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visiting Versailles

Guide books advise against visiting Versailles on Sundays or Tuesdays because of the crowds. Would crowds be a problem on a Sunday in February?

Posted by
8733 posts

Versailles is wonderful under any conditions. Don't miss it!

Posted by
3580 posts

Visit Versailles as early in the day as possible; late in the day may be good, also. I was there last year in April, arriving about 9:30 am. The tour buses were beginning to arrive and by the time I left, maybe an hour later, there were a couple of dozen tour buses. The buses are not the problem, but the bunches of people (50 at a time) all with their own guide make for a crowded and noisy experience. Imagine a large room with three of these groups, all with their own loud tour guide, and you can imagine what a good time you'll have. I recommend against going on the tours or trying to be there during the tour group hours. In February I wouldn't expect the same crowds as later in the year.

Posted by
8733 posts

Going early to Versailles is good advice but RS recommendation to go late to avoid crowds is horrible advice! We went late per Rick's advice and found out that Rick was absolutely wrong. Many of the rooms were being closed off, the bike rentals in the gardens (which we love and were really looking forward to) were in the process of closing so not giving any bikes out, the little train that takes you from the lower garden area up to the palace had just left on their last trip, the last horse drawn wagon had just left, and on and on. I don't remember exactly what time it was, but I know it was the time RS said to go. We absolutely love going to Versailles but Rick's very bad advice totally ruined that vacation's trip to Versailles for us.

Posted by
506 posts

Karen -

If it is good weather, many people go to Versailles on Sunday as part of the typical French Sunday afternoon out. The crowds will not be as intense as it would be in June - but it can get busy just afternoon.

I would recommend the Passport de Jour - which can be purchased at the SNCF station along with your train ticket to Chateau Versailles. This will allow you access to all areas of the palace without having to wait in line.

You may want to think about picking up a sandwich and have a picnic in the gardens if the weather permits.

For more detailed information :

(there is an option for English)

The Hall of Mirrors has recently reopened after renovation (looks beautiful)

Posted by
3 posts

Hi Karen,

Was at Versailles about ten days ago. I agree it's good to arrive early. Be sure to get the passport as mentioned. I got mine at the Tabac near the Louvre, thus had to buy train ticket separately, but I think this was a good idea because Tabac had off season price. I think only the garden (and train) gets more crowded on Sunday; not big difference for the Chateau.

Posted by
18 posts


We went to Versailles on Jan.2, 2008 and despite the current projects (closing many sections of the property) we had a decent visit. We went around 1pm and used the Passport, which included the audio guide and entrance to all exhibits (that were open). The crowds were still bad and the lines to get in with the pre-purchased tickets was still bad. The tour groups are horrible. They move into a room en masse and knock you out of the way.The people in general are very shove-y and I was happy to get out of there as soon as possible.

I would say that going as early as possible would help avoid some of these groups.