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JLB Jun 12th, 2002 10:56 AM

Driving to Versailles
We will have a rental car in France & there are 5 of us. One of us has trouble with stairs. Is it better to drive to Versailles or to take the train? It's also offered as an optional on the tour we're going on, but seems simple enough to do ourselves. Also, because we're in Paris for such a short time & may not make it to Versailles except on a Monday when it's closed, is it worth stopping by to see the exterior of Versailles & the grounds? Thanks!

Howard Jun 12th, 2002 01:33 PM

The negative about driving is that you might get stuck in the legendary bad traffic in Paris its environs.<BR>If you take the RER train to Versailles, I think somewhere along the line you'll hit stairs--either at the Metro station(s) en route to the RER station and/or the RER stations.<BR>The gardens at Versailles alone are worth visiting. However, I would check to make sure the trams are operating on Mondays. Otherwise, you're in for a long walk to see all the grounds!

JLB Jun 12th, 2002 09:09 PM

Thanks for the reply. Good point about the trams!

JC Jun 13th, 2002 01:27 AM

I reccomend the train. then walk to the palace, it is only a few blocks. Aviod the busses that offer passage to the palace from the train station, they are a rip off since it is so close. <BR>Also,try to go to the gardens when they have the classical music playing, it adds a lot to the experience.

Angela Jun 13th, 2002 01:41 AM

I went to Versailles last month and drove from Paris. It was a fairly easy well signposted drive, traffic in Paris on the Sunday was very quiet, the ring road though was congested in a couple of areas. I would still drive there again though. There is plenty of car parking outside Versailles right next to the Palace, although we did have to queue but only for about 10 minutes. For five people it would be cheaper than taking the train, and I did not find it too difficult. If I remember rightly the wonderful fountain and classical music shows are only on Sundays once in the morning and once in the afternoon (15.30). We took the horse drawn cart to the Trianon from the main Palace which was fun. To walk it would have taken about 45-60 mins. There is also a little train. The gardens are of course beautiful and there are some pretty open air restaurants. I personally though would not have missed the tour of the interior, but if limited to time there are usually long (30-60min) queues. Also there a few different areas to see and there are seperate queues for each. If it is your first time to Paris and time as you say is tight then there are probably more worthwhile things to see in Paris itself, and save Versailles for your next trip!<BR>p.s There are quite a few stairs to climb in the Palace!

Howard Jun 13th, 2002 05:48 AM

The carriage ride is a good suggestion. However, the information I have says that they do not operate on Mondays.

WG Willis Jun 13th, 2002 02:22 PM

Metro/RER is the way to go. The Chateau (main palace)is about a half mile walk from the RER station. Versailles is huge!!The gardens are BIG!<BR>It's about a mile and a half walk to the end of the canal from the Chateau. Well worth the time to see if at all possible.

jlb Jun 14th, 2002 07:35 AM

Thanks for the info! We arrive on Sunday afternoon from London, so might be able to go then.

Howard Jun 14th, 2002 09:05 AM

Just be forewarned: Versailles will most likely be mobbed on Sunday afternoon, which is the peak visiting time of the week!

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