Getting Versailles tickets is a must, and even more so you need timed entrance ones or else you will be stuck in line for hours.

When it comes to palaces and castles, it’s hard to imagine anything more grand than Versailles. This is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Within easy reach from Paris, most people go to Versailles on a day trip. I did that myself, and truly enjoyed it.

Versailles is a fantastic mixture of history and art, incredible architecture, perfectly designed gardens. Adults love it for its intricate, unique history. Children love it because – well – it is a castle, where kings, queens and princesses lived.

This is all great news, right? Well, I have some bad news as well, unfortunately.

Versailles gets crowded. Terribly so. Around 10 million people visit Versailles each year – that makes it more than 27000 per day. Consider that the palace is closed on Mondays, and this means that the average number of visitors during opening days is more in the range of 30000.

The lines to get tickets at Versailles are so long that I honestly wouldn’t blame anybody for giving up. The lines to get in if you don’t have a timed entrance are almost just as long – I was very glad I picked a specific time for my visit, so that I could used the dedicated entrance.

I know I got you worried, but let me reassure you: there are ways of getting Versailles tickets that will allow you to skip the line. And I have decided to sum them up here, so that all you have to do is make the bookings, show up at the palace, and enjoy your time there.

In this post, I sum up the best ways to get tickets to Palace of Versailles and share some information and tips that will help you plan your visit and make the most of it.

Before I do so, however, let me share a bit of information about Versailles Palace.

A statue of Louis XIV in Versailles

A statue of Louis XIV in Versailles

Table of Contents

Some Background Information About Versailles Palace

At about 16 km southwest of Paris, Versailles Palace was the royal residence, court residence and seat of the French government for over a century, from 1682 to 1789. The palace was built around a hunting lodge that King Louis XIII used as a private retreat. It was under his rule that construction of a castle was initiated, in 1624 – this version of the palace is visible in the Marble Court and the facade that overlooks it.

The rest of Versailles Palace took shape under the reign of Louis XIV, who wanted it to be a glorification of his figure. He was the one who demanded the construction of beautiful, symmetrical gardens adorned by gorgeous, intricate fountains.

King Louis XIV was also the one who decided to move his residence to Versailles – until then the royal family had been living in the Louvre Palace. Along with the royal family, Louis XIV took his court and the government. As he feared plotting against the monarchy and himself by aristocrat families, moving the entire court to Versailles was a way of keeping them all under this control.

Back then Versailles was no more than a tiny village, which eventually expanded to host the many people who every day worked in the Palace. It is said that between 3000 and 10000 people could be at the palace at once. 3000 were the high ranking aristocracy, who lived at the palace; while the rest were those who went in and out for various work purposes.

The palace became infamous during the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The king, queen and the aristocracy were accused of living a lavish lifestyle while the vast majority of French people lived in poverty. After they were forced to leave Versailles Palace in 1789, this ceased to be a royal residence.

In 1837, King Louis-Philippe decided that this would become the Museum of the History of France.

Versailles Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Why is Versailles always packed?

The number of visitors at Versailles keeps increasing, and it’s easy to see why: this castle is simply magnificent!

Studies of the kingdom of Louis XIV and of the beginning of the French Revolution, books, movies such as Marie Antoinette, the TV series Versailles, and even cartoon series such as The Rose of Versailles (a Japanese anime whose original title was Berusaiyu no Bara which in Italy became insanely famous as Lady Oscar and that literally all children would watch in the 1980s) all contributed to make this a world famous attraction.

I grew up with the cartoon series and I couldn’t wait to see the rooms where Queen Marie Antoinette lived and met his (supposedly) Swedish lover Hans Axel von Fersen; and the luxury in which she and the rest of the royal family lived – and like me, many others apparently.

In fact, the palace is simply a masterpiece of art, architecture and an immense, incredibly well kept landscaped park where to get lost. And it would honestly be a pity to miss it when visiting Paris.

Since Versailles is always crowded and the lines to get Versailles tickets are massive, you are better off planning your visit carefully and getting tickets in advance.

IN SHORT: These are the best skip the line tickets to Versailles:

PLEASE NOTE: No matter your ticket, you will have to go through a security checks in order to get into Versailles. Unless you don’t have a timed entrance, this line is usually very short and quick.

TIP: Bulky bags, excessive amounts of food and drinks and obviously weapons (including pocket knives) are not allowed. Make sure not to carry such items so as to speed the security checks and – most importantly – so that you can avoid using the luggage storage facilities (and their lines). More about storage facilities at Versailles at the end of this post.

