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Things to do in Versailles

Things to do in  Versailles

Welcome to Versailles

The grand 17th-century Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, entices visitors with its splendor, history, and decadence. Just 14 miles (23 kilometers) to the southwest of Paris, Versailles ranks among France’s top tourist attractions, as travelers come from around the world to admire the opulent suites and manicured gardens. Book a half-, full-, or even multi-day skip-the-line tour with an experienced guide to beat the entry queues. Follow your guide through the beautiful Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Apartment, and the Royal Chapel. For a truly special experience, join a small-group VIP tour to enter through a reserved door and visit Louis XVI’s private library and Royal Quarters. Outside in Versailles Park, explore the flowerbeds and avenues on foot, by Segway, or by traditional horse and carriage. Here, attractions including the Grand Canal, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet shine a light on life for Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette away from the confines of the palace. Visit in the summer to catch one of Versailles’ classical music concerts in the gardens, or double your adventure by adding a trip to Claude Monet’s famous gardens in Giverny. You’ll take in an extensive collection of Impressionist works and wander through the famous lily garden for a memorable day.

Top 13 attractions in Versailles

Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles)

Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles takes the award for the most visited château in France, and the magnificent Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles) are world renowned. A series of beautifully landscaped gardens, show-stopping fountains, and tree-lined pathways covering 800 hectares (1,976 acres), the gardens center on the cross-shaped Grand Canal.More

Grand Trianon

Built in 1687 by famed architect Mansart, the serene, pink-colonnaded Grand Trianon, was created for Louis XIV as a tranquil getaway from the pressures of court life. While the Grand Trianon is open to the public, it is also an official residence of the French President.More

Versailles Fountains (Les Fontaines)

More than 30 fountains dot the gardens of Versailles, the most famous being the Apollo fountain, with its horses and chariot, and the Neptune fountain featuring the god of the oceans with his wife. Built in the 17th century, when water was a scarce commodity, the Versailles Fountains (Les Fontaines) were a lavish show of Louis XIV’s wealth and power.More

Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces)

The opulence of the Palace of Versailles reaches its peak in the Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces)—a 240-foot-long (73-meter-long) ballroom with 357 mirrors adorning 17 huge arches on one side and 17 arcaded windows overlooking the formal gardens on the other. It was also the location of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended World War I.More

Marie-Antoinette's Estate

Marie Antoinette made a bigger impact on Versailles than any other French queen—so much so that she had her own estate on the property. This area comprises the Petit Trianon, her personal palace away from her husband, and the Queen’s Hamlet, landscaped gardens set around a village of cottages on an artificial lake.More

Grand Canal

The Grand Canal, a highlight of the 2,000-acre (800-hectare) Park at the Palace of Versailles, leads the eye to the farthest perimeter of the grounds. Designed by Andre Le Norte, the canal extends for nearly a mile and is the largest body of water on the palace grounds.More

Versailles Royal Chapel (La Chapelle Royale)

There have been five chapels throughout the history of the Palace of Versailles, but today only the Royal Chapel remains. The majority of its use took place throughout the 1700s with daily masses, royal weddings (including that of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette), birth announcements, and baptisms.More

Royal Opera of Versailles (L'Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles)

An opera house fit for a king, recently renovated to its original splendor, the Royal Opera at the Palace of Versailles was built for the wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Upon its completion in 1770 under the direction of architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, it was the largest concert hall in all of Europe.More

Orangerie of Versailles (l’Orangerie de Versailles)

The Orangery at the Palace of Versailles (Orangerie de Versailles) ranks among the crowning achievements of architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Built between 1683 and 1685, the architectural jewel features a large gallery with vaulted ceilings, used to house citrus trees during the winter months. Several notable sculptures line the space.More
Academy of Equestrian Arts

Academy of Equestrian Arts

Following the age-old traditions of French classical dressage, the Academy of Equestrian Arts hosts performances in the former Royal Stables of the Palace of Versailles. The horseback spectacle is a modern-day equestrian ballet, featuring a mix of haute école, fencing, kyudo (Japanese archery), and performance art.More
Neptune Fountain (Bassin de Neptune)

