A trip to the Palace of Versailles is a must when being in Paris. It’s only a short RER train ride away that takes about 30 minutes.
The best part?
IT’S FREE when you’re under 26 years old and staying in Paris for more than three months! All you have to have is your visa and I.D. with you and you’re all set!
To give you a little background: The Palace of Versailles was built in the late 17th century for the King of France, Louis XIV, who renovated his father, Louis XIII’s, brick and stone palace. Of course, Versailles is much more than this, including gardens, parks, and Marie Antoinette’s own estate. All I can say is I’ve been twice, both visits have lasted for over eight hours each, and I still haven’t seen everything!
The best part of the whole visit is that there is so much information available. Audio-guides are included in the entrance fee (or are free if you meet the requirements I mentioned above), so you can truly immerse yourself in the experience and try to picture yourself in the 17th century while you’re walking through the sumptuous halls of the palace of Versailles.
My friend Camille (who’s a fellow Husky studying abroad at Sciences Po University in Paris) and I had not even entered the Palace and we were already snapping pictures. Look at that gold and the intricate details that were worked into the façade of the building…and that’s just the outside!
I don’t want to give too much away…but if I could sum up my whole experience inside the Palace in one photo, I think this would be it. Beautiful paintings, extravagant ornaments, crystal chandeliers, and lots and lots of mirrors (this is the Hall of Mirrors after all). Fun fact: mirrors were incredibly expensive at this time, but the Palace of Versailles is full of them in order for natural light to fill the vast spaces in the interior as it reflects off of the mirrors.
This beautifully ornate table is where the king and queen used to have their supper around 10pm, observed by the public. It seemed as if they had no private life! The queen was even observed as she woke up and dressed!
When you step outside, you are encountered by miles and miles of beautiful and immaculate nature. This, in my opinion, is what makes the visit worth it the most. Check out the next pictures for some examples of what I’m talking about…
One of Marie Antoinette’s many gardens…
And Camille (fellow Husky and friend) and a lovely sculpture relaxing outside the Palace.
Our visit ended with a lovely picnic next to a lake that stretches throughout the estate. There are many options for food here in case you get hungry or thirsty after all the walking you’ll do and there are also many activities to partake in, such as biking and boating, which might be something to try next time!
À la prochaine (’til next time!)!