Paris is a city with a dizzying number of famous attractions, from the Eiffel Tower to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the Arc de Triomphe. But one attraction on every thorough Paris itinerary that’s not even in the city is the wonderful Palace of Versailles. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is full of royal glamour and can easily occupy a day of your trip. Due to the palace’s popularity with tourists, it’s essential that you plan your visit there in advance, which means knowing your options for getting Palace of Versailles tickets before you arrive.
We’ve assembled this guide on how to buy tickets for the Palace of Versailles in France, which is full of all sorts of information to help you make the most of your visit. Read on and enjoy!
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Palace of Versailles: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Palace of Versailles tickets in advance here or book a guided tour of Palace of Versailles. Out of these two, the guided tour is the better option as you get to learn about the history of this beautiful palace from an expert guide.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Palace of Versailles
With an attraction as popular and large as this one, it makes sense that there are a number of different ways to book tickets for the Palace of Versailles. Most options for acquiring tickets allow you to sort them out in advance, but that’s only helpful if you’re organized and know exactly when you want to visit. Ultimately, it’s best to go with whichever option best suits you and your itinerary.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
If you decide to not buy tickets for the Palace of Versailles in advance, then your only option is to line up when you arrive there on the day. This is the slowest and riskiest approach to take as you’ll have to line up outside the ticket office just to get your tickets and then join a separate line to enter and pass through security. Lines for tickets are notoriously long, generally taking from 30 minutes to two hours, which really is time better spent inside the palace.
Where you need to go to buy tickets in person will depend on what type of ticket you want, as there are different ticket desks for the palace and the Estate of Trianon. Palace and Passport tickets are bought on the left side of the Honour Courtyard, while tickets for the Trianon are bought at the Grand or the Petit Trianon. Guided tours are booked separately on the right side of the Honour Courtyard.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
A much better option for travelers is to book skip-the-line tickets for the Palace of Versailles online in advance of their trip. This allows you to skip the ticket office and head straight to the entrance. It should be said that all visitors do need to go through a line for security, which can often take 30 minutes to an hour on its own, but at least you’ll be skipping one line with these tickets.
Tourists can book their tickets online at the official website of the Palace of Versailles. However, it should be noted that these tickets are nonrefundable, meaning you’ll be out of pocket if your plans change. Instead, we recommend booking through this link for your Passport tickets, as this option allows you to cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund for next to no price difference.
3. Book a Guided Tour
Those looking to get more out of their experience at the palace should consider booking a guided tour of the Palace of Versailles. Visitors who choose this option will spend their time touring the Palace of Versailles as an expert guide takes them through the history and subtleties of the impressive palace.
We recommend booking either this guided tour including the gardens or this guided tour without the gardens. There’s also the option to take a guided tour from Paris complete with lunch, saving you the hassle of getting to and from the palace.
4. Purchase a Paris Museum Pass
One other option that may appeal to tourists with grand plans of doing lots of sightseeing is the Paris Museum Pass. Much like other city passes around the world, this pass provides access to a long list of attractions and helps passholders save money on their trip.
The Paris Museum Pass offers access to over 50 museums and monuments around the city of Paris and beyond. These include the Musée D’orsay, the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, and, most importantly, the Palace of Versailles. Passes come with a duration of either two, four, or six days.
Museum passes can be purchased here and come with free cancellation with more than 24 hours notice.
Useful Information for Visiting the Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles Hours of Operation
Opening hours for the Palace of Versailles vary for different parts of the palace complex but are also set differently for high season and low season. High season runs from April 1 to October 31, while low season runs from November 1 to March 31. The palace park and gardens are open daily throughout the year except in exceptional weather, while the palace and Estate of Trianon are closed Mondays and on January 1, May 1, and December 25.
