After taking the RER train out to Versailles, we got there about ten minutes before nine when they were supposed to open. But we quickly realized that something was up… a quick check of the Versailles twitter showed that some of the museum workers were on strike? It was a little unclear, but they weren’t going to open until 10:30 if at all. We were definitely a bit disappointed. But we decided to wander around the town of Versailles and grab some coffee and another pastry, because of course we did. The town around Versailles is so cute and if we did it again I think I would try to stay there for a night and do Versailles for two days.
So we wandered back to the gate a little closer to ten and there was line starting to form so we hoped they would be opening soon and they did, a little after ten. We went in and got our tickets then through two security check points. The best part of being there early, and maybe because some people though with the strike they wouldn’t be open, there was a lot fewer people there then there might have otherwise been.
So we wandered around the palace first before making our way outside to the grounds. My favorite part of the palace that we saw was probably the hall of mirrors, I was looking forward to that and the Queens Apartments, but little did we know the queen’s apartments were actually closed for refurbishment which was pretty disappointing. But I still enjoyed our trip to Versailles the most out of pretty much everything we did in Paris.
The weather the day we were there was perfect, mid 60’s and the sky was gorgeous. The gardens were all still blooming but the leaves were turning on some of the trees as we wandered through the grounds. We stopped at one of the little shops to grab a quick lunch of a ham and cheese croissant then we headed out to see the Grand Trianon. Behind the Grand Trianon was my favorite garden we saw. It was full of beautiful flowers that seemed to grow wildly though I’m sure they were carefully planned. We wandered over to the Petit Trianon after that which I enjoyed seeing the different rooms there. The details in all the rooms at Versailles were mindblowingly gorgeous.
We had to skip seeing the Hamlet because we had walked so much and we still wanted to get back to the city to explore more. I definitely would have loved to spend two days at Versailles so you could truly experience all there was to see, perhaps renting bikes to ride. There were also golf carts to rent but those were definitely expensive.
I enjoyed perusing the gift shops and picked up a couple of cool things for friends and family. Would definitely have bought more if I’d had more space. I was in the middle of reading a series of three books set in Versailles on this trip and that definitely improved my enjoyment of Versailles, it made it easier to imagine the people that lived at Versailles so many years ago and also how disconnected they were from the rest of France.
I would highly recommend a trip to Versailles if you’re going to be in Paris. The gardens and grounds are free so if you’re short on money you can see them for free, though it costs money to see the inside of the Palace and of the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and the Hamlet. There are definitely ways to make it fun for kids especially if you get them interested by reading books or watching movies before hand.