Getting Versailles tickets is very easy, and this post will tell you which are all the best options available.
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.
The castle is a fantastic mixture of 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 once lived.
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 Chateau Versailles.
Some Background Information About Versailles
About 16 km (around 10 miles) southwest of Paris, Versailles Chateau was the royal residence, court residence and seat of the French government for over a century, from 1682 to 1789. It 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 castle is visible in the Marble Court and the facade that overlooks it.
The rest of Versailles Chateau took shape under the reign of Louis XIV, who wanted it to be a glorification of his figure. He demanded the construction of beautiful, symmetrical gardens adorned by gorgeous, intricate fountains.
King Louis XIV was the one who decided to move his residence to Versailles – until then the royal family had been living in the Louvre. He also brought his court and the government there: fearing plotting against the monarchy and himself by aristocrat families, this was a way of keeping everyone under this control.
Back then Versailles was no more than a tiny village, which quickly expanded to host the many people working in the Palace. Between 3,000 and 10,000 people could be there at once. 3,000 were the high ranking aristocracy, who lived inside; while the rest were those who went in and out for various work purposes.
The castle became even more famous during the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The king, queen and the aristocracy were accused of living a lavish lifestyle, showing off over-the-top opulence, while the vast majority of French people lived in poverty. After they were forced to leave 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 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Is Versailles always packed?
Until 2019, around 10 million people visited Versailles each year – that meant more than 27,000 visitors per day, which made it the most visited monument in the Ile-de-France region. Consider the castle is also closed on Mondays, and this means that the average number of visitors during opening days used to be more in the range of 30,000.
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 all contributed to make this a world famous attraction. The number of visitors inevitably fell in 2020 and 2021, but new measures have been put in place to limit the number of visitors on site at once, and selecting a time slot for your visit is now mandatory.
That’s why it’s of the utmost importance that you get your Versailles tickets in advance.
Visiting the Palace of Versailles more in depth
Versailles Château and the gardens are massive. It takes at least a day to explore it properly. There are some rooms and places inside the estate that should not be missed. Here is a quick summary:
HALL OF MIRRORS – This is the most famous room Versailles. This 70 meters (almost 230 feet) 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.
SALON OF PEACE AND SALON OF WAR – At the end of the Hall of Mirrors, they both are a must see, together with Louis XIV beautifully decorated Grand Apartments and the Queen’s private apartments.
STATE APARTMENTS – A series of 7 rooms that were used for official purposes, beautifully decorated in Italian style, with marble panelling and painted ceilings.
APARTMENTS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF LOUIS XV – Located on the ground floor, they are a pleasant part of the castle.
ROYAL CHAPEL AND STABLES – Two more unmissable places to add to your visit.
GARDENS AND FOUNTAINS – They are truly 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, such as 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 awe-inspiring Musical Fountains show. You can get tickets for that here or here.
Visiting the Trianon Estates
The Trianon Estates – with the Petit and the Grand palaces – are among the nicest places to visit in 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, who went there to escape the strict etiquette of Versailles Castle, 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 actually visit the Trianon Estates without having to go to Château Versailles.
You can get tickets for the Trianon Estates here.
Finally, continue reading to discover how to get Versailles tickets.
6 Ways To Get Versailles Tickets
In order to visit Versailles Castle, you need to buy tickets in advance and select a specific time slot for your visit. This is done to limit the number of visitors on the site at once, and helps make the experience of visiting a more pleasant one.
Continue reading to find the way of getting tickets that most suits you.
Way N. 1: Buy your Versailles tickets on the official website
To buy Palace of Versailles tickets on the official site click here.
These are the options available:
- Regular tickets – €18;
- Estate of Trianon – €12;
- Passport ticket – this is a combined ticket that gives you access to the entire place. It costs €20; if you want to add the Musical Fountain show, a passport ticket costs €27;
- Musical Gardens – €8,50;
- Musical Fountains show – €9,50;
- The Fountains night show – €28.
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.
Anybody under the age of 18 can get free admission; EU citizens and residents under the age of 26, disabled persons and the person accompanying them can get free entry to Versailles and the Estate of Trianon. Anybody who qualifies for free admission should still book a time slot via the official website.
Getting tickets via the official site is relatively easy, though you will have to create an account on the site. You can also download an app that can help guide you around the site.
Tickets bought via the official website can’t be modified and they are not refundable.
