3 experiences to visit the Palace of Versailles and its gardens

château de Versailles et le grand canal

Think you know all the secrets of the Palace of Versailles and its gardens? Let yourself be tempted by these unique experiences, a far cry from conventional tours.

It’s one of the most visited monuments in France: the Château de Versailles and its gardens attract over 8 million visitors every year. Why not take advantage of your next stay in Paris to (re)discover the former residence of the kings of France?

For a change from traditional guided tours, we’ve come up with three unusual experiences to enjoy at the heart of the Château de Versailles: just the thing to spice up your stay and leave you with unforgettable memories!

Bike ride, picnic and fireworks

  • Duration: 8h30
  • 💰 Price: from €129/person

Enjoy a bike ride and privileged access to the château, before spending a magical evening in the palace gardens! Your tour begins in mid-afternoon, in the center of Paris. Accompanied by an expert and passionate guide, take the train to Versailles, then hop on your bike and head for the château.

After a quick visit to the market square, where you’ll find everything you need to pack a picnic lunch, drive through lush green countryside, away from the crowds. Stop as you please at Queen Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet, the Petit Trianon or the Grand Trianon, to hear your guide’s many anecdotes.

Pedal power! It’s already time for a picnic… But not just anywhere: have your dinner on the banks of the Grand Canal, witha breathtaking view of the castle. Cheaper than a 4-star restaurant, but just as enjoyable! But the evening is far from over. At last, we return to the palace for an exclusive tour after public opening hours. You’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of the palace without having to plunge into the crowd.

🍒 The icing on the cake: join the gardens and their fountains to witness the famous musical water show at sunset. Then, as night falls, look up to the sky for one of the most beautiful fireworks displays you’ll ever see!

    💙 We like: the visit to the Queen’s hamlet.

Vintage escapade aboard a 2CV

  • 👍 Number of participants: from 2 people
  • Duration: 4h
  • 💰 Price: from €170/person

The Sun King may have gone to the Château de Versailles in a horse-drawn carriage, but you’re going in a 2CV! This vintage experience to visit the Palace of Versailles and its gardens, takes you to Paris with a private chauffeur. Aboard a Citroën 2 CSV, he’ll take you to the calm and charm of the town of Versailles in the Yvelines. Enjoy your ride, straight to one of the most prodigious achievements of 18th-century French art!

The sunroof gives you the opportunity to enjoy the fresh breeze while admiring the architecture and cobbled roads of the historic city. Once you’ve reached your destination, your driver will accompany you on a tour of the royal gardens designed by André Le Nôtre. As tradition would have it, the best for last! Admission to the château is included, with audioguide, so you can learn all about this place steeped in history, art and symbolism.

An experience that takes you back in time to both 1634 and the 1950s! Interested?

    💙 We love: the little retro touch to get to the Château in style.

Boat trip on the Royal Palace’s Grand Canal

Balade en barque Château de Versailles

Photo credit : Shutterstock

  • 👍 Number of participants: from 2 people
  • 💰 Price: from €49.50/person

Is it your first time, and you absolutely must visit the entire Versailles estate? Making this choice will allow you to discover the history of this place in its entirety. But it would be a shame not to add a little fantasy, to make this day unique!

We’ve found the ideal activity, as romantic as it is fun: a boat trip on the Grand Canal. Glide over the water as a couple or as a family (3 children are allowed on the boat) and admire the exterior façades of the château from a whole new angle. For an hour, Versailles takes on a touch of Venice!

The reflections of the castle and vegetation on the surface of the water are also a delight for budding photographers. It’s a safe bet that this river getaway will be the envy of many on social networks. This discovery package also includes two all-inclusive tickets for the entire estate, including temporary exhibitions.

Once you’ve completed your boat tour, head for the château and its annexes, where you’ll be able to immerse yourself in royal life during the reign of Louis XIV. From the Hall of Mirrors to the carriage gallery, not forgetting the outdoor areas: after this day out, you’ll know all about life at the château!

    💙 We like: the relaxing river trip in a royal setting

Video credit: Château de Versailles

What’s on your mind? Are you more of a biker, sailor or night owl when it comes to visiting the Château de Versailles and its gardens? Tell us all about it! And if you really can’t decide, the best thing is to try out these three suggestions over a long weekend in Versailles!