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Versailles To go or not to go.. ?

Given the fact that I'll be only 3 days on my first trip to Paris.. on my previous posting I got the impression that Versailles will take a lot my day. Maybe I should skip Versailles this trip and spend more time in Paris.. Please advice..by the way I'm not a museum person, so Louvre and maybe a quick visit to Orsay would be my museum choices...
Thanks in advance..

Posted by
811 posts

u should still try to go. just get up early and train to the palace, see it then return to paris around 3 or 4. that way you can add another site in the late afternoon.

Posted by
2 posts

Versailles will take most of a day to see. It's not a quick "run-through" place. We took the "regular" tour and one other and spent all day there, including the travel both ways. It is very impressive. Time-wise, you may be better spending your time in Paris - Napolean's Tomb, Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre are couple of suggestions. I think the Orsay would be a good choice for someone who is not a museum person - lots of variety in a relatively short time.

Posted by
423 posts

If you like cycling and the outdoors, the bike tour to Versailles offered by Fat Tire is a great day. Get your bike in Paris, take it out on the train, stop at a market to buy a picnic lunch, bike through the gardens where you get to see the Trianons and the Hameau, tour the Chateau and bike back to the station for the return trip to Paris. It definitely takes most of a day, but it was one of our favorite days.

Posted by
30 posts

Versailles is well worth the effort!! Get up early and take the train. It's easy and quick. The crowds are less in the morning hours. Versailles is amazing----soooo beautiful! The museums you mention are open at night till 9 PM on cetain nights. Go to Versailles in the morning. Come back to Paris in the afternoon to linger around the city sights. Take a quick nap and a yummy cafe dinner and on the the Orsay or Louvre for an hour or two. Have a great time. Debbie

Posted by
655 posts

Our experience was different than some. We were able to visit Versailles as we departed Paris after a visit of five days. We were disappointed. The crowds were huge (this was in May.)

On a first trip with only three days I would not include Versailles.

Posted by
4132 posts

Do you think you'd like it? Versailles is described in many guidebooks and web sites. Does it sound like your thing?

If you're not sure and have things to see and do in the city that appeal to you, see them instead.

Posted by
102 posts

Being an outdoors person I think I will enjoy the gardens a lot. So like it was suggested, I will probably try to go on my second day early in the morning and try to be back to do the Champs-elyses walk and Orsay museum in the early evening. If I miss the museum I won't be too disapointed and I still have another day in Paris. Thank you all for your suggestions.

Posted by
13 posts

In my opinion, Versailles would take an entire day -- not worth it if you only have 3 days for your first time in Paris. There is plenty to do without living in museums. Visit Orsay over the Louvre, unless you gotta see the Mona Lisa. (And even then, just see her, and get out and run to D'Orsay -- such a wonderful place, even if you don't love museums!)

Have a great time -- I love Paris...

Posted by
58 posts

Just be sure to allow yourself some time to just wander the streets of Paris. Sometimes that is when you will find hidden gems and get a feel for French life. However, my personal fave in Paris is Saint Chapelle and the towers of Notre Dame. To do the Towers you have to go earlier than the opening time or you will spend too much time standing in line and you only have 3 days to cover lot of ground. Believe that you will return to Paris and then you will not feel pressured to see it all now. I have been to Paris 4 times and am going again in Sept with my daughters (their first time). It is one of my favorite places in Europe. Judy

Posted by
506 posts

Based on the "I am not a museum person" I think overall you could serve this short trip better by going other places in Paris.

Sainte Chapelle is beautiful - however - I like to remind people this is a small little church and viewing once inside is minimal in terms of time. If you can't make it early - you can easily wait an hour or more in this line. Which also eats up an entire day.

What you may find delightful and less crowded that can give you a bit of a feel of the opulence of Versailles as well as stained glass etc - is Invalides. The church, Napoleon's tomb and if you so desire a museum. Tours at Notre Dame - sigh - people love this - it is amazing, however this too can eat up half of a day. Not only is there a line for entry - but typically you must wait again to pass between the second and third levels. The view is spectacular if it is a clear day. Cloudy - everything blends in. Why not go to Sacre Coeur - view from the terrace there is free and fabulous.

If you do a quick visit in the Louvre and d'Orsay - you could mange these in the same part of the day. Go early to the Louvre get to the Mona Lisa first and move on. If you are at all interested in impressionist are - d'Orsay is great - but Musee de l'Orangerie is more intimate and not so crazy.

Posted by
112 posts

Just returned from Paris earlier this week. I loved visiting Versailles. The hall of mirrors is spectacular and the gardens are lovely. If short on time, I would plan on arriving early and I would suggest that you purchase tickets or a museum pass in advance, if possible. The line to buy tickets once we arrived took 1 hour 20 minutes. While it does take up a big portion of a day, depending on the day of the week you may still be able to include a museum visit in the evening. Both the Louvre and the D'Orsay are open later (10:00 PM) one day of the week although I don't recall which day (Thursday for D'Orsay, Friday for the Louvre, perhaps?) If you have to choose only one museum I would choose the D'Orsay.