If you're visiting Paris, I highly suggest making the small trek to the Palace of Versailles. Initially, this UNESCO World Heritage Site began as a hunting lodge, built by King Louis XIII. However, it was his successor, Louis XIV, who had moved the court to Versailles and transformed the lodge into the glorious château that it is today. Thereafter, it became inhabited by a succession of numerous kings, who continued to contribute to its grandeur. Today, the palace spans over 63,100 square meters and comprises of 2,300 rooms.
How to get there
You can easily get to Versailles from Paris by train or car. By train, it will take approximately 45 minutes. In Paris, you will take the RER C line to get to the Château de Versailles. When purchasing your tickets, select Versailles-Château – Rive Gauche as your destination. Once you depart the train, you will see several signs leading you to the palace. From here, it is only about a 10-minute walk.
Things to do
To fully absorb what the Château de Versailles has to offer, make an entire day trip out of your visit. Describing the size of the château as tremendous would still be a great understatement, as it encompasses expansive gardens, stables, an estate, a chapel, and of course- the palace itself. Take your time and indulge yourself in what's it like to be a royal!
The Palace: Grandiose. This is one of those places that is utterly jaw-dropping and makes you wonder, "How can this be real?" Well, yup- it's real. The intricacy of all the rooms was stunning. Every room is similar, yet incredibly different and unique.
Hall of Mirrors: This place bears significant resemblance to the Grand Foyer in the Palais Garnier. It is a luxurious room with marbled walls, golden sculptures, and of course- mirrors. The ceiling is lined with chandeliers and detailed with paintings.
The Gardens: The size of the gardens is extensive- you could spend hours getting lost here. There are several fountains, sculptures, and trees- over 200,000 trees and 50 fountains to be exact. (I know, I had to reread the numbers myself)
Other spots: Honestly, my boyfriend and I were completely drained after spending hours exploring the Palace and the Gardens. However, here are more attractions to check out: the Estate of Trianon, the Royal Stables, and the Royal Chapel.
Get here as early as possible, or even later in the day. The palace becomes crowded to the point where you are literally shoulder to shoulder with others in some rooms.
Buy your tickets in advance. I cannot stress this enough. The line to get into the palace, even with tickets, is insanely long- about a 2-3 hour wait during high season.