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versailles - which day of the week and how long of a day?

versailles - which day of the week and how long of a day?

Old Nov 25th, 2007, 05:35 AM
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versailles - which day of the week and how long of a day?

When planning our trip to Paris in May 2008 , we of course, want to see Versailles. I think I read somewhere that the fountains are only working on Sundays - true? How much of our day should we plan for Versailles - should we mix it w/ a trip to Giverney or elsewhere (planning to take the train). Also, what is the best day of the week to avoid crowds but be certain to see everything working and open?
dolciani is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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The fountains generally run on Sundays and specific holidays, for an hour or two in the morning and afternoon (different fountains at different times). On these occasions, you must pay to get into the gardens; at other times, admission to the gardens is free.

Expect to spend at least half a day at Versailles, even if you try to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. Giverny takes the day. In both cases this is because of the overhead involved in getting to and from the location. Actually visiting the garden in Giverny is quite quick, but the rest of the time is spent travelling. Versailles takes a bit longer to see, depending on how much you want to see, but travel time is still significant. Walking through the gardens takes a lot of time, if you choose to see a significant part of them.

I haven't noticed a particular day that's better for Versailles than others. Low season (this time of year) is better than high season (when you'll be going).

Be sure to bring good walking shoes, and keep in mind that both toilets and places to eat are scarce in Versailles and Giverny.
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Hi, dolciani,

if you google the official web-site for versailles and go to the bit about " grands-eaux" you will find that between april and september, the fountains are on twice a day on Sats, suns and "fete days".

the french web-site seems to be working better than the english version today.

Versailles is vast - if you want to see the gardens and the palaces, I'd reckon on its lasting a whole day, and being pretty tired at the end of it. Giverney isn't even very close by, so doesn't make a good combination.

May would be the ideal time to go. we went on a very cold March Sunday about 25 years ago, on what was then one of the only 4 days of the year when the water was turned on. we only lasted half a day 'cos it was sooo cold. You should have more luck!

regards, ann
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Keep in mind that there's more to Giverny than just Monet's gardens. His house is very interesting, with an excellent collection of Japanese wood-block prints hung in the dining room. There's also the fine American museum's collection of paintings.
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Versailles is very easy to get to from the train, the RER from Paris. Pls do note, that around end of april/ may be still covered. They cover them to protect them..so do read up on it, before you decide. You can spend a full day here, as the gardens are lovely, the walking around, the chateau etc.

Versailles as a town is not like paris, but quite nice to walk in.
The express train from Montpanasse in paris, to Versailles, is like 20 mins.

The garden fee is 10 euros, if the are charging, even without the fountains and the statues covered, its lovely.

Currently its all being renovated, so should be fansastic by the time you come here!

Giveney is beautiful- i strongly suggest to visit the Orangerie museum in Paris, (tuliries garden), before you go to see his house.
The museum is closed i think mon and tuesday, and induvidual entry starts at 12.30 pm. The paintings are over 6 ft wide, so its just stunning, recently renovated, getting only natural sunlight.... after that you can do giverny , its just a 90 min drive, and do a chateau if you like on the way back to paris....
hope this helps.
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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If you look at the Parisvision website, they have a Versailles/Giverny combo. If you must do both, I would recommend that. As other have stated Versailles is the palace, the gardens, Marie Antoinette's out-buildings,etc. The Garden's are massive, not like someone's home gardens, but rather a huge terrain with fountains, statues, gardens, scuplted trees,etc.

I've done the bus tour and on my own. It will depend on how much you want to see as to which is best. And if you go early enough by train, you could start palace visit before some of the tour buses arrive.

If a tour, pre-plan on what you want to see outside of the palace, and how best to see those areas (e.g. the shuttle train). Their website is good.
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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If you attend Versailles on a Sunday there is a wonderful marketplace about 3 blocks (I think Northwest) of the Palace. It is called Place du Marche Notre Dame and is at the intersection of Rue de la Paroisse and Rue du Marechal Foch. It is only a 5 minute walk from the front gate of Versailles. I am sure it is open other days, but we have only been there on Sundays. It is a vast market offering a tremendous array of fruits, meats, cheeses. A great place to get lunch.

We'll be there on March 9 having our choice of cheese and baguettes.
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