Feb 162013

Hopefully, you are rested up from yesterday!  Today will be an all-day affair that will saturate you with opulence and, most likely, too many other tourists ;).  Today, you will go to the Palace of Versailles.  Now, to avoid the tourists, you will have to get up early.

It will be worth it to see the magnificent creation that is the Palace of Versailles, which includes the main building (Palace), a garden that is better described as a controlled forest full of hidden fountains and paths, as well as the Grand Trianon, and Marie Antoinette’s Estate.

This will be an all day affair.

To get all required information for visiting the Palace of Versailles, go to its main website https://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage (this link takes you to the English version of the site).


What you should do:

Palace of Versailles

How to prepare:

WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES.  Ladies, this is NOT a catwalk or fashion show.  I don’t care if you think you need to look ‘fabulous’ because you are in Paris, save the men in your life (and your feet) a lot of pain and just wear comfortable walking shoes, please!

Bring food.  As usual, you don’t want to be stuck purchasing food near a major tourist destination.  If nothing more, bring a few extra croissants from the bakery.  You will be walking a lot and don’t want to have to end the tour early due to hunger or bankruptcy from buying tourist-trap food.

Check the weather.  It started to rain on me the moment I finished the tour of the main Palace and began walking through the gardens, ugh.  You will be spending a lot of time outside if you want to see the gardens, so dress accordingly.

Make sure all cameras and other electronic devices are fully charged, there is a lot to see.

How to get there: 

Take the RER C (yellow line) from the center of Paris to Versailles, which is just a city.  You can get on anywhere along the RER C, but a central stop is “Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame.”  This stop is just to the south of the little island that contains the Notre-Dame Cathedral.  You will be headed towards the stop “Versailles Rive Gauche (Chateau de Versailles).”

This stop is in zone 4, so you will have to purchase a more expensive ticket than just the regular metro ticket that you would use to get around within Paris.

For reference, here is a link to the PDF of the RER C line’s route: https://www.transilien.com/contents/fr/Docs—PDF/Plans/ligne_Cnet.pdf.  Versailles is on the left in the middle and the central Paris stops are on the very top line in the middle.

Once you arrive at the train station, it will only take 5 or 10 minutes to get to the palace.  If you haven’t already consulted a map, just follow the crowd or ask someone, everyone will know where you want to go if you are in the city of Versailles.

How to enjoy the Palace of Versailles:

Look at how big this place really is: Interactive Map.  Zoom all the way out and notice how small the Palace is compared to the gardens.

Once you finish visiting the Palace, relax a bit in the gardens.  At intervals, the fountains will play music as well as a fun water show.  This creates a really enjoyable experience and is a good way to get some fresh air.

Now, make your way to the back and right, where you will see the Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate, two really interesting and underrated features of this Palace complex.

If you don’t want to walk through the gardens, you can rent a golf-cart to drive around the grounds.  This is the BEST way to do it in my opinion, unless you are with a pretty girl and want to enjoy the stroll and some nice romantic kisses ;).

There is also some sort of ‘train’ thing that should take you straight to the Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate if you don’t want to walk there.

There is a lot to see here.  Get there early, take your time while there, relax, and enjoy this magnificent complex.  I personally think it is over-hyped, but it is definitely a must-see if you are in or near Paris.

What I am doing:

Today I explored the area around Opera in Paris.  Every area in Paris has so much character that you feel like you are going on a new little adventure when you explore the different places.

The coolest thing about where I was staying were the shopping alleyways, I’m sure there is a better name for them, but the were basically just these small indoor alleys that had all kinds of local shops and eateries lining each side.  In fact, they are so unique and fun and cool that the first time I walked through one, a movie was being filmed inside the passageway.


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