Neptune Fountain (Bassin de Neptune)

Laid out in formal French style and famed for their geometrically aligned terraces, tree-lined paths and ponds, the gardens of the Palace of Versailles are worth a visit on their own. And of all the lovely fountain pools in the gardens, the Neptune Fountain (Bassin de Neptune) is the largest and most grand.More
Scent Courtyard (Cour des Senteurs)

Scent Courtyard (Cour des Senteurs)

During the reign of King Louis XV, this courtyard in Saint-Louis—one of Versailles’ oldest neighborhoods—was known as the perfumed court. Opened in 2013, the Court of Scents (Cour des Senteurs celebrates the world’s rarest fragrances and perfume traditions through its gardens, shops, and restaurants.More
King’s State Apartment (Grand Appartement du Roi)

King’s State Apartment (Grand Appartement du Roi)

The Grands Appartements du Roi are a succession of salons, including the most spectacular room at the UNESCO-listed Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors (“Galerie des Glaces”) where the Treaty of Versailles was signed at the end of WW1. A highlight of a palace visit, the apartments were built for Louis XIV by Louis Le Vau in the 1670s.More

Trip ideas

Summer at Versailles: Musical Fountain Shows and Fireworks

Summer at Versailles: Musical Fountain Shows and Fireworks

Top activities in Versailles

Versailles Palace Skip-the-line Classic Guided Tour
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Versailles Palace & Gardens Skip-the-line Guided Tour
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Versailles Palace & Marie-Antoinette's Estate Private Guided Tour with Lunch
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Versailles Palace & Giverny Private Guided Tour From Paris - Skip The Line
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Versailles Palace & Marie-Antoinette's Estate Full Day Private Tour from Paris
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Versailles Palace Skip the line Guided Full Day or Half Day Tour
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Versailles Marie Antoinette Afternoon Guided Tour with Petit Trianon & Hamlet
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Private Tour Skip-the-Line - The Kings' State Apartments
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Private Tour Skip-the-Line - The Kings' State Apartments

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The Queen’s Hamlet in Versailles with private guide
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People Also Ask

What is Versailles famous for?

The Palace of Versailles is France’s most famous palace, home to kings from Louis XIII to Louis XVI, and renowned for its magnificent 17th-century architecture and lavish gardens. The UNESCO World Heritage Site also played an important role in French history, from the French Revolution through Napoleon and the Treaty of Versailles.

What should I not miss at the Palace of Versailles?

Must-see sights at the Palace of Versailles include the dazzling Hall of Mirrors, the opulent King’s State Apartment, and the Royal Chapel. Leave yourself enough time to explore the vast gardens, too, where you can visit the Orangery, see Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon, and watch the Musical Fountain show.

How long should I plan to spend at the Palace of Versailles?

To make the most of a visit to the Palace of Versailles, plan a full-day tour. Give yourself around two to three hours to visit the main palace, enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants, then take a walking tour of the gardens, including the Grand and Petit Trianons, Orangery, and Musical Fountain.

What else is there to do in Versailles?

After touring the palace and gardens of Versailles, you can also visit the Gallery Of Coaches and Lambinet Museum, and enjoy a walk or bike ride through the park of Versailles. The city of Versailles is also home to Versailles Royal Opera House, Versailles Cathedral, and many shops and restaurants.

How do I get from Paris to Versailles?

Versailles is 12 miles from Paris and can be reached by car, bus, train, or on an organized day tour. The easiest way is by train—take RER train Line C to Rive Gauche station or SNCF trains from Gare Montparnasse to Chantiers station, or Gare Saint Lazare to Rive Droite Station.

Can you visit the Palace of Versailles at night?

The Palace of Versailles is not open at night. However, Musical Fountain Night Shows are held in the Gardens of Versailles every Saturday night from mid-June through mid-September from 8.30 pm to 11 pm. A special night ball is also held in the Hall of Mirrors on these nights.


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