From Paris to Versailles: the perfect day trip
Updated by Jordan 20/02/2020
Paris is an extraordinary city but if you’re considering visiting Versailles, this article has been written for you! If you’ve visited all Paris landmarks, walked the city and want to explore and experience a little more about French history and culture, visiting Versailles is a great idea.
You probably know the Sun-King and the stunning Château de Versailles. How about getting to know the city of Versailles? Tourists usually only head for the castle, but Versailles has so much more to offer than just the castle. I have to admit that the castle on its own has plenty of attractions, such as the Mirrors Gallery, the gardens, and many other highlights I won’t spoil! But, when Parisians go to Versailles they also walk and enjoy the city. Indeed, one has to admit that they can’t say they have been to Versailles but only saw the castle. So, take your time and properly visit Versailles, which is the perfect day trip from Paris!
How far is Versailles from Paris?
Versailles is located to the actually one of Paris’ closest suburbs. The distance between the two is just 12 kilometers as the crow flies, but the actual trajectory to get there is more like 16 kilometers. When it comes to actually getting to Versailles from Paris city center, you have a few options. I’ll explain each of them in detail below.
How to get to Versailles from Paris by train
From Paris to Versailles, the trip will last about forty-five minutes. In Paris, you will have to take the RER C line to get to the Château de Versailles. You can purchase your tickets at a ticket office or in one of the many ticket machines you will find in the metro. Buy your tickets for “Versailles Château-Rive Gauche”.
This is the RER station in which you will have to get down. I highly recommend you to buy a round trip. Otherwise, at the end of the day, when the time comes to return to Paris, you will have to queue for a long time because of the people who forgot to buy the round trip. Also, do not lose your tickets. Keep them carefully in a safe place, like your wallet.
After buying your tickets, follow the signs that indicate the way towards Versailles Château-Rive Gauche. Once you get to the RER C platform towards Versailles Château-Rive Gauche, you need to beware of a few things. First of all, not every train will get you to “Versailles Château-Rive Gauche”. So, play close attention to the monitors you will see on the platform. They will give valuable information, such as how many minutes left till your train arrives, and also if you are actually on the right platform.
How to get from Paris to Versailles by Car
If you’ve got a car available to you, driving is one of the easiest ways to get to Versailles. If you avoid rush hour times, you can be in Versailles in under 40 minutes from the city center.
From the center, take the Periphérique until you reach the A13 direction Rouen/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines/Versailles. Continue for 7.5 kilometers then take exit 5 towards Versailles-Centre. Once you’re in Versailles, follow the signs to the Château. There’s paid parking available on site.
How to get from Paris to Versailles by bike
Another popular mode of transport between Paris and Versailles is the good old fashioned bicycle. Thanks to easy and scenic cycling routes between the two, getting to the Château de Versailles from Paris is easy. The ride is easy to moderate and will take you about an hour from the city center. Follow the bike path through the Parc de Saint-Cloud, and start up a GPS once you’re in Versailles. Getting to the castle is pretty straightforward from there.
One of the reasons biking to Versailles is so convenient is tat you can enter in the gardens and grounds for free. Perfect for a day escape from the city or just to have a picnic. You don’t have to pay the entrance fee and you can stay until closing time.
When to get to Versailles
Now I will tell you when is the best time to get to Versailles. The Château de Versailles opens at 9 am. So, the earlier, the better. In Versailles, there are many things to do and to visit, but, if I were you I would definitely start by visiting the Palace.
Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days. So if you are able to go to Versailles during the week, you should. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to visit the Château de Versailles. It’s less crowded, so you will have a much better time and you will be able to visit the castle and all its attractions in the best conditions. You can get tickets from the ticket office in Versailles, or you can purchase online tickets to access all areas.
The reason why Versailles is the perfect day trip
Versailles is the perfect day trip from Paris for several reasons. Due to its proximity from the city of Paris, you can quickly reach the peaceful and majestic Versailles. Because, Versailles is about forty-five minutes away from the center of Paris.
Louis XIII was the first king to live in Versailles. He bought the land, and built a château for his hunting trips. It was Louis XIV, the Sun-King, who radically changed Versailles and transformed it into the impressive palace it is now. The Château de Versailles was built to impress. The King wanted to show his power through the architecture. All the details and everything about the grandeur of the surroundings were a symbol of his power. While visiting the Palace and all its attractions, you will quickly come to see and appreciate these aspects.
Because of its splendour and magnificence, the Château de Versailles overshadows the city of Versailles. Most people come to Versailles just to visit the castle and don’t even consider walking the city. Visiting the castle is obviously a must-do while in Versailles. The majestic landmark is very important for the understanding of French history.
The Mirrors Gallery, the apartments of the Queen, the gardens, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon are only a few of the things that you can explore while visiting the castle. These attractions are thoroughly joyful, especially for those of you who are interested in learning more about monarchy and French history. Louis XIV was a strong believer of a government in which the sovereign was at the head of the political decisions.
After you finish visiting the castle, take a walk in the city, and enjoy all its highlights. Go to the Halles Notre-Dame food market, enjoy one of the Equestrian National Academy shows, the Royal Opera which is considered by many to be the most beautiful in Europe, and many other precious landmarks!
Versailles is the perfect day trip if you’ve been in Paris for some time and want to have a break from the vibrant and restless city of Paris, or even if you’ve come to visit Paris but have some time left and want to visit a city other than Paris! Versailles is definitely the best idea if you’re looking for a nice reprieve from the hustle & bustle of Paris.
What you need to know
There are a few things you need to know before planning your perfect day trip to Versailles:
- The Palace is open everyday but Mondays, from 9 am (9H00) to 6.30 pm (18H30). Online tickets can be found with our partner Tiqets.
- The access to the gardens is free of charge, except on days the Musical Fountains Show or Musical Gardens are happening. These shows happen from April, 6th to October, 27th in 2019. They are worth attending to, because it will allow you to acquire new perspectives on the Palace. You should know that the entrance to the Gardens is included with this kind of ticket, which will cost around thirty euros.
- From the “Versailles Château-Rive Gauche” RER station to the Château de Versailles, you will have to walk for about fifteen minutes.
- The best thing you can do is to arrive to the château early in the morning. However, you should know that most visitors do the same, so, by the time you get to castle, it is very likely you will already have to queue to get inside the castle. Tourists from all around the world come to visit this French historic landmark. There will be several queues: for informations, for buying tickets and for the security controls. Another recommendation is for you to buy your tickets in advance!
- If you’re planning on staying more than just one day, a Discover Walks Get Away plan might be the best option! A private car will take you from Paris to Versailles. You get to spend the night in a 4-star hotel and to enjoy a two-day pass to the Château de Versailles and all its attractions. These are just a few of the advantages a Get Away plan proposes. If you want to be treated like kings and queens while in Versailles, learn everything about the city and French history and culture, these packages are simply perfect for you!
- Biking can be a good way to experience Versailles! Learn more about our Bike Day Tour in Versailles on Discoverwalks.com.
You now know a little more about how to plan the perfect day trip from Paris to Versailles! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it has been useful to you! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything! Now that you know how to get to Versailles and what are your accommodations options in Versailles, I suggest you to read this article. It gives you a few examples of some of the things you can do and visit while in Versailles, and provides other informations that might be helpful for your visit in the city of Versailles!