Versailles And The Palace - What Not To Be Missed!
During our trip to Paris, visiting the Palace of Versailles was first on the list. The Palace of Versailles is known to be one of the most beautiful destination in France, but also known to be the most crowded. Because of this, I did my research and found the best way to see the city and to make a good use of our time.
First things first, book a tour in advance!
After many research, I found Versailles by Bike Day Tour to be the best. Here's why:
You will explore the small city of Versailles and the palace by bicycles
You will visit the local market to shop for delicious picnic by the Grand Canal
You will ride your bike in the private part of the garden that is not usually open to the public
You will see far more than the visitors on foot such as; Marie Antoinette's farm-style Hammeau, the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon
The tour is only for small groups and you will have a private guide narrating the history of the Palace
You will not be stuck waiting in line trying to get inside the palace
If riding a bike is not something that you prefer to do, there are other options out there that will help you see Versailles without being stuck in a long line. Click here.
Our Visit - MUST DO & MUST SEE
The Town of Versailles
Everyone comes to Versailles to see the palace. Some people don't realize that the town itself is a great place to visit. It is more than just the palace. It has a charm of its own that offers a calmer and comfortable French small-city atmosphere. Locals in Versailles seemed more relax compare to the busy city of Paris.
It was a must for us to go in the morning to catch the market. A variety of fresh daily made goods were available for purchase. It was also a great experience buying and interacting with the locals. It made me appreciate the simplicity of their daily lives, which made our visit much more special for me.
Before heading to the palace, we decided to stop by at the Maison Guinon bakery, to pick up some sandwiches and pastries to bring for our picnic in the garden. We got so lucky to come right when they opened because the crowd quickly came right after we left. Their baked goods looked absolutely delicious and literally made my mouth water.
Entering The Palace Without The Crowd
I thought that riding a bike would tire me out at the end of the day. I can honestly say that the whole tour experience was fun and something I would do again! This was probably my husband's highlight throughout his trip. We stopped plenty of times to explore the different parts of the palace and learned about the history of it. We captured many beautiful photos and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.
Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet and the Trianon gardens are located in the back of the Versailles garden. It is probably my favorite part of the palace. This place is a live-size village. It felt so peaceful, unreal and made me feel like I was in a fairytale land. This retreat was made for Marie Antoinette to escape her life to play peasants with her ladies. I know right? must be a tough life to live.. you know how this made the French working class feel.. there's a reason why they cut off her head at the end..
After visiting the hamlet, we went on to eat our lunch by the Grand Canal.
A brief History of the Palace
The Palace of Versailles is a French royal palace located in Ile de France, 15 miles from Paris, France. It was built by King Louis XIV in the late 1600s. The palace is remarkably built that contains 700 rooms, 60 staircases and over 1000 fireplaces that would have cost almost $2 billion dollars today.
Hall of Mirrors
One of the famous room in the palace is called the Hall of Mirrors. The room is full of beautiful crystal chandeliers and was built to pay tribute to the political, economic and artistic success of France. Of course, I never got the solo pictures I wanted because it was seriously packed! Just glad we didn't have to get in line to get in.
The Garden of Versailles
The garden of the palace is one of the most well-known and most beautiful gardens. The garden cover over 30,000 acres. It took thousands of men to complete the garden. The garden included stunning sculptures and about 1400 fountains. King Louis XIV wanted his garden to look a certain way. He wanted them to look symmetrical, and this is how the "French Garden" was born, which means garden in the French manner. A French garden is a style based on symmetry and the principle of imposing order on nature.
It was a full day tour. Keep in mind that before you go on this tour, eat breakfast and bring water with you. It's a train ride from Paris to Versailles and a sight that is worth seeing!
I will be off to Mexico & Costa Rica soon. Pictures, videos and etc. will be coming. Stay tuned. <3