During high season, opening hours are:
- The Palace: 9:00 to 18:30, with last admission at 18:00 and ticket office closed at 17:45
- Estate of Trianon: 12:00 to 18:30, with last admission at 18:00 and ticket office closed at 17:50
- Estate or Marly: 8:00 to 17:00, with last admission at 16:30, although on weekends between the end of May and September, the park closes at 20:30
- The Gardens: 8:00 to 20:30, with last admission at 19:00 at the Main Gate
- The Park: 7:00 to 20:30, with last admission at 19:45 at the Main Gate and Queen’s Gate
During low season, opening hours are:
- The Palace: 9:00 to 17:30, with last admission at 17:00 and ticket office closed at 16:50
- Estate of Trianon: 12:00 to 17:30, with last admission at 17:00 and ticket office closed at 16:50
- Estate of Marly: 8:00 to 17:00, with last admission at 16:30
- The Gardens: 8:00 to 18:00, with last admission at 17:30 at the Main Gate, Chapelle Gate, and Dragon Gate
- The Park: 8:00 to 18:00, with last admission at 17:30
The Coach Gallery is only open during the low season. Normally it is open on Saturday and Sundays, but it is exclusively open from Tuesday to Sundays over the Christmas Holidays between December 18 to January 2, except on December 25 and January 1. Its opening hours are from 12:30 to 17:30, with last admission at 16:45.
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Palace of Versailles?
Because the Palace of Versailles is such a major attraction, there are better times than others to visit to avoid being surrounded by crowds of fellow tourists. But there are also outdoor areas of the palace to be explored, meaning you also will want pleasant outdoor weather during your time there.
Even though the low season with its fewer visitors runs from November to March, the best times to plan your Palace of Versailles tour for are April to May and October to November. Crowds at these times of year are still relatively low, but you’ll benefit from milder weather than if you visit in winter.
For a quieter experience, the best time of day to visit the palace is first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon, although that will be easier in high season when the estate is open later. As for the best day of the week to visit, Wednesday and Thursday are usually the best bet as weekends get busy and most museums are closed on Tuesday, leaving the palace one of the few major attractions open.
How to Get to the Palace of Versailles
To visit the Palace of Versailles from Paris, travelers have a few options. However, determining which route is best for you will depend on where you’re coming from, although the main options for arriving via public transportation all involve taking the train. Tickets for the journey need to be for zones 1 to 4.
The quickest and closest option for getting there is to take Line C of the RER to the Versailles Château–Rive Gauche train station and then walk 10 minutes to the palace. You can board the train at central stations like Musée d’Orsay and Saint-Michel Notre-Dame.
Alternatively, there are SNCF trains from Gare Montparnasse to the Versailles Chantiers train station and Gare Saint Lazare to Versailles Rive Droite train station. For either route, it’s roughly 20 minutes by foot to the palace.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of public transportation, you can also book a guided tour to the palace from Paris here.
How Do Palace of Versailles Tickets Work?
Tickets for the Palace of Versailles are designed to give visitors the freedom to choose what parts of the palace they wish to explore. The different types of ticket available are based on combinations of attractions within the palace complex, so visitors will need to decide what they wish to see before they book. Tickets purchased online can be shown either as a printed copy or on your smartphone.
The most common type of ticket is the Passport, a ticket that provides access to everywhere within the palace estate. This includes the incredible Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, as well as the Estate of Trianon, the Gardens, the Park, and any temporary exhibitions. Entry to the palace is based on a scheduling system, and visitors will need to select a time slot for their visit to this part of the palace complex.
For visitors who don’t wish to see the entire palace complex due to time, cost, or lack of interest, there are two ticket types to consider. Each includes access to either the palace or the Estate of Trianon, as well as the Gardens, the Park, and any temporary exhibitions.
There are also special tickets available that include one with full access to the palace estate plus an equestrian show and one with full access to the palace estate plus a gourmet meal at La Petite Venise restaurant.
How Much Do Tickets for the Palace of Versailles Cost?
Now that we’ve covered the different types of tickets, you’re probably wondering exactly how much the tickets for the Palace of Versailles are. You can find all the different prices for tickets on the official website, but we’ll cover the most common ticket prices for the Palace of Versailles here.
The all-inclusive Passport ticket costs €20 for adults and includes an audio-guide for the palace. Meanwhile, tickets to the Estate of Trianon cost €12 for adults and tickets to just the palace cost €18 for adults and include a Palace audio guide. Tickets for a guided tour of the palace cost €10 for adults. Children under 18 years of age and EU residents under 26 years of age enter free but must book a free-of-charge ticket.
Admission to the Palace of Versailles and its estate is free for all on the first Sunday of the month between November and March.
