Versailles Tickets and Tours

This is a comprehensive guide that details everything you need to know about visiting Versailles. We provide tips regarding how to get there and which tickets to buy, as well as a comparison of the various tour companies that visit the Palace grounds and surrounding area.  We also offer a self-guided tour with videos to help you understand what you will see at this wonderful attraction.  With so many different companies to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is the best. We’ve broken all of the different types of tours down by category and then compared them by quality and price, so that you can find what’s right for you!


Versailles Segway Tours

Bus Tours to Versailles

Walking Tours of Old Town Versailles

Deals and Discounts

Know Before You Go

Buying Tickets

Getting There

Versailles Bike Tours


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • The Palace of Versailles is a colossal estate that has been home to many significant events. Most notably, it is where the Peace Treaty was signed between the Germans and the Allies at the end of WWI, as well as the final residence of King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette before the French Revolution. 
  • Versailles is approximately 40 minutes away from Paris by train. 
  • Expect long lines!! One of the many benefits of travelling with a tour company or booking your tickets in advance is that you will be put in the fast-track line. Still, there are often delays when entering the Palace so be patient… we promise it’s worth the wait! 
  • You can either travel to Versailles with a tour company (who then, in most cases, will arrange for your Palace entrance tickets) or on your own from Paris. 
  • There are several different types of tickets for the Palace of Versailles. Some will just give you access to the Palace, while others will also allow you to visit the gardens, the Musical Fountain Show, etc. 

 


BUYING TICKETS

There are several different types of tickets, each of which gives you access to varying parts of the estate. Though you can wait to purchase tickets in person at the ticket office, it is often cheaper and much easier (no lines!) to buy them online in advance. Below we have listed all the different ticket options in order from least to most inclusive. Please note that though many of the 3rd party tour operators listed in this guide also cover the entrance fees to the Palace, some do not. Therefore, be sure you know whether you need to purchase a ticket separately. 

    • Palace of Versailles Entrance Ticket with Audio Guide
      • Includes entrance to Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. Entrance to Palace of Versailles and Musical Fountains Show not included.
      • From €12 per person 
    • Palace and Gardens
      • Includes entrance to Palace of Versailles with Audio Guide and Gardens of Versailles except on the days when the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains shows are on.
      • From €18 per person 
    • 1 Day Passport with Show
      • Includes entrance to the Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show.
      •  €27 per person 
    • 2 Day Passport without Show
      • Includes entrance to Palace of Versailles, Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon and Gardens, except on the days when the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains shows are on. Valid on two consecutive days.
      • From €25 per person
    • 2 Day Passport with Show
      • Includes entrance to the Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show.Valid on two consecutive days.
      • From €30 per person

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GETTING THERE

 Versailles is located approximately 45 minutes southwest of Paris. You can choose to get there either on your own by car or train, with a tour company by train, or with a bus tour company by private coach.

 


 
By car: Though a fairly easy drive, the route between Paris and Versailles can often become congested with traffic, making the journey seem much farther that it is. If choosing to travel by car, be sure you go on off-peak times to avoid sitting in traffic. Depending on where in Paris you depart from, the journey should be approximately 25 km and take 45 minutes. 

By train: The train is probably the easiest and most frequently used way to get to Versailles from Paris. In fact, all of the bike, segway, and walking tour companies listed below take visitors on the train to get them to Versailles. The ride is approximately 50-70 minutes long, depending on your departure point. 

By bus tour: As noted below in our Versailles Bus Tours section , Paris City Vision offers comfortable transport in a private mini-bus with a/c between Paris and Versailles which is then accompanied by a guided tour of the Palace. 

By bike tour: There are 3 different bike tour companies that we recommend for tours of Versailles! Each has their guests meet in Paris and then they guide them on the train to Versailles before handing over the bikes for the tour. Check out our Versailles Bike Tours section to learn more. 

By walking tour: SANDEMAN’S New Europe is the only walking tour company to offer a guided tour of Versailles from Paris. As with the bike tours, you also travel via train with the tour company and then continue on foot once you arrive in Versailles. 

