How to get by at Versailles!

So on a cool rainy day in my neck of the woods, time to take a look at my blog and do updates of older posts. I like to update this one on how to get by at Versailles! How to see Versailles with quicker entry and less crowds? I mean less crowds because to the world most visited castle , easy visit are history indeed. Let me tell you a bit more on the subject.

I have read many blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc of people telling about how difficult is to get to Versailles past its lines and a even more crowded place. Well, I admit do not have the magic formula but after living for about 9 years in the city, been friends of the palace/museum since 2004 ,and visited upteen times even taken folks there as touring, believe I can have my five cents worth on the subject. Therefore, here is my take on the subject.

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First, you need to get here from whatever you are from, even folks living in Versailles! Many people go to the cram parking at Place d’Armes because it is in front of the castle and voilà they made it. However, for just a pleasant walk among historical buildings you can park at  Parking Sceaux ,avenue de Sceaux next to train station RER C Château-Rive-Gauche at end of parking ,you find the gardens jardin des Etangs Gobert. You come by car on the A13 direction Rouen and get off at exit/sortie 5 Versailles Centre, followed it all around until the train station.

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The Parking de l’avenue de Sceaux on the city of Versailles parkings : https://www.versailles.fr/ma-ville/se-deplacer/stationnement/tarif-de-stationnement/

Perhaps you like to come by bus, many folks like this way of public transport than again most take the more hazarduos way of the train or RER C. You can come from Paris by bus no 171 of the RATP system runs between Pont de Sèvres and the Château de Versailles.  Metro line 9 to Pont de Sèvres , this is the longest and most frequented metro line of Paris. Also Paris RATP bus lines 169, 179 ,279, 291, 389, 426 ,and 467  reach the Pont de Sévres stop. 

This is the bus line 171 on the official RATP networkhttps://www.ratp.fr/plans-lignes/busratp/171

Once in the city, there are ways to get around to the main sight of the Château de Versailles domain; and I say main sight because as in my previous posts, Versailles has a lot more things to see. 

The nice thing we even did to get from the center of Versailles to the shopping at Parly II mall or even to get inside the domain of Versailles by the Porte Saint Antoine was to take bus no 19 . The Allée Saint-Antoine begins to the south in front of the Grand Canal , and ends about 1 350 meters to the north on Boulevard Saint-Antoine, where is the Arc de Triomphe of the Porte Saint-Antoine. The bus is taken from Avenue Saint Cloud almost to the corner of Avenue de l’Europe and you need to get off at Parly II or Arboretum and walk back down about 300 meters to the entrance at the Porte de Saint Antoine. Right next is the Hameau de Marie Antoinette and follow by the Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon,the gardens and a whole world of Versailles!

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Type in itineraire les Mureaux to from Versailles to see the bus line 19 that can drop you off by the Porte Saint Antoine and into the Hameau/Trianons of Versailles: https://me-deplacer.iledefrance-mobilites.fr/itineraire

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If tired or for the thrill of something different, then inside Versailles, the best is the Phebus bus network It has buses from the train stations passing near the Palace of Versailles. From to train stations “Versailles Château Rive Gauche”, “Versailles Chantiers” and “Versailles Rive Droite” . Other than the bus itself you can buy of several tabacs in Versailles, the list is in the lien, The official Phebus network : https://www.phebus.tm.fr/ou-acheter-mon-titre

The Petit Train inside Domaine de Versailles property if you want a quick look and rest from walking this is the little train. From the North terrace of the chateau > Petit Trianon, Grand Trianon, Grand Canal (Little Venice) then back (possibility to get off at a stop and then go back to a train with the same ticket, except the last train of the day). Webpage : http://www.train-versailles.com/en/