Hotels Near the Palace of Versailles
Travelers may wonder what their options are for places to stay when planning their visit to the Palace of Versailles. Many will choose to stay in Paris, which makes sense given how much there is to see in the city. However, there are also hotels near the Palace of Versailles if you’d prefer to stay closer.
For a lavish experience that will leave you feeling like royals stay at the extravagant Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace. This five-star hotel sits on the northern edge of the palace gardens and provides grand rooms, spa facilities, a swimming pool, and a MICHELIN-starred restaurant.
If you’re looking to balance comfort with cost, then it’s well worth considering Hotel des Lys for your Versailles visit. Found an easy walk from both the train station and palace, this three-star hotel offers fresh, understated rooms with a hint of elegance.
Versailles isn’t the sort of place for budget accommodation or hostels, so budget travelers are better off staying at a Paris hostel like 3 Ducks Boutique Hostel and Bar and catching the train over. There you have the option of clean dorms and private rooms, plus the benefits of a well-established hostel that include helpful staff and a social atmosphere.
Security Process at the Palace of Versailles
To ensure there are no unexpected complications to the start of your visit, it’s worth knowing the security procedures and rules of entry into the Palace of Versailles. These rules mostly relate to what you can and cannot bring with you inside the palace, so be sure to look at them before heading off to visit.
There are various items not permitted to be brought inside the palace. These include animals, food and drink, tripods, selfie sticks, drones, and metal-framed prams and buggies. Baby carriers without metal frames are permitted.
Visitors will normally find a left luggage service at the palace where luggage and large items can be temporarily stored. However, the left luggage service is currently suspended due to COVID-19 health measures.
Visitors to the Palace of Versailles must also go through a COVID-19 check to enter the site as per government guidelines. For entry, visitors must present proof of vaccination or a recent negative test to be allowed inside. More details can be found in this statement on the official website.
Visiting the Palace of Versailles With a Disability
Accessibility measures have been incorporated at the Palace of Versailles to assist visitors with disabilities. These measures include free entry for people with disabilities to certain areas and reduced rates on tours.
Indoor and outdoor spaces have been planned to allow for wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility. Nonmotorized wheelchairs are available for use at the Gabriel Pavilion and the Petit Trianon for tours.
Guide dogs are permitted on proof of eligibility and a tactile map is available for those with a visual impairment. Audio guides are set up with induction loops to assist those with hearing aids, and guided tours using French Sign Language or lip-reading are possible on request.
Exhibitions, Shows, and Events at the Palace of Versailles
Throughout the year, the Palace of Versailles hosts a variety of special exhibitions, events, shows, and concerts. Concerts include operas and orchestral works. During July and August, the palace hosts regular weekend performances by the Equestrian Academy of Versailles.
Special exhibitions currently taking place are:
- The King’s Animals, from 2/10/21 to 13/2/22
Versailles Nuit au Petit Trianon, from 12/9/21 to 21/11/21
FAQ – Facts About the Palace of Versailles
How Old is the Palace of Versailles?
The history of the Palace of Versailles began in 1623 when a small royal hunting lodge was built on the site’s forest and meadows. This makes the site almost 400 years old.
When Was the Palace of Versailles Built?
In 1631, construction began to replace the hunting lodge with a château, which was completed in 1634, providing the basis for the palace as it stands today.
Who Built the Palace of Versailles?
King Louis XIII had the original hunting lodge and later château built at Versailles after going on hunting trips in the area as a boy. Philibert Le Roy was the architect responsible for the design of the château.
Why Was the Palace of Versailles Built?
The hunting lodge and château were built as a royal country residence of leisure meant for overnight stays when the king was hunting in the area.
Where Is the Palace of Versailles Located?
The Palace of Versailles is located in the small city of Versailles in the department of the Yvelines. It is situated roughly 19 km (12 miles) southwest of Paris.
What is the Palace of Versailles Used For?
No longer used as a royal residence, the Palace of Versailles is now managed by the French Ministry of Culture as a tourist attraction, museum, and event venue.
You now should have everything you need to know about the benefits of skip-the-line Palace of Versailles tickets and visiting this amazing Paris attraction. All that’s left to do is get your tickets and experience this truly dazzling place for yourself.