If you’re planning a trip to Paris any time soon, then no doubt you’ll also be considering a side excursion to Versailles at some point during your stay. A former hunting lodge turned opulent by none other than Louis XIV (i.e., the Sun King), this guide is all about helping you select the best Versailles tickets, as well as some insider tips on how to visit and things to know before you go!
Before reading this guide and deciding which tickets to buy, please note that the Palace of Versailles, the Trianon Estate, and the Gardens and Park are free to visit for under 18s, as well as those under 26 who are residents of the EU. However, there are some exceptions; for example, on the Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens, days, access to the gardens is free only for children from 0 to 5 years old.
Next, if you’re looking to enjoy Versailles on a budget, then the Palace is free to everyone on the first Sunday of every month from November to March. These days can become particularly busy, with the queues, lasting for hours, and so be sure to arrive well before opening time to make the most of this free admissions!
Types of Versailles tickets
When it comes to purchasing Versailles tickets, there are essentially three options available. The first option is to purchase an all-in-one selection which includes return transport from Paris, as well as entrance to the Château (with some of these options offering a guided tour and entrance into other parts of the Versailles estate).
The second is to purchase a guided tour of the Palace, all the while arranging your own transportation to and from Paris. The final option is to purchase a simple entrance ticket, taking care of arrangements for getting to and from Paris yourself, as well as forgoing the option of having a guide.
Each ticket selection will depend entirely on your budget and your travel style. Do you prefer relaxed guided excursions where all of the details are taken care of for you? Or would you prefer to take a self-guided excursion to the Palace and visit everything at your own pace? The choice is entirely a personal decision.
You should also note that once at Versailles, there are a plethora of things to do. Though you can opt to visit the Palace in half a day, you’ll need a full-day trip from Paris to enjoy all of the attractions and highlights that Versailles (as well as the town of Versailles) have to offer.
Not every ticket includes every Versailles attraction and so read the fine print before making your decision. Here’s a break down of everything in the Palace and grounds;
Palace of Versailles: Of course, the main attraction of Versailles is its main palace. The Palace includes the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments and the Hall of Mirrors If you opt to purchase a Versailles ticket, then Palace entrance is typically always included, unless you only buy a Gardens entry ticket. The Palace ticket is also valid for the gardens except on Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens days.
Gardens & Park of Versailles: If you’re visiting Versailles on a budget, then i’s worth noting that the Gardens are generally free to visit, with a few exceptions, notably on the Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens, days, access to the gardens is free only for children from 0 to 5 years old (buy the tickets here). Check before leaving to see whether one of these shows will be held on the day of your visit.
Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon & Hameau de la Reine (Known collectively as the Estate of Trianon): The Grand Trianon is a second smaller palace where the King would have gone to escape the court of Versailles. Meanwhile, the Petit Trianon is where the Queen would have gone to escape Palace life, though this ‘little’ palace is still enormous by any standard!
Finally, one of my favourite parts of Versailles is secluded and far away from the hustle and bustle of the busy crowded main palace. The reconstructed ‘play farm’ of Hameau de la Reine (Marie Antoinette’s Estate) is where Marie Antoinette would have gone with her ladies in waiting to escape her regal life. All three of these attractions are often reffered to collectively as the Estate of Trianon and if you want to visit, you’ll need to purchase a ticket that includes these attractions.
You can purchase a ticket to the Palace & Gardens, a ticket to the Trianon Estate, or a ticket to both the Palace, Gardens and Trianon Estate (known as the ‘Passport’). On Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens days, you may well have to purchase an extra ticket to visit the Gardens. There is also a Saturday Night Fountains Show for which you can purchase an additional ticket (see the full details here).
Which Versailles tickets should you buy?
All in one Versailles tickets (guided transport from Paris included)
For those who wish to take the Parisian day trip stress-free, then a guide excursion from the French capital is an absolute must. Included in these tickets are transfers to and from Paris, as well as entrance into various parts of the Château and grounds.
