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Paris _ Day trip to Versailles on a tour or by train?

Paris _ Day trip to Versailles on a tour or by train?

Jan 30th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Paris _ Day trip to Versailles on a tour or by train?

Which do fodorites recommend? We usually travel by ourselves and don't take tours, however, I am under the impression that the palace is far from the train station and there is alot of walking involved if I don't join a tour. What should we do? Thanks in advance.
retiredinflorida is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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No more walking than any other excursion around the city. Plus, I'm have a hard time imagining a tour would reduce the walking to Versailles grounds as it's maybe 4-5 blocks.

The grounds itself will require walking and again, can't call any vehicles to make that easier.
tmh is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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I think the walk from the train station is maybe half a mile? Once you get to Versailles, you have to do a lot of walking to tour the grounds itself, so I don't see how you can avoid it.

I would take the train, since you have to walk anyway, and that way you can leave at your own time.
Jolie is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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The train stop is only about 5 blocks from the front gate. It's really quite dramatic to approach Versailles in this way, as you can appreciate the magnitude of this palace and surrounding grounds. I think following the self-guided tours found in Fodors, Frommers, or Rick Steves will be just as fulfilling as a tour, and much cheaper. My experience with guided tours is that they cater to the lowest denominator IQ. Such tours are always spoiled by some bufoon from Texas ranting on and on about how big everything is, just like back home. I quickly become Canadian in such situations, but enough aleady. You are capable of much more insightful travel, as evidenced by your use of this fine travel tool, The Fodor's Forum.

Say Hi to Louis for me. It's really a great way to spend a day, at your own pace.
edovre is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Oh it's SO close.

When you walk out of the train station, take a right, it's about two blocks over at the light, look & turn left, and you'll see the palace from there.

We used the Rick Steves tour, and really enjoyed stopping in each room and reading about each room as we went along.

And DO spend some time walking down into the gardens. I've been there twice, and missed the gardens the first time, and really enjoyed the walk when I went back. It really gives you a feel for the grandness of the whole spread.

Happy travels.

jules4je7 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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Also, your Paris Museum Pass covers the palace apartments, and it's only a few bucks more to get into the gardens.

jules4je7 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:41 PM
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I have gone many times, always by train or by metro+bus, and when in Versailles I check the available tours like the King 's quaters etc and take one of them. Save a bundle and for instance if I feel like it is easy to go to town and have lunch in one of the many small restaurants, bistros at walking distance from the Chateau.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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By all means, take the train. I am also "retired in Florida", so I can understand your concern about walking. However, it really isn't far from the train station. Also, on your own, you can stop and rest anytime you feel like it, and not be herded along with a mob.
Truthfully, though, after touring the palace, I didn't make it too far into the gardens! They have a little "tourist train" that will take you around the gardens to Marie Antoinette's Hameau and the other 2 smaller palaces on the grounds. That's nice, but there is probably always a line for the little train - there sure was when I was there.
Sue4 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 08:06 PM
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Take the train. The buses will save you 5 minutes or so at best. If you have a small group (up to 6), or are just willing to splurge, the best way to see the gardens is the horse drawn carriages.
twk is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:04 PM
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You cannot avoid walking in Versailles, whether you are on your own or with a tour. And there is a lot of walking involved, some of it on very uneven and smooth cobblestones (so wear walking shoes, no heels).

You can easily get to Versailles by train from Paris in 20-30 minutes. You must walk from there to the palace and grounds, but if you can't manage that, you shouldn't go, because actually seeing Versailles requires a lot more walking then you do in getting there from the station.
AnthonyGA is offline  

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