Come to visit the magnificent palace and stay to explore the historic town, whose elegant museums and cultural hotspots are just as fascinating.
Versailles is synonymous with the extravagant gilded palace bearing its name. Take the time to explore the rest of this interesting town.
Before the palace was built, Versailles was an ordinary small French village. As work got underway on the royal abode in the 17th century, the nearby town was given a makeover to mirror the palace’s opulent style. The old village was demolished to make room for the Notre-Dame and Saint-Louis districts, where large mansions and grand churches were installed.
Make your way through the stately Notre-Dame district, built at the order of Louis XIV. Highlights include the Théâtre Montansier, the Church of Notre-Dame and the Musée Lambinet. Look for the King's stables, home to the Academy of Equestrian Art and a carriage museum that houses the ostentatious royal carriages of the Versailles monarchs. While here, visit the bustling Notre-Dame Market complex to find fresh produce and snacks.
Don’t leave without visiting the Palace of Versailles. This glittering architectural masterpiece is the town’s star attraction. Next to the palace entrance lies La Cour des Senteurs, a courtyard lined with four perfume boutiques and a museum dedicated to the history of perfumery in Versailles. Step into nearby Potager du Roi, a famous garden that once grew produce for the royal kitchen. Walk along the lawns past fruits and vegetables cultivated using traditional techniques.
Before you visit, check the event listings at l’Opéra Royal de Versailles and book a ticket to see an opera production. This stunning Baroque venue was originally built to celebrate the wedding of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.
Versailles is located about 13 miles (21 kilometers) outside Paris. Use a connecting train from Paris to Versailles Rive Gauche station or Versailles Rive Droite station. Both stations are a 15-minute walk from the palace. The palace is closed on Mondays and during major holidays. But even without the palace, there’s still enough here to give you a taste of the royal high life.