Palace of Versailles, To Go or Not to Go on a Monday

Written By: The Planet D

We should have known better.  We had been in France for a month and we had known that many museums were closed on Mondays in Paris. If we had decided to check out the Palace of Versailles at the beginning of our trip, we most likely would have checked to make sure it was open.

The Beautiful Palace of Versailles

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The Palace of Versailles!

But on the day that we drove out to Versailles we were nearing the end of our European adventures. We had been to three other countries and had put nearly 7000 km on our car.

We didn’t even know what day it was.

When we pulled into the parking lot we couldn’t believe our luck.  What a great spot we had and we were so close to the Palace.  People must have decided to go somewhere else toady since the weather wasn’t looking promising.

HaHa!

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It is closed!!

To our dismay, the ticket office was closed.  But to our delight, the gardens of the Palace of Versailles were still open and at least we saved the 36€ to see it.

Palace of Versailles costs

  • 18€ for the complete passport day pass to every site
  • 15€ for a day pass to the most famous exhibitions only
  • 10€ for access to the Trionan Palaces and Marie Antoinette’s estate
  • EU residents under 26 years of age are free
  • From January to March and November and December the first Sunday of each month is free.

Paris Buff told us during our visit with them later that the gardens are the best part of Versailles anyway so we felt a lot better. Even if they were just trying to make us feel better, it worked!

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At least the gardens are open!

The Palace of Versailles Versailles is impressive, even from the outside.  Where else can a person spend nearly 3 hours exploring when the main attraction is closed.

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The statues are impressive!

We felt lucky to be able to see it without the crowds and we enjoyed checking out the many fountains, statues and lakes.

The scene was perfected as a lone rower practiced his laps in the palaces Grand Canal.

France-Palace-of-Versailles-Statue-setting
It is a beautiful setting!

A former hunting lodge for Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles is one of the largest palaces in the world. Eventually he moved the royal court to Versailles in the latter half of the 1600’s.   At the time Versailles was located in the country, now it is a suburb of Paris and located a mere 20 km from Paris accessible by train or bus.

We walked the grounds trying to imagine what life would be like for the Royal Family in the 1600’s.  Did they enjoy the palace’s beauty as we did?  Did they picnic by the many lakes and fountains? Or did they stay inside and look out over its vastness.

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There are fountains everywhere!

We saw signs leading to paths where Louis XIV took his daily strolls and we wondered what he thought about as he walked around his enormous private estate.  Did he have the burden of a country on his mind?

The Gardens are massive and impeccable and we didn’t feel that we missed out by only being able to view this work of art.

While it would have been wonderful to see inside the Palace and witness the Hall of Mirrors, famous for being the site of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, we enjoyed our day wandering the gardens and enjoying the work of art that they are.

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Rent a boat on the canal!
France-Palace-of-Versailles-Golf-Cart-Rental
Or a golf cart!

You can rent golf carts to see the gardens, you can hop on a trolley, rent a bicycle or you can take a paddle boat for a romantic row on the grand canal and watch the ducks and swans swim lazily by.

France-Palace-of-Versailles-Fish-duck-Pond
What to feed first? The fish or the Ducks?

Take some bread with you and be sure to feed the not so shy carp that stick their lips out of the water to say hello and ask for some food.

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The Dragon Fountain!

You can have lunch on the Palace Grounds and there are free toilet facilities.  Take as long as you like to enjoy the ground of the Chateaux de Versailles, it has been the location of many a historical event and you are walking in the path of many a historical figure of our time.

Opening Times

  • Palace is open 9:00-6:30 every day except Mondays
  • Palace open low season 9:00- 5:30 every day except Mondays
  • Trianon Palaces and Marie Antoinettes Estate – open every day 12:00 – 6:30 pm every day except Mondays
  • Trianon Palaces and Marie Antoinette’s Estate low season  – open every day 12:00 – 5:30 every day except Mondays
  • Gardens open every day 8:00 am – 8:30 pm
  • Other closing days
  • Dec 25, Jan 1, April 5, May 1, May 24 and Nov 1

 

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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11 thoughts on “Palace of Versailles, To Go or Not to Go on a Monday”

  1. Thanks for this! I really had no interest in the palace, and was absolutely shocked to learn that they charge like an extra 10E for everyone but very young children to visit the gardens everyday in the summer except Monday, Wed & Thur. I was really hemming and hawing if it would be worth it to catch the train from Paris just for the gardens(I’m not there on Wed or Thurs), but now I am all in! You really helped!

    Reply
  2. Thanks for your blog. My boyfriend and I were slapped with this information at 1am on Monday when checking our homemade itinerary. Your post has helped us to soundly decide to continue to Versailles on Monday. Here goes!

    Reply
  3. Oops, I can totally see being spontaneous and not checking a calendar. I’m glad you had a lovely time anyway. I think it would be neat to go to a huge tourist attraction and yet be nearly alone.
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..Chile’s Proud People =-.

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  4. I agree with Eric – it would be nice to see it without the usual massive hordes of people, so a ‘closed’ day to explore the grounds is ideal, but the inside of the palace is really an amazing sight to see, and gives you such an understanding of how royalty lived then. It also makes it easier to understand how the extremely ostentatious display of wealth enraged the people of France (who were starving) and drove them to revolution.

    I remember the first time I visited Versailles, when I was 12 yrs old, my brother and sisters and I were bored with the palace, but had a great time playing hide-and-seek in the mazes of the gardens with some french children.

    On a couple of subsequent trips to Paris I didn’t go see Versailles, thinking “oh I’ve already seen it”, but I’m really glad that on my last trip in 2003 I made the effort to go back – it was worth the time and expense to really fully explore the palace and actually pay attention to the tour guide!
    .-= Trisha Miller´s last blog ..NEW Feature at TWE: Under The Microscope =-.

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  5. I think is a must see, and yes many places are closed on Mondays. Yet, I have been planing where I should not go on the weekends, because some places are just nuts during the summer and over priced. Sometimes is can be tricky.

    By the way I just moved my site to WordPress.
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..Sardana and Southern Albania. =-.

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  6. I vote for “To Go” on Mondays! Your visit sounds infinitely more rewarding than shuffling through the inside of the palace along with a thousand other people (which was my experience a few years back). A little peace and quiet would have been perfect and I’m sure I would have stayed on the grounds for a lot longer.

    With all of the crowds, I just rushed around and then left! Not what I was hoping for…
    .-= Earl´s last blog ..Spending Some Time in a Place Called Old Lyme =-.

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  7. Awesome photos! Especially the first one of that statue, the clouds look very ominous! When I visited Versailles I didn’t get a chance to see the inside either – but the gardens were truly magnificent!
    .-= cailin´s last blog ..Travel Yourself & Candice Does the World take over St. John’s, Newfoundland! =-.

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  8. I can understand you were a bit disappointed that the palace itself was closed, but the gardens look beautiful too! And I think it is a bonus you got to explore them without loads of people around.
    Great pictures, as always. 🙂
    .-= Maria Staal´s last blog ..My Pesky Day Job =-.

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