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“Fantastic building, terrible visitor experience” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chateau de Versailles

Chateau de Versailles
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USD 12.97*
and up
Palace of Versailles Entrance Ticket with Audio Guide
Ranked #1 of 78 things to do in Versailles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Palace, trianon palaces and the estate of marie-antoinette : open daily except mondays and certain public holidays. Gardens and park : open daily.Commented tours, independant visits, musical fontains shows, shows, bowboats, little train, bicycles, bookshop, shops, restaurants...
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Stairs / lift, Baby buggy parking, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic building, terrible visitor experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2010

The actual Palace and gardens are well reviewed elsewhere on this site. However anyone thinking of visiting should be informed of the very poor visitor facilities and the overall visitor experience. The incompetence of the people running the Palace is staggering and is putting this World Heritage site at risk. We visited in mid-July, i.e. in the middle of the tourist season, so we expected large queues. What we did not expect was that only two cashiers would be on duty. It is almost as if visitors are treated with contempt. The people who run the Palace know that Versailles is a "must see" for many people so they have no incentive to make sure that visitors are treated well. You have to queue for a plan of the chateau - they are not given out on display units like at the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay etc (why? they are free and of little value). Women also have to queue on average about 45 minutes to use a toilet - the number of working cubicles / basins is very low. Once inside the Palace the visitors are on "free flow" - this means that it is a giant rugby scrum. Numbers are not controlled. Heaven knows what would happen in a fire. If you are less than 6' tall then you will need sharp elbows if you want to see anything. Coach Groups are thrown into the crowds, just to add to the fun. Visitors are free to lean against the walls, damage the building and take flash photography without any comment from staff. At the time of our visit, the internal temperature and humidity was very high - because of the number of people, making the experience deeply unpleasant. This will also put the building and contents at risk in the long term - it seems strange that this is allowed at a World Heritage Site. In general I agree with some of the reviews here - avoid the Palace and go straight to the gardens. They are massive and very impressive. You get good views of the exterior of the Palace and can become lost in the many sub gardens. When we visited there was a music festival on with (recorded) Baroque music blasting out from speakers in the trees. It was very pleasant. So if you want to pay for the privilege of being treated with contempt whilst queuing for literally hours in order to see the backs of people's heads in the middle of a scrum, then the Palace is for you. Better still, do not go; you will only be helping to fund the criminal deterioration of a world heritage site.

6 Thank SEH198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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North East England
Level Contributor
84 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Big house, big garden, big crowds”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2010

Spent a day walking the miles around the Palace & grounds, far too much to see in one day, think you could spend a few weeks there an not see it all. You pay extra on days when the fountains are on, however we felt the ticket prices similar to most Stately Homes/Palaces, remember this place is huge, you cannot envisage the size of it.
We went mid week in June but the crowds were still big, some of the rooms were packed out which rather spoilt it, but the audio guides were a good source of information. The food/drink prices were big too, almost £7 for 2 cokes! There are cheaper cafe's near the main gates. You can park just outside the main gates, but again the prices are high. I went here almost 20 years ago, & you can see a lot of money has been spent on restoring it.

1 Thank Holsoholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2010

Recently visited Versailles with husband and two sons, one of whom is a high school history teacher. We were blown away by the experience. It was truly awesome to be standing where history happened. Words really cannot describe the opulence. No wonder the revolution happened! Gardens were beautiful.

Thank Yeehawjunction
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“All the fuss about what??”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2010

My family of 3 planned this day on our holiday to France. We where very eager to visit this World Heritage site but it proved to be a let down. I must admit that the external of this Palace is magnificant. That's all. although the gardens are an attraction they where a total let down due to main factors. The inside of the Palace is lacking any furniture which would give it a life, the tour you pay for only let's you in to a VERY small part of the Palace which doesn't include the Throne room. Apart from all this we where told to get the tickets for the fountain show which they call "The dancing waters". Where are they. What actually happens is that at 3.30 pm the fountains are switched on and music is played in the gardens, But, and i repeat BUT, no dancing waters. To add insult to injury, my 6 yaer old daughter was made to pay 6 Euros to watch this FARCE where she was admitted free to the Palace. This is TOTAL FRENCH ORGANISED DISORGANIOSATION. No wonder they let the Nazi's in to Paris without putting on a fight. My suggestion is to visit the Palace but forget paying extra to watch the NON-EXISTANT water show.

2 Thank Piero S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“skip the palace, have a picnic lunch in the gardens”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2010

I'm in the "skip the chateau, check out the gardens" camp. The Chateau is crowded, so you're basically herded through. If you skip the chateau you 1) don't wait in a looooong line to pay the outrageous admission fee, 2) don't wait in another loooong line to check you bags, and 3) don't get trampled by the masses.

Instead, bring a bottle of wine, baguettes, cheese, fruit, etc., and head toward the FREE gardens, take it in, and have a wonderful picnic on one of the many benches. If you still want to see the glitter take in the Grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette's estate for 10 euros (the hamlet is free) if you like. You'll miss the hall of mirrors and pipe organ from the palace, but you'll find it more relaxing, with fewer lines and less crowding.

4 Thank UnoMasPorFavor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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