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12 Best Things To Do In Versailles, France

The town of Versailles is almost synonymous with its top attraction, the massive Château of Versailles. With its size and the various interesting sights within its grounds, it’s easy to see why. Most Paris itineraries almost always include a side trip to the chateau, as it is a short bus ride away from the French capital.

More than its famous attraction, though, Versailles has so much in it that’s just waiting to be discovered. From food markets to cute cafes to interesting museums, check out this list of the best things to do in Versailles, France.

12 Best Things To Do In Versailles, France

Chateau de Versailles

Versailles one of the best day trips from paris
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It will probably take days to fully explore the chateau. Its total room number? Two thousand three hundred! Definitely not something you can do in one day. Still, even if you’ll only see parts of Chateau de Versailles, you’ll surely have a better appreciation of art and glamor.

Originally a hunting lodge owned by the father of Louis XIV, it was converted into a grandiose residence in the late 1600s. It was essentially an opulent symbol for the extremely fancy world of King Louis XIV.

No matter how popular and touristy this is, visiting the chateau is still one of the best things to do in Versailles.

Opening Hours:

Open every day except on Mondays,
25 December and 1 January
Opening times: 9.00 am – 5.30 pm
Last admission: 5 pm
Ticket office closes at 4.50 pm

Admission Fee:

Palace ticket -18 €

The Palace ticket includes the admission to:
the Palace (with the audioguide)
the temporary exhibitions held in the Palace
the Gardens (except on Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens days) and the Park
the Coach Gallery

Passport Tickets:

This ticket gives access to the whole area of ​​Versailles and Trianon.

20 € -Without Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens

27 €-With Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens

Access to the Palace of Versailles and the estate of Trianon is free for everyone below 18 years old, residents of the European Union below 26 years old, teachers in French schools, people with disabilities and one accompanying person.

Contact Information:

Address: Place d’Armes 78000 Versailles France
Phone:+ 33130837800

Gardens of Versailles

Versailles Gardens

The grandness of the chateau extends further into its stunning gardens. The Gardens of Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, too.

Stroll through 800 hectares of well-manicured lawns, lush gardens, wild greenery, sculptures, and rare flowers. This is another great thing to do in Versailles that allows you to somehow experience life in a French royal court.

The Gardens of Versailles is beautiful at any time of the year. However, spring and summer in the come with evening fountain shows that are a must-see!

Opening Hours:

Every day from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Admission Fee:

Passport tickets:

The Passport ticket includes the admission to:
the Palace (with the audioguide)
the temporary exhibitions held in the Palace
the Gardens and the Park
the Musical Fountain Shows or the Musical Garden
the Coach Gallery

20 € -Without Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens
27 €-With Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens

2-day Passport
The Passport includes the admission to the whole Estate
25 € -Without Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens
30 €-With Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens

Contact Information:

Address: Place d’Armes 78000 Versailles France
Phone:+ 33130837800

Hall of Mirrors

hall of mirrors

If you’re pressed for time and you need to see just one attraction inside the chateau, make it the Hall of mirrors. This is basically a meeting area and passageway that connects the apartments of the king and queen. This breathtaking hall is decorated with 350 mirrors, along with 17 mirror arches.

These arches reflect 17 gilded and arcaded windows. The setup then creates a splendid gold and crystal effect. Easily one of the best things to see in Versailles, be sure to go early to avoid the crowds and fully enjoy this magical sparkly place.

Académie Équestre de Versailles (Versailles Academy of Equestrian Arts)

Académie Équestre de Versailles

A unique thing to do in Versailles involves an elegant sport that’s quite fun to watch — equestrian. It is headed by Bartabas, who also started the world’s most spectacular equestrian circus ballet. The Académie Équestre de Versailles is one of the few places that teaches equestrian choreography and dressage.

The Academie is open to the public but the best time to visit is the weekend so you can watch dressage demonstrations and equestrian shows. These events feature academy trained riders, and the choreography is of course by Bartabas.

Opening Hours:

Every Sunday at 10.30 am

Guided tour in French only

Heritage and non-guided tour:

Wednesdays and Saturdays from 01:30 pm to 04:00 pm.

