The 3rd day of our trip Paris we spent out at Versailles France. We drove there from our hotel near the Disney Paris area and spent a few hours there before driving home (back to the Spangdahelm area). We visited Chateau de Versailles, The Trianon Palaces, and Domaine de Marie-Antoinette. We were there for just under 4 hours, it it’s somewhere you could easily spend the whole day if you wanted.
The drive there was easy with no traffic and we easily made it in under an hour (50 minutes), however the drive back through Paris to head home was packed and slow, it added an extra hour to the trip, but overall it was worth it to drive for us. We stopped to get gas on the way to Versailles, it was €92 for 3/4 tank of gas (45 liters). This got us to Versailles and back to the Spang area where we could fill up back on base. So total gas cost for the trip was $60 to fill up before we left & the €92, total of $185. Total drive to Paris & back with tolls (€50 round trip) was $253. Still cheaper for all 5 of us than taking the train and allowed us to bring food & snacks to cut down on costs as well.
When we arrived in Versailles around 10 am the town was packed and traffic was slow getting to the parking at the Chateau.
Chateau de Versailles, the line outside the gold gate is the line waiting to get through security and into the palace.
We already had our Paris Museum Pass so we got in the line for security/entrance at 10:30 am, it was moving a bit slow and we finally entered at 11:16 am. It was really crowded in the Chateau. You can get free audio guides (available in many languages), Bea chose to use one. Then we used the restrooms to the right before using Rick Steves’ Versailles tour in his book.
A view of the Royal Chapel in the Chateau.
You can see the mass crowds that you have to photograph around, it’s quite difficult in the smaller rooms.
Louis XIV the self proclaimed Sun King.
The infamous Hall of Mirrors where the Treaty of Versailles was signed ending World War I.
After touring the Chateau we walked 30 minutes through the Gardens out to The Trianon Palaces & Domaine de Marie-Antoinette area. Along the way we stopped at a snack shop by the boat rentals and got some lunch. We got 4 sandwiches and 5 cokes for €34 ($47). The sandwiches were good, big enough for Bea & I to split one.
View of the Gardens.
Apollo Basin, I’m sure this looks amazing when when the fountain is going.
Then we continued the walk to the Trianon Palaces, above is the Grand Trianon which is a very pink palace. These were way less crowded and it was much easier to see the rooms here.
French Pavilion on walk over to Domaine de Marie-Antoinette.
After that we walked over to Domaine de Marie-Antoinette aka Petit Trianon. Again it was not crowded and we didn’t have any problems seeing the rooms.
Domaine de Marie-Antoinette
This tree is so old! Love it!
The kids were listening about Domaine de Marie-Antoinette.
Marie-Antoinette’s bedroom, I always think it’s so surreal to experience ‘living history’ and visit places like these.
Ornate staircase in Domaine de Marie-Antoinette.
Then we walked 30 minutes back through the gardens to exit near the Chateau to our car. We stopped at the snack stand and got ice cream on the way. It was a hotter (and seemed longer) walk back. We got 3 ice cream cones and 1 waffle for €8 ($11). They were yummy!
The back of the Chateau as we walked back towards it.
We paid for our parking ticket at the little automated ticket booth and left Versailles. Again the drive back was longer due to traffic. Also the motorcycles are crazy! They weave in & out of traffic (I’m assuming that is legal in France, it’s sure not in the US!) and I can only imagine how many accidents there are each year. As we were driving through a tunnel a guy on a motorcycle was trying to pass us and he knocked on our window! I’m assuming it was to let us know he was there so we didn’t hit him, but it sure scared us, LOL! The drive back to Spangdahlem was just under 5 hours because of the traffic.
Know Before You Go:
Where: Versailles, France
How To Get There: Approx 1 hour drive from the Disney Paris area. Parking was €10 for 4 hours.
From Disney Paris area using the RER/subway it’s a little over an hour ride and approx €14, according to this site
What: Visit the Chateau, the Gardens, and Trianon Palaces and Domaine de Marie-Antoinette. Plan at least 3 hours to visit all the areas but it could easily be a whole day experience.
Cost: The Chateau is €15 or covered by the Museum Pass. The Trianon Palaces & Domaine de Marie-Antoinette is €10 or covered by the Museum Pass. The Gardens are free unless it’s Spectacle day then it’s €8.50 and not covered by the Museum Pass. Also note kids 18 and under are free and they do not need tickets.
Where to find info: Online, above links
Rick Steves’ Paris 2014