gives admission to the tours in free visit of the Palace, the Trianon Palaces and the Marie Antoinette's Estate.

The tours in free visit include the Hall of Mirrors, the King's chamber. The access to the apartments of Mesdames the King's daughters is possible only on weekends.

We would like to precise that the Paris Museum Pass does not give you a priority access on the Entrance A waiting line.

We remind you that we do not edit free admission tickets. Young visitors will have to bring their ID and or visa to prove that they are younger than 26 years old and they will have access to the Castle of Versailles and the Domain of Trianon.

We invite you to book timed-entry Passports, which are 10€ or 0€ depending on the Gardens’ events on the day of your visit. The timed-entrance will assure them to enter the Castle of Versailles within 30 minutes of the time-slot that you chose to your liking.

Warning : you have to pay for the entrance to the Gardens:
The Grand Musical Fountain Display takes place on weekends, bank holidays and Tuesdays. The Musical Gardens take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Musical Fountains Show :
- every Saturday and Sunday from the 4th of April to the 1st of November 2020.
- on Friday the 10th of April and 8th of May 2020.
- every Tuesday the 19th of May to the 23rd of June 2020.
- on Thursday the 21st of May 2020.

Musical Gardens :
- every Tuesday from the 7th of April to the 12th of May 2020 and from the 30th of June to the 27th of October 2020.

The Grand Musical Fountain Display and the Musical Gardens are organised by our partner,"Château Versailles Spectacles" who applies its own fee policy. For more information, we invite you to visit their website : www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr or at the entrance of the Gardens on the day of your visit.

For further information, don't hesitate to contact us on + 33 (0) 1 30 83 78 00, you can also check our website www.chateauversailles.fr.

Posted by
9 posts

ugh... update from customer service

I wrote to customer service to confirm my plans on a non-musical garden day and this was the reply. This makes no sense since I clearly do qualify for free entry (as a PMP holder). Now back to the drawing board....


Thank you for your email.

We understand you wish to obtain a ticket you could add up to your Paris Museum Pass and make you use the prior access line to the Palace.
Unfortunately this is not possible, you cannot choose a free entrance ticket if you do meet the condition.
The only way for you to have the prior access is by purchasing a 27€ ticket.
All information related to price rates or useful to prepare your visit is available on www.chateauversailles.fr, in the section "to prepare your visit".
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need others information on : + 33 1 30 83 78 00.

Best regards,
Customer Relation Service

Posted by
575 posts

The Paris Museum Pass gives you free entry to the Château, but is not upgradable to the priority access line on its own. My earlier posts on this thread suggest the other options to access the priority line: 1. book the Private side tour $10 each for all 4 of you, teens don’t qualify for the tour free; or 2.buy regular timed entry admission for the adults, Your teens will be free.