The Palace of Versailles is so large, that you can spend the whole day there.
Find on this page a complete guide to the world´s most famous palace. Together with the entire garden complex, Versailles is is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes around 15 million visitors a year.
The castle complex consists of 5 sections, the main palace, the French gardens, the Trianon area, the royal stables and a large public park.
We have collected for you the most beautiful and interesting things to do in Versailles.
Highlights in the Palace Park
Among the main attractions in the Palace Park are the Royal Apartments, the famous Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Opera House, the Palace Chapel, the French gardens with their fountains and statues, the large and small Trianon and Hameau de la Reine, an idealized village built for Marie Antoinette.
Tickets, Price and Entrance to the Versailles Palace
The entry to Versailles Palace requires a mendatory ticket booked in advance online. The ticket will give you a slot of time to visit the palace. The time you will spend inside the Palace in limited to 30 min and the time booked should be respected. The monument provides 3 different types of tickets for visiting the palace. The access to the Estate of Trianon, gardens and parks is not limited in time if it is included in your ticket.
Here are the options available on our official website in partnership with the Versailles Palace.
- Palace of Versailles, Gardens & Estate Skip The Line with Guided Tour (recommended)
- Palace of Versailles Ticket with Gardens & Estate Trianon
- Palace of Versailles Ticket with Gardens
1. This is the passeport. You will have access to the Palace for 30 min with a Skip the Line advantage. You will have unlimited access to the Gardens of the Palace, the Temporary Exhibitions, the Musical Fountain Shows or the Musical Gardens. You will have a guided tour of the whole experience in English as well as an audioguide in English. It is the best way to have a real immersion to the Versailles Palace.
2. You will have access to the Palace and the Gardens for 30 min with a Skip the Line advantage and the Grand and Small Trianon for unlimited time.
3. You will have access to the Palace for 30 min with a Skip the Line advantage, the Temporary Exhibitions held in the Palace and the gardens for unlimited time.
Good to know : Access to the Château and domaine de Trianon is free for children under 18
More tickets and information on our official Paris Tickets Shop here :
Palace of Versailles
The palace of Versailles was home to many kings and members of the royal family, starting with Louis XIV in 1682, and during his reign it was also the seat of the French government and the entire royal court.
It was a palace known for its unimaginable luxury, at some point even the furniture was made of silver. However, during the war in 1689, these pieces were melted down to help cover military costs.
In the following years, the house was redesigned and expanded as new members of the royal family settled here. Even an opera house was added as a gift for the wedding of Dauphin and Marie-Antoinette in 1770.
However, it is not only a palace but also an important historical site, the place where the signing of the Peace of Paris (1783), the proclamation of the German Empire and the agreement on the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War, took place.
Billet Château: The most important rooms of the castle as well as temporary exhibitions can be visited independently with the help of an audio guide and a tour description.
Billet Châteaux de Trianon: Included are the Petit and the Grand Trianon with its garden, Hameau de la Reine, the French gardens and pavilion, the Temple of Amor, as well as Belvédère, Marie-Antoinette's music pavilion.
Le Passeport: The entire complex, all rooms of the castle, the large and small Trianon and temporary exhibitions can be visited with the help of an audio guide and a tour description.
Passeport 2 Jours: This day ticket is valid for 2 days, during which
the halls of the museum, temporary exhibitions, the gardens and the musical fountains can be visited independently.
In order to be able to withdraw from the strict court ceremonial, the Sun King Louis XIV had the pleasure palace Grand Trianon built in 1687 on the land of the village Trianon, which he had purchased and subsequently demolished, as a second residence and retreat. Later, Louis XV and Queen Maria Leczinska lived there.
It is a multi-winged building north of the Great Canal. The central point is the peristyle, a column hall that connects the southern and northern sections of the building.
The Sun King himself requested this open portico, not only because of the view of the garden, but also to be able to use the hall as an airy dining room in summer.
The baroque gardens surrounding the palace underline the importance of the Trianon as a garden palace. In the past, the flowers were not planted in the earth, but were grown in terracotta pots. This made it possible to replace the entire floral decoration within a few hours.
Highlights in Grand Trianon
Highlights of the Grand Trianon is the columned hall, which offers a magnificent view of the garden and was used in summer as an airy dining room. During the 19th century it was at times closed with large French doors. Another highlight is the garden area.
Entrance tickets: Due to the size of Versailles, with over 8 million visitors a year, it is advisable to buy tickets online and thus avoid long queues at the ticket offices. Versailles Palace Tickets below.
Park of Versailles Palace
The gigantic park of the Palace of Versailles covers a total of 815 hectares. It was created by André Le Nôtre in the 17th century for the Sun King Louis XIV.
The park, which spreads out on both sides of the Grand Canal, is known worldwide for its magnificent French Baroque style gardens. They are an open-air museum. Walls, pavilions and terraces, portals, arcades and stairs alternate with ornamental flowerbeds. Framed by trimmed boxwood hedges, they look like embroidered carpets.
For the fountains, ponds and water games a complicated water network was created.
However, in order to keep water consumption within limits, the fountains rarely all bubbled at the same time. When the monarch walked through the gardens with courtiers, ministers or ladies of the court, the fountains stopped as soon as he turned his back on them.
Highlights in the Park of Versailles Palace
Events in the park, concerts and operas
In the summer, the great musical water games - the "Grandes Eaux Musicales", the night festivals - "Fêtes de Nuit" and the great night water games - "Grandes Eaux Nocturnes" take place. Magnificent fireworks harmonize with the water games and are coordinated with the sounds of French baroque music.