To purchase tickets and try to avoid as much as possible the ticket purchase lines (security lines are unavoidable) you can do so at the counters with staff or automatic machines in the south wing of ministers (Aile des Ministres), the building on the left when you are in the courtyard of the castle.. There is only one entry for all individual visitors at entrance APavillon Dufour! Also, online of course, better! Palace/museum webpage: https://en.chateauversailles.fr/plan-your-visit/tickets-and-prices?visite-tid=1

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It is possible to avoid the first line by buying in advance its ticket. Purchase at the tourist Office, 2bis avenue de Paris by the Le Louis hotel ; sale of the ticket Château + 1.80€ of commission, (check if fees have change) avoids the lines/queue to the ticket lines of the castle. Or online even better! webpage: https://en.versailles-tourisme.com/visit-estate-versailles.html

Another possible area my oldest son worked next to it is the Place des Manéges, located on the Avenue du Général de Gaulle between the City/Town Hall and the palace/museum.  The building of the Le Manéges (or merry go around)  was a former military building under Napoleon III. It was demolished in 1988 with the exception of its portal which remained on the Avenue du General-de-Gaulle. A commercial center with the Phebus bus ticket office, restos and shopping gallery as well as the La Maréchalerie Centre d’Art Contemporain under the Le Manéges are there now. There is a group reservation to avoid lines, right in the building which is across from the train RER C château-rive-gauche ; never use it but is GetYourGuide webpage : https://www.getyourguide.com/paris-l16/chateau-et-jardins-de-versailles-visite-guidee-coupe-file-t398194/

Of course, there are many online, and on site, purchase ticket possibilities that are well recommended such as the FNAC stores, ticketmaster , and many hypermarket such as Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan, etc on their in store cultural ticket sales. I said, always good to buy ahead if sure of your dates/times.

There are different entries to the Domaine of Versailles (the local name given to the castle, trianons, hameau,gardens whole complex) . Access to the park is free for pedestrians and bicycles. Vehicles must pay an entry fee (last was 5€) except for persons with reduced mobility (PMR) on proof. My favorite entry on foot or by car was/is at the Porte Saint Antoine . Access to the gardens, reserved for pedestrians, is free except for the days of Grandes Eaux and Jardins Musicaux ( Water show and musical) from April to October. Some of the entries on foot are Grille de la Reine (Queen’s gate),by the boulevard de la Reine. The Grille des Matelots,by the road of Saint-Cyr L’école D10. By the before mentioned Porte Saint-Antoine,on the side of the town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt ( just to your right is the Hameau of Marie Antoinette and thereafter the Petit and Grand Trianon as well as the Castle from the back of the Grand Canal, also, my favorite hangout the Angelina café next to the Petit Trianon! By the Grille de Neptune, by rue de la Paroisse/rue du Maurepas crossing rue des Reservoirs  near the basin of Neptune from which if you take the allée de Trianon you can ,also, go to the Grand and Petit Trianon, and the Hameau of Marie Antoinette.

One last word, best days to come. Huh! well do not come in any French Holidays or around them if bridges or ponts are available ( New Year Jan 1st, Easter Monday April 22, Labor Day ,May 1st, Victory day (WWII) May 8, Thursday of Ascension May 30, Monday of Pentecost June 10, National Day July 14, Assomption Day August 15, All Saints Day November 1st, Armistice Day (end WWI) November 11, and Christmas December 25) , Wednesdays as it is school children off day and Mom will take them out, weekends as the world comes to Versailles. The rest is up for grabs!!

An an anecdote for outside viewing only. This building houses the CRCV or the research Centre of the Château de Versailles, created in 2004. It is interested in research and training on the places and expressions of power in the 17C and 18C. However, as said just for passing by as it is not open to the general public. Located at the Grand Commun building to the left looking at the palace/museum, and go to 1 rue de l’Indépendance américaine. The CRCV webpage: https://chateauversailles-recherche.fr/english

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There yo go folks, another trip into my wonderful beautiful Versailles and its palace/museum. And yes, sometimes crowded but worth it, that is why you all come and!I agree !! Hope you enjoy it as I,

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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