Last Saturday, Katie and I took a day trip from Paris to Versailles, home of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (and you know, the entire French royal family while it existed). It was beautiful – you could picture her receiving (or rebuffing) people in those rooms, strolling through the hall of mirrors, dealing with the extreme dressing ceremonies each day. But the state rooms overall were exceptionally crowded. We preferred the gardens, where we watched dancing foundations along with ancient statues. Parfait!
This was my favorite part of Versailles, by far – the fountain at the end of the Grand Canal.
My overall thoughts on Versailles:
- If you do the palace tour, make sure to get the audio guide, but reconsider doing it at all and head straight to the gardens where you can actually enjoy your visit.
- Leave time for the many parts of the estate, which are very spread out but all amazing (like the Petit Trainon and the hamlet). And note that the tram will get you there without walking but it – and the line to get tickets – is excessively slow.
- Eat before you go or at one of the tourist shops on the way back to the train station – not a lot of good options at the palace.
Overall, it was an easy day trip from Paris and a beautiful, historic setting – I just wish we could have had it to ourselves!