Versailles & Gardens by Train: Full-Access Ticket Options: This all-in-one ticket includes an escorted visit from the French capital to Versailles via train. The trip also includes entry into the Versailles Palace, Gardens, and Trinaon Domain, as well as either a live or audio guide to the palace. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive tour to Versailles, then buy this ticket. Purchase this ticket here in advance.
Versailles Palace & Gardens: Ticket, Audio Guide & Transfer: This all-in-one-ticket is similar to the one above, though instead of train transport, you’ll reach the Palace and town of Versailles by bus. Included in the entry fee is an audio guide to the Palace, as well as access to the Gardens, Petit Trianon, Grand Trianon, and Hameau de la Reine. Purchase this ticket here in advance.
Versailles tickets with a guided tour (without transport from Paris)
If you want more flexibility with your schedule, then make your own arrangements to reach Versailles and book a guided visit that begins only once you’re at the Palace itself. These tours are either with an in-person guide or audioguide and give an in-depth history of the Château and its grounds.
Ultimate Versailles: Skip-the-Queue Guided Tour: For those looking for the ultimate guided experience of Versailles, this is the ticket you must book. Included in the tour is access to the Palace gardens as well as a 90-minute guided tour of the Palace. The ticket does not include entrance to Marie Antoinette’s estate. Purchase this ticket here in advance.
Skip the Queue Versailles and Trianon Audio Pen Tour: For those who wish to enjoy the Château, Gardens, and the Trianons at their own pace, this ticket includes admission as well as an audioguide providing information about the entire domain. Purchase the ticket in advance here.
Skip-the-Queue Guided Tour: This Versailles ticket includes a guided visit of the Palace. Taking place over just over an hour, be amazed by the Hall of Mirrors and learn about the history of the French Monarchy. Please note that the meeting point for this tour is not at the palace itself. The ticket does not include entrance to Marie Antoinette’s estate. Purchase the ticket here in advance.
Versailles tickets with a self-guided tour (without transport from Paris)
The cheapest way to visit the French Château is undoubtedly to make your own way to Versailles and then purchase a simple entrance ticket which will allow you to explore the palace and grounds at your own pace. If you have limited time, then this is also the best way to enjoy the Château.
Versailles Palace & Gardens Full Access Ticket & Audio Guide (Versailles Passport): This full-access ticket gives you entrance to the entirety of the Versailles domain. This includes the Palace of Versailles, the Gardens and Park, and the Trianons, as well as Marie Antoinette’s hamlet. Food, drinks, and a guide are not included. Purchase the ticket here in advance.
Versailles Palace & Gardens Timed Ticket with Audio Guide: If you have limited time to explore the Château, then I recommend prioritising a visit to the main palace and gardens, as well as ensuring to book a timed ticket so as to avoid waiting in queues for too long. Purchase your ticket here in advance.
Night Fountains Show: If you want to enjoy the best of Versailles by night, then you’ll want to buy the fountains show ticket. Though the ticket doesn’t include entry into the Palace of Versailles, the fountains are decorated with countless colourful lights and the gardens look simply magical on Saturday nights during the summer. Purchase the ticket here in advance.
Musical Gardens and Fountains Shows Ticket: The beautiful garden show takes place on select days during the summer months. Though the garden is normally free to visit, on these days you’ll have to buy an entry ticket, where there are various fountains and musical displays at various points throughout the grounds. This ticket doesn’t include entrance into the main palace. Purchase the ticket here in advance.
Marie-Antoinette’s Estate and The Trianon Palaces: If you want to forgo the crowds of the main palace, then you might want to skip the main regal building and instead head to the Petit Trianon, Grand Trianon, and the Hameau de la Reine, which can be visited on one ticket. This ticket doesn’t include entrance into the main palace. Purchase the ticket here in advance.
