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All reviews audio guide in advance rer c security line long queue buy tickets museum pass arrive early skip the line train station central paris ticket office golf cart marie antoinette's estate fountain show waiting in line tour group
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Reviewed May 21, 2007

I could hardly sleep the night before I visited the Chateau, being a history buff. And while it was thrilling, there are many things I'd do differently next time.

1. Do not go on a Saturday. I had no choice, due to the kind folks I was staying with, but it was so crowded I could barely see anything. Later in the day it cleared out some and was better. So if you must go on a busy day, go in the later afternoon.

2. Don't take a guided tour by anyone other than the chateau. And even then...our English speaking guide didn't have really good English, and she was obviously in a rush to get us out of there. I would recommend perhaps buying your ticket through them and then using a Rick Steves ipod download. Just use the ticket to get in, you'll lose the tour guide, put the ipod in, and go through at your own pace. You save the queue for the ticket that way, and have your own free audio guide.

3. The gardens are nice, but not worth killing your feet for, for hours. Plan to do a litle of them. They are very much the same, IMHO, and you get your fill quickly.

Enjoy. For people who hated Marie Antoinette she sure is everywhere here, now. (Gift Shops, Hameau, etc.)

19  Thank SimplyAmerican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2007

A must do for anyone with 3 or more days in Paris.
Simply put... unbelievable. You know why the peasants were so upset with the Louis' when you see Versailles.

For trip to Versailles, very easy to use the RER (regional train) from downtown Paris (connect like the Metro) take the C line to the end of the line 30 minutes from Musee D'Orsay station and it's a 5 minute walk to the Chateau.
For a BIG TIME SAVER and money saver... At the station they have a deal that gets roundtrip train ticket and chateau ticket. (It also gets you admission to both Trianons and Hamlet, usually extra, and extra sections in the chateau, also get into special entrance. Otherwise the ticket line looked to be 1-2 HOURS long. And you save a bunch.

41  Thank cd1123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2007

Chateau Versailles is a "must see" - one of the worlds greatest palaces set in extensive gardens decorated with elaborate fountains. However the people in charge of Chateau Versailles don't seem to have realised this, and as a result the attraction really cannot cope with the number of people trying to visit.

The most important thing I think I must point out is that the normal queueing time to get into the Chateau is about 3 hours.

We were delayed arriving due to scheduled engineering works on the recommended C5 route (hint: Check in advance for engineering works if possible; there is an alternative route from Monparnasse). In true French fashion they thought a small text-only notice in the RER station informing us of this - but not of alternative routes - would be adequate. Naturally the train driver did not know anything about this when asked (or perhaps we all used the wrong preposition, being tourists), so insisted it was OK, yet deposited us without warning two stops later. One more train. One very slow replacement bus service. One more train. A long walk. Considering nobody on the replacement bus was going anywhere else than Chateau Versailles, surely something more pragmatic could have been arranged. Not in France. Anyway, first rant over, we arrived.

After deciding that three hours in a queue is not our idea of fun (we had a seven year old with us), we decided to cut our journey to just the gardens. There was still a (far shorter) queue, but even with maybe fifteen people in front of us, it still took 45 minutes to get tickets. To add insult to injury the gates past each of the ticket offices were pointlessly shut, which meant everybody having to fight through the rest of the queue to find an open entrance.

Onto the gardens - the fountains were in full flow - and very nice they were. Mind you it seems the administration thinks that they could be improved further with some "son et lumiere", so chamber music was piped out at about 200 decibels throughout the whole gardens, killing any sense of peace. The actual planting is fenced off with green trellis to protect it as there are so may tourists in the gardens it's very likely people would trample the plants to get past each other. We eventually found a stretch of lawn to walk, off the beaten track that didn't have too many other people, but still the distorted racket of chamer music played too loudly followed us.

All this while holding desparately onto our bladders, as the queue for any form of lavatory was an hour.

I come from the UK, and have fond memories of relaxed family Sunday afternoon saunters around stately homes, Versailles is a diametrically opposite experience. Unless crowds, queues and piped music excite you, I can't recommend Versailles.

14  Thank AndyClap_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2007

We took the RER C to versailles as a side trip on our paris vacation I would recommend anyone visting paris to view this beautiful masion this was one of my favorite attractions the people were so nice to us and took us on a private tour of the buildings and the grounds every room you entered was absolutely breathtaking this was a wonderful experience and a cant miss attraction thank you versailles for welcoming americans with open arms and giving me the chance to view this beautiful masion.

3  Thank zeetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2007

THE most beautiful palace and THE most beautiful gardens I believe in Europe. The gardens are every bit as impressive as the palace, maybe more so. We were there in March '06 and the paintings on the ceilings rival the Sistine Chapel,the desk where the Treaty was signed first acknowledging the US as a country was amazing and the clock that was built in the 1700s and was set to tell time for 999 years is spectacular (and still tells the right date though I guess the hands were broken off during the Revolution. The opera house was something to behold as is the chapel and though we took a golf cart to see the grounds and ate at a very good restaurant by the lake we did not have near enough time. I must go back to see the fountains as I'm told they are a sight to behold and to see the coach house with the guilded carriage, to see the Temple of LOve and the statues in the garden and canoe on the lake. Ahhh perhaps someday..I think to absorb it all one needs a full 3 days ...ps excellent gift shops where I bought some chocolates with a pear spread on top that were out of this world good that used to be favorites of Marie Antionette,,,recommend paying extra for a tour guide as it made all the difference and they know shortcuts and interesting facts

8  Thank NGrandquis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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