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Versailles question

Old Feb 14th, 2011, 08:21 PM
  #1  
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Versailles question

This is my fist post so please bear with me.

Could someone please tell me the best way to get to Versailles by train from Paris. I will be staying near Gare De Lyon. The other alternative is to do an organised day tour. What are your opinions on the alternatives. I am not sure what would be the best way to do it bearing in mind the costs involved as well. A full day organised tour is around $200 per person and I will be travelling with my partner.

Cheers
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 11:25 PM
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Pharos:

The easiest way to get to Versailles Palace is by taking the RER C5 line to Versailles Rive Gauche.

RER C lines run along the south bank of the Seine.
Depending on your precise location near Gare de Lyon you can either walk or take bus 63 direction Porte de la Muette to Gare d'Austerlitz, where you will catch RER C5. Or you can take the Métro line 14 direction Olympiades to Bibliothèque François Mitterand, where you can transfer to RER C5.

Once at Versailles Rive Gauche (which is the end of the RER C5 line), you won't have any problems finding your way to the Palace. Just follow the crowd.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

Phil.
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 11:34 PM
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Sorry, forgt a few infos.

Trains run from gare d'Austerlitz every 15 Minutes and are called VICK. The single fare is €3.05.

Travel with the RER is quite straightforward and easy, no need for a guide actually.

I personally prefer exploring sites like Versailles Palace on my own in order to pick the things I like and manage my time according to my taste. If you want guided tours, you still can book them at the site.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

Phil.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 08:14 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Good advice from Phil.

There are two terminuses at Versailles. Make sure you take the train to Rive Gauche.

You don't need a tour.

Plan for a day when the fountains are on, if you can.
See http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/

Enjoy your visit.


PS: you did very well for a 1st-time poster
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 08:26 AM
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Agree. Take the RER but...get there for opening. By mid-morning the coach tours have arrived. See the chateau first, then go see the grounds, it covers quite a large area.

You could walk, rent a bike, or take the little shuttle train.

The fountains are quite nice, and the area just behind the chateau very nice.

I would think twice about going when they have the water shows, since it can get quite busy.

Some nights they have classical concerts, and there are also equestrian shows and visits.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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Definitely go by yourself. It's very easy as posted above. IMO, don't miss going out to Marie Antionette's little houses. We also went at night for a firework show that was spectacular.

Good luck and keep posting questions. This is the place to get good,useful answers.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 01:55 PM
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Thanks everyone you have been more than helpful. I have been reading answers and questions on Fodors for ages. It really is a great forum.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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mms
 
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We arrived I would guess about 10 minutes before it opened. There were only a couple people in line ahead of us. That was for the security line, as we had museum passes so did not need to get in the ticket line. We literally had the palace to ourselves going that early! Our pictures of the Hall of Mirrors only show us and the security guards.

My only warning is to wear good shoes. I was stupid and had sandals on and managed to slip down some stairs. Made the rest of our trip really difficult for getting around, nevermind the knee surgeries later
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Thanks MMS my partner has just had knee surgery so will bear that in mind. We will definitely get there early.

Have been toying with the idea of purchasing a museum pass as well. Is it good value? We wanted to visit Musée D'Orsay and Musée du Louvre but as we will be there on the first Sunday of the month and these museums have free entrance we are not sure. I guess the lines for entry would be enormous on those days. Has anyone done that?
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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On my last trip to Versailles they offered golf carts for rent to drive through the gardens. My husband and I had great fun with it. You must stay on the path or the cart's motor will not go forward - only in reverse till you return to the path. It was a great way to cover a lot of territory in a couple of hours - I think it cost us about $50. This might be good for your partner with knee surgery.
Tour is not necessary. There are so many tours going through you can always listen to one of the tour guides inside the palace.
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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mms
 
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pharos--We have gone to the Louvre twice on the free Sundays. One time was 10 years ago (FWIW) around 2pm. The line was too long so we passed. The other time was 2 years ago and we went in the later afternoon and there was no line at all. We used the Carousel entrance. So definitely try it, and if the lines are long, have a plan b in place. I do like the museum pass. To bypass lines, but also just for the convenience of not having to buy tickets at each place. And of course at Versaille, that saved us a lot of time! We bought our pass at the Louvre. My fall was only about 18 months ago, so I have had both knees surgeries in this time, the last one just a couple weeks ago. I am so ready to see more of Versaille when we are back this summer, and I will probably wear tennis shoes even if they look really bad, lol!
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Old Feb 15th, 2011, 03:27 PM
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