The Opéra Royal, the Orangerie, the Chapelle Royale and the Salon d'Hercule regularly host opera and ballet performances. The Royal Opera alone has capacity for 1,200 visitors.
In the Musical Gardens you can discover the preserved areas of Versailles, including the French Garden. Small woods and green spaces expose statues, sculptures, architectural exploits and water features to the sounds of soft music.
Once a week, usually on Tuesdays, a musical walk through the park of Versailles is offered.
Options in the Palace
More sights in the Park of the Palace
What else can I do?
1. Petit Trianon
Petit Trianon is a small pleasure palace built by order of Louis XV for his mistress Madame de Pompadour. It later came into the ownership of Marie Antoinette, who had it redesigned to her taste. Behind the Petit Trianon is the Hameau de la Reine, an artificial village built true to the original for Marie Antoinette.
The Orangery of Versailles is one of the largest in Europe, its central gallery alone is 155 metres long. The orangery was used for the wintering of more than 1000 trees, mostly citrus trees, but also oleanders, olive trees and palm trees can be found here. In the past, the gardeners used to light a fire to heat the housing of the trees in winter.
3. Royal Stables
Once the royal horses were accommodated here. At the same time the stables served as accommodation for riders, stable boys and pages. Today the Grande Ecurie houses the Academy of Equestrian Art. 40 horses live here, including the famous Lusitano horses, which Louis XIV loved very much. If you are lucky, you can see a training of the dressage riders.
4. Apollo Fountain
The sun god Apollo rises from the fountain and symbolically rises towards the king. Behind it begins the cruciform Grand Canal, which visually extends the park into the distance. The sun was an allegorical symbol of the king in the baroque period: ''What the sun is in heaven, the king is on earth...".
5. Royal Tennis Court
The Royal Tennis Courts were the scene of a great historical event. On 20 June 1789, the members of the Third Class, who represented around 98% of the population, made the tennis court Oath, which became a central event in the French Revolution. For the first time, citizens stood up to Louis XVI and forced him to make concessions.
6. Royal Opera
The Royal Opera House is the most important theater in Versailles and can accommodate up to 1200 guests. It is world-famous for its exceptional acoustics and the richly decorated interior in marbled wood. The opera can be visited as part of a guided tour. Even more impressive, however, is a visit to a performance.
What can I do in the village of Versailles ?
After King Louis XIV declared Versailles to be the permanent seat of government and royal court in 1682, he had a new village built to the east of the palace complex, as not all nobles and court officials could live in the palace despite its size and expansion.
Today the city of Versailles has 86,000 citizens and reflects the past with its many mansions, the picturesque Saint-Louis quarter and religious buildings such as the church of Notre-Dame and the cathedral of Saint-Louis.
The city center is most attractive with its old villas, charming quarters, picturesque alleys, shops, restaurants and cafés.
In the northern part of the city, the Sun King ordered the building of a market, the Marché Notre-Dame, considered one of the most beautiful in France. Above the entrances you can still see what was sold there at that time, e.g. aux herbes herbs, a la viande meat or farine flour. Today you can find all French specialities here.
Events, concerts and theater
Every year at Christmastime, a Christmas market is set up in the city of Versailles on Rue de Paris.
In December, the Palace of Versailles offers the "Royal Tour". After dusk, accompanied by musicians, dancers, fencers and actors dressed in period costumes, you can explore the Hall of Mirrors and the chambers. Become a guest of the king during the Christmas season.
At the end of June, La Grande Ambulation is a festive event flanking the pedestrian area of the departmental road 10 between the château and Saint-Cyr. The program includes more than 25,000 walkers, rollerblades or scooters enjoying fanfares, sporting and musical entertainment or the grand parade.
How can I get to Versailles ?
In October 1789, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette needed six hours to cover the 20 kilometres between Versailles and Paris in their carriage.
More than 230 years later, the distance has not changed, but the time it takes has. Today, you can easily get from Paris to Versailles by train within 30 minutes.
Public transport from Paris
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The Palace of Versailles is located about 22 kilometres west of Paris in the city of the city with the same name.
From Paris, Versailles can be reached by the RER line C, stop Rive Gauche. From there it is a 10-minute walk. Bus line 171 runs between Paris and Versailles. SNCF trains also run from Paris to Versailles from Gare Montparnasse and Gare Saint Lazare. The two stops in Versailles are about 20 minutes' walk from Versailles.
Versailles Palace has 1,800 rooms and 288 flats. The royal family alone lived in 151 rooms.
A hunting lodge was built on the grounds of Versailles in 1623. Louis XIV had it expanded and given its present form. In May 1682 Versailles was declared the official seat of government of France.
History of Versailles Palace
In 1623 a hunting lodge was built on the grounds of Versailles.
Ludwig XIV ordered extensive expansion of the castle and declared it the official seat of the French government on 6 May 1682. The court, which numered upto 20.000 people consisting of ministers, civil servants and noble families, lived and worked in the about 2,000 rooms.
The baroque castle impresses with its size and strictly geometrical construction. The symmetry emphasises the central position of the monarch, whose bedroom was located exactly in the middle of the castle and was illuminated in the morning by the rising sun.
King Louis XIV turned Versailles into the artistic centre of France through glittering festivals and cultural events. Important writers such as Racine and Moliere settled in Versailles and their plays were performed in Versailles by the Comedie Francaise, which was founded in 1680 as the royal theatre company.
The Bourbons - most recently Louis XVI with his wife Marie Antoinette - resided in Versailles until the revolution broke out in 1789.
The Palace and the huge park have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and are today one of the main tourist attractions of Paris.