  • SANDEMAN’S New Europe
      • Half-Day Versailles Gardens Guided Tour from Paris
        • Departs Tuesday-Sunday at 9 am.
        • Price includes train transportation to and from Versailles. 
        • Price does NOT include entrance to the Palace (EUR 15) or entrance to gardens (EUR 8/9)
        • From €30 per person 

 


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VERSAILLES BIKE TOURS

Bike tours are perhaps the most popular way to explore the Palace of Versailles. The royal grounds are massive, making it difficult to see and do everything by foot. However, with a bike tour you are able to cover much more ground. There are 3 main companies leading cycling tours to Versailles: Bike About Tours, Fat Tire Bike Tours, and Blue Fox Travel. Each tour runs for 8 hours and costs approximately €85-€99, with Blue Fox Travel being the cheapest and Fat Tire Bike Tours being the most expensive. All have stellar reviews so it is doubtful that you can go wrong with any of them. However, if you’re really uncertain about which company to select, be sure to look over the itinerary for each as they vary slightly. 


Bike About Tours

Bike About Tours offer an 8 hour bike tour of Versailles from Paris. Take the train to Versailles and then set off through the tree-lined royal forest before stopping into a local food market at Versailles village to buy things for a picnic on the Grand Canal. After lunch, continue to the Queen’s Hamlet, which was Marie Antoinette’s private residence and the place where she sought refuge from the rigors of court life. In addition to your bike hire, round-trip train tickets to and from Paris and entrance tickets into the royal grounds and Chateau of Versailles are included in the price of the tour. 

Reviews of Bike About Tours

People seem very pleased with their experience travelling to Versailles with Bike About Tours (read the reviews). Many write that they felt they saw and learned much more than guests who visited Versailles on their own. Several also make a point to say that they saved a lot of time by going with this tour company as they were able to skip the long lines. The Versailles Market for lunch comes highly rated too. All in all this looks like a great tour! TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars. 


Fat Tire Bike Tours 

Similar to Bike About Tours, Fat Tire Bike Tours also offer a full day bike tour of Versailles from Paris. After taking the train to Versailles, you will hop on your bike and began the cycling tour around the grounds. Also visit the Hall of Mirrors, as well as the Grand and Petit Trianons. For lunch you will visit the Versailles open market where your guide will help you pick out the best local specialties to enjoy during your picnic on the Grand Canal. Included in the price: round-trip train tickets to Paris-Versailles, timed entrance to the chateau, entrance to the Grand and Petit Trianons and Marie Antoinette’s Hameau, garden ticket on fountain days, and the bike hire. 

Fat Tire Bike Tours

Fat Tire Bike Tours is a beloved company with outstanding reviews (read the reviews). This tour seems especially popular with families who felt that the bike tour helped keep the kids entertained and enjoy their time in Versailles. The bikes themselves are also commended for being clean and comfortable. The only negative review comes from a visitor whose tour was cancelled at the last minute. However, though unfortunate, we have to assume that this was a rarity. TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars. 


Blue Fox Travel 

Blue Fox Travel also offers an 8 hour bike tour to Versailles from Paris. After a short train ride from Paris, you will be paired with your bike and then take off to explore the formal gardens and extensive grounds of the Versailles. You will also get to walk through the Palace of Versailles at your own pace and visit Marie-Antoinette’s private village and farm, hidden in the Royal Grounds. Like the other tours, you will visit the farmers market in Versailles town to prepare some items for a picnic lunch. 

Reviews of Blue Fox Travel 

Reviewers seem to love Blue Fox Travel, writing that the guides were brilliant, informative, and entertaining (read the reviews). Many other praise the bikes for being so comfortable and easy to ride. In fact, several people comment that their tour with Blue Fox Travel was the highlight of their trip. TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars. 


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BUS TOURS TO VERSAILLES

Another easy way to visit Versailles is by taking a bus tour from Paris. Paris City Vision is by far the most well known company offering this service. At €87 per person, the cost of this tour is comparable to any of the bike tours. However, at just 4 hours, the Skip the Line: Versailles Guided Tour from Paris by Paris City Vision is half the length of time. Regardless, people seem to be generally very happy with their experience as this is a great option for those who want to be guided door-to-door on wheels. 


Paris City Vision 

Paris City Vision offer a 4 hour tour that brings guests straight to Versailles from Paris via an air-conditioned luxury coach. You are then guided through the Palace before being given time to explore the surrounding area, though the entrance fee to the gardens is not included. Paris City Vision do not offer complimentary hotel pick up/drop off, so be prepared to meet your tour bus at 2 rue des Pyramides near the Louvre. 