Way N. 2: Buy Versailles tickets via a third-party site
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 price of tickets on third party sites is either the same or slightly more expensive than on the official site, but the added bonus is that cancellation is very flexible – you can cancel your ticket up to 24 hours before the intended visit; you can get a refund in a matter of days; and you have a customer service available to talk to and in your language of choice.
Way N. 3: Go on a guided tour
This is the best way of visiting Versailles, if you ask me. You just get a more in-depth experience thanks to the guide that helps you put whatever you see in context.
Many companies run guided tours of the castle and its gardens, and tickets are typically included in the price. 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. You have the option of going on a shared-group tour; on a private tour and even on a family friendly tour.
For a shared group tour of Versailles, click here.
For a private group tour of Versailles, click here.
For a family friendly tour of Versailles, click here.
If you fancy exploring Versailles by bike, you may want to consider this tour.
Way N. 4: Go on an organized day trip from Paris
For a completely hassle free day, consider joining a tour departing from Paris that even includes transportation by either train or air-conditioned bus. You will have a guide escorting you to Versailles, where she or he will take you through the gates and the security checks and then around the Palace. In some cases, you will only have an audio-guide.
For a day trip from Paris by train and with a live guide, click here.
Way N. 5: Get the Paris Pass
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. Once you get the pass, you will have to book your day and time of visit separately on the site of the castle.
The pass doesn’t give you access to see the show of the Musical Fountain and the Musical Gardens – you’d have to get separate tickets for that.
You can get your Paris Pass here.
Way N. 6: Make breakfast, lunch or teatime reservations at Ore
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 great, alternative 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, located in Dufour Pavilion which is accessible via the Courtyard of Honnour, you can directly access the palace.
Other Useful Information For Visiting Versailles
Book in advance
You need to book your visit of Versailles in advance, and select a specific time-slot for your visit.
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 its history and know how to move around the palace and the gardens, making your visit pleasant.
Chateau Versailles and the surroundings estates observe the following opening hours:
PALACE OF VERSAILLES – Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm.
TRIANON ESTATE – Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 6:30 pm.
GARDENS – From 8:00 am to 8:30 pm.
PARK – Tuesday to Sunday from 7:00 am to 8:30 pm.
The attractions are closed on Mondays and on 25 December and 1 January.
How to get to Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is located in Place d’Armes, Versailles.
Getting to Versailles from Paris is very easy. 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.
Versailles Château Rive Gauche – This is the closest one to the palace. To get there, take RER C from either Sant-Michel or Champ de Mars station.
Versailles Chantiers – To get there, take the Transilien train from Montparnasse.
Versailles Rive Droite – Connected to Saint-Lazare and La Défense stations.
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 lines to get train tickets.
Alternatively, opt for a guided tour of the palace which include transportation from Paris (usually bus, but some also go by train).
How to move inside Versailles estate
Versailles estate is massive. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as there will be lots of walking to do. If walking is not your thing, you can opt for other means of transportation.
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 €36 per hour, and an additional €9 every 15 minutes. The cool thing about them is that they include an audio guide.
E-cars must be booked in advance and are only available on weekends, public holidays, All Saints Days and Christmas school holidays. E-cars are not available from mid-November to the end of February.
By train on wheels
The train on wheel costs €8.50 for a round trip, or €4.60 for a single ride. The train operates on a hop-on hop-off basis and stops at Palace North Terrace, Petit Trianon, Grand Trianon, and at the top of Grand Canal (near Little Venice). Trains depart every 10, 15 or 20 minutes depending on the season.
The first ride is either at 11:10 or 11:30 whereas the last one is at 5:10.
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. Bikes are not available from mid-November to the end of February.
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, strollers, walking sticks and pocket knives in your room 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.
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
Royal Gate entrance A is wheelchair accessible.
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 welcome.
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.
Length of visit
You need at least 8 hours to properly visit Versailles Palace, the gardens and Trianon Estate – and that’s if you are quick. This is such a massive place that it’d probably require 2 full days to be fully explored.
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.
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 up an audioguide! You can get it here.
Visit Trianon Estate too
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: they definitely add to the visit.
Bring your camera
Versailles Palace, the gardens and Trianon Estate are worthy of more than a photo! Bring your camera, turn your flash off inside, and take as many photos as you like.
Take some extra cash
You will need it for small things such as food, drinks and extras such as the train on wheels.
Wear layers and comfortable shoes
Versailles was built in an area that was once covered with windmills: wind blows quite often there. Wear layers that you can easily take off or put on as needed (you will spend the day going in and out of buildings), 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.
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