Continue reading for more information and tips to make the most of your day at Versailles Palace on how to skip the lines!

tickets to the palace of Versailles

The stunning interiors of the palace

Visiting the Palace of Versailles more in depth

Versailles palace and the gardens are massive. It takes at least a day to explore it properly, and that’s if you walk fast and never get lost.

Once you are in, there are some rooms and places inside the estate that should not be missed.

The Hall of Mirrors is the most famous one at Versailles. This 70 meters long hall has 17 arcade mirrors located directly opposite 17 windows overlooking the gardens, a series of fabulous glass chandeliers, statues, and a beautifully painted ceiling. It’s honestly quite crowded most of the time, but you’ll still manage to get an idea of its grandeur.

At the ends of the Hall of Mirrors, the Salon of Peace and the Salon of War are also a must see, as well as Louis XIV rooms and the Queen’s private apartments.

Not nearly as crowded as the rest of the palace, on the ground floor the apartments of the daughters of Louis XV are nice to visit. You’ll be handed an audioguide (which is free of charge) as soon as you get in, and between that and the fact that there are way less people than in the rest of the castle, it is actually very enjoyable.

The Royal Chapel and the Stables are two more places to add to your visit.

The gardens and the fountains are splendid. Unless you are on a guided tour of the gardens, a map is absolutely necessary or else you’ll get lost and end up missing the nicest bits (I really liked the Colonnade Grove). Throughout the gardens, a stereo system plays subtle, beautiful classic music that will accompany your visit, making it all the more special.

If you are a fan of fountains and happen to visit Versailles on a Saturday or Sunday (between April and October) or on a Tuesday (from the end of May to the end of June) make sure not to skip the Musical Fountains show. You can get tickets for that here or here.

Needless to say, I recommend getting a live guide (or at a minimum an audioguide) for your visit of Versailles. As a minimum, make sure to have one for the main palace and then continue exploring the gardens by yourself.

These are the best guided tours that include Versailles tickets that will allow you to skip the lines:

TIP: If you’d rather have an audioguide than a live guide, you may want to save even more time and download the Palace of Versailles app. It’s free, it can guide you through the palace, and you won’t have to wait in line to get it.

Versailles tickets

The Trianon Estates is a great addition to a visit to Versailles

Visiting the Grand and Petit Trianon Estates

The Trianon Estates – with the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon palaces – are among the nicest places that you can visit when in Versailles. You can visit them without having to go to Versailles Palace. But obviously most people include them in their visit of Versailles.

The Trianons are two smaller palaces compared to Versailles. The Petit Trianon was built in 1758 under orders of Louis XV and it was donated by Louis XVI to his wife Marie Antoinette. She loved spending time there, as she’d be able to escape the strict etiquette of Versailles Palace and she could host meetings or spend time relaxing.

The Grand Trianon was the residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, where he lived with his second wife Marie Louise.

Both palaces have absolutely stunning interiors and beautifully kept gardens.

You can get tickets to Trianon Estate directly at the desk for €12 and there usually is very little line. You can also get them online here for the exact same price. Alternatively, you can opt for the Passport ticket sold on the website of Versailles Palace (make sure to get the timed one to skip the lines), for a Versailles and Trianon full day tour or for this self guided tour of Versailles which also include the Trianon.

Continue reading to discover how to get Versailles tickets and skip the lines.

Louis XIV

Louis XIV built Versailles palace as a celebration of his glory

7 Absolutely Clever Ways To Get Versailles Tickets And Skip The Lines

There are a few clever ways to get Versailles tickets and skip the lines. Below, I will mention the various ones, pointing out their main characteristics and suggesting for which kind of traveler and budget they are most suitable.

In general, skip-the-line timed tickets to the palace of Versailles bought online are the only way to avoid standing in line at the ticket counter and then at the security line (the line is much longer for those who don’t have timed tickets). You will find various kinds of skip the line tickets. Some are basic and include just the admission ticket, others include an audioguide or a live guided tour and allow you to explore the entire grounds.

Of all the ways to get Versailles tickets, my recommended one is the guided tour – the longer and more inclusive, the better. It is the most expensive one – but it’s also the best way to fully appreciate the beauty of Versailles.

Finally, without any further ado, here are all the best ways to get Versailles tickets.

Way N. 1: Buy your Versailles tickets on the official website

Perfect for: no frills travelers.

Advantages: It is very budget friendly.

Disadvantages: It’s basic, and you get at most an audio-guide. You need to register an account in order to buy the tickets.

