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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 03:09 PM   #1
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VERSAILLES Trip Tips

Hello all:

Going to Paris in three and a half weeks and wondering if anyone has been to Versailles before.

I could use help planning a day long trip there. Maybe someone knows what to include or not include since the grounds are so big.

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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #2
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

I went last year for a day trip and really enjoyed it. We did our own thing when we went and relied on the map they give you and a book we got before hand as we are not huge history people but wanted to see it. We didn't go on a tour, but they have plenty available if you're really interested in doing that.

I would get there as early as you can. There was a HUGE line to get in and I don't think we went on any particularly special day - I think it's generally very crowded, it took ages to get in.

Inside the Palace, obviously the Hall of Mirrors is quite famous and awesome. We walked around the entire inside I think (some of it is closed off, at least when I went, so the Palace itself is not daunting to cover). It can feel a little cramped inside with the crowds, but not as bad as the Louvre which was mostly miserable with the crowds

The best part were definitely the Gardens for me. We went on a gorgeous May day so walking around and seeing the various topiaries, fountains, lawns, statues etc were quite something and that is when you realize how massive everything is, and because it's so spread out, you don't have to deal with any crowd/people issues whatsoever. We had the Museum Pass but you needed a separate ticket to walk outside because they had a show that night - which was annoying, but still worth it. Good to picnic and have an outside lunch with too. The outside grounds are where it gets overwhelming. There's a few side attractions you can go into, including Marie Antoinette's Estate, and it is REALLY far apart. They have shuttles and things as it will literally take an age to walk around the entire area. Didn't go to the Estate but probably would if I went again, but I still felt totally fulfilled with the visit.

So, based on my experience, hard to break out a detailed itinerary (which I don't usually do when I travel too much either) but you can definitely see it all without a real game plan too. Not much else to do in Versailles itself besides the Palace as well. Totally worth it
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH0861 View Post
I went last year for a day trip and really enjoyed it. We did our own thing when we went and relied on the map they give you and a book we got before hand as we are not huge history people but wanted to see it. We didn't go on a tour, but they have plenty available if you're really interested in doing that.

I would get there as early as you can. There was a HUGE line to get in and I don't think we went on any particularly special day - I think it's generally very crowded, it took ages to get in.

Inside the Palace, obviously the Hall of Mirrors is quite famous and awesome. We walked around the entire inside I think (some of it is closed off, at least when I went, so the Palace itself is not daunting to cover). It can feel a little cramped inside with the crowds, but not as bad as the Louvre which was mostly miserable with the crowds

The best part were definitely the Gardens for me. We went on a gorgeous May day so walking around and seeing the various topiaries, fountains, lawns, statues etc were quite something and that is when you realize how massive everything is, and because it's so spread out, you don't have to deal with any crowd/people issues whatsoever. We had the Museum Pass but you needed a separate ticket to walk outside because they had a show that night - which was annoying, but still worth it. Good to picnic and have an outside lunch with too. The outside grounds are where it gets overwhelming. There's a few side attractions you can go into, including Marie Antoinette's Estate, and it is REALLY far apart. They have shuttles and things as it will literally take an age to walk around the entire area. Didn't go to the Estate but probably would if I went again, but I still felt totally fulfilled with the visit.

So, based on my experience, hard to break out a detailed itinerary (which I don't usually do when I travel too much either) but you can definitely see it all without a real game plan too. Not much else to do in Versailles itself besides the Palace as well. Totally worth it
Thank you! You're saying to just pick a day and go? I won't need an advanced ticket or anything as long as I go early?
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

I saw the thread title as "VERSATILE tops tips" on first glance and was intrigued....sorry, continue
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

The grounds are massive and quite enjoyable to walk through. But unfortunately provide a better experience in late spring and summer with the weather being better making the whole thing more relaxing, you can then sit by the canal and just enjoy the weather, which obviously won't be possible in April, so you'd probably be better off concentrating more on the palace itself than the surrounding grounds.
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geisha View Post
Hello all:

Going to Paris in three and a half weeks and wondering if anyone has been to Versailles before.

I could use help planning a day long trip there. Maybe someone knows what to include or not include since the grounds are so big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH0861 View Post
I went last year for a day trip and really enjoyed it. We did our own thing when we went and relied on the map they give you and a book we got before hand as we are not huge history people but wanted to see it. We didn't go on a tour, but they have plenty available if you're really interested in doing that.

I would get there as early as you can. There was a HUGE line to get in and I don't think we went on any particularly special day - I think it's generally very crowded, it took ages to get in.

