Photo Essay: Versailles

Versailles in pictures – strolling through the majestic gardens pausing to admire the beautiful fountains, visiting the Trianon, Marie-Antoinette’s “little” estate and touring the Palace.    A Family Trip to Versailles | ZagLeftIn one word, Versailles is extraordinary.  It’s the king of all palaces both in size as well as exquisiteness.  Once the hunting lodge of Louis XIII, Versailles was enlarged by his son, Louis XIV who added the Grand Apartments of the King and Queen which also holds the beautiful Hall of Mirrors.  Versailles, however, was not only the residence of the king, but at one time, it was also the seat of France’s government.

Versailles | ZagLeftLast month, my husband and I took our two youngest children on a vacation to Paris.  We flew into London, spent a few days there, took the Eurostar to Paris for the weekend, then resumed our visit in London.

Exploring Versailles - ZagLeftVersailles is a simple train ride from Paris – a 30 minute, easy ride into the Versailles Rive Gauche station.  We found this to be the easiest, most direct way to get there.  Although there are several ways to reach Versailles, we took the RER C line which arrives at the Versailles Rive Gauche station from the Saint-Michel and the Champ de Mars stations.  From the station, it is about a 10-minute walk to the Palace.

Versailles - A Photo Essay | ZagLeftYou can purchase your tickets to tour Versailles at the Palace as well as at the Versailles Tourist Office which is located just steps away from the entrance to Versailles.  We purchased ours at the tourist office because the crowds were heavy on the day we arrived and we thought it might be a shorter wait for tickets.

We arrived mid-morning and weren’t sure of restaurant options located within Versailles so we strolled down to Passage de la Geole, a cobblestone alley lined with quaint shops and cafes.  There is an open-air market on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday that is well-known throughout the region.  Fresh fruit and vegetables from the palace’s kitchen gardens can be purchased on market days and there are many cafe’s from which to purchase food and drinks.

Market near Versailles - ZagLeft

After lunch, we made our way back to the Palace for our tour.

Versailles - ZagLeft

A Tour of Versailles - ZagLeft

Since Versailles was crowded with tourists, we explored the gardens first which are peaceful and beautiful.  We allowed time to stroll and enjoy the walk towards the Petit Trianon and Hameau.

The Gardens of Versailles - ZagLeft

Walking in Versailles - ZagLeft

The Fountains in Versailles - ZagLeft

The beautiful fountains in Versailles - ZagLeft

About a mile away from the Palace lay the storybook village, Hameau de la Reine, Marie-Antoinette’s Estate whose architecture was inspired by the simple life of peasants.   Complete with a water-mill, thatched-roof houses and vegetable plots, this farm village provided a much needed escape for Marie-Antoinette.  This was an actual working farm with animals and servants.

Visiting Marie Antoinette's Estate at Versailles | ZagLeft

Hameau de la Reine - Versailles | ZagLeft

Marie Antoinette's Village at Versailles | ZagLeft

On our way back to the palace, we stopped at a cafe called Angelina located in the Petit Trianon.  This restaurant serves sweet selections as well as light lunch offerings and coffee.

Angelina Restaurant in Versailles for pastries and coffee | ZagLeft

Angelina Restaurant in Versailles for coffee and pastries | ZagLeft

After our cappuccino break, we strolled past beautiful fountains along the way.  From April to October, classical music fills the gardens and the fountains are turned on to the rhythm of the music.  The fountains are turned on most weekends as well as a few other days during the week. Check the Versailles website for specific dates and times.

The gardens and fountains of Versailles | ZagLeft

Inside the Palace, the Hall of Mirrors is truly magnificent.  Back in the time of Louis XIV, orange trees were set in silver pots and nighttime galas were illuminated by 3,000 candles whose reflections in the mirrors illuminated the room.

The Hall of Mirrors - Versailles | ZagLeft

The Chapel…

The Chapel in Versailles | ZagLeft

Gorgeous ceilings in Versailles - ZagLeft

The Chapel in Versailles |

More from inside Versailles…

Inside Versailles - a photo essay | ZagLeft

Versailles - A Photo Essay |

Versailles | ZagLeft

A few travel tips if you’re planning a visit to Versailles…

*  Although there are many ticket options, in my opinion, the best ticket is called “The Passport” or “One-Day Ticket” which includes admission to the Palace, the Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate.  It also includes the Musical Gardens Show (from April to October) and any exhibitions.

*  There are several places to eat within Versailles as well as numerous bathroom facilities.

*  Versailles is free to visitors on the first Sunday of every month from November to March.

*  The distance from the Palace to the Trianons is more than a mile.  You can walk the distance if you’d like or you can take the train which shuttles visitors back and forth between both places.  You can check their website for ticket prices.

More to come soon!  Next we visit the Eiffel Tower and walk along the Seine to the Arc de Triomphe, take the Eurostar back to London and take a ride on the London Eye.

Stay tuned and thank you for reading.  If you want to make sure to see all of our updates, please subscribe to never miss a post!

Other posts in our London/Paris travel series…

We Made It To England!  Our First Two Days

London Travel | ZagLeft

Visiting The Tower Of London

Visiting the Tower of London | ZagLeft

The Eurostar From London and Day 1 In Paris

Notre Dame from the Seine | ZagLeft

Knickerbocker Glory Recipe 

10 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Versailles”

  1. What an amazing place to visit! I went to Paris nearly 14 years ago, but am bummed that we didn’t go to Versailles now. I guess I’m due for another trip!

    1. Thanks so much, Kimberly. I hope you have to chance to visit Versailles again. I had visited when I was much younger too and I found it to be even more beautiful than I remembered.

    1. Thanks, Carrie. It was certainly an amazing trip. I think I could have spent another day just seeing everything at Versailles. I agree, the village farm was probably my favorite area, it was magical.

  2. I loved reading this and poring over all your photos. We rented an apartment in Paris for 10 days last summer and took a day trip to Versailles. It’s an extraordinary property. We did not dine there so loved seeing your shots! We are also toying to going to London this summer so I’ve bookmarked this to investigate the Eurostar more!

    1. Thank you, Toni. I would love to rent an apartment in Paris the next time we visit. It sounds like the perfect way to stay, especially when traveling with children. The Eurostar was a fantastic experience – it was quick and easy and we were in Paris in no time.

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