Reviews Paris City Vision 

Though guests seem universally impressed by Versailles and happy with their decision to visit the Palace, many comment that their time was too short on this tour (read the reviews). With only 4 hours to travel from Paris and tour the area, several felt rushed and were disappointed to leave. However, if you only have a half-day to spare, this is the perfect tour to choose as it’s extremely convenient and allows you to see the most significant parts of Versailles! TripAdvisor Rating: 4 stars. 


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VERSAILLES SEGWAY TOURS

If you’re keen to do a segway tour during your travels, why not take one during your visit to Versailles! Versailles Events, a local events company, run 1 and 2 hour segway tours Tuesday-Sunday. During each tour, you are guided through Versailles Park where you will see Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet. Entry to the Palace of Versailles is NOT included in the price of the tour, so you will need to purchase that separately. 

Versailles Events 

Reviews of Versailles Events 

Despite the fact that this tour does not actually visit the Palace of Versailles or the gardens, but instead Versailles Park, it still gets great reviews (read the reviews)! Most people report back saying that they had a great time and that their guide was a lot of fun. Some were disappointed that the tour didn’t enter the official royal gardens. However, as long as your read the description and understand what you’re paying for, you’re sure to enjoy yourself. TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars. 


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WALKING TOUR OF OLD TOWN VERSAILLES

Looking to experience Versailles beyond the Palace? One company, Monument Cafe, offers a lunch and guided walk of the Old Town of Versailles. If you’re only planning to spend half a day on the Palace grounds, this tour is a great way to fill the rest of the day as lunch is included and it will introduce you to the rest of the city. 


Monument Cafe 

Monument Cafe run a 1.5 hour guided tour and lunch of the Old Town of Versailles. The lunch is an impressive all-you-can-eat buffet lunch featuring French specialties. While you dine, you will have plenty of time to sit and enjoy the beauty of the Palace as it is very nearby. After lunch you will embark on a guided walk of the historic area of Versailles where you will learn more about the Palace and its significance during the French Revolution. 

Reviews of Monument Cafe 

Though most of the reviews of Monument Cafe come from patrons who loved their food, there are also a handful of reviews from visitors who took their guided walking tour. Many comment that they appreciated how this tour expanded their understanding of Versailles beyond just the Palace. TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars. 


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DEALS AND DISCOUNTS

There are several different tourist passes available in Paris, which offer discounts on tours and major attractions such as the Palace of Versailles. The Paris Pass is a great way to save on ticket prices, especially if you’re interested in visiting other touristic sites as well. These are a great way to save serious cash and really make the most of your time in the city. Also consider checking websites such as GroupOn and TravelZoo for additional discounts on tours.  

 


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SELF GUIDED TOUR OF VERSAILLES

Located less than an hour from Paris, Versailles is a must-see destination for most visitors to France. Whether you’re a French Revolution enthusiast, a lover of Marie Antoinette, or simply interested in seeing the interior of one of the most opulent Palaces in the world, Versailles is for you! Though a free audio tour is available with your ticket purchase, we’ve written up a self-guided tour to help you navigate this 17th century marvel. 

Interested in visiting Versailles with a tour group? Check out our Guide to Versailles, where we compare all the various walking, bike, segway, and bus tour companies that visit the Palace! 


The Palace of Versailles (1.5 hrs)

The Palace of Versailles is the center piece of any visit to Versailles. A walk through the ostentatious rooms and hallways offers critical insight into what helped inspire the French Revolution. Though the Palace is very large, most guests complete their visit in under 1.5 hours. Below we’ve listed some notable highlights that should not be missed during your visit. 

Hours:

  • Open from 8 a.m. to 5.30, 6 or 8.30 p.m.
  • Allow for up to 1.5 hours

Cost:

  • €18 -Palace of Versailles with Audio Guide and Gardens of Versailles except on the days when the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains shows are on
  • €27 – (1 Day Passport w/Show) Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show
  • €30 – (2 Day Passport w/Show) Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show 
  • Purchase tickets here

THE ROYAL COURTYARD AND MARBLE COURTYARD

After going through the first security check at the main gate, you will enter the Royal Courtyard. Walk up the steps to your left and step foot in the Marble Courtyard, taking in the ornate architectural detail and iconic floor patterns. 

