As soon as I had booked my trip to Paris, I knew that I wanted to tour the Château de Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace is only 17 km from my base, but it takes more than an hour to get there via train.

There are actually three different edifices one can visit: le Château de Versailles, Grand Trianon, and Petit Trianon. The Trianon castles are 2 km away, but you will see many lazy tourists rent golf carts or pay €7.5 for a shuttle. Marie Antoinette used the Petit Trianon to escape the formality and responsibilities of queen life.

During my tour of the main palace, there were several announcements, both automatic and live, notifying the public of pickpockets. It was the only time in my life I have ever heard such a warning so it must be a legitimate problem. Minimum entry fee is €15, so it must be quite profitable for these criminals to pay this cover charge.

Excluding transportation to and from the site, my trip ran from 11 am to 3:30 pm. Admission to all the gardens and palaces (sold as “Passport”) is €18 total.

 

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The RER C5 train I took to Versailles. Only €6.90 round-trip!

 

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I hope these tour bus riders paid less than €6.90 round-trip.

 

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This entrance is 500 meters from the nearest station.

 

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These gates are actually cardboard–the fanciest “Under Renovation” walls around.

 

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I couldn’t tell if this was art or leftover packaging material.

 

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Statue selfie

 

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galerie des glaces, the most famous hall in the palace. Mirrors were a tremendous luxury when this was built, starting in 1678.

 

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