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I'm staying at Paris and I plan on taking a day out to go to Versailles. What type of information should I have to accomplish this?

Maybe something like this:

  • How to get in and out of there (wich type of transport, where are the stations, how much will it cost...).
  • How much money should I take (do I have to pay to enter, should I eat there...).
  • Possible dangerous regions (not in the Palace itself, obviously, but maybe from the train-station to the Palace).
  • When can I do this trip (If the palace is closed for tourists in some days).
  • Pitfalls to someone who can't speak French at all and is traveling by itself (trains don't function some days...)

I would be very glad if someone could answer the above questions and, if necessary add other things to the list of important info. Any help would be appreciated.


My first effort was on the first item (how to get there):

If I understood what this website is saying, I would be spending 3.35€ to get to there by train, going from the GARE MONTPARNASSE rail-station to VERSAILLES CHANTIERS rail station, where I would walk for about 20 min,to get to Versailles, right? And the the trip back would be this one. Adding up to a total of 6.70€ for transportation. Have I done this right?

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Start with reading this wikitravel.org/en/Versailles or that en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Versailles –  PERSONA NON GRATA Feb 20 '13 at 21:10
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Fastest way is to grab the C5 yellow line on the RER. You'll likely get on at one of the popular tourists sports like Invalides, or Musée d'Orsay. You can get off at Versailles Chantiers, but it's on the other side of town (about a 15 minute walk), so I would get off at Versailles Rive Gauche.

You're right about the round trip fare though, should be 6,70€. You would do the same going back, except take the C6 (which runs opposite the C5). Sounds complicated, but it's more apparent as you get there.

Admission is 18€ Monday-Friday, from April to October, and 25€ on Saturday and Sunday. November to March it's 18€ everyday but keep in mind it's a less whimsical experience since much of the gardens are well...dead. 10am to 6pm are the hours of operation if I recall.

The town of Versailles is pretty sleepy and therefore very safe. Plus the walk from the station (even if you get off at Chantiers) is packed with people so you shouldn't feel unsafe at all.

The palace is open every day except Mondays and a few holidays (1 January, 1 May and 25 December). I might double check on the days specific to you, as the hall of mirrors was closed for renovation the first time I went - major drag.

Not speaking French has almost no effect on your experience of France. Most French speak English and are quite eager to help people with directions. The train maps are very UX friendly, relying on self explanatory symbols and numbers to relay the message to the viewer. You don't need to know French to know you need to get off at "Versailles" or "Invalides." Good luck, have fun and know that if over 3 Million people a year get there with ease.

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Note that the castle is closed on Mondays, as well as on the 1st of January, the 1st of May and the 25th of December. The park and gardens are open on these days. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Feb 20 '13 at 22:53
    
A look at the official site is always worthwile: chateauversailles.fr/homepage –  PERSONA NON GRATA Feb 20 '13 at 22:54
    
@Gilles Please edit for factual errors, typos, formatting, but do not edit to add information that is irrelevant or incorrect. The reason that the Hall of Mirrors was closed in my circumstances was renovation - NOT assembly. If you have questions regarding when you should edit, perhaps you should reference the editing wiki? –  Stephen P. Feb 25 '13 at 0:02
    
@StephenP. Please read the faq: If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you. What I added was both relevant and correct (if incomplete), so it was a perfectly legitimate edit, and I don't understand your objection. –  Gilles Feb 25 '13 at 0:15
    
@Gilles I am comfortable with editing, I'm uncomfortable with rewriting as with incomplete sentences. Adding the markings on the train is irrelevant. –  Stephen P. Feb 25 '13 at 0:25
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From Wikivoyage:

By Train

There are three different train stations in Versailles: Versailles Rive Gauche, Versailles Rive Droite and Versailles Chantiers. The Versailles Rive Gauche station is the one closest to the Palace (5 minute walk), though the other two stations are not all that much further away (about 15 minute walk).

  • From Paris: the most straightforward (and often fastest) route it the RER C5 line, direction Versailles Rive Gauche (train called VICK), get off at Versailles Rive Gauche station.

    Be careful not to get off at Viroflay Rive Gauche! The name looks somewhat the same, but it is not the right station! The RER C7, direction Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, stops at Versailles Chantiers (train called SARA or SLOM). Do not take RER C4 terminating at Versailles-Chantiers (train called CIME) as this takes a long tour of the southern suburbs of Paris before reaching Versailles. This train is very slow but Versailles Rive Gauche is the closest station to the Palace.

  • From Paris Montparnasse: Take Transilien N to Versailles Chantiers. A rare direct train will bring you to Versailles in 12 minutes, but the walk is not very nice from that station. Most trains call at Viroflay Rive Gauche where you can change for a C line train to Versailles Rive Gauche.

  • From Paris Saint Lazare: Take Transilien L to Versailles Rive Droite. You will reach Versailles in 33 minutes, with the opportunity to see (or visit) La Defense on the way. The walk from that station can be very pleasant.

By bus

Route 171 travels between Pont de Sèvres (at the end of Métro line 9) to Versailles (right in front of the palace). The bus journey from the station to the château takes approximately 30 min. A ticket t+ (Paris metro/bus ticket) is valid for the bus journey (but you can't use the same ticket for the bus and for the metro).

By bike

It's a nice bike ride from Paris via Bois de Bologne and Parc St Cloud.

For the Château, it's open daily except Mondays and 1st January, 1st May and 25 December. Check temporary closures as some parts of the palace are occasionally closed for renovation or for official purposes (the Château hosts some visits of foreign dignitaries as well as joint meetings of the two French assemblies).

The opening times for the palace are 9AM-5:30PM November-March, 9AM-6:30PM April-October. The grounds open earlier and close later.

One-Day Pass (all inclusive) Apr-Oct: €20 weekdays, €25 weekends; Nov-Mar €16; under-18s free. Château-only tickets also available : €13.50, museum pass holders and under-18s free. Marie-Antoinette's Estate and Grand Trianon-only tickets : Apr-Oct €9, Nov-Mar €5 ; under-18s free. The Grandes Eaux Musicales, week-ends and bank holidays only, Apr-Oct €8, under-18s €6, under-10s free.

The transportation is very easy and safe - there are a LOT of tourists who will be doing a similar trip. Keep an eye out for pick-pockets and never leave your stuff unattended.

For more information, have a good read of the Wikivoyage webpage on Versailles.

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haha. I love Wikivoyage's answer. Clearly the person biking there didn't do anything while they were there since it's a 3 hour bike ride (a fairly hilly one at that). 6 hours on a bike, factored with 51, 500 sq. meters of palace sounds like misery more then an effective way to get there. Route 171 takes off from the suburbs :-/ –  Stephen P. Feb 20 '13 at 22:07
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Well, the other day a user enquired about traveling from Brussels to Paris. And a person suggested he should walk. Roughly 300 kilometers ... That's a misery! –  PERSONA NON GRATA Feb 20 '13 at 22:44
    
@MarcelC - if you mean Rofl's answer, he did say walking wasn't really a useful option, rather than suggest it. –  Mark Mayo Feb 20 '13 at 22:47
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