Admission Fee:

Full price: 15 €
Child price under 18 years old: 10 €

Booking required (only 30 places)

For Heritage and non- guided tour – 22 €

Contact Information:

Address: Académie équestre de Versailles Manège de la Grande Ecurie du
Château de Versailles Avenue Rockefeller 78000 Versaille

Cour des Senteurs (Courtyard of Fragrances)

Cour des Senteurs

A literal feast for the senses, the Courtyard of Fragrances brings more than just a symphony of scents. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Versailles, it is a must to spend at least a few hours here.

Walk around the garden that has plants used in making perfumes, and you’ll come out smelling divine. This courtyard also has a museum, a gourmet cafe, and perfume shops.

The Cour des Senteurs is located close to the palace entrance. Spending time here is a good way to relax after all the exploring.

Costumed Photoshoot

Since you’re already in Versailles and getting acquainted with the grand chateau, how about a little dress-up party? Head towards the Costumes and Châteaux and live the life (or at least the fashion) of Versailles. Have your photo taken wearing different costumes and wigs.

They have a variety of costumes for both men and women, wigs and other accessories. This dress-up photo shoot is a fun activity to do in Versailles and a great souvenir for your visit.

Attend a ball at Versailles

Complete your Chateau de Versailles experience by attending a ball in the palace. That’s right — you get to dress up like royalty and you get to attend a ball in the palace as well. This is one of the best things to do in Versailles at night, a definite must experience.

There are two types of ball that you can attend in Versailles. One of these is the modern Grand Masked Ball of Versailles, which plays club music and held at the chateau’s Orangerie. The other is the more formal Fetes Galantes, which is held in the Hall of Mirrors. It’s probably something most would love to try, just be sure to brush up on your period dancing skills before you go.

Versailles Cathedral

Cathedrale saint louis versailles

The Baroque style Versailles Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Versailles. It was built as a simple parish church in the 18th century and survived the French Revolution.

It was consecrated as a cathedral in the mid-1800s and now considered as a French National monument. The church is one of the best attractions in Versailles and home to a number of beautiful period art.

The Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House in Versailles is regarded as one of the most beautiful in all of Europe. It was designed and constructed to serve a lot of purposes for the aristocrats back in the day. It was an opera house, a theater, a banquet hall, and a ballroom. This is one of the best places to visit in Versailles, and attending a concert here is a must. This way, you get to experience the opera house’ magnificent beauty while being entertained.

Musée Lambinet

Musée Lambinet

Yes, there are museums outside the royal palace and one of them is the storybook-like Musée Lambinet. This beautiful structure made up of thirty rooms you can explore was owned by the Lambinet family.

The items on display inside cover a variety of subjects from architecture to local culture and history. From the outside, it’s like a fairytale castle rather than a museum.

If you’re looking for something different, the Musée Lambinet is an interesting place to visit in Versailles. After you’re done exploring, be sure to visit the cute cafe outside.

Opening Hours:

Every day except Friday

2:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m.

Contact Information:

Address:54, rue du Boulevard de la Reine 78000 Versailles

Le Potager du Roi

Potager du Roi

Le Potager du Roi literally translates to ‘the King’s vegetable garden’.  It was constructed during the time of Louis XIV as a kitchen garden. Today, visitors can wander around the area among the flowers, vegetables, and shrubs.

The Le Potager du Roi is one of Versailles’ top attractions, which also operates as a mini-market. During certain times of the year, you can even buy some of the vegetables grown here.

Versailles Markets

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The Versailles Markets may not look as bright and grandiose as the famous palace, but it is as luxurious. The town’s market culture goes back to a few centuries ago.

Today, a visit to the markets is among the best things to fo in Versailles during weekends. Sample some delicious French food or wine, or stock up on delicacies and even souvenirs you can bring home.

A few recommended markets are the Market of Notre Dame, for fresh French food like brioche or frogs legs. If you prefer organic produce, head towards the Jussieu-Montreuil market.

Travel Tips And Resources

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What To Wear: If you want some ideas on what to pack for France, check out this packing list guide for France.

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