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Versailles Tickets - Don't be Duped!

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My daughter and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Paris. While I hope to write up a trip report soon, I did want to send out a caution about a very slick "scam" that we experienced when we went to Versailles. We took the RER train there, accompanied by quite a few fellow tourists. As the crowd came out of the train station, a very official looking woman (with a name badge and everything), was directing folks to the place to get tickets to the palace -- across the street, under the arch. When we crossed the street, we saw prominent signage for Versailles Tickets and a long line out the door. I immediately assumed that this must be the place. I knew you could purchase tickets at the palace and thought this must be an outer entrance. There were 30-40 people in line.

After about 15 minutes as we edged closer to the entrance, I could see the signage in the window with the various entrance tickets and fees. They were higher than I was expecting so I took out my handy notebook and confirmed that the price for the "Passport" was listed here for 35 euros, when my research indicated should only be 25 euros. I started looking closely at the signs and the agents inside and realized we were all stupidly standing in line at a tour agency -- GuidaTours -- to be exact. I could have kicked myself for being so stupid!

By this time I was nearly at the front of the line and we had already invested a good chunk of time waiting. A few other people had also noticed that they had been snookered, but one of the agents was smooth-talking them, saying that there would be many more people standing in line at the palace. I decided not to risk it and went ahead and purchased tickets for the palace and the water fountain show (at an inflated price). Of course, there was no one in line up at the palace.

So just a word of caution, beware the slick operation by GuidaTours. You'll know you've been diverted if you end up in line for tickets next to a McDonald's!

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