Looking for recommendations for a tour of Versailles

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8793 posts

Er , can I recommend no tour of Versailles but to do it on your own.Every tour I see seems to be only 1/2 day ones, and you would not have enough time to really enjoy and see everything, the grounds are extensive, the outer buildings, (Petit and Grand Trianon,be sure to look at gardens behind the Grand Trianon, lovely and great view of the Palace). etc..
Train ticket is only 7 euros return , takes 40 -45 minutes and they leave often, like every 15-20 minutes at least. . Weekday ticket to Versailles including auidioguide is 18 euros, 25 on weekends( because they have a fountain show those days),, have a feeling any tour is going to be twice as expensive! Now all that said,, since I don't know you , maybe you are elderly and don't want to try train on your own or for some other reason,, then there is Cityrama and Parisvisions they have actually merged , they are reliable and reputable for big bus type tours.

Posted by Alexander
Quad Cities, IL/IA
345 posts

The first time I went to Versailles was on a tour. The tour did a variety of things: 1. Monet's Garden in Giverny 2. Lunch at the beautiful Moulin de Forges
3. Versailles I think we spent a maxiumum of 2 hours at Versailles which was enough, and we got to skip the line. This was through The second time I went was in December on my own.

Posted by Kira
Seattle, WA, USA
1019 posts

I echo Pat's advice. Alexander mentions that he only got 2 hours in Versailles, which is why I would skip the tour, and guide myself. I need more than 2 hours in Versailles itself. That being said, Alexander got what he wanted from a tour... so maybe the answer for you is - shop around! If you must take a tour, seek out one that gives you the mix of places and the length of time that work for you. I'd skip it, though, personally. IMHO it's easy to explore on your own. To each their own! :-)

Posted by Darren
Boulder, CO, USA
665 posts

Ditto to Pat and Kira. A self-tour with book or audio guide gets you through the Chateau just fine, and it leaves you plenty of time to explore the gardens and trianons; the real gems of Versailles.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
5175 posts

The fountains usually are running on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. Tuesday is best, not so crowded. They alternate the fountains during the day, a couple of hours each, and there's a schedule so you can plan when to see them. The best information is usually on the official website.

Posted by Paul
New Berlin, WI, USA
14 posts

Gail, We found a tour guide on the internet site for Versailles. She met us just before the main gate at a little retail area. We had signed up for the main palace and a partial grouns tour. We were the only two on the partial garden portion and had only one family with us on the palace portion. She was very good and quite friendly. Just Google Versailles Tours and you should have several choices. Check with the train, because one stop in Versailles is closer to the main gate than the other. Happy Trails, paul

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8793 posts

The train station that is closest to Versailles is "Versailles Rive Gauche" NOT Versailles Chantiers. Years ago I got the one to Chantiers, and frankly didn't mind the walk to Versailles ( the palace) as the Versailles ( the town) is pleasant, it was a nice day, and it only took about 20 minutes.. People often say they want to go off the beaten path etc,, well there you go,, even taking the wrong train can turn out alright if you are not in a mad rush and just roll with punches.

Posted by Gail
Eugene, Oregon
133 posts

Thanks for all the replies! I think we will take the train and spend the day, possible doing the inexpensive tour offered on the Versailles website. First trip to Paris and we leave in 5 weeks!

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3669 posts

The handy little Versailles audio guide gives all the information I needed to know. One point to note: When you exit the train and the little station of Versailles be sure to ignore the tour guide who sometimes stand at the bottom of the steps barking orders at unknowing tourists to "COME THIS WAY". These poor unsuspecting tourists are just following order and then find themselves signed up for a tour with the group. Just ignore them and walk on out and down the sidewalk to the Chateau. It's a pleasant little walk.

Posted by Karen
Sacramento, CA, USA
31 posts

I agree with other posters that you are just as well off taking the train out and then the self guided tour (included with your admission). However, the chapel and a few other areas are only accessible with a reserved tour. As a side note - the Main fountain right behind the Chateau is currently being renovated. The grounds are still stunning (and there are other fountains!) and you have to appreciate the beauty of what it will be (thery are restoring it to the original design) but it was a bit disappointing when I was there last week. (3/27/13)