This is the official website to get tickets to the Palace of Versailles.

You will see that there are several options: tickets to the palace are sold for €18; tickets to the Estate of Trianon cost €12. You then have various “passport ticket” options – these are the combined tickets that give you access to the entire place. They cost €20 for the one-day pass and €25 for the two-day pass.

PLEASE NOTE: There are two different one-day passport options. One has a timed entry, and one doesn’t.

TIP: You may be tempted to get the one that doesn’t have the timed entry, so that if you are arriving from Paris you have more room to make your way to Versailles. Honestly, don’t! The passport option with no timed entry is not a skip-the-line ticket and you may end up stuck in the longest line to get through security and to finally get in.

TIP: Tickets to Versailles bought on the official website come with an audioguide. Instead, I recommend downloading the Palace of Versailles app to avoid having to wait in line to get your device.

Way N. 2: Buy Versailles tickets via a third party site

Perfect for: Ease

Advantages: There are many third party sites where you can buy your tickets and if you look well enough you will find something, even at the last minute.

Disadvantages: Tickets may be more expensive than on the official site (this is not always the case).

Using a third party site is the easiest way to get tickets to Versailles. There are many sites to pick from, all sorts of ticket options, and none of the complications you may find on the official website. The bonus? Pretty much all tickets come with an audioguide.

These are the best skip the line Versailles tickets that you can buy on third party sites:

Continue reading to discover other tickets to the palace of Versailles that allow you to skip the line but which also include a live guide.

Hall of Mirrors

The Hall of Mirrors is the most famous room in Versailles

Way N. 3: Take a tour with a live guide

Perfect for: Learning a bit more about the Versailles

Advantages: You have a guide that shares interesting facts about the history of Versailles and takes you around the palace.

Disadvantages: You will be in a group of up to 20 visitors, so it can feel crowded.

Many companies run guided tours of Versailles which include skip the line tickets. Tours are easy to book – just select a date and time, and the company will make the rest of the arrangements. Someone will even print the tickets for you – you just need to get the mobile voucher and show up at the suggested time at the meeting point.

Tours last between 1.5 and 3 hours and they are a great introduction to Versailles. Once the tour is over, you can continue exploring the grounds at your own place.

Guides are usually quite knowledgeable about Versailles; they are perfectly trained to answer your questions and to move around the palace swiftly even when there are crowds of tourists. I took this tour and was truly impressed by my guide’s skills!

These are the best guided tours that include Versailles tickets:

Way N. 4: Take a full day guided tour

Perfect for: An in depth – yet effortless – visit of Versailles

Advantages: A full day tour where you get plenty of information, and a guide that takes you around the park as well.

Disadvantages: It’s more expensive than other options.

Versailles is huge – between the palace, the gardens and Trianon Estate it is easy to get lost. I won’t deny that as I desperately tried to find my way to the nicest and most hidden fountains, I wishes I had a guide with me to take me there.

If you are the kind of person that enjoyed being taken around without having to worry about timing, about looking at the map, and that enjoys learning more about the place you are visiting, consider getting a full day tour.

Full day tours include a guided visit of the palace of Versailles, of the gardens and of the Grand and Petit Trianon.

These are the best full day tours of Versailles:

Marie Antoinette portrait

A portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette with her children

Way N. 5: Go on an organized day trip from Paris

Perfect for: Those that don’t want to worry about anything

Advantages: You don’t even have to worry about how to get to Versailles.

Disadvantages: Tours may be a bit rushed.

If you are too lazy to find out how to get from Paris to Versailles, you can consider a full day tour that even includes transportation by either train or bus from Paris. In some cases, you will have a guide that will escort you to your chosen transportation and all the way to Versailles, where she or he will take you to your suggested entrance and then around the Palace. In others, you will have an audioguide only – which means you can go around at your own pace. You can decide to go by bus or train.

These are the best tours of Versailles that include transportation from Paris:

Way N. 6: Get the Paris Pass

Perfect for: Those planning to visit more attractions in Paris

Advantages: You get skip the line tickets to many other attractions.

Disadvantages: You have to book entrances to each attraction separately. You don’t really save much money.

If you are considering visiting a bunch of attractions in Paris, you may want to invest in the Paris Pass – this will allow you to get skip the line Versailles tickets, as well as tickets to other museums, including the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay.

TIP: Make sure to book a specific day and time for your visit!

PLEASE NOTE: The only pass that also includes the Eiffel Tower is the Paris PassLib. The pass doesn’t give you access to the Musical Fountains show and the Musical Gardens – you’d have to get separate tickets for that.

