Day trip to Chateau de Versailles
This summer we went on a road trip to France. We started in Paris and this was mine and my husband’s third time in this beautiful city. We have seen much different iconic stuff in Paris before and now we wanted to spend some time in Chateau de Versailles. I/we had planned several stops during our road trip, and since I love French history I wanted to take a detour from Paris to Versailles. My husband needed some convincing as he had never even heard of the place. (here you can imagine me rolling my eyes).
Paris to Versailles – getting there
You can do guided tours to Versailles, but we are rebels and wanted to do our own thing (I hope you get the sarcasm).
We rented a car which we had to pick up at the airport. Since there is no point bringing a car to Paris and spending lots of time getting in and out of the city because of the traffic, we picked up our car the next day at the airport. I can recommend that unless you don’t mind wasting your time in traffic queues. It takes about 40 min getting to Versailles by car. You should really try to get there early as the parking lot and the Palace get crowded quickly.
Skip the line tickets for Palace of Versailles
I did some research in advanced and we got the tickets to the Chateau ONLINE before we left Norway. We didn’t want to spend the few hours we had for exploring to stand in the ticket line. When we arrived I was glad we had the tickets already as the place was crowded, naturally, and it was +30C. As proud as I was (for being so smart) we marched straight to the entrance on the side, as it was stated on the tickets, past the snake formed long queue of people who were not as smart as me, or just were lazy to get their tickets in advance, and asked personnel if we could go in because we had pre-purchased the tickets. The man looked at me at said that I had to wait in line.
Me – “What line?
The man – “You see this long queue of approximately 200 m? That line”
Well, thank you, for bringing me back to earth – I am obviously not as smart as I thought.
Disappointed as we were, I thought – I came here to see Chateau de Versailles, so I can’t give up yet. We snuck in the line just 5 meters in front of the entrance! A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right?
Inside the Chateau
Through the security gates and into the front yard – again the line to get into the main building. What’s up with everybody wanting to see the same stuff as me?? We decided to explore the left side of the Chateau (the one just behind the man in a blue jacket you see in the shot above). There was a hall with paintings of French battles so we thought that it was probably very appropriate and fun for our 12 yo (I am being ironic here – good parenting). Through the hall and eventually out into the beautiful and famous gardens of Chateau de Versailles.
Chateau de Versailles Gardens
Chateau de Versailles Gardens are very nice and we even had the ticket for fountain show. I thought again “It was so clever to go straight to the gardens, so we at least can see the show”. I, of course, forgot to check when the show was – it is only at specific times even though it is quite often. We were, of course, somewhere in between hours, so didn’t get to see that… We wandered out in the gardens for 10-15 min and went back to explore the rest of the Chateau.
And suddenly we were OUTSIDE Chateau de Versailles and in front of the line, we sneaked in. The story is we didn’t get to see Chateau de Versailles 🙁
I was so disappointed, naturally. My third time in Paris and despite the planning, I still got to see neither Chateau de Versailles nor its Gardens. The little I have seen was beautiful and if you are a history and architecture lover like me this famous landmark is a must.
Heads up – the Chateau is under a reconstruction so you won’t be able to see everything.
I believe in Karma and we all know what they say about it. The moral is – I will never snick in again (although they also say “never say never”, or was it Justin Bieber?” Anyway, lesson learned for now!!
However, despite the immediate disappointed I now can’t think of this story without a smile on my face. Memories were made and that’s the most important thing.
So, I know it was not nice to do to snick in before all the people standing in line with the skip the line tickets, and I am sorry for that. But what is the point of prepurchasing “skip the line” if anyone can do that. They should really limit the number of “first in line” tickets.
Anyway, Chateau de Versailles – I will be back to explore you, but probably offseason.