THE GALLERY OF THE HISTORY OF THE PALACE

Next, you will enter the Palace and collect your free audioguide. Before entering the Royal Chapel, take a few minutes to enjoy the Gallery of the History of the Palace, which details the history of Versailles using multimedia. This is a great introduction to the Palace and definitely should not be missed! 

THE KING’S STATE APARTMENTS

Next, head toward the the King’s State Apartments. These are 7 prestigious rooms that reveal the opulence and interests of King Louis XIV. Each is named after a planet and served a different purpose during the King’s reign. 

The first of these rooms is the Hercules Room, which was the last to be built by the King. Pay special attention to the ceiling as it features an incredible painting called The Apotheosis of Hercules. The masterpiece was completed by François Lemoyne in 1736 after 4 years of work. Despite being made First Painter by the King after its unveiling, Lemoyne committed suicide just 1 year later, siting exhaustion after working so long and hard on the project.  

Next is the Hall of Plenty. This room was used to serve coffee, wines and liqueurs after an evening gathering. Notice the depiction of the King’s Vessel over the door, which held the King’s sorviette and symbolized power. 

Beyond the Hall of Plenty is the Venus Room, which was one of the rooms that mad up the mani entrance to the King’s Apartments. You will notice a painting a Venus on the ceiling, as well as a lot of Baroque decorations. This room was filled with flowers and “pyramids of rare fresh fruit” during evening gatherings. 

As you move into the next room, you will see a painting of Diana (the goddess of the hunt) “watching over navigation and hunting scenes.” This is the Diana Room, which was also used as a main entrance and functioned as a Billiards Room during gatherings. 

The Mars Room marked the beginning of the King’s Private Apartments and was used as a Guard Room, hence its dedication to the god of war. There are several impressive paintings in the room, many of which allude to the military. 

Though originally the royal bedchamber of the King, the Mercury Room was rarely slept in. It once was decorated with tables, mirrors, andirons, and chandeliers, however all these valuables were eventually melted down to finance the War of the League of Augsburg. This is also the room where the body of Louis XIV was displayed for over a week after his death in 1715. 

The final room of the King’s Apartments is the Apollo Room, which was “designed as the sovereign’s Ceremonial Room” and later used as the throne room. Above the fireplace hangs the most famous portrait of Louis XIV. The King was so pleased with the result of the painting that he requested the artist to make additional copies of the same image. Today, the original is on display in the Musee du Louvre and one of the copies hangs here. 

THE HALL OF MIRRORS

Next you will enter into the Hall of Mirrors — the most famous room in the Palace of Versailles. This extravagant room was constructed to replace the large terrace that originally opened out to the garden. Due to its poor design and overexposure to the weather, the terrace was torn down and remade into this icon of opulence. 

Though the room was most often used by courtier and visitors to pass through the Palace, it was occasionally used for special events such as royal weddings or diplomatic receptions. In these cases, the King’s throne was placed at the end of the Hall near the Peace Room, which served to emphasize the French monarchy’s power and wealth. This room was also where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, which ended WWI. 

THE GALLERY OF GREAT BATTLES

Lastly visit the Gallery of Great Battles, which is part of a historical museum that documents “all of the glories of France.” This room was transformed between 1833 and 1837, after the Palace was left abandoned. 

Near the exist, there are restrooms, lockers, and a gift shop, as well as the desk where you can return your audio guide. 

 


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Gardens and Fountains (2hrs)

The Gardens are an extravagant symbol of wealth that rivals the Palace itself. Featuring several different water features, lawns, and statues, the Gardens are an absolute MUST if you’re visiting Versailles. 

We recommend taking a stroll along one of the many paths and getting lost amongst the many trees and and enclaves. Below we’ve listed some of the highlights, though there are many other ornate details and impressive foliage to see. 

Hours:

  • Open from 8 a.m. to 5.30, 6 or 8.30 p.m.
  • Allow for up to 2 hours

Cost:

  • €18 -Palace of Versailles with Audio Guide and Gardens of Versailles except on the days when the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains shows are on
  • €27 – (1 Day Passport w/Show) Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show
  • €30 – (2 Day Passport w/Show) Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show 
  • Purchase tickets here

 


One of the most spectacular pieces of architectural genius is the Orangerie. Home to 1,500 orange and lemon trees from Portugal, Spain, and Italy, the Orangerie is nearly 200 years old and still cultivated today. 

