Versailles, a picture-perfect town.
The royal town of Versailles is definitely the heart of France. World-renowned for its monuments, and gardens, this suburb welcomes more than 10 million tourists per year. Built by Louis the 14th, Versailles is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here is your complete guide to this imperial epicenter.
HOW TO GET THERE
Located at 17 km from Paris, Versailles is accessible by train or by car. The quickest solution is taking public transportation.
There are three train stations in Versailles: Rive Droite, Rive Gauche, and Chantiers. To reach the castle, take the RER C direction Versailles Rive gauche chateau. From Paris Saint-Lazare, the line L, passing by La Défense, will serve Versailles Rive Droite. Finally, from La Défense, the line U, serves the train station Chantiers. From these train stations, everything can be done by foot.
By car, Paris-Versailles is approximately a 40-minute ride, depending on traffic, however, we encourage taking public transports.
Versailles in itself is a destination. Just strolling around the streets, past the Notre-Dame market, the museums, and the cathedrals; Versailles is nothing other than a work of art. Here is our list of suggestions of the top three things you must do!
Château de Versailles
Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles
This is obvious! The Palace of Versailles is one of the most coveted destinations in the world. It is a difficult job to describe this monument as it is the most beautiful, massive, and fascinating chateau of all time. We recommend visiting it with the group guided tour which can only enhance your experience. Nevertheless, if you wish to visit it independently, we suggest looking at the chateau’s website to prepare your trip.
The chateau of Versailles is a perfect symbol of 17th century French art. Its structure retraces the history of architecture from the 17th to the 18th century. With its famous rooms, such as: La Galerie des Glaces, the royal apartments, the royal Opera, and many more. This chateau is truly a witness to French history. Its garden – designed by André Le Nôtre – is adorned with statues, fountains, canals, and perfectly trimmed trees. It is the perfect spot to walk around or have a picnic! If you are strolling in the park, do not forget to visit the Little Trianon, the Queen’s Hamlet, and the Grand Trianon. If you have the chance to come between June 12th and September 18th2021, do not miss “Les Grandes Eaux Noctures” every Saturday night. The gardens and the chateau lit up with lights and fireworks while the fountains dance to baroque music.
Le Musée Lambinet
54, Boulevard de la reine, 78000 Versailles
This former 18th century hôtel particulier – or private mansion – is located in the center of Versailles, and retraces this town’s history. Built under the rule of Louis the 15th, the mansion was occupied by the Lambinet family until 1929. In 1932, the private hotel was officially converted into a museum where it houses an impressive collection of Renaissance art, including: paintings, sculptures, furniture…etc. This mansion constitutes a true “collector’s museum.” On the first floor, there is a perfect representation of an 18th century apartment, and the third floor is dedicated to the town’s history, and the French Revolution. The impressive edifice is brightened by its French garden, and colorful flowers.
Hameau de la Reine (The Queen’s Hamlet)
78000 Versailles, France
The Queen’s Hamlet is an idyllic place located in the gardens of the Trianon. Queen Marie-Antoinette decided to create this spot in 1793, and commissioned the architect, Richard Mique. The Queen’s Hamlet is composed of 10 different little cottages around the lake. We cannot define the architectural design of the cottages, however, they have an undeniable “English” charm. There are three distinct areas: the first was intended for the Queen’s enjoyment, such as: her home, the pool table, the boudoir…etc. The second was dedicated to agriculture exploitation with the barn, and the dairy. Finally, the animal farms are in the third section. Everything is still in its place today, and while the kids admire the animals, you can have a picnic in the garden. Queen Marie-Antoinette wanted it to be a place of reception, as well as a safe haven for children.
Even though there are many different restaurants in Versailles, the best spot is still the garden of the chateau. The ideal place to have a picnic is near the canal. You can even rent a rowboat, and have a serene afternoon on the water.
