Why you should skip Versailles on your trip to Paris
27 Euros. That was the price of ticket into the palace of Versailles. This ticket included a timed entrance to the castle (allowing you entrance at a specific time) along with an entrance to the garden, which I didn’t want since it was pouring rain all day but was forced to buy anyways. This is about 30 to 40 US dollars if you’re Canadian like us, which is a pretty hefty price tag for an attraction. Here are the reasons why I believe visiting Versaille is not worth it if you have either time or monetary constraints for your trip to Paris:
1. The line is too long
If you purchased the timed ticket, you can skip the line and therefore skip this point. However, for those who have a general ticket or any type of Paris pass, be prepared to wait 2 hours to enter the palace. My family had to do this in the pouring rain which they were not too happy about.
2. The palace is too busy to enjoy
There is simply way too many people inside to poorly mannered tourists. Every room is packed with people elbowing their way to the front, pushing people to get a picture beside every single piece of furniture. One man almost knocked my 80 year old grandma down as he was shoving his way to take a picture of a painting. On top of being annoying to be there, it is impossible to actually see anything with so many people around.
3. The palace is very poorly managed
The entire operation screamed tourist trap. Three toilets for the thousands of people that are inside the palace. It took over half an hour to use the washroom and seeing parents struggle with their little kids was not fun. The areas that are being renovated have these ugly billboards in front of them which detracts from the outside appearance. Additionally, the staff was very rude. Shoving people outside into the pouring rain without giving them time to find their umbrellas. The palace itself was also poorly marked making it difficult to find your way around.
4. The interier is not the original
While the architecture of the outside facade is quite beautiful, most of the interieur artifacts were replaced with replicas as the originals were sold off or stolen. Quite unfortunate.
5. The audio guide was boring
This point is certainly subjective to personal preference, but I found that the guide was quite boring, often diving way too deep into details that I didn’t care about while missing important story points to help you relive the life of the royal family. I know for a fact that the stories are very interesting and I expected to be more engaged throughout the visit. I would like to take a moment to highlight that I still think the palace is beautiful, just not beautiful enough to warrsnt dealing with the points above. While some of these are subjective, it is important to note that I have talked to friends and family who have visited the palace and while some were less dissapointed than others, it is safe to say that every one of them was underwhelmed. Simply put, the combination of time and money invested is not worth it.With all this said, I will add that we visited the gardens on a different day and for 9 euros per person, we were able to enjoy a lovely picnic in front of the musical fountains and a nice long walk among perfectly trimmed hedges, flowers and beautiful statues. All this without it being crowded or having to wait for any line. As much as the palace was not worth it, the gardens were definitely enjoyable.