The Best of Versailles

The Best of Versailles! Guide, things to do, photographic tour, of the castle, vast estate grounds, gardens, Travel Europe Destinations, Bucket List, summer vacation ideas, tours, travel tips, France #travel #traveltips #travelphotography #travelblog #France #Versailles

Mary Antoinette’s stomping grounds, Palace of Versailles, is a must-see if you ever travel to Paris. After a short train ride, nothing could prepare me for what lay right around the corner. It was more sumptuous, grand, and had more gold gilt and marble than I had imagined.

The Best of Versailles Castle sparkling in gold gilt, tourists admire the French architecture

Truly humbled by the massive palace, Danny, our daughter, Courtney, and I waited in line. Since it was Father’s Day, we wouldn’t face the crowds like in the Louvre. We lucked out!

The Best of Versailles, A smallish chapel in Versailles as tourists sit and admire the painted ceilings and gold leaf ceilings

Even the hallways are extraordinary.

The Best of Versailles, a most spectacular gold gilt hallway, murals, and marble columns

A room fit for a queen and lots of maids in waiting with brushes, makeup, and the outfit of the day in hand.

Queen's boudoir Versailles

An amazing historical art gallery under a ceiling of skylights.

The Best of Versailles, Art gallery and tourists under long skylight

The Best of Versailles play of light on patterned floors in hallway under arched ceilings

Back out into the hall where rose marble lined the walls. I found pieces of that special colored rock all over the gardens.

Versailles hallway

And last but not least the Hall of Mirrors.

Hall of mirrors Versailles

Look at all that space! Some families must have opted for sporting events, brunch, or other outdoor activities in honor of Dad’s day.

Versaiiles mirror

The Best of Versailles Hall of Mirrors with family selfie

We strode from one gold room to another until they soon became a blur.

A panoramic of a room in Versailles

We were ready for snack time. I would recommend the restaurant in the palace. There was a line but we feasted our eyes on the dessert case while waiting.

The Best of Versailles, the dessert case filled with delicious treats

Then we stepped outside for a tour of the magnificent gardens.

The best of Versailles and formal gardens in geometric patterns

The Best of Versailles, formal flower gardens with the castle in the background

We would have to wait for the fountain to start. The birds had formed a line.

The best of Versailles - Birds perch on gold leaf fountain at Versailles

A few tourists sought shelter from the sun while exploring the vast estate grounds.

The Best of Versailles, a marble pillared gazebo

There’s nothing like dancing at Versailles. It’s just like back in the day only without the pomp, the circumstance, or wigs.

The Best of Versailles, we danced to classical music on a huge veranda in pink marble and black white patterned floor

We discovered several summer houses with much less gold but with pretty formal decor nonetheless.

The Best of Versailles - Blue boudoir inside the summer house with mirrors and massive chandelier

Cards Against Humanity anyone?

The Best of Versailles, Yellow play room with round tables

The Best of Versailles, red boudoir and living quarters in summer house

We walked all the way to the farthest corner of the estate, but it was closed. We peeked through the garden gate under the trellised roses to the cute cottage.

The Best of Versailles - Garden gate with arched trellised roses and cottage

On our way back toward Versailles Palace, the fountains turned on and classical music poured through hidden speakers. It was breathtaking.

The Best of Versailles - Fountains peek through branched archway while music plays

The Best of Versailles - Classical fountains spray water while music plays

The Best of Versailles, outdoor fountain with castle in background

A couple of travel tips:

It was a long day of walking, but I loved every minute of it. Next time, I’ll find out where to rent bikes.

Tickets can be bought in advance but go into the ticket office (on the far left side) and trade them in for hard copies before getting in line.

We went to the restaurant instead of the cafeteria. It was worth the wait to be waited on just like Marie Antoinette, or any other restaurant customer.

I hope you enjoyed this travel adventure!

Have you ever been to Versailles? Is it on your bucket list?

Click for more travel, inspiration, or Wild misadventures.

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77 thoughts on “The Best of Versailles

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  1. That cottage looks like it could be Le Hameau, or a reconstruction thereof. Interesting.

    I still can’t believe all the BS she had to go through in terms of who could hand her what–but I’ve read that was a result of a previous king trying to keep the courtiers at arm’s length or some such.


      1. She also didn’t know very much in terms of governance. Her brother should’ve probably stepped in a lot sooner than he did–but there was no help for her gambling addiction (at least not back then).


          1. If I had fifteen other siblings that were married off as soon as humanly possible (and therefore had very little in the way of role models), I might not be so sharp, either!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Great pics, Susie, and I am all for the dancing 🙂
    It is a long time since I was at Versailles… its magnificence makes it an astounding place, but I always preferred the two Trianon palaces built for the royal mistresses… more human sized 🙂


  3. I adored Versailles! My husband took me over his 30th birthday weekend, as a pre-thank you for the carnage that was about to follow that evening (5am in a boite de nuit with all his Paris friends…I was the only one sober as was starting a new job on the Monday and my husband and his posse tend to end up with multi-day hangovers when they party 😉 ). I would recommend Versailles to anyone!!!


  4. Huge WOW factor but I had to wonder whether the people who lived there had any cozy rooms. It all looks impressive but imagine trying to find a warm place to curl up with a book. Amazing place to see as a tourist though.


    1. I think it was very uncomfortable to live in for that exact reason. I would love a tour of its basement where the staff would have hung out. Imagine how they worked to put on a party!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Those are great shots. Reminds me why I wound up liking Fountainbleau better — not so over-the-top — but you have me thinking the next time I’m in Paris maybe I should try Versailles again instead of hopping a train out of town!


    1. Thanks so much, Leigh!
      I’ll have to check that palace out next time. I really enjoyed the other Trianons on the estate that were “diminutive” in comparison. It’s all relative!


  6. It sure looks like a beautiful place to visit. What was your favourite part? I think I would have enjoyed the fountains the most. I love running water. 🙂


  7. The image of the two of you “dancing” on the tiles…did it make you wonder who else had stood in that same spot? What an overwhelming experience it would be. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I get shivers in some places knowing that so many important people stood there too. Sometimes the stone steps are worn or the corner of a wall where fingers touched. Super cool.
      Thanks, Zannyro!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So, what did something like this set you back? Would a person have to be pretty well heeled to go on a vacation like this from MN, USA? I’m guessing you didn’t go the hostel route, right?


    1. We used Airbnb which starts at pretty reasonable prices. The airfare can be the most expensive. Fly Norwegian Air to London and take a puddle jumper to Paris.


  9. Susie, Versailles is one of my favorite places to visit when I have been to Paris. I’ve been several times, the last time was with my brothers and sister-in-law in 2010. I have never been inside, only walked the grounds and I never tire, though if I were to do it today my knees would be complaining. I’ve been in the winter and late spring and I always find it beautiful and serene. My sister-in-law said it best when we were leaving years ago, “Make me wish I had paid more attention in history class.” Versailles is a monument to what can happen if you don’t pay attention….. thanks for bringing back memories. Peace and enjoy the ride.


  10. Visited Versailles many years ago and your photos brought back so many memories. It’s an incredible place isnt it? SO much history and kept so amazingly well. Loved the post.


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