July 12, 2012

Thursday Travel Tips: Day Trip to Versailles

Oh the beautiful, opulent, Chateau de Versailles.
You can't come to France and skip the extravagant palace that once served as the center of political power in France.

Here's what  you need to know:
Versailles is not just the name of the palace that once housed three generations of French royalty,
including Louis XIV and Marie Anoinette -
it is actually a suburb located within the Ile de France region,
about 20 kilometers southwest of the French capital.

To get there,
simply hop on the RER line C1 from one of several stations in Paris,
and enjoy the 40 minute ride to the golden kingdom. 
Once you get to the actual palace,
you'll find plenty to do. 
Wear comfortable shoes, because the grounds are indeed massive. 
First thing you should do is tour the Petits and Grands Appartements,
 where the royals and their sycophants lived under constant scrutiny.
Sycopahnts... I just love that word! 
Take a deep breath before heading inside the Hall of Mirrors,
because the beauty of the chandaliered surroundings is truly magnificent. 

The palace frequently hosts various art shows in parts of the complex,
and when we were there back in 2010,
we got to catch the scandalous showing Takashi Murakami's bright and kitchy sculptures.
I'm personally a HUGE fan of his work,
however some Frenchmen thought otherwise,
claiming that the exhibit was a disgrace to the Sun King's royal apartments.
Pish posh.  
After you make your way through the inside of the palace,
head straight towards the "back yard". 
I highly recommend that you block off an entire afternoon to wander through these beautiful gardens. 
If you get tired, feel free to rent a golf cart - it's totally normal. 
Take as many "creeper" pictures as you want. It's obviously the classy thing to do.
If you have some extra time on your hands,
check out Versailles city center before heading back to Paris.
There you'll find the Saint-Louis Cathedral, Notre Dame Market,
and for all you antiquing fans, 
Passage de la Geole is heaven on earth... 
if your heaven consists of a bunch of vintage shops occupying the former royal jail.



Leah said...

Was this trip recent? Just wondering how to dress for a trip there in the summer. (June-August)

Jay said...

Oh I so need to go there. I've been to Paris twice now and haven't made it! Last time, tickets were sold out. I vow to book early for my next trip!

Aspiring Kennedy said...

Everyone who is taking more than one or two days to visit Paris must go to Versailles. It's one of the easiest places to get to. How can you miss all of the gold glittering in the sunlight? Such a beautiful place! It is also a classy thing to see how many pictures you can photo bomb.

Karolina said...

Versailles must be an amazing place! Shame on me that I haven't been there yet! :) Great shots, by the way! :)