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Activities to Do in Versailles

There are a lot more things to do in Versailles than just visiting the famous Palace and Gardens of this quaint French town. Located just a few kilometres outside of Paris, this magnificent French town boasts of deep royal roots, and a rich history dating back to several centuries. While exploring the Gardens is definitely one of the best things to do in Versailles, you can also find a myriad of other interesting things to do in this city, some of which lie in the very premises of the luxurious Palace. 

Considered to be the best example of the 17th and 18th century luxury, the Château of Versailles or the Palace of Versailles offers visitors a unique chance to gain insights into the region’s history and culture. One of the most fun things to do in Versailles is to visit the Hall of Mirrors, which is said to be the finest room in the entire palace, in addition to being the site where the Treaty for Peace to end the first World War was signed. The town of Versailles is said to flow from the palace, thereby providing homes to the people, offering visitors a chance to see the daily lives and even enjoy the outdoors like a local.


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Best Things To Do in Versailles

01

Explore Grand Trianon

  • Amongst the most popular Things to Do in Versailles is to explore the Grand Trianon, a hamlet that was commissioned by Louis XVI, and is located on the outskirts of the town
  • The Grand Trianon served as a place of refuge for the monarch, where he could be at peace away from the everyday court life and wine and dine as he wanted
  • The Grand Trianon has its own private garden and is surrounded by dense forested area, while the structure is made of white and blue ceramic tiles
  • As of today, the Grand Trianon is used as a French Republic presidential residence where foreign officials are hosted
Location: Porte Saint-Antoine, 78000 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 05:30 p.m. (Closed on Mondays)

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02

Visit Place D’Armes & The Gate Of Honour

  • Ranked as one of the best things to do in Versailles, visiting the Place D’Armes and the Gate of Honour inside the Palace of Versailles in an experience of a kind
  • While the Place D’Armes is a huge courtyard that serves as the entrance to the Palace, it also doubles up as the place where royals and noblemen in the past have paraded down on a regular basis
  • The Golden Gate of Honour, on the other hand is an 80 metre long gate coated in around 100,000 gold leaves, making it one of the most attractive structural features of the Palace of Versailles 
Location: 78000 Versailles, France

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03

Discover The Gallery Of Battles

  • Amongst the most offbeat things to do in Versailles is to discover the Gallery of Battles, also known as the Galerie des Batailles, located on the first floor of the Palace of Versailles
  • This gallery is 120 metres long and 13 metres wide, and joins into the Grand and Petit “appartements de la reine” on the first floor
  • The gallery was built to glorify the history of the French military from the Battle of Tolbiac in 495 AD to the Battle of Wagram in 1809
  • In addition to bronze tablets on the walls, you can also find numerous paintings of major military events in French history in the Gallery of Battles 
Location: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 05:30 p.m.

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04

Spend Time At Gardens Of Versailles

  • Your visit to the Palace of Versailles will remain incomplete without spending some time in its magnificent gardens, which is considered to be one of the best things to do in Versailles
  • Spread across 800 hectares of land, the Gardens of Versailles boast of numerous sculptures, rare flowers, lush greenery as well as an orangery and fountains
  • Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Gardens of Versailles are also great to visit in the evening, when you can soak in the colourful vistas of the sky while also enjoying the musical fountain shows here 
Location: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 08:00 a.m. to 08:30 p.m.

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05

The Hall Of Mirrors

  • Of all the recommended things to do in Versailles, spending time admiring the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles ranks at the very top
  • The Hall of Mirrors in the palace used to serve as a daily meeting area for the King and the Queen, and was also the place where the Treaty of Versailles was signed on in 1919 
  • You can find more than 350 mirrors in this hall, in addition to 17 arches that are entirely decorated with mirrors that reflect the arcaded and gilded windows, thereby creating a spectacular display of gold and crystals
  • You can also see Charles le Brun’s painted ceiling in the Hall of Mirrors, which commemorates Louis XIV’s victories 
Location: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 09:00 a.m. to 05:30 p.m. (Closed on Mondays)

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06

Explore Royal Opera of Versailles

  • Another one of the absolute best things to do in Versailles is to head over to the Royal Opera of Versailles, which is a jewel box-sized opera house located inside the palace’s north wing
  • Constructed mostly of wood, this opera house has excellent acoustics, and can accommodate up to 1200 people at once
  • You can also enjoy numerous cultural performances like ballet, orchestra as well as classic theatrical opera here
  • The Royal Opera also doubles up as a ballroom, owing to its beautiful chandeliers and space for traditional ballroom dancing 
Location: 3 Pl. Léon Gambetta, 78000 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 07:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m.

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07

Visit Petit Trianon

  • If you are on the lookout for offbeat things to do in Versailles, then visiting the Petit Trianon should be on your list
  • Tucked inside the park of the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon is a chateau that was constructed for Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour in 1758
  • It later on became a shelter for Marie Antoinette, who used the chateau as a place of refuge from here courtly duties and responsibilities to her husband
  • During the French Revolution, the Petit Trianon was transformed into an area of residence and housing for people with little to no means 
Location: 78008 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 05:30 p.m. (Closed on Mondays)