Specialised Versailles tickets (unusual tours and things to do)
Monet’s Giverny & Versailles Palace Full-Day Trip from Paris: If you want to see two of the best day trips from Paris, then you may well want to book this guided excursion from the city, which takes place over the course of a day. Included in the day trip is round trip transportation from Paris, entrance into Monet’s House and Gardens, and skip-the-queue entrance to the Château de Versailles and its gardens. Buy your ticket here in advance.
Versailles Palace Tour with Access to Secret Rooms: If you’re looking for the best-kept secrets of Versailles, then this tour is the ticket for you! Included in the entrance fee is priority entrance to the Palace, as well as access to the gardens, and a glimpse of the Private Apartments together with a professional guide. Buy your tickets here in advance.
Versailles Park: 1-Hour Guided Segway Tour: If you’re in search of a sporty and quirky way to enjoy the best of Versailles, then you’ll want to book this Segway Tour. Included in the price is an orientation session, as well as the rental of a Segway and helmet. All in all, this is a great way to experience Versailles from a unique perspective with a professional guide. Please note that this tour is in French and doesn’t include entrance into the palace. Book your tour here.
Full-Day Guided Tour of Versailles with Lunch: If you don’t want to bring a picnic or purchase a meal at one of the restaurants while at Versailles, then booking this ticket includes lunch at La Petite Venise restaurant (and even drinks!) Included in the price of the ticket is entrance to the Palace of Versailles, as well as the Trianons, and transport to and from Paris in an air-conditioned coach. Book your Versailles tour here.
Versailles Guided Bike & Palace Tour: For those who wish to see Versailles grounds from another perspective, this guided grounds visit by bike will show you more of the gardens than you would have otherwise seen on foot. Other inclusions of this ticket is entrance to the Versailles Palace as well as entry to the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and Marie Antoinette’s farm. Check prices and availability here.
Things to know before purchasing your Versailles Tickets
If you’re planning a visit to Versailles, then it’s worth noting that the Palace is significantly busier at peak season; that is to say from mid-May and right through to the end of September. The Palace is also much busier during weekends and school holidays.
As such, choose to visit in the European shoulder seasons and mid-week if possible. You should also know that while the gardens are open to the public every day of the week, the Palace is closed on Mondays. Otherwise, pack a picnic, bring plenty of water, put on your comfiest shoes, and enjoy your day out at this popular tourist hotspot (which sees upwards of 10 million visitors a year!)
F.A.Q about Versailles Tickets (and visiting the Palace)
Can you buy tickets at Versailles?
While it’s perfectly possible to purchase entrance tickets once at the Palace itself, I highly recommend purchasing them online instead, ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to wait in multiple lines to gain access to the Château and save valuable time that you could otherwise use to explore the Palace and grounds.
What should I wear to Versailles?
Depending on the time of the year will depend on how you dress to visit the Palace. If you’re visiting the Palace during Spring or Autumn, then know that the weather is often unpredictable and so you’ll want to bring along an umbrella or rain jacket like this one.
For those visiting during the winter, be sure to wrap up warm and wear plenty of layers. Purchase a coat like this one to help you stay warm! In the summertime, the weather is often in the mid-twenties, if not higher, and so wear light clothing and pack plenty of suncream.
Whatever the time of the year that you’re visiting, be sure to wear comfortable shoes as it’s not uncommon to clock up over 20,000 steps during your Versailles visit! I own a pair of trainers like these tennis ones and absolutely love these pretty vegan sandals. Otherwise, these cute boots are well-reviewed and are perfect for stomping the streets of Palace and keeping warm.
Do I need a ticket to enter Versailles if I’m entitled to free entrance?
No. You don’t need to go anywhere to collect a free ticket if you’re entitled to the free entrance (you do at other Parisian attractions such as that of the Arc de Triomphe). Instead, head to the entrance of the part of the Versailles Estate you wish to visit and present your valid ID or documentation.