If you have several days in Paris, we suggest you take time to visit the Palace of Versailles. A visit to the Palace at Versailles is a glimpse of the rich and opulent world of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI.
There are several day tours you can book from Paris that include transportation and admission. If you prefer to do things on your own, you can take the RER (Reseau Express Regional) train from downtown Paris to Versailles and arrive in about 40 minutes. The train station is approximately a five minute walk from the Palace.
The beautiful Palace and Gardens of Versailles are famous as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy in France. It was the official residence of the kings and queens from 1682 until 1790. Versailles has one of the largest formal gardens ever created, with fountains, extensive flower gardens and canals. It was designed by Andre Le Notre.
Visit the Museum of History of France to enjoy paintings and sculptures. While touring the inside of the Palace, make sure to see the Hall of Mirrors, which is a ballroom more than 230 feet long ballroom lined with 17 large mirrors. Many historical events took place in this room including the crowning of Kaiser Wilhelm I, and the signing of the Versailles Treaty that formed the League of Nations and ended World War I.
Spend time strolling through the gardens. You can also rent a row boat in mile long lake, called the Grand Canal. You can also walk in the nearby woods to visit the Grand Trianon which was home to Louis XV’s favorite mistress, Madame de Maintenon, and the Petit Trianon which means home away from home for Queen Marie Antoinette the wife of Louis XVI. It is said that she would go here when she wanted to get away from royal treatment and formalities, and just be herself. Nearby you can visit the Queen’s Hamlet, which was intended to be a play village where the Queen could see how it would feel to live as a peasant. This area offered cottages, a lake and watermill for her amusement. Can you imagine? Oh yes, and if the Palace and all these areas weren’t enough, on the grounds there is a Royal Chapel, Royal Stables and an opera house, which is one of the largest in Europe still today.
If you visit the Palace in the summer months, make sure and enjoy the fountains. When on, the fountains are accompanied by classical music, and the water is synchronized with the tempo.
Several France tours of one week or longer include a visit to Versailles.