A Day Trip to Versailles from Paris, Episode 14

Categories: Day-Trips from Paris, First Time in Paris, Paris

This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.

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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Categories: Day-Trips from Paris, First Time in Paris, 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!

      1. I too noticed the Medici error but easily corrected in comments if found. I just love these podcasts. Lovely conversation style. Very informative.

  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!

  7. Hello! We are prepping for a family trip to Paris and your podcast is the perfect primer. The Paris Pass seems like a must for the adults. For kids under 18, do they need a pass?

    Thank you!

    1. This is the official word from the folks who run the Museum Pass (not the Paris Pass, did you mean Museum Pass?):

      “Most of the monuments and museums are free for children aged under 18 years old and for 18-25 years old youth residents in the European Union and so the Paris Museum Pass isn’t necessary. Youths just need to present themselves with their ID at the entrance of the national museums and monuments and most of the time, they can access the site by the priority entrance. Please note that sometimes, they can ask them to pick up a “free ticket” at the ticket office. For further information, here is the list of free admissions.”

      Then, I asked what is valid ID and if a photocopy is enough (so they don’t lose it or have it stolen) this is what they responded: “We confirm that you can bring a copy of their passport. Usually, kids under 18 don’t need to collect a free ticket at the entrance. In the case they have to stop by the ticket office, please note that you’ll get the priority access anyway since you have the Paris Museum pass. However, you have to take into consideration the waiting time for the security checks, which depends of the affluence the day of your visit.”

      Officially this is only for EU Citizens, but it seems to me they don’t care about that. Ask when you buy your Museum Pass. So long as kids go in with parents, you should be fine.