You can get your Paris Pass here.

Way N. 7: Make breakfast, lunch or teatime reservations at Ore

Perfect for: Those planning to see more attractions in Paris

Advantages: You enjoy a lovely meal and then get direct access to Versailles.

Disadvantages: It’s not clear what the meal includes.

I found this cool way of getting Versailles tickets after literally browsing every bit of the official website, and it honestly isn’t really advertised. Yet, I find that it’s a really cool way of experiencing the palace.

You can make breakfast, lunch and teatime reservations and you can pick up your tickets – which will be passport tickets allowing you to access all areas of the estate – at the restaurant. From the restaurant, which is located in Dufour Pavilion which is accessible via the Courtyard of Honnour, you can directly access the palace. From this page you will get directed through the booking experience.

Versailles fountains

Probably the most beautiful fountain in Versailles

Other Useful Information For Visiting Versailles

Book in advance

I can’t say this enough. Versailles is an extremely popular attraction. Not only I recommend to buy Versailles tickets in advance – make sure to get timed entry ones, or else you will have to go through the longest line anyways.

In this post I have given you plenty of suggestions for where to look for tickets to the palace of Versailles – the direct website, third party retailers, etc. You really should be able to find something for your preferred day, with so many sites to pick from. With so many sites selling tours, if you go through all of them and still can’t find anything it’s probable that the tickets are actually sold out – sorry!

Get a guide

Going on a guided tour – whether a short one or a full day one – is the best possible way of seeing Versailles. Guides are knowledgeable about the history of the place and know how to move around the palace and the gardens, and they will make your visit pleasant.

Opening times

During high season, between April and October, the Palace of Versailles is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. The Trianon Estate is open from 12:00 to 6:30 pm during high season.

Opening times during low season (November to March included) are from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. The Trianon Estate is open from 12:00 to 5:30 pm during low season.

Please keep in mind that the Palace of Versailles and the Estate of Trianon are closed on Mondays and on 25 December and 1 January.

Prices of tickets to Versailles

The official price of Versailles tickets is €18. These tickets include access to the palace and the gardens, but not to Trianon Estate. A separate ticket for Trianon Estate costs €12.

The Passport ticket which includes access to the gardens and to Trianon Estate costs €20. The price is exactly the same for the Passport ticket with timed entrance, so make sure to opt for that as the lines are much shorter. If you want to include the Musical Fountains show, the ticket costs €27. A 2-day passport ticket (which allows you to spend two full day at Versailles and Trianon) costs €25 – keep in mind this is not a timed entrance.

A separate ticket for the Musical Fountains show costs €8.50.

Reduced Versailles tickets, costing €13, and reduced Trianon tickets costing €6 are available for a few categories – but usually tourists don’t qualify for them.

Free Versailles tickets

Free tickets to the Palace of Versailles and to the Estate of Trianon are available for anybody under the age of 18; for EU citizens and residents under the age of 26, disabled persons and the person accompanying them.

Versailles is free every first Sunday of the month between November and March.

Versailles tickets

This is the first peak of the palace you get upon walking in through the main gate

How to get to Versailles

Getting to Versailles from Paris is very easy. Keep in mind that there are three train stations in Versailles, from where it will take you between 10 and 20 minutes to get to the entrance of the palace.

If you want to travel to Versailles Château Rive Gauche, which is the closest one to the palace, opt to take RER C from either Sant-Michel or Champ de Mars station. Keep in mind that there are no RER C trains from Invalides and a bunch of other stations at the moment – something I (and a number of other tourists) only found out once we actually got to Invalides.

You can also take the Transilien train from Montparnasse to Versailles Chantiers station; or from Saint-Lazare and La Défense stations to Versailles Rive Droite.

TIP: Make sure to buy two tickets at the train station in Paris. One for traveling to Versailles, and one for the return journey. This will save you a massive hassle at Versailles train station, where there will be endless and slow lines to get train tickets.

Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour of Versailles which include transportation from Paris (usually bus, but some also go by train). I have talked about it above.

How to move inside Versailles estate

Versailles estate is massive. I love walking, so I walked everywhere with no issue (except it started raining at some point). If walking is not your thing, you can opt for other means of transportation.

E-car

You can rent an electric car at the Water Parterre South Terrace or near the bike hire point in Little Venice. Cars can fit in up to 4 passengers and they cost €34 per hour, with a cost of €8.50 for 15 minutes. The cool thing about them is that they include an audio-guide.

