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guided tour of versailles or on your own?

New York
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guided tour of versailles or on your own?

I'm going to be in Paris for the first time for 3.5 days and think I want to see Versailles. Anyone recommend a guided tour or s/d we do it on our own?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

Personally, I would go on your own. You can buy combined RER rail and entrance tickets from stations in Paris for about 22 Euros and I believe that will include an audio tour. We just read our guide books and then went around on our own with no trouble.

The official website should have more information although you might only be able to get this information in French

http://www.chateauversailles.fr/

Stavanger, Norway
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2. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

Hi

If you have a good guidebook you can check it out on your own. We went there in April and there is a bit of construction work going on just so that you are aware of that. We did go for a guided tour of the private apartments of Louis XV/XVI and it was nice to see more of the palace. This also gives you the chance of skipping the line when it comes to getting into the palace :-) I have a long trip report that I can give you access to if you get in touch with me on gardkarlsen@hotmail.com . Have a great trip to Paris :-)

Regards

Gard

Aoraki Mount Cook...
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3. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

Make sure that you see the grounds and Trianon's as well the Chateau.

Marie Antoinette's Hamlet is also worth seeing - the goat certainly has attitude!

New York
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4. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

Where is Marie Antoinette's Hamlet?

New York
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5. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

If I had 3 1/2 days in Paris, Versailles would not be at the top of my list. You get a pretty good impression of the way the upper crust lived at the Louvre, plus the world's best art collection. It is easy to get to Versailles on the RER, though. If you go, go early, don't go on a weekend, and do get the combination ticket. Not only do you see more, but you bypass the lines which can be bad. Avoid the cafeteria there at all costs. It's the worst food I ever had in France and some of the worst food anywhere. I understand there are some decent places to eat in the town nearby.

Aoraki Mount Cook...
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6. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

Marie Antoinette's Hamlet is near the Trianon's

Have a look at the estate orientation map - it is shown as the Queen's Hamlet.

www.chateauversailles.fr/en/550_Download.php

Loire Valley
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7. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

Getting to Versailles by public transport is no big deal - there are 2 stations, and either will suit your purpose.

When you are there you will have the choiuce between an audio guide and a guided walk. Having just seen a program on TV about the training the guides at Versailles go through, I would take a guided walk every time.

To work as a guide at Versailles, you have to have a Masters degree in Art History, and an additional speciality. The guides are auditioned by a panel of experts and then undergo further on the job training.

The difference between the audio guides and the Guided wals is that the audio guide will tell you what you are looking st, the guided walk you will find out why, and why you should be impressed.

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

I would definitely go on the Fat Tire Bike Tour of Versailles. My family and I did this last summer and it was one of our best excursions. You are able to ride a bike all around the grounds and see the beautiful gardens and the house where Marie Antoinette escaped to (she got tired of the Palace!)...The office for this tour company is very conveniently located in Paris..Once you pick out your bike you will go on a guided tour with about 15 other people and ride to the train station. If anyone had told me I would be riding a bike down the busy streets of Paris I would never have believed it..It was such a great feeling and I felt safe the entire time (these guides are amazing!)..Anyway, you then get on the train with you bike and take the train to the town of Versailles, then go to an outdoor market to buy your picnic lunch of baquette, cheese, wine, fruit, etc. and then head off again to Versailles...Instead of just going on a castle tour you really feel like you are special riding all around the grounds of the castle..then you stop for a relaxing picnic lunch and then tour the castle..It was wonderful! If interested, go to www.fattirebiketoursparis.com..ENJOY!!

Northern California
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9. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

For Marie-Antoinette's "hamlet," watch for signs to Le Hameau.

I agree with others that taking a guided tour at Versailles, unless it's one of the special ones, isn't necessary. A guide to the Palace and perhaps an audioguide is all you need to enjoy the experience.

Kentucky
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10. Re: guided tour of versailles or on your own?

While a guided tour at Versailles isn't strictly necessary, I think you would get your extra value out of it as long as you are there...plan on spending a day there if you can so you can enjoy the beautiful park and see the Trianons and Le Hameau....