Updated: Dec 30, 2021
When visiting Paris, whether you've visited the city before or it's your first time, you should definitely go on a day trip to Versailles! Even though I was only in Paris for four days the first time I was there, a day trip out to Versailles was totally worth it! Here is my little guide to day tripping from Paris to Versailles:
Taking the train to and from Paris is easy! If you decide to take the train, get a ticket to Gare de Versailles Rive Droite or Gare de Versailles Château Rive Gauche; these are the closest train stations to all of the places/activities I'll highlight here. You can also take an Uber from Paris to Versailles. Depending on the time and day it could be pretty pricey, but it may actually be faster than the train. I took an Uber from Paris to Versailles, but then I took the train from Versailles to Paris.
Generally on certain days of the week from the end of Spring to the beginning of Fall, the Palace Gardens host the Musical Fountains Show, a show of fountains dancing to beautiful music! The Passport tickets include access to the palace, gardens, and Musical Fountains Show, so I highly recommend visiting in a summer month and purchasing the Passport ticket. I would also recommend that you visit Versailles on a weekday (except for Mondays when it's closed). I went on a Sunday at noon and it was quite crowded. The line for my time slot was so long and we had to wait for everyone in line for the time slot before us to enter before we could enter. Definitely try to get an early time slot if you go on a weekend.
Obviously you must see the palace and gardens if you go to Versailles! The palace is full of gold and marble (yes, it's a bit gaudy but it does look cool). The gardens are very different from what I expected; I've only seen British gardens, so there were way more trees and bushes than I expected. Grab a map! I tried looking at the mobile map, but it was hard to navigate with only the mobile map. The palace is huge and so are the gardens! I'm pretty sure I missed part of the palace and I know I definitely missed part of the gardens. The gardens also flow into a huge, nice park where you can take a little boat out on a lake to view part of the garden with the palace in the background. If you get tickets for the palace and the grounds, you also have access to Marie Antoinette's house. It's a small house on the edge of the park. It's quite far from the palace, but there are other buildings nearby and there is an Angelina food stand if you're hungry or need something to drink!
Most people only associate the palace with Versailles, but I loved the rest of the town! I also fell in love with Marché Notre-Dame, or the Notre Dame Market, which is just a 15 minute walk from the palace! This market is one of my all-time favorite markets! In the indoor areas, you'll find fresh seafood and meat, and you'll find all kinds of prepared food. I bought some dauphinoise (potatoes au gratin) for a snack and the nice gentleman even heated it up and gave me a fork and napkins! At the outdoor stalls, there are vendors selling dishes from different cuisines, fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, baskets, spices, and so much more. There are also stalls with hundreds of rotisserie chickens and others with the largest blocks of cheese I've ever seen. It really is an incredible market that everyone should stop at in Versailles. Near the market is an incredible boulangerie (bakery) called Antoinette Boulangerie! Stop there for breakfast or a snack before or after you visit the palace.
If you're taking the train back to Paris, stop at L'Orangerie de Monsieur on your way back to the Rive Droite train station for a snack. They have all kinds of amazing French pastries!
Overall, Versailles is easy to get to from Paris and totally worth the day trip! If you need some recommendations for Paris, check out this guide!