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Versailles - beware !

london
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Versailles - beware !

I was advised by my guide book and other sources to buy a pre paid ticket before arriving to avoid having to queue. On getting there I found there was only ONE queue for everyone, regardless of whether you had a pre paid ticket or not. The other queue was for groups.

I ended up queuing for 2 1/2 hours to get in, despite arriving early, knowing it was going to be a busy attraction.

There was only one member of staff outside directing people and answering questions and a lot of people were furious at this disorganised way of doing things as they had pre paid tickets too. Even before getting into the main courtyard I had to queue for 1/2 hour as there were only three guards checking bags to get through the security point.

It was such a crazy disorganised way of doing things with no barriers up and relying on people to be honest and not just squeeze into the queue.

Also if travelling by train to get there make sure you get a return ticket because trying to buy a ticket from Versailles station to return to Paris reminded me of the boat evacuation scene in Tom Cruise's War of the Worlds. It was every man, or woman for themselves !

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Yvelines, France
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1. Re: Versailles - beware !

We had the same experience two years ago. I don't think they will change anything. If they move the queue faster it will be even busier inside I guess.

The train station was horrible, we left and had some food first before trying again.

2. Re: Versailles - beware !

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Victoria, Canada
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3. Re: Versailles - beware !

Theee are two lines . One for tickets , so folks without prepaid tickets have to get in that line first , THEN , everyone has to get in the line for security . Every post on Versailles tells people to go early , before opening , as there is NO avoiding that line, unless you prebook a Kings Apartment tour , which has a timed entry .

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Versailles
Versailles
Yvelines, France
Paris, France
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4. Re: Versailles - beware !

Their website has special instructions for those with advance tickets - did you follow them?

chateauversailles.fr/preparer-ma-visite/tout…

There's also a warning message on their website stating that Dec 27-31 are exceptionally busy days.

Antibes, France
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5. Re: Versailles - beware !

When were you there Marypoppins?

Ed

Paris, France
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6. Re: Versailles - beware !

The situation at Versailles has been dire for a long time in the summer peak season and school vacations. Who would have thought that the capacity of such a huge place would be exceeded by the hordes of visitors... but it often is. A long wait outside often means that there are just too many people inside. Nothing can be done about that except to impose a reservation system.

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Versailles
Versailles
Yvelines, France
Paris
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7. Re: Versailles - beware !

This is why I haven't visited the Chateau de Versailles in about 10 years. The town itself is worth a visit, but I avoid the chateau.

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Versailles
Versailles
Yvelines, France
Austin, Texas
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8. Re: Versailles - beware !

We were there in November. There was a line to get in for once the tickets were purchased when we were there. It was disorganized when we entered, as we were first inside and all the workers had not opened the proper doors or placed the directional signs correctly. We arrived by 8:30 a.m. (It was an EARLY morning), but literally had the Hall of Morrors to ourselves.

Every guidebook I read emphasized the importance of the return ticket being purchased upon departure from Paris.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Versailles - beware !

Tickets and passes don't let you skip the security line; I am not sure where you got the idea that you wouldln't be in a long long queue with pre-paid tickets. The only way to skip that line is to buy the King's Apartments tour which uses a different door and bypasses the huge line.

This is kind of common knowledge if you google a bit.

Jakarta, Indonesia
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10. Re: Versailles - beware !

Rick Steves on youtube advised people to come in the afternoon, then theres no queue