As you continue into the gardens, take the center stairway to visit Leto’s Fountain. The massive fountain depicts several characters from Greco-Roman mythology. Louis XIV felt a particular connection with Apollo and thus “embodied him through statues in the gardens.”

Continuing along the line of the Grande Perspective, you will arrive at the Great Lawn, which runs 335 meters through the center of the gardens. Observe the symmetrical bushes and “yews of geometrical forms.” If you’re in need of refreshments or a toilet, head to the Girandole Grove near the beginning of the Great Lawn. 

Halfway down and to the left of the Great Lawn is the Winter Walk, which leads to the Saturn Fountain and Mirror Pool. Here, there are “five avenues marked by four imitation classical statues, including one of Apollo.” 

Just beyond, you will see Apollo’s Fountain, which once again demonstrates Louis XIV’s love of mythology and extraordinary wealth. The ornate statue shows the god Apollo emerging from the water in his chariot, drawn by four horses and surrounded by tritons. Meant to represent sunrise, the fountain marks the end of the gardens before the park. From here, there are bicycles, boats, segways, and electric vehicles for rent, as well as refreshments and toilets. The Trianon Palaces and Marie Antoinette’s Estate are approximately a 10 minute walk away, or just a few minutes if taking the tram.  

 


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Trianon – Countryside Palaces (4hrs, only in afternoons)

Those interested in exploring even more of the Palace grounds should consider visiting the Trianon Palace and Estate of Marie Antoinette. The quiet and serenity of theses places provided were a sharp contrast to the Palace of Versailles, and thus served as an escape from Court life. If you skip the Gardens, the Trianon Palace is about a 30 minute walk from the Palace. Otherwise, it is 10 minutes from the far edge of the Gardens or just a few minutes if you take the electric tram. 

Hours:

  • Open from 12 noon to 5.30 or 6.30 p.m.
  • Allow for up to 4 hours
  • Each building can be visited separately

Cost:

  • €12 – Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate
  • €27 – (1 Day Passport w/Show) Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show
  • €30 – (2 Day Passport w/Show) Palace of Versailles, Trianons and the Musical Gardens or Musical Fountains Show 
  • Purchase tickets here

 


THE GRAND TRIANON

The Grand Trianon is a set of buildings that served as Louis XIV’s second residence. Designed to resemble the Italian architecture of the time, the Grand Trianon was an oasis for the King to relax without the constraints imposed in the Palace. 

You will first enter the Empress’s Apartments, which are comprised of several rooms including the Hall of Mirrors and the Empress’s Chambers. Continue onwards to the Emperor’s Apartments, where you will find the music room, Malachite Room, and Cotelle Gallery — the last of which is appropriately decorated with several paintings of Cotelle.

Before wandering over to the Petit Trianon, spend some time admiring the grounds surrounding this palace. Then, make your way over Chemin Creux Bridge to continue your tour. 

THE PETIT TRIANON

Given to her by Louis XIV in 1774, the Petit Trianon served as Marie Antoinette’s beloved escape from the imposing rules of the Court. Enter through the Swiss House, where you will have a chance to view the Réchauffoir, which kept dishes warm before they were served to the royal table. Next, venture upstairs to visit the bedroom and the Cabinet of Moving Mirrors. Commissioned by Marie Antoinette herself, this special cabinet is was handmade so that mirrors from the floor would rise up and close of the window, creating a boudoir.

Finish by visiting the French gardens, just outside of the Petit Trianon. This area was used to host visitors and entertain them with music. Nearby, a green trellis surrounds the area known as the Cool Room, which was where diners would enjoy dairy and vegetables from the gardens.  

THE QUEEN’S HAMLET 

The Queen’s Hamlet is a unique feature that is made up of 11 houses along the Great Lake made to resemble a Norman village. Each home is adorned with a small garden that grows fruit and vegetables. During King Louis XIV’s reign, these lands were managed by a farmer and the produce that was harvested helped supply the kitchens of the Palace. 

 


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Versailles Markets

Beyond the Palace grounds, there are several local markets where visitors can buy the makings of a picnic. Market stalls were a very important part of daily life in the 17th century. However, in 1841 these open-air vending stations were replaced with a covered market that still exists today. Some of the most notable of these markets include the Market of Notre Dame, as well as Jussieu-Montreuil market. 

 


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