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08

Marvel at the Queen’s Hamlet

  • One of the most fun things to do in Versailles is to explore the Queen’s Hamlet, which is a place of sheer contradiction
  • While it may lack extravagance and opulence from the exteriors, the interiors of this chateau are anything but luxury at its best
  • It is here where the queen would take walks while imagining that she was a commoner
  • The Queen’s Hamlet also boasts of features like a windmill for aesthetic purpose, a working dairy and a Marlborough Tower, a guard house, an aviary, a small boudoir or guest house, as well as the actual house of the queen along with a stove room
Location: 78000 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 06:30 p.m. (Closed on Mondays)

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09

Checkout The Empire Rooms

  • When visiting the Palace, don’t forget to check out the Empire Rooms here, which is amongst the top things to do in Versailles
  • There are 13 empire rooms in the Palace of Versailles, all of which are dedicated to Napoleon, who rose to power during the French Revolution
  • The rooms were constructed by King Louis-Philippe, in an attempt to gain the support of the followers of Napoleon as well as the former members of the empire
  • These rooms, located on the ground floor of the south wing of the palace, also contain most of the large paintings that were commissioned by Napoleon
Location: 78000 Versailles, France

Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 06:30 p.m. (Closed on Mondays)

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  1. What are the best things to do in Versailles?

    1. Explore Grand Trianon: One of the best things to do in Versailles is to explore the Grand Trianon, which served as a place of retreat for King Louis XIV and his mistress of the time, Marquise de Montespan. Made of pink marble and porphyry, the palace also has stunning gardens with huge flowerbeds, terraces with flowers and verdant greenery. 

    2. Marvel at the Queen’s Hamlet: When in Versailles, spend some time at the Queen’s Hamlet, a place that exudes nothing but extravagance, opulence and sheer luxury, and is considered to be amongst the top things to do in Versailles Paris. The Queen’s Hamlet was commissioned by Marie Antoinette for her to feel what it would be like to live in a hamlet for peasants. 

    3. Visit the Versailles Cathedral: Another one of the top things to do in Versailles is to visit the Versailles Cathedral, which is a baroque inspired cathedral that opened in the year 1754. While it was damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was soon restored and boasts of a unique domed roof.

    4. Take a stroll through the Gardens of Versailles
    : You cannot visit Versailles, and skip out on visiting the stunning Gardens of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is spread across almost 2000 acres of land. Complete with manicured lawns, sculptures as well as fountains, this French formal garden is a sight to behold, especially when all the flowers here are in bloom. 

  2. How do I spend a day at Versailles?

    1. Visit Petit Trianon: When looking to spend a day in this city, one of the best things to do in Versailles Paris is visit Petit Trianon. This is a Neoclassical style château that is located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, and was built between 1762 and 1768 during the reign of Louis XV. Ever since 1867, the Petit Trianon has been serving as a museum dedicated to Marie Antoinette.
     
    2. Explore the Empire Rooms:One of the best things to do in Versailles on a one day tour is to explore the Empire Rooms in the Palace of Versailles. These rooms were created by Louis-Philippe as a means to gain the support of Napoleon's followers and former members of the empire. The room also consists of an extensive collection of paintings commissioned by Napoleon. 

    3. Take a short detour to Hameau De La Reine: The Hameau De La Reine was an estate commissioned by Marie Antoinette and served as a place where she could get away for some alone time, away from the court life and her husband Louis XIV. This house is a stunning example of the Neoclassical style of architecture, and consists of a French Pavilion, the Temple of Love as well as Anglo and Chinese gardens. 

    4. Spend some time at Musee Lambinet: Your day in Versailles shall remain incomplete without a visit to Musee Lambinet, which is the best place to learn the rich and tragic history of this French town. Built in the later half of the 18th century, this mansion-turned-museum has 35 rooms, which consist of furniture, ceramics, artworks as well as ancient artefacts of this town.
  3. How long should you spend at the Palace of Versailles?

    Ideally, you should spend anywhere between 4 to 5 hours at the Palace of Versailles. Owing to its immense structure and area, you can expect to spend several hours just exploring the interiors of the palace, while another hour or two would be required to traverse through the opulent garden as well, which rank as some of the most popular things to do in Versailles.
  4. What is the best time to visit Versailles Palace?

    The best time to visit the Versailles Palace is during the week, between Tuesdays and Fridays. Weekends are the busiest time of the week at the Palace, which also remains closed on Mondays. Therefore, the non-peak hours of the rest of week, between 10:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m., are the ideal time to explore this palace at your own pace.
  5. How far is Versailles from Paris?

    Versailles is located at a distance of around 21.5 kilometres from Paris. It typically takes anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes to reach Versailles from Paris, depending on the mode of transportation, the traffic conditions of the day as well as the weather.
  6. How To Reach Versailles?

    The best way to reach Versailles is to take a flight to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. From Paris, you can get to Versailles:

    By Train: Take the Line C train on the RER, which departs from the Gare d’Austerlitz, Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame, Musee d'Orsay, Invalides and Pont de l’Alma metro stations in the city and arrive at the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station.

    By Bus: You can also avail a ride on the RATP Bus on Line 171 which departs from the Pont de Sèvres Metro station in Paris. 

    By Car: Alternatively, you can also rent a car, or hire a taxi to get to Versailles from Paris.

  7. Why is the Palace of Versailles famous?

    The Palace of Versailles is famous for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in addition to being one of the most beautiful palaces in the whole world. It was originally a hunting lodge that was later expanded by Louis XIV. The palace is also famous for being a masterpiece of French art and architecture, and sprawls across an area of more than 63,000 square metres. With over 2000 rooms, Italian style décor and sheer luxury everywhere, the palace is itself the very definition of opulence and royalty. 

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