Please sign in to post.

Versailles warning

This is meant as a heads up to anyone who intends to visit Versailles- heed Ricks advice and don’t go between 10am and noon!

I had visited years ago and remember it had been a little busy but tolerable. I went again with my husband this past Sept. on a Wed. at 11am because he had never been and he thought that Versailles was a “must see”. Long story short - it was so ridiculously crowded that it was unenjoyable. Trying to squeeze through narrow doorways with a thousand other tourists felt sufficating and we got out of there as quickly as we could.
Unfortunately, because of our schedule, going in the morning was our only possible option. We noticed that when we were leaving (after noon) the long line to get in had disappeared so I imagine it was a little less crowded inside.
Anyway, for what it’s worth (IMHO), I know some people love Versailles but I wish we had spent the day at a less popular place!

Posted by
5192 posts

I haven't been yet, maybe on my next trip to Paris, but I wonder if Fountainbleau would give people a Versailles-like experience with far fewer people. Versailles grounds are magnificent, but the interior to me wasn't much different from Schonbrunn and other places I've been. And it is really quite unpleasant to be shoulder to shoulder with people which just makes it hard to take it all in anyway.

Posted by
248 posts

The OP's post made me think of an observation I've had about international travel for some time: In the last decade or two, it seems that millions more of our fellow world citizen (perhaps hundreds of millions more, I have no numerical data) now have acquired sufficient disposable income to sight-see internationally--compared to an earlier time that is within the memory of many of us.

It has certainly been my impression that the most popular international sights feel significantly more crowded now than they were, say, even 10 or 20 years ago. I suppose that the inevitable result is that the most popular international sights are becoming, and will continue to become, more and more crowded in the coming years.

I was recently at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and noted that museum has recently switched to a mandatory online reservation system, which results in only a finite number of 30-minute windows of entry being available on any given day. I suppose this is one way a popular attraction, that is being loved to death, can regulate the number of visitors at the most popular times of the day. Presumably everyone who wants to gets in, they are simply prevented from doing so all at the same time. It certainly made for a more pleasant experience. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has done the same thing.

Hopefully more attractions will, in the future, use this or similar methods of improving the quality of the sight-seeing experience for all of us.

Posted by
14022 posts

"...spent the day at a less popular place." In terms of numbers of visitors, Fontanebleau is less popular than is Versailles. I went there in at the beginning of May 2018 since I had seen the place since 2010. I arrived there sometime between 10 and noon, was not crowded at all. I always enjoy being back at the Chateau. It has been several years since I last saw Versailles.

Posted by
3670 posts

Thanks for sharing your experience and hopefully helping others have a better visit to Versailles. I haven't been there -- skipped it on my first trip to Paris a couple of years ago because I had higher priorities. Perhaps some day...

Posted by
813 posts

Versailles is one of those places that is on every tour bus' itinerary especially in "high season". The real holdup to me when we visited was the security line, even with a museum pass / pre-purchased ticket, that took forever. We visited in March which is the supposed "low season". It was crowded.

Posted by
8293 posts

You might want to check also Vaux Le Vicomte, which was the inspiration for King Louis’ Versailles.

Posted by
11503 posts

I agree Versailles has become far too crowded to enjoy , however , for those of us who are interested in the actual history of the place , it is not replaceable .

I strongly advise against taking children under 12 inside the palace ( although they will usually enjoy the grounds and MA hamlet ) it’s a mosh pit for them .

I also advise against those squeezing it into a short visit to Paris and only going because they have been told or read it’s a “ must see “ , it’s only a must see to an individual based on their interests .

I’ve been over a dozen times , in over 40 years , and yes , I remember being one of maybe only 10 other people in the Hall of Mirrors , but those days are long long gone sadly .