Inside the Palace, obviously the Hall of Mirrors is quite famous and awesome. We walked around the entire inside I think (some of it is closed off, at least when I went, so the Palace itself is not daunting to cover). It can feel a little cramped inside with the crowds, but not as bad as the Louvre which was mostly miserable with the crowds

The best part were definitely the Gardens for me. We went on a gorgeous May day so walking around and seeing the various topiaries, fountains, lawns, statues etc were quite something and that is when you realize how massive everything is, and because it's so spread out, you don't have to deal with any crowd/people issues whatsoever. We had the Museum Pass but you needed a separate ticket to walk outside because they had a show that night - which was annoying, but still worth it. Good to picnic and have an outside lunch with too. The outside grounds are where it gets overwhelming. There's a few side attractions you can go into, including Marie Antoinette's Estate, and it is REALLY far apart. They have shuttles and things as it will literally take an age to walk around the entire area. Didn't go to the Estate but probably would if I went again, but I still felt totally fulfilled with the visit.

So, based on my experience, hard to break out a detailed itinerary (which I don't usually do when I travel too much either) but you can definitely see it all without a real game plan too. Not much else to do in Versailles itself besides the Palace as well. Totally worth it

I would actually say Marie Antoinette's estate was the highlight for me. We walked there. It was far but it was totally worth it. It really is a world apart especially after seeing all the art and architecture of the main palace. Don't do tours. Petit Trianon, hamlet and garden and farm (there are actually plenty of cute animals there). I would say just grab a map and go where you want to go. There are shops selling tickets near the stations on the way to Versailles. Get the ticket there so you don't have to line up too long. I wouldn't say what to include or not to include, it just depends on your interests.
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloKid View Post
The grounds are massive and quite enjoyable to walk through. But unfortunately provide a better experience in late spring and summer with the weather being better making the whole thing more relaxing, you can then sit by the canal and just enjoy the weather, which obviously won't be possible in April, so you'd probably be better off concentrating more on the palace itself than the surrounding grounds.
Yeah it is better during summer.
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 10:23 PM   #8
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
I would actually say Marie Antoinette's estate was the highlight for me. We walked there. It was far but it was totally worth it. It really is a world apart especially after seeing all the art and architecture of the main palace. Don't do tours. Petit Trianon, hamlet and garden and farm (there are actually plenty of cute animals there). I would say just grab a map and go where you want to go. There are shops selling tickets near the stations on the way to Versailles. Get the ticket there so you don't have to line up too long. I wouldn't say what to include or not to include, it just depends on your interests.
Yup, I agree about the Marie Antoinette estate.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 03:34 AM   #9
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
I would actually say Marie Antoinette's estate was the highlight for me. We walked there. It was far but it was totally worth it. It really is a world apart especially after seeing all the art and architecture of the main palace. Don't do tours. Petit Trianon, hamlet and garden and farm (there are actually plenty of cute animals there). I would say just grab a map and go where you want to go. There are shops selling tickets near the stations on the way to Versailles. Get the ticket there so you don't have to line up too long. I wouldn't say what to include or not to include, it just depends on your interests.
I was over it after the rain, and the long ass line. I only saw the main palace, Petit Trianon, and RER'ed my ass back to Paris. I should have gone to the hameau, eh?
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 10:52 PM   #10
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

Echo all said here. Try to reserve some time for the village if you can, great places to eat and a nice market. Great trip!!
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 11:20 PM   #11
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

I plan on going here soon too, can you take pictures inside the main palace?
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 12:26 AM   #12
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Re: VERSAILLES Trip Tips

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Originally Posted by LBV. View Post
I was over it after the rain, and the long ass line. I only saw the main palace, Petit Trianon, and RER'ed my ass back to Paris. I should have gone to the hameau, eh?
It sucks if it's raining. I remember it had been raining when we we were there too because the grounds were definitely wet but by the time we got to the hameau (I love that name ) it was sunny and clear. I took a lot of photos of the cute farm animals. I also went because I love Marie Antoinette. You can actually see why and how isolated they must've been in Versailles to the rest of the country. I mean it was a whole different world and then you have places like the hameau that isolates them even further. I remember how it said that she would spend days or weeks there and not see the King and just be isolated. I mean it was so peaceful and calm there. I could live there.

The other bonus about it was that it's definitely less people than in the main palace. Most people coming on big tourist buses only have time for the main palace and they leave. We stayed there the whole day so we had plenty of time.

RER. There was kerfuffle that day on the trains, I'm glad we made it back to Paris.

Quote:
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I plan on going here soon too, can you take pictures inside the main palace?
You can take pictures everywhere in Versailles.
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