Visiting the awe-inspiring Chateau de Versailles is often cited as one must-do day trip in the travel guide to France. The massive palace and gardens built by King Louis XIV have been the symbol and benchmark for another palace. The supremo of grandeur and extravagance where the French royals once stayed have marvelled visitors for the longest time. Getting to the palace is straightforward too, so do not miss out a Versailles tour when you are in Paris.
We took a 30 min train ride on RER C line from Paris to Versailles Rive Gauche. It’s easy to make your way to the palace from the train station. Just follow the crowd if clueless – the bulk of people who disembark are heading to Chateau de Versailles anyway.
Spending a day at Chateau de Versailles
First of all, we were greeted by the imposing royal gate which stands at the entrance. And like all popular Paris attractions, what awaits us next was a snaking queue under the hot afternoon sun… It took almost an hour for us to pass through the security check. Hence, it’s best to buy your Versailles tickets in advance too, so you don’t have to waste more time queuing in the ticket line.
The whole of Chateau de Versailles is tastefully furnished. Gold accent, marbled walls, giant chandeliers, decadent stuff, exquisite paintings, and sculptures. The attention to details had turned Chateau de Versailles interior into one stunning and awe-inspiring place. And I can still vividly recall how amazed we were. God knows how much fortunes were spent in building this lavish palace.
King Louis-Philippe has decided to turn Chateau de Versailles into a museum in 1833. So common folks like us can finally have a glimpse of the French royal family’s privileged life.
This is the chapel where the royal family attended mass.
There are just so much to see inside, the stunning artworks on the ceiling alone can cause severe stiff neck.
And not forgetting the countless paintings and sculptures seen everywhere in the palace.
Here’s the Queen’s chamber decked out in nice floral patterns with gold accents. This room is also where royal births took place…in public view! According to the written explanation – this is to ensure that the royal heir is legitimate…OMG.
And probably the most well-known place in Chateau de Versailles will be the Hall of Mirrors. The stunning hall which witnessed the signing of Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I is oh-so-beautiful! If only I can ditch the crowd.
Eiffel Tower must be one of the first things that come to mind when anyone mentions about Paris. Hence, I have no doubt it would be on any Europe first-timers’ wish list – mine included. Since 1889, the metallic tower stood proudly on Champ de Mars which is along Seine River. It is visible from most parts of the streets and looks amazingly beautiful in the day and night, be it near or far.
The proud creation of Gustave Eiffel
Known by the French as La Tour Eiffel, named after Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who designed and built it. Monsieur Gustave would probably be overjoyed to know that his creation has remained popular a century later. In addition to being one of the most recognized landmarks in the world. And I’m bewildered about the fact which the Eiffel Tower was supposed to be built in Barcelona until the design proposal was turned down. Wow, just imagine Eiffel Tower in Barcelona…hmm.
The construction in Paris was no bed of roses either. And Parisians had strongly protested against the idea initially. Thank goodness it was built else it’s almost impossible to picture France without their Iron Lady.
We didn’t ascend to the top as it was overly crowded…bad planning. But still, we were both gratified to see Eiffel Tower up close. These photos were taken when we spent about an hour walking around the grounds.
We then make our way across Seine River to the Gardens of the Trocadéro where Chaillot Palace is located, which is yet another good place to view the tower.