The Palace of Versailles, or Château de Versailles in French, is undoubtedly the most glimmering jewel of France’s regal past. The palace, formerly a residence for French kings and queens, is among the most lavish and exquisite in Europe.
You can stroll around the Versailles gardens and passageways to see the otherworldly beauty that surrounds the place. As a courtier, picture yourself attending a ball in the Hall of Mirrors and taking a stroll in the lovely gardens.
It is one of the best day trips from Paris, but planning is necessary to get the most out of the Versailles tour. To give you a guide on how to explore, this article will give an insight on the Versailles tour. These are some recommendations for taking the Versailles Palace tour:
The ideal time to take the Versailles tour
All the time, but especially in the spring and summer when the gardens are in blossom, Versailles is stunning. At that time of year, the chateau conducts special events, and the spectacular fountains in the gardens are switched on for a show that just cannot be missed. Some summer nights feature illuminated fountains and gardens, followed by a stunning fireworks display. The Trianon mansion and the Coach Gallery are only open in the afternoon, although the gardens are open every day at 8:00 a.m.
Reserve in advance
To avoid the Versailles ticket wait, make a reservation in advance. Tickets for pre-purchased entry to the full complex start at €20. There is an additional €7 fee if you want to visit the gardens during the summer to see the fountain and music presentation. On days when the fountain show is not taking place, entrance into the grounds is free.
How to dress
Take care to check the weather before your Versailles Palace tour to ensure your comfort. Wear comfy shoes no matter the season because you will be walking a lot. Getting there requires a long walk over cobblestones from the train station.
During the winter months, the area around the chateau can get quite windy, so you should always take warm layers of clothing. The palace and its surroundings can get very warm in the summer, so wear a hat and use sunscreen. A plastic poncho or rain jacket will be useful if there is a likelihood of rain. Please be aware that face masks must be worn indoors and inside the palace in accordance with French laws and regulations for your safety.
Some of the highlights of the Versailles palace tour are:
1. Hall of Mirrors
The most well-known room in Versailles is the glimmering Hall of Mirrors. This magnificent Baroque reception hall has a completely new and stunning design by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart.
2. King’s State Apartment
The royal bed-chamber and other private spaces in the King’s State Apartment are used for daily rituals and official gatherings.
3. Queen’s Residence
The Queen’s Apartment is set up similarly to the King’s State Apartment but with a more feminine aesthetic. The decor of the rooms is delicate and floral. Since Marie-reign, Antoinette’s decor has been retained.
4. The Gardens
These meticulous gardens, the creation of 17th-century landscape architect André Le Nôtre, resemble a work of art more than a natural setting. French formal gardens are known for their neat lawns and perfectly manicured foliage that is arranged in geometric patterns.
5. Palaces of Grand and Petit Trianon
The Grand Trianon is built on tasteful raised terraces with colonnaded arches that highlight the pink marble’s brilliance. There are two wings to the structure, one for Louis and the other for his mistress. The King had a private area here that was unrestricted by court customs.
6. Le Hameau de la Reine
Marie-Antoinette moved to this tiny make-believe village to get away from the formalities and intrigues of the Court. In the 18th century, estates began to include ornamental “country” villages, demonstrating the impact of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s beliefs on going back to nature.
7. Chapelle Royale
Jules Hardouin-Mansart started work on the Chapelle Royale at Versailles in 1699, and Robert de Cotte finished it in 1710. This magnificent example of Baroque architecture combines a peaceful Neoclassical nave with a Gothic façade and stained glass windows. The nave’s vaulted ceiling is embellished with remarkable paintings on the subject of the Holy Trinity, suspended above soaring columns.
8. Opera Royal
The most exquisite of its kind is this magnificent Opera House. The auditorium, which Jacques-Ange Gabriel constructed for Louis XV, was finished in 1770, just before Louis XVI (the future King) wed Marie-Antoinette.
A symmetrical colonnade of Ionic columns in the Neoclassical style surrounds the Opera House. The opulent interior is ornately furnished with marble, gilded copper, chandeliers, and mirrors.
In the event that you are taking the Versailles Palace tour, make sure that you book the tickets well in advance to beat the rush. Safely travel!