Versailles, France surrounds you in history

The Palace of Versailles is the most popular tourist attraction in France. Some people say that Versailles is overrated, but I say that it is an amazing place to visit, especially for the first time. The combination of great history with beautiful gardens makes the place beautiful to visit. In the summer it is very crowded so make sure you stick with the main things that are worth your time. Read on to find out about the things that I think are worth visiting at Versailles.

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My favorite tourist attractions in Versailles, France

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  • Visit the Palace Gardens. The gardens at the Versailles Palace are simply amazing and they are as important to visit as the palace itself. They have many different tours of the palace, so depending how much time you have pick a tour that would allow you enough time to stroll through the gardens as well.
  • Take a tour of The Versailles Palace. This is one of the largest castles in Europe and the most popular tourist attraction in France…and for good reason. Every time I visited I picked the regular tour.
  • Walk through the gardens all the way to the Petite Trianon and Grand Trianon mansions. If you have time you can also tour them as well. They are much smaller so the tours are much shorter.

Visit the Versailles Palace Gardens

The gardens at the Versailles Palace are simply amazing! Yes, it is true that they are beautifully groomed and very clean but that’s not the whole story. The most impressive part is how large the gardens are and how intricately decorated they are. If you go either left or right from the main path you will find lots of surprisingly large statues and small lakes and lots of flower arrangements. The gardens at Versailles provide so many private corners, that no matter how busy the place is, you can always find a quiet spot to eat lunch or simply rest and maybe take a nap.

Versailles, France – The large water fountain dominates the entrance to the beautiful gardens
Versailles, France - The large water fountain dominates the entrance to the beautiful gardens
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I have loved visiting the palace itself, but for me, the highlight was the gardens at Versailles. So, make time to stroll through these amazing gardens in addition to visiting the palace itself.

Take a tour of the Versailles Palace

The Palace of Versailles is one amazing place. On the one hand it is beautiful to visit on the other hand it made me sick when I realized how much wealth was wasted on this Palace. The scale of the palace exterior as well as the decorations and furniture inside surpasses my understanding. Yes, granted, I have a modern mind where such grandiose building makes very little sense, but no matter how hard I try to understand the times past, I still can’t grasp how large the Palace of Versailles is.

Versailles, France – The sumptuous interior of the Palace of Versailles
Versailles, France - The sumptuous interior of the Palace of Versailles
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The highlight of my visit inside the Palace of Versailles was the Hall of Mirrors because it is full of history and it was an amazing achievement considering when it was built. When you go inside, take time to peer out the windows and admire the beautiful views of the gardens.

Visit the Petite and Grand Trianon mansions

Walking through the beautiful gardens you can follow the signs toward the Petite Trianon and Grand Trianon. Depending on how much time you have you can take a tour of each of the smaller palaces. The Grand Trianon is not small, but much smaller than the Palace itself. I found them to be very interesting and worth visiting especially after walking through the gardens.

Versailles, France – The large palace of Grand Trianon was built by Louis XIV as a retreat for the king and his family.
Versailles, France - The large palace of Grand Trianon was built by Louis XIV as a retreat for the king and his family.
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How to get to the Palace of Versailles, France

The easiest way to get to the Palace of Versailles is to take the subway and then the RER towards Versailles. I have also driven to Versailles but it is pretty difficult to find parking especially if you don’t want to pay for it. The drive to Versailles is not that interesting either since you drive through suburban Paris. So, I would stick with the subway.

Map of Palace of Versailles, France and surrounding area.

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Tourist conclusion for visiting the Palace of Versailles, France

I know I keep mentioning the gardens, but I think that it is the gardens that makes all these grandiose buildings come together as a unit. Even though the Trianon buildings are impressive in their own right, being all connected by shaded alleys, trees, and beautiful flower arrangements, makes the whole place amazing.

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