Quick question for those who have visited before...is it worth pre-ordering tickets or is it fine just to buy tickets there. I'm going in August. Thanks!
I would pre-order tickets to avoid the ticket purchase line and I would also buy tickets to the Kings Apartment Tour. That tour gets you into the palace through a much shorter and faster security line.
We had pre-purchased tickets and the line to get in was still really long so I would for sure pre-purchase. The other thing I would do is get there very early. We did not and the place was so crowded. The audio guide was just ok
Our favourite part was renting bikes and biking the gardens and property.
I went with a Paris Museum Pass. It covered everything except the musical gardens that were going that day. Essentially if you don't have a ticket there will be a line to buy one, then a security line. If you have a ticket or pass, you just need to go through the security line. I went in October and there weren't any crowds, probably because the forecast was for rain (that never occured). I'd expect a line in August so anything you can do to shorten your waits will help.
If you show up without a ticket you will wait hours . Not kidding . First you must get in ticket line . THEN , you must get in security line , and since you had to line up for tickets you will not have been able to get in security line BEFORE it opens , so you will be in line with a crush .
Arrive with tickets or museum pass and get in security line BEFORE it opens, at least 45 minutes before it opens . Keep in mind palace will be very crowded , but gardens and Marie antionettes hamlet will be a lovely relief .
Besides the days the fountains are on or off, don't go on a Monday. My wife didn't turn the last page in her guidebook and we got all the way out there to find it closed. Do fountain days impact the amount of tourists? We went again on a non fountain day and it was a zoo. We had our museum passes already and stood in a pretty long line before it opened. Once you get through the security screening the line stalled. Why? because all the morons in front of you are now forming a line to get the audio devices. Once you get through security and you don't want a audio device.. Get out of line and walk past everybody.
My other tip.. Rent a golf cart and head out to the other palaces. You can turn up the music if you reach up behind you that is very faint initially. We had a blast getting sandwiches, beer and wine from the concession stand out in front of the palace hidden in the bushes. We also got more drinks out near the pink palace. We had a blast.