Famous for its gorgeous palace and gardens, Versailles is a terrific city with plush royalty. Located in the Ile-de-Franc area, the city is an imperial city deep in cultural heritage as well. As such, Versailles boasts of an impressive number of UNESCO heritage sites along the gardens and palace that are every visitor should visit.
Versailles is also popular for different treaties that occurred at some point in history. The Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty of Paris bear testament to its significance in the state of affairs.
Best Time to Visit Versailles
While any time of the year suits a proper vacation in the city, the summer period is rather hot with the large crowds coming in their drove. If you will be going to Versailles this time, be prepared to see lots of people from different parts of the world.
But if you would rather visit when the crowd is significantly less, the winter months are the surest bet. Then, the prices of things are low and there would be hardly long queues at your favorite spots.
Winter months affords you and your family to explore the city unhindered. It is also a perfect time to meet locals and see the city from their perspective. Autumn and Spring are great for a visit as well as the gardens will be lush. It comes down to the time you prefer to see this beautiful place.
The city is not all about the magnificent palace and regal setups alone. There are lots of exciting things to see and do when you visit.
Here are Some of the Best Things You Should Do When Visiting Versailles:
Visit the Palace of Versailles
We kick off proceedings with the most obvious. Dubbed the best palace museum in the whole of Europe, the Palace of Versailles is a masterpiece of culture and architecture. For over 3 decades, this spot has been designated a world heritage site.
Towering as an admirable example of French art, this palace was constructed in 1623 but Louis XIV completed its construction. The entire palace is also a shining example of royalty with gold, precious gems, and crystals. During visitation do not forget to see the various rooms there. They embellish different paintings by various artists from the French Revolution.
The palace is a well-preserved place that also offers many galleries for visitors to see. There is a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy around the palace. You can book these activities before you visit. Palace of Versailles is opened every day but online reservations are recommended for large groups.
Admire the Gardens of Versailles
An amazing adjunct to the Palace of Versailles, these gardens cover 800 hectares of land with unique flowers, full greenery, and sculptures. In 1979, it gained the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Here, visitors will see delicately manicured lawns and large fountains. This helps visitors to have a great experience and feel that comes with staying in a French royal court. In the summer months, water shows are hosted every evening.
The many fountains and sculptures at the Gardens of Versailles exemplify the creative works in the French Revolution and the prominent artists of the period. It is located at Place d’Armes Versailles.
See the Grand Trianon
Constructed at the request of Louis XIV, the Grand Trianon is a small village located just outside Versailles. This place served as a refuge for kings and members of royalty in the course of the French Revolution.
Where the Grand Trianon is situated allowed monarchs to eat and dine without observing etiquettes The place is also hemmed in between a private park and thick forests. This perfect setup allowed kings to separate themselves from the world and its architecture marked with blue and white tiles make for a fascinating sight.
Visitors can take on the Grand Trianon on their own or with the help of a tour guide. Today, the palace is used by the French Republic presidential residence as an accommodation to foreign officials. Do not forget to see the French-styled geometrical gardens full of orange.
Attend the Royal Opera of Versailles
Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the Royal Opera of Versailles is located in the north section of the Palace of Versailles. To generate the best of acoustics in the whole buildings everywhere here is constructed with wood. With its large form, the Royal Opera of Versailles has a 12000 capacity for spectators.
The building and construction are not the only things to see here. Visitors can also attend an opera session where they watch the finest of talents do their stuff. This place usually hosts many performances like classical theatrical opera, ballet dance, and orchestral pieces.
You feel the special vibe that often accompanies shows when you sit down in an old opera hall, listening to the acoustics. The large chandeliers and traditional dancing make a fairytale ambiance in the hall. It is located at 4 Avenue de Paris, Versailles.
Step into the Great Versailles Cathedral
Referred to as the French national monument, the Versailles Cathedral is in the pack of the city’s pre-eminent Roman Catholic Church. This place was initially constructed as a plain Paris church when Louis XV laid its foundation in the 1700s. Despite receiving many hits from the troubles of the time, the church was set aside as a cathedral in 1843.
Versailles Cathedral today towers high with its special baroque style and magnificent architecture. Visitors can explore its exterior where blooming gardens sit today. In addition, the church houses some of the most interesting period paintings that one can behold in Northern France.
Engage in a Food Trail
Versailles is a brilliant city to experience not only the vibrant culture but also the various culinary options. Though are few places to eat out, visitors can not miss out on some places that offer tasty dishes you will hardly get anywhere else. Dedicate a day or a few more to exploring the local treats of this place.
You can kick off your food tour with the popular Creperie la Place where the scrumptious pancakes are served with different types. There are also freshly made crepes on the streets you should not pass on. At noon, step into Pizzeria O’Bottega where they serve some of the best wood-fired pizzas and a long range of continental food.
Cap off the day in style with a visit to the popular Banderillas. Despite its small capacity, the restaurant is popular for its interesting menu, brilliant décor, and cozy ambiance. If you are hungry for Mediterranean and European dishes, Banderillas will satisfy your cravings very well.
Travel in Time at Hall of Mirrors
Situated in the Palace of Versailles, the hall is a passageway linking the apartments of the King and Queen. More than 350 mirrors are deployed in the construction of this hall to the spectacle of visitors. They will also find 17 glided arcaded windows and 17 mirror decorated arches. The entire palace is a massive creation of crystal and gold and crystal that symbolizes royalty.
The best time of the day to visit the Hall of Mirrors is in the morning. By then, queues are hardly formed because there is no crowd. Visitors can find time and space to see the daintiest of mirror works and artworks, a spot that does invite people a lot.
There is the famous Treaty of Versailles in the hall where the agreement happened and that marked the end of the First World War. Visiting here will be like stepping into a time machine that takes one back to every featured moment in history.
Go Shopping in the Versailles Market
Famous for its open markets, there are many places to buy items and materials in the city of Versailles. With the residences and luxurious palaces, this place hosts some of the busiest markets and street stalls in France.
The markets were opened in the 1800s during the Revolution. It is now a major active part of Versailles and a place to visit while you are in the city. The market of Notre Dam, which offers visitors an awesome variety of authentic French food items from frog legs to Brioche, is part of the markets here. There is the Jussieu-Montreuil market which offers the best organic produce in the entire city. Stalls and antique artifacts are also common features.
See the Notre-Dame de Versailles
Located only a few minutes’ walks from the Gardens of Versailles and the central market, this church was built as a place of worship in 1686. It has since been serving the needs of the city and stands as an embodiment of the city’s spirit.
Notre-Dame de Versailles is small and it showcases fantastic neoclassical architecture via its ceiling designs and expansive floor. The church used to register all births, deaths, and marriages of the French royal family.
It even houses sculptures by Noël Jouvenet and Piere Mazzeline. Since August 2005, it is a designated monument Historique. It is located at 2 Rue Baillet Reviron, Versailles.
Things To Do In Versailles – Summary
Though small, Versailles has many things to offer visitors. Whether it is the exciting task of shopping on the street and limed food stalls or the splendid royal gardens and Gardens, your vacations would not remain the same. Versailles is ready, are you?