Getting to Versailles by train

Thanks to the super-convenient French train network, getting around Paris is easy. There are lots of Metro and RER services which run around the city with plenty of stops in every district, so you can get wherever you’re going in no time. This includes Versailles!

Which station is the nearest to the Palace of Versailles?

The Palace of Versailles is a little outside Paris city, which means there are no Metro options to take you there. Instead, you’ll need to board an RER C train from central Paris to the station Versailles-Château – Rive Gauche, which is just a five-minute walk from the main entrance.

There are two more RER stations with Versailles in the name, which can make things a little confusing. These are Gare de Versailles Chantiers and Gare de Versailles Rive Droite. It’s ok to take the train or bus to one of these stations, although your walk will be a little further.

You can buy your train ticket at any Metro or RER station in Paris. If you need to take a Metro service to your nearest RER station, this journey will be included in the price of your Versailles-Château – Rive Gauche ticket. It’s a good idea to buy a return ticket in Paris, so you won’t need to line up again to get back from Versailles.

Exploring the Palace of Versailles

Versailles is enormous, spanning 2,300 rooms and 63,154 square metres, which means there’s plenty to explore during your visit. Though it was a royal residence for many years, today the Palace serves as a museum, featuring paintings and sculptures of figures and events from French history.

There are over 60,000 works in the collections at Versailles, from the Middle Ages to the late 19th century. Discover lots of originals and some copies, all set against the beautiful backdrop of this historical palace.

There’s plenty to discover around the estate, from sprawling landscaped gardens to the Hall of Mirrors and Palace of Trianon. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to see at Versailles, so you can be sure to get the most out of your visit.

Here are the most significant things to see at Versailles:

  1. The Hall of Mirrors
  2. The King’s State Apartment
  3. The Gallery of Great Battles
  4. The Gardens
  5. The Grand Trianon

Let’s take a further look at some of these unmissable spots, so you can start getting excited about your trip.

1. The Hall of Mirrors

The glistening Hall of Mirrors is the most famous room at Versailles. The hall was designed to replace a large terrace connecting the King’s apartments with the Queen’s, which was often subjected to rainy weather.

The 73 metres long Hall of Mirrors is known for its intricate ceiling, which features 30 paintings of the history of Louis XIV. Mirrors were rare and luxurious items throughout the late 1600s when the hallway was built, and 357 of them adorn the walls of this gallery. As well as letting light flow throughout the unique space, the mirrors tell us just how wealthy the French royalty was.

2. The King’s State Apartment

The King’s State Apartment is another must-see at Versailles. This series of seven magnificent rooms were once used for hosting the King’s official acts, as well as events and gatherings several times a week. The King’s State Apartment consists of:

  • The Hercules Room
  • The Room of Abundance
  • The Venus Room
  • The Diana Room
  • The Mars Room
  • The Mercury Room
  • The Apollo Room

3. The Gallery of Great Battles

The Gallery of Great Battles is the largest room in the Palace, at an impressive 120 metres long and 13 metres wide. It’s also the most significant historic gallery at Versailles, illustrating almost 15 centuries of French military victory through large traditional paintings. There are also 80 busts of officers killed in service, and some bronze tables with the names of others killed or wounded for France.

4. The Gardens

King Louis XIV considered the gardens of Versailles as necessary as the Palace itself. He entrusted André Le Nôtre with the job of designing the area, which took around 40 years to complete. The gardens are home to trees from all over France. Not to mention a large lake, Orangery, and many beautiful fountains.

After some devastating storms in the late 19th century and a particularly nasty one in 1999, lots of the gardens were replanted and replaced. Thanks to this, visitors today can enjoy a fresh appearance much like it would have been during the reign of Louis XIV.

There are several picturesque walks to enjoy around the gardens at Versailles. Look out for sculptures, fountains, parterres and paths. The Orangery, which sits just beneath the Palace, is iconic around the world for its clean lines and striking layout. It’s hard to miss, but make sure you don’t!

5. The Grand Trianon

This relatively small palace within the Versailles Estate is absolutely worth a visit while you’re around. Commissioned by Louis XIV as a place to escape hectic life in the court, the Grand Trianon is a beautiful example of Italian-inspired architecture.

Set over a single storey, the Grand Trianon features a courtyard on one side and gardens on the other. There are lots of elegant rooms to explore within this pink marble building, including the Emperor’s Private Chambers and the Empress’ Apartments. Enjoy a stroll around, away from the bustle of the main palace, and see if you don’t pick up a taste for Royal life.

Palace of Versailles: History and Facts

The history of Versailles begins in 1607, when Louis XIII, then heir to the throne, first visited the area on a hunting trip. Let’s explore further, so you can enjoy your visit with a little more context.

Louis XIII discovering Versailles

When Louis XIII first came to Versailles in 1607, the area was rich with pheasants, boars, and stags. After being crowned 1610, the King decided to build a hunting lodge in Versailles, which was perfectly placed between his home in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Paris. The modest lodge was first used in 1624.

In 1631, the King decided to rebuild his hunting lodge, which meant laying the basis of the Palace we know today.

