A Day Trip to Versailles from Paris, Episode 14


Today on Join Us in France we take a day trip to Versailles from Paris and visit the Versailles Château. Is that something you've always wanted to do? It is certainly spectacular!

Absolute Monarchy in France

This château is the symbol of the absolute monarchy in France. It always  inspired both admiration and resentment and we are sure it will not leave you indifferent either.

One thing is for sure: it is stately. As a matter of fact, the whole city of Versailles is stately in many ways: wide avenues, statues, grand buildings. In this episode, Elyse gives us some historical background about Versailles, we discuss why you should consider going, and why maybe you should skip it too.

How To Avoid The Lines At Versailles?

But the most important question we can answer for you is this: the lines at Versailles which can be formidable and you need to hear our tips on what you can do to make it more bearable.  Should you take the time to explore the grounds or just be in and out of the château? These are all questions we tackle in today's episode.

Annie's Hot Tip

Plan on spending the whole day. It's easy to get there from Paris using the RER, but it makes for a long day. Get on the RER around 8 AM to get there for opening time at 9 AM.

Book one of the wonderful tours from the official Versailles guides. They have a few in English, but you need to book early, they fill up!

When you're done with your private tour, spend the rest of the day walking around the gardens. Wait until 5 PM to go back to see the Hall of Mirrors when most of the visitors have left.

Correction: Elyse misspoke, Louis XIV is the son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, NOT Mary of Medici.

Learn More: Day-Trips from Paris
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If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s):

hall of mirrors at Versailles; day trip to versailles from paris
Photo Annie Sargent
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Day-Trips from Paris

9 Replies to “A Day Trip to Versailles from Paris, Episode 14”

  1. Merci beaucoup! thank you so much for this wonderful posting. We are visiting Paris this summer for the first time and planning to spend the day in Versailles. Your information on the history of the place was very informative.

  2. I love the structure the way it is. I like the way it is like a conversation between friends. the length does not matter because of the pause feature if I get interrupted while listening to you.
    Keep up the good work.
    Thanks for the information, education, and making me dream about going back to France some day.

  3. Hello Genevieve, and welcome to Join Us in France! Thank you for the feedback, it’s good to know. I certainly hope you come to France some day, it’ll be here waiting for you when you do!

  4. Dear all.

    Just to add a little something to your excellent podcast: we are just back from Paris and we visited Versailles as well:

    1) Photography was not an issue at all – no restrictions whatsoever (I do not use flash).
    2) The entry to the Gardens was 9 euro p.p.

    Thanks a million!

    1. Hello Yuri and welcome to Join Us in France! Thank you for telling us about the photography!

      About the garden entrance fee, there may have been some special circumstances on the day of your visit because this is what the château’s website says: “Admission to the park of Versailles is free for pedestrians but there is a fee for vehicles: 3€ for a motorcycle, 6€ for a car and 30€ for a bus (from 12 seats). Admission to the French gardens is free except on the days of the Grandes Eaux musicales et Jardins musicaux shows. From November to March admission to the gardens is free every day. From April to October there is an admission charge for the gardens on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and on some other days (including bank holidays).” http://en.chateauversailles.fr/prepare-my-visit-/single/faq-en#jardinspayants

  5. Your podcasts are very informative and pleasant to hear! That said, you have some avid Francophiles listening to you who know their French history rather well…kindly check to see who was Louis XIV’s mother…wasn’t it Anne of Austria rather than Marie de Medici?

    1. I’m delighted to have avid Francophiles listening and pointing out errors, thank you! You are correct, Elyse misspoke and she’s aware of that. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that I had to memorize the names of all French kings in college, this particular error didn’t jump out at me while I was editing that episode. Changing it now would be quite difficult, so I just file it under if you speak long enough you’re bound to say something stupid. But maybe I should put a correction on that episode page. Thanks!

  6. I loved this episode very much. Elliese really gave us the recipe for a perfect day, all day at Versailles (morning in the gardens and chateau in the afternoon) followed by visit to Eiffel in the evening. I would like to know what if we do either saturday or sunday so we can see the water works. Just worried it may be crazy busy. We will be there at the end of september.


    1. Absolutely! Elyse reveals the secret and it works! Will it work on a weekend? Yes, it will. But weekends are busier anywhere in Paris. I think you should try it and report!