Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
Resource for people that would like to live or travel in France.



Daily Life



Moving Planner


Q & A

Reading List

Travel Planner


Expat Store

Driver's License



Disposal Units


Learn French

Tax Services


ParisChâteau de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)

The Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) is a pentacle of French architecture and was once one of the largest palaces in the world. The transformation of Versailles from a country village to what you see today took place over 130+ years from 1664 to the beginning of the French Revolution.

It was Louis XIII who first discovered Versailles during a hunting trip and had a hunting lodge built. Most building took place from 1664-1710 and 1722-1788. It was the sun king - Louis XIV who had the most influence on Versailles and whose statue welcomes you today.

To simplify we can divide the Château de Versailles into three parts: Château, gardens and Grand Trianon/Petit Trianon. Inside the Château is where you'll find the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors), king's and queen's apartments and Galerie des Batailles. The gardens offer spelnded views and are where you'll do your most walking. There is a tourist train or you can rent bikes or golf carts to get around. You can also rent small boats to take out on the Grand Canal. The Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon are two small palaces on the northwest grounds. You can visit the inside of the Grand Trianon (seperate admission or buy an all inclusive ticket - Le Passeport). The Grand Trianon has its own gardens, accessiblefrom the Château gardens. Near the Petit Trianon you'll find the Hameau de la Reine (Queen's Hamlet) once used by Marie-Antoiette.

Good to know:
Château de Versailles is incredibly popular and even a slow day can seem overrun with tourist. Your best bet is to try and visit the inside of the Château early and save the gardens for later. You can also divide up your visit and buy tickets for the parts you want to see, inside the Château only, gardens only... and see the rest at a later date. Also remember the Château de Versailles is free the first Sunday of each month from November to March. Check out the official web site for more information.

Getting there:
Versailles is best accessed via RER line C trains that run through the heart of Paris. You'll get off at the last stop Versailles-Château - Rive-Gauche. Previously know as Versailles Rive Gauche. You'll need a ticket that covers zones 1-4. A metro ticket just for Paris won't work. Make sure to take a train marked Versailles-Château - Rive-Gauche, as line C splits after leaving Paris.

When you arrive:
If you take the RER, across the street (slightly to the right) from the train station is a ticket office. All Château tickets can by bought here. They can also be bought at the Château. The Château is about a 10 minute walk from the train station, take Avenue de Paris or Avenue Nepveu Sud.

Visit of the Palace of Versailles with Audioguide!

Hotels in Versailles

Sign-up for the FREE Americans in France newsletter!





Search Site