Keep in mind that e-cars need to be booked in advance.

By train on wheels

The train on wheel costs €8 for a round trip, or €4.30 for a single ride. There is no free audioguide included but you can get one for an extra €4. The train stops at Palace North Terrace, Petit Trianon, Grand Trianon, and at the top of Grand Canal (near Little Venice).

By bike

One of the most fun ways to explore Versailles is by bike. You can rent it at Little Venice, which is right by the Grand Canal. It costs €20 for the whole day; €18 for half day; €8.50 for one hour; €6.50 for half-hour; and €2 for an additional 15 minutes.

Versailles park

Versailles estate is massive!

Security checks

All visitors have to go through security checks in order to enter Versailles Palace. Make sure to leave things such as bulky items, excessive amounts of food, umbrellas, pushchairs, walking sticks and pocket knives at your accommodation to avoid any delay in the security checks. Alternatively, you will be required to leave them in storage.

Luggage storage at Versailles

Luggage storage facilities are available at Versailles to store any item you can’t or don’t want to bring in. Keep in mind that there may be a line to deposit your stuff, so try as much as you can to leave any items that may have to be deposited in your room.

Toilets at the Palace of Versailles

Toilets (all of them with disabled access) are available across the estate and at Versailles and Trianon palaces. At Versailles Palace, they are located in the basement of the Dufour Pavilion (Entrance A) or in the basement of the Gabriel Pavilion (Entrance B).

Accessibility of Versailles Palace

Versailles has a wheelchair accessible gate – that’s the Royal Gate entrance A.

Once inside, Versailles Palace, the Gardens and Trianon Estate are wheelchair and disabled accessible. There are ramps and elevators inside Versailles Palace for people with limited mobility and wheelchair users.

Guide dogs are allowed at Versailles, but you will have to show documentation.

Eating at Versailles

You will find a few places to have a quick bite or even a proper sit down meal in Versailles or alternatively you can have a picnic in the park. Angelina, Angelina at Petit Trianon, La Flotille and La Petite Venise and Ore are proper restaurants. La Flotille and La Petite Venise also have a take-away section where you can grab a sandwich or an ice-cream.

When to visit Versailles

Some friends told me that when they visited Versailles, the site was virtually empty. It was February, so not exactly high season. Needless to say, Versailles is much more crowded in the spring and summer months. If you plan to visit during high season, make sure to head there nice and early (between 9:00 and 10:00 am) to avoid the largest crowds.

Avoid going to Versailles on Tuesdays – many museums in Paris are closed then and many tourists opt to go to Versailles. I’d recommend avoiding weekends to. I went on a Sunday and it was as crowded as it gets – I know, I should have known!!

Length of visit

You need at least 8 hours to visit Versailles Palace, the gardens and Trianon Estate – and that’s if you are quick. In fact, this is such a massive place that it’d probably require 2 full days to be properly visited. Make sure to be at the gate as soon as it opens, take your guided tour first and then continue exploring the gardens and the palace, relax by the fountains and in one of the nice cafés and enjoy the beautiful park.

Columnade

Probably my favorite spot in Versailles park

Final tips for visiting Versailles Palace

Get the mobile app

Using Palace of Versailles mobile app is a cool way to get information about the palace and to guide you through what you will be seeing – without the hassle of having to physically pick it up and line for that!

Visit Trianon Estate too

As I have explained above, this is an excellent addition to your visit to Versailles.

Look for special exhibits

Before visiting Versailles check out the official website to see if there are any special exhibits. These don’t generally require any additional booking, but they definitely add to the visit.

Bring your camera

Versailles Palace, the gardens and Trianon Estate are worthy of more than a photo! Make sure to bring your camera, turn your flash off inside, and capture as many photos as you like.

Take some extra cash

You will need it for small things such as food, drinks and even to pay for things such as the train on wheels.

Wear layers and comfortable shoes

Versailles was built in an area that was once covered with windmills – that means, wind blows quite often there. Make sure to wear layers that you can easily take off or put on as needed (you will spend the day going in and out of buildings), to wear comfortable clothes and most importantly comfortable shoes as you will be walking a lot!

Beware of pickpockets

A place as crowded with tourists as Versailles is the ideal playground for pickpockets, so beware of your belongings.

Further readings about Paris and France

Are you planning a trip to Paris and France? Make sure to read my other posts:

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Discover how to get Versailles tickets - via @clautavani

 

Read how to get tickets to the palace of Versailles - via @clautavani

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