Louis XIV and the new royal residence

Although the spot was first discovered by his father, Louis XIV is the King we most associate with Versailles. That’s because he played a significant role in its conversion from a château into a palace.

The young prince first came to Versailles in 1641, when his father the King sent him to avoid a smallpox epidemic in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. When his father died, Louis XIV regularly returned to hunt, becoming so fond of the place that he undertook major renovations in 1661. These continued until the end of his life in 1715. By which time, the Palace of Versailles had become the primary royal residence of the French Court and government. There was still much to do, but Louis XIV had laid the foundations for his successors to improve the palace to suit changing tastes and ever-escalating wealth.

Versailles and the French Revolution

It’s easy to imagine this being the first stop of the revolutionaries. However, the Palace survived the period without much damage. During the start of the Revolution, the King’s service took advantage of his absence by renovating and repairing central parts of Versailles, which would have been difficult with the family at home.

The fall of the monarchy in 1792 meant significant changes at Versailles. After a period of uncertainty, the Central Museum for the Arts opened in Paris. Many paintings and sculptures were relocated here. At the same time, works from the State Apartments were transferred to the Louvre. Furniture from Versailles was also sold off to citizens and merchants between 1793 and 1794.

Vast portions of the Palace were given over to the arts, used to publicly display paintings and sculptures. At the same time, a library was established in the South Wing.

19th-century changes

When Louis-Philippe came to the throne in 1830, the so-called ‘King of the French’ brought Versailles back to life. In 1833, Louis-Philippe decided to create a museum dedicated to the glories of France, looking to re-establish a bond between the monarchy and the people. The museum opened in 1837, celebrating the history of France from the Middle Ages.

Restaurants, Bars, and Shops at the Palace of Versailles

Visiting the Palace of Versailles is a full day’s work. With so much to see and do, you’ll need plenty of strength to keep going. Thankfully, there are several spots to stop and refuel on your way around the estate. When it comes to picking up mementoes, there are some excellent souvenir shops to explore too.

Where to eat at Versailles

As you’re not allowed to bring food when visiting the palace, we recommend you stop by one of the several eateries nestled among the estate, which offer plenty of choices to suit every taste. The restaurants and cafés at Versailles include:

  • La Flottille – for sandwiches, salads, and crepes beside the Grand Canal
  • La Petite Venise – for Italian cuisine in beautiful surroundings
  • Ore – an elegant café with French food and snacks by Alain Ducasse
  • Restaurant Angelina – a traditional tearoom with a famous hot chocolate
  • Grand Café d’Orléans – a series of lounges ideal for lunch

If you’re planning to only visit the gardens, why not pack a picnic and enjoy lunch in the park? This is a great way to keep costs down and means you can enjoy some time away from the bustling crowds.

Shopping at Versailles

Whether you’re looking for a souvenir or a more indulgent treat, there are lots of places to shop at Versailles.

  • The Gardens Shop – for books and garden-themed gifts
  • The King’s Medal Cabinet – for Arthus-Bertrand collection replicas
  • Librairie des Princes – for exhibition catalogues and books
  • Estate Shops – you can find several of these elegant souvenir shops around
  • Angelina – for delicious treats to take home
  • Ladurée – a well-loved delicatessen with famous macarons to take away

We recommend you stroll around Versailles at your leisure, discovering these shops along the way. There are lots of places to pick up souvenirs as you explore the estate, so you’re sure to run into something exciting without venturing too far off track.

Opening Times and Prices

The Palace of Versailles is open from 09:00 to 18:30 every day, apart from Mondays when it remains closed. The last admission is 17:30, although we recommend getting there early to make the most of your visit.

The gardens open from 08:00 to 20:30 every day, while the park opens at 07:00. Why not arrive early, enjoy a morning stroll around the gardens or lawn, then head inside when the Palace opens?

The Estate of Trianon is also open daily, excluding Mondays, from 12:00 to 18:30.

How much does it cost to visit Versailles?

The cost of your visit will depend on who’s in your group. Some visitors can enjoy Versailles for free! Here are the most recent ticket prices:



Children (under 18)

EU citizens (under 26)

Disabled visitors

Palace ticket with timed entry





Estate of Trianon ticket





Passport with a timed entry (to the whole estate)





Musical Fountains Show






It’s best to buy your ticket online and reserve a time slot. This helps reduce queuing time and lets you get the most out of your time at Versailles.

Visiting Paris from further afield?

Europe is so well-connected by rail that you can easily get to Paris by train from both the rest of France and Europe. Not only is it a scenic way to travel, but you'll also be doing your bit for the environment.

If you're already in France and heading into Paris, TGV trains offer high-speed routes from Avignon to Paris (2h 41m), Bordeaux to Paris (2h 9m), Lyon to Paris (1h 55m), Marseille to Paris (3h 12m), Nice to Paris (5h 44m) and Strasbourg to Paris (2h 23m).

Some of the most popular international routes include London to Paris (2h 13m), Amsterdam to Paris (3h 12m), Brussels to Paris (1h 22m), Barcelona to Paris (6h 38m), Zurich to Paris (4h 6m), Munich to Paris (6h 37m) and Stuttgart to Paris (4h 13m).