Domaine de Versailles, les Jardins et le Grand Canal, visiteurs avec parapluie rose

A Summer weekend in Versailles

Treat yourself to a weekend in Versailles this summer. The highlight of the trip will surely be your visit to the castle and its extraordinary gardens, but the royal city itself offers many other surprises.
  1. Inspiration
  2. Itineraries
  3. A Summer weekend in Versailles

Welcome to Versailles, the setting for the Sun King's palace. The town, designed by Louis XIV's architects in 1682, still respects their urban planning rules and no building is taller than the castle. Here are some tips for enjoying a princely weekend in this royal city. To optimize your visit, opt for a 5-zone Paris Visit travel pass and a Versailles Passport.

Saturday at the Palace of Versailles

A visit to this architectural masterpiece will take a whole day. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the estate extends over more than 800 hectares and the castle comprises 2,300 rooms!

Do not miss its most beautiful treasures: the stunning King's Apartments, entirely dedicated to the glory of the Sun King; the dazzling Hall of Mirrors and its 357 mirrors, which will transport you back to the time of the monarchy under Louis XIV with its paintings depicting the political, economic and artistic successes of France; and the extraordinary royal chapel and its magnificent sculpted decor that echoes the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.

Chateau de Versailles

Then enjoy an anachronistic and gourmet break at Alain Ducasse's ORE restaurant.

France's most renowned chef welcomes you in a contemporary setting, on the first floor of the Dufour Pavilion, with a menu inspired by the cuisine of the past.

On the go or for a sit-down meal, you won't regret your visit to this temple of good taste.

Restaurant ORE d'Alain Ducasse%252CVersailles 2016

Like the members of the court of Louis XIV, next take a digestive stroll through Le Nôtre’s sumptuous gardens while the monumental fountains come alive for the Musical Fountain show.

Visit the park's various groves to the sound of Baroque music in a musical promenade, then hop aboard the little train to visit the charming ensemble of the two Trianon castles and Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet.

Domaine de Versailles%252C les jardins%252C Bassin et Parterre de Latone pendant les Grandes Eaux Musicales.

Then to finish this royal day with pomp, there's nothing better than an opera in the magnificent setting of the Royal Opera, or if you prefer a spectacle in the mild summer air, the Fountains Night Show offers you a grandiose fireworks display in front of the Grand Canal. Remember to book your tickets in advance.

Domaine de Versailles%252C les Jardins durant les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes.

Sunday in town

Get the day off to a good start and head to the the Notre-Dame district for a visit to the Old Town. There you will enjoy the charming Carrés Notre-Dame market, overflowing (from 7am to 2pm) with stalls and happy customers.

Then stroll (or haggle!) with the internationally renowned dealers in the Antiquarian district, set in a picturesque village of small houses close to the market. Peckish? Settle in to the terrace of one of the area’s many restaurants.

You will enjoy using the footpaths so dear to the inhabitants.

Antiquaires et Galeries d'Art de Versailles
Antiquaires et Galeries d'Art de Versailles

After lunch, a short 15-minute walk will take you to the castle's Royal Stables. Cross the majestic courtyard to reach the Versailles Academy of Equestrian Arts, an astonishing equestrian theater directed by the famous artist Bartabas.

At 3pm, watch his show ” La Voie de l’Ecuyère”, performed to Bach music. A magic moment that you can complete with a free visit of the Stables, a disarming place of luxurious simplicity or by exploring the Gallery of coaches. An extraordinary collection of carriages, sedan chairs… and an amazing testimony to the pomp and splendour of court life during the Ancien Régime, the Empire and the Restoration. Free visit until 6.30 pm.

Manège de la Grande Ecurie%252C Académie Equestre de Versailles%252C 2012

And to end the afternoon peacefully, head to the King's Kitchen Garden. Situated a 20-minute walk from the stables, in the historic Saint-Louis district, it will introduce you to more than 5,000 varieties of fruit trees, and old and new vegetable varieties populate the two-hectare vegetable garden. If the visit has made you hungry, make sure to take home with fruit and vegetables grown on site, for sale in the shop!

Our selection

Chateau de Versailles
Château de Versailles
Art & culture
Emblematic of the pomp and splendour of Louis XIV’s reign, this most superlative of palaces offers visitors an incredible immersion in the history of France.
Equestrian Academy of Versailles
Unusual Art & culture
Installed in the former royal stables at the Château de Versailles, Bartabas’s Equestrian Academy presents exceptional shows of horsemanship that will mesmerise the whole family.
Potager du Roi et en arrière plan, la cathédrale Saint Louis de Versailles
King’s Kitchen Garden
Nature & outdoor
Set right beside the Château de Versailles, the remarkable King’s Kitchen Garden – a listed historic monument – maintains its unique charm, to the great delight of horticulturalists.

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  • Copyright image: Jarry-Tripelon / CRT Paris Ile-de-France