20 Rue Baillet Reviron, 78000 Versailles
This is a must-do if you are in Versailles! It is an expensive restaurant, however, it plunges you directly into an 18th century setting. You can enjoy a palatable meal, while a play in three acts is performed live for your own enjoyment! The waiters are in historical costumes, made by local seamstresses. The baroque décor, the music, and the personnel; all contribute to making it an unforgettable soirée. ReminiSens certainly offers you a voyage back in time so you can have a glimpse of 18th century Versailles. The dishes are inspired by 17th and 18th century recipes. There are three menus around three various themes (fish, meat, or vegetables.) You can enjoy plates, such as: a spring vegetable ravioli, a fillet of sea bream with a pumpkin cream, conchiglionis (pasta) stuffed with Rabbit Compote, seared duck breast with celery mousseline…etc. Come and dine like a King at ReminiSense! We promise a memorable evening!
The 11 Bistro
10 Rue de Satory, 78000 Versailles
This chic bistro is located in the heart of Versailles. Chef Lavergne–Morazzani along with his sous-chef, offer us a diverse and modern cuisine with dishes, such as: codfish, hake with lentils and fennel, blood sausage, mussels…etc. All of their products are local as more than 70% of their vegetables come from their own garden, and the meat as well as the fish are sustainably farmed. To accompany their delicious dishes, the 11 Bistro has a great selection of wines. In the pedestrian street leading to the palace, you will feel at ease in this contemporary bistro, which mixes light wood, and rough concrete, covered with a dark blue paint. We encourage you to discover this restaurant, which offers a variety of dishes at very reasonable price points!
La Crêperie du Marché
15 Rue Ducis, 78000 Versailles
This crêperie is a warm, friendly, and welcoming place. If you love crepes (sweet or salty,) this is for you! Located on La Place du Marché, near the shops and the market, it is the most animated spot in Versailles. Enjoy home-made crepes on the restaurant’s outdoor, and animated terrace on a sunny day. The crêperie welcomes you for lunch, dinner, and even for a snack in the afternoon. The restaurant has an extensive menu since it has more than 30 salted crepes, and more than 20 sweet ones. You will have a hard time choosing! The crepes are copious but well-garnished with high-quality products. It is the perfect place to meet your friends or your family for a simple yet excellent meal!
The Trianon Palace
1 Boulevard de la Reine, 78000 Versailles
The Trianon Palace mixes elegance and modernism. Situated at a two-minute walk from the gates of the chateau, this hotel fully embodies the word “luxury.” Set in a Neo-classical building, the Trianon Palace is composed of 85 rooms and 15 lavish suites. Depending on which room you stay in, you can have a remarkable view of the chateau and its gardens. We guarantee you will be charmed the minute you walk past the front door. Apart from its beautiful design – dating back to 1910 – the hotel is surrounded by a three-hectare park. Even though you are in the middle of the town, tranquillity will envelop you. The Palace also offers a “Gordon Ramsay” one-star restaurant, a Guerlain spa with pool, sauna, hammam, a fitness room, two tennis courts, as well as numerous bars, and restaurants. Everything you deserve and expect when staying in a five-star hotel.
Hotel Le Louis Versailles Château
2 Bis Avenue de Paris, 78000 Versailles
This charming four-star hotel is royally located in front of the chateau. The two main neighborhoods of Versailles encircle this hotel: Notre-Dame, where you can discover the local market, its cathedral, shops, and the more historical district of Saint-Louis. In this area, explore the antique shops, and historical monuments. The great thing is that you won’t even need a car, as everything can be done by foot or bicycle. The interior and exterior architecture of the hotel will blow you away. It is the ideal place to come and unwind! Relax at the sauna, work out in the fitness room, eat with a view in the Alcôve restaurant, decompress at the lounge bar, and rest in one of 152 rooms!
Bed and Breakfast: Maison Prairie Bonheur
6 Chemin des Patissiaux, 78114 Magny-les-Hameaux
The bed-and-breakfast Maison Prairie Bonheur, literally translates to Meadow Happiness House. It is located at 8 km of Versailles, set in a secluded spot in the middle of nature. The setting radiates bliss and tranquility. You can visit Versailles or Paris all day, and then come back to this little paradise to relax. For athletes, the Maison Prairie Bonheur offers a list of activities, such as: hiking, horseback riding, golf, yoga, and many more. The staff can even lend you some materials, and provide you with information. The rooms are spacious and come with their own garden salon to contemplate nature. You will find it hard to believe that this sanctuary is only at 25 km of Paris!