If you’re taking a vacation to Paris, then visiting the Palace of Versailles, just outside the city, should be on your list of things to do. It’s pretty much a one-size-fits-all attraction that covers the interests of everyone in your group, offering history, music, art, a beautiful natural setting, and one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of what life was like for the French royals.
Of course, the popularity of Versailles means that it can be quite crowded, especially during peak seasons, which is why it absolutely pays to go on a private tour. And that goes double if you’ve already been to Versailles and were frustrated by being kept out of certain wings and rooms. With the new Viator VIP Access: Palace of Versailles Small-Group Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters you’ll go where few tourists have gone, avoid the crowds, and get behind the scenes access to one of the most famous sights in Paris.
The tour begins when you’re picked up in central Paris and brought directly to the Palace gates – no braving the Paris Metro and RER trains with thousands of commuters, no getting off at the wrong stop (yes, there are two Versailles stops), no wandering through the town of Versailles wondering if you’re going the right way (no, it’s not marked well).
Your VIP tour guide will get you past the crowds and directly into the Palace, a perk that already pays for itself (in gold, naturally). That means you only see your own reflection in the Hall of Mirrors, and not that of hundreds of other visitors. You’ll also see two of the 17 State Apartments’ rooms – the King’s Chamber and the Council Study.
From its start as a country getaway for Louis XIII to its present UNESCO World Heritage status and consideration as part of the Parisian suburbs, Versailles has played an important role in the history of France and the world. It played a crucial role in the beginning of the French Revolution and the German Empire, and the end of World War I; that alone should bring history buffs to its doors. Those interested in royal history will obviously not be disappointed, what with all the ghosts of former kings running around. Art, architecture and antique enthusiasts will get an eyeful as well, as France has been meticulous about renovating the Palace to exacting historical and artistic standards. If you want to walk through France’s past, this the place to do it.
On this tour, you’ll also get an exclusive viewing of the Royal Quarters, including exclusive access to normally restricted areas such as Louis XVI’s library and the dining room of Louis XV; then you’ll be shown the Royal Opera House or the Royal Chapel, depending on availability for VIP access. During the tour, your guide will give you all the inside scoop on what was really happening behind the gilded gates of Versailles all those years ago, including whether or not Marie Antoinette really said, “Let them eat cake!”
After your insider glimpse before the tourist hordes have the run of the place, you can try some the outdoor experiences at Versailles. Sporting types will love boating in the Grand Canal, cycling through the acres of garden paths, or even horseback riding on the grounds. Kids love to feed the swans, watch magical fountain shows and simply run through the thousands of trees to their hearts’ content. Just like the royals, you’ll be free to roam the gardens of the Versailles and take in the beauty and grandeur of this iconic site. Opt to have lunch at one of the cafes or restaurants on the grounds and enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of Paris before being safely delivered back at the Eiffel Tower.
It’s a Versailles trip fit for a king or queen – and their entourage!
- Christine Cantera
Planning a trip? Get a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Versailles with our Viator VIP Access: Palace of Versailles Small-Group Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters!