Seeing Versailles

We are signed up for this great trip in Spring 2025. Info says "guests arriving early may enjoy a self-guided visit to Versailles (Subject to availability)". I know this was available on the tour some years ago, but I have two questions. One, does this wording imply no charge, but more importantly, we're concerned about "subject to availability ". We'd like a bit more certainty, even if we have to purchase up front before we go.


  • Options

    You're correct that there is no charge and yes some people haven't gotten it if the concierge at the hotel was unable to get a time slot. The only way to guarantee it is to purchase your own tickets ahead of time.

    For the "self-guided visit" there is an audio guide phone app you can download for free. I recommend doing this at home using your own wifi. My husband had to use the hotel's wife which was slower and not as secure. Don't forget ear buds.

    What happens at Versailles is very dependent upon the time of year and the day of the week you go i.e. summer weekends are the busiest. Part of that is obviously summer vacationers but also weekends are when the fountains in the garden are on and/or music is playing. Also for first timers - Versailles is huge. It isn't just the main chateau. We've been twice on two different Tauck tours - total of 3 days to see it and still haven't seen everything. I recommend spending some time reading the info on the official website to get an idea of the different sights to see. If possible, give yourself more than one extra day. The hotel is right next to the park (Queens Gate) so it's easy to get to everything though often a long walk. https://en.chateauversailles.fr/

  • Options
    edited November 2023

    What you get is access to the Estate and a ticket for a timed entry to the main Palace from the hotel concierge. I've never heard of anyone not getting a ticket due to non-availability. The mob of tourists (those with timed entry and those attempting to buy tickets) marshal in the large courtyard at the rear of the palace. With a timed ticket you enter at the designated time. Though you can roam throughout the Palace, not all areas are open, and you can follow your own path, however if it is busy the crowds cause you to meander through in one direction. While it costs more there are much better options, especially if you will be there two days early.

    Check out older forum posts about Versailles, and trip reports by me ( https://forums.tauck.com/discussion/16935/bonjour-mes-amis-planning-considerations-and-trip-report/p1 ), franlovestravel, Claudia Sails and others. Versailles is huge and there is a lot more to see than just the Palace (the Trianon Estate, Trianon Palace, the Fountains, Gardens, Petit Trianon, Queen's Hamlet, etc., etc.

    Check out the interactive Versailles website https://en.chateauversailles.fr/

  • Options

    Claudia and Alan, thank you both for that info. I meant we were going Spring 2024 😄 Anyway, I guess I'd be inclined to purchase tickets here before we leave.

  • Options

    We got an annual pass- only slightly more expensive, but gets you a year's worth of unlimited, any-time entry to all areas of the Estate, Palace and Trianon Estate/palaces, plus discounts to everything else including guided behind the scenes tours (e.g. Kings Apartments). All ordered via website. We bought tickets ahead of time for non-Tauck Paris attractions- Saint Chapelle, Conciergerie, Louvre, Rodan Museum, Eiffel Tower- all of which are available at different times weeks and months prior to the date of visit- takes some research!

  • Options

    The museum in Paris that seldom gets mentioned is the Marmottan. It was once a hunting lodge but it has the largest collection of Monet anywhere. It’s a bit out of the way, so we found it to be not over run with tourists. I am easily ‘museumed-out’ but I liked the Marmottan a lot.

  • Options

    the Marmottan is our favorite museum and Monet is our favorite artist so we always try to go there. It is a bit out of the way but the Metro and/or buses are fun and easy ways to get there. Another fun place to visit is VilleNeuve. It is a medieval fortress village and located at the last stop of one of the Metro lines. The short walk from the train to the village is also an interesting place to visit.

  • Options

    For our Rendezvous on the Seine cruise this coming June, the Marmottan is one of the museums Tauck will give us tickets to on day 2.

  • Options

    First - you'll love the Normandy, Brittany and Loire Valley Tauck tour - it is absolutely stellar. Here's what we did for Versailles last year. We flew in a day early, arriving in Paris about 9 am the day BEFORE our tour started. Because we certainly weren't going to miss Versailles because of "availability", we purchased tickets for the earliest time slot (9 am I think) for the day our tour started. Then, when we arrived at the hotel the day before, we asked about same-day free tickets and were able to obtain them from the hotel concierge. We used the free tickets that day to work out the kinks of overseas travel, seeing the grounds and the lesser part of the palace. Then - the next morning using our purchased tickets (we were the first in line) we headed straight for the Hall of Mirrors, before everyone else. It was stunning to see with very few tourists in the room. The palace is big enough to split into two visits if you can

  • Options

    I thank all of you for your helpful input

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file