Versailles in early February?

Jan 14th, 2003, 07:45 PM
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Versailles in early February?

I know there was a recent post about this but I still haven't found the answer to my question.
Half of what seems so amazing at Versailles (or so I've heard) are the grounds. Now I will be there Feb 1 or 2. First of all, are the "grounds" gardens? Wouldn't they all be dead for winter? and super cold outside?
Bottom line, wondering how much time to plan for this visit. Want to do the full palace tour, but just not sure about the outside part.
I wish there was a specialized travel reference for winter! All the gardens, etc. would be greatly minimized I would think. That would sure help to plan more effectively for that season.
Anyway, I could use some help on this one.
Thank you.
Jan 14th, 2003, 08:19 PM
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Whether the gardens are "dead" or not I would plan on a full day anyway. By the time you take the RER in and spend even a half day and then RER back to Paris your day is pretty much shot.
Plan on a relaxing day and go for it.
Jan 14th, 2003, 08:26 PM
Eye Spy
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Versailles came up once already this week. I suggest you familiarize yourself with this fantastic place on Great website. Don't go on a day it's closed although the grounds will be open.
Jan 14th, 2003, 10:49 PM
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We visited Versailles as a side-trip from Paris in early April '98 and spent about six hours there although the weather was the worst we'd had. It was cold, windy and overcast and alternated between drizzle and light rain most of the day.

Very few of the flowers were in bloom, but it was still well worth spending most of our day there. You can spend a little more time touring the mini-chateaux (Grand and Petit Trianon, I think) than the palace because of the crowds. And there is more to the grounds than the gardens -- even though just seeing the way the gardens were landscaped was kinda cool. There's a reflecting pool and several fountains, and lots and lots of beautiful trees. You're like 25 minutes or so outside Paris and you're in this forest.

We met some nice folks on the train trip there, picked up a yummy picnic lunch -- including wine -- for about 55 francs each (I think that was 5 or 6 bucks) at a shop on the walk to the grounds, and just took our time.
Jan 15th, 2003, 03:54 AM
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Quinty, when we toured Versailles last April, I said to my husband that winter could be a good time to visit Versailles. This is because the sun will be low in the sky as the afternoon wears on. Why would this be so desirable? I for one would love to walk through the Hall of Mirrors not only when the crowds are much thinner (as they are bound to be in February) but when the sun is reflecting off the mirrors (since, so far as I am aware, the Hall windows face west.) So in winter, I'd go for brunch nearby, proceed to a guided tour of 60 to 90 minutes (call to make sure these are offered, though, on winter afternoons) do a turn through the gardens, and then head into the main state apartments to see the Hall. Enjoy Paris.
Jan 15th, 2003, 04:47 AM
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The grounds are all dormant this time of the year. But, if you rent the audio player, it is like having a private tour of the palace. We were there last Feb and it was great, 3-4 people in each room at the same time.
Was there before with a guided tour and could not even hear her or enjoy the beauty all around. We took the Metro Out, have to buy an extra ticket, but it is quite cheap. 3 to 4 hours is plenty of time to enjoy everything.
Jan 15th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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Quinty, learn from my mistake. In planning, check to make sure that you won't be visiting on a national holiday. When I was in Paris two years ago for a limited stay, the only day we could go was on VE Day in early May. The crowds were worse than Disney in April! To add insult to injury there was a special event in the gardens and we couldn't get in without paying extra extra so we skipped it. Maybe in February though Versailles wouldn't be as popular an attraction as it is in May--but I'd still check!
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