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Trip to Paris and Switzerland - Day 3,Part 1 - Palace of Versailles

So after a hectic day 2 at Paris Disneyland we arrived late in the night for our check-in at Lyric Hotel Paris. The Hotel is at Rue De Grammont, Paris and we arrived by car hired with Interservice Prestige and even though the chauffeur was from Paris we found it a little difficult to locate the hotel.

Do Read Trip to Paris Day 1 & Paris Day 2

Lyric Hotel Paris, Rue de Grammont

Lyric Hotel Paris is a 4 star hotel located in the Opera District of Paris. It is a relatively newly refurbished hotel that really caught our eye when we were browsing for hotels in a central location in Paris
  • Location : Lyric Hotel Paris is centrally located , only a 5 minute walk away from the Opera Metro and a 2 minute walk from Quatre Septembere metro station. This made is really comfortable for us while commuting to various places as most of the attractions were close by. 

Lyric Hotel Paris Reviews
Rue De Grammont- The street where Lyric Hotel Paris is located


Opera Paris France
The Opera is just a 5 minute walk from the hotel

  •  Rooms and Ambiance :  We took the double business room ( which was the most basic ) but it turned out be really luxurious and comfortable.  The room had a real modern feel  with all amenities provided. One of the better rooms we stayed in during our trip.

lyric hotel paris rooms photos
Lyric Hotel Paris- Double Business Room- A really comfortable bed


lyric hotel paris reviews
Lyric Hotel Paris- Double Business Room


lyric hotel paris booking
Lyric Hotel Paris- Double Business Room- Bathroom


lyric hotel paris reviews
Lyric Hotel Paris- Double Business Room- Modern and Chic

  • Amenities :  The breakfast was not complimentary , but we did not mind as it gave us the opportunity to try out the numerous French cafes close by. The hotel also had an indoor swimming pool and a spa service which we did not use due to lack of time.
  • Room Rates : We had taken advantage of the early bird offer and booked rooms ( on a non refundable basis ) and we got average rate of 150-160 Euro per night.                                                                   
  • Apart from the above the front desk were really helpful and spoke English which was very helpful. Overall a very pleasant stay and we would recommend this hotel to others.

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles ( pronounced as Ver-sigh-e )  is a day trip from Paris and is probably the most opulent palace in the world and is a testament to finest French art of the 17th century. Since it was our first time in  Paris and we were there only for 3.5 days(part from Disneyland) we contemplated whether to visit the Palace as it would take a major part of the day.  After our visit we suggest that this should be a part of any itinerary , as  it  is really worth a visit.


palace of versailles photos
A small size model of Palace and surroundings





palace of versailles images
Entrance to the Palace of Versailles


Below are some of the questions that were running through our mind when we were planning our trip and thought it would be best to pass on what we learnt.
·         
   How to ride the Paris Metro ?  How to reach the Palace of Versailles using the metro ?

The Paris Metro system comprises of :

1.       14 metro lines
2.       5 RER lines

Metro Lines :  There are 14 lines each denoted by a number from 1 -14 ( M1, M2 etc ). Single tickets for the Metro are known as “Ticket t+”. These tickets are valid for a single continuous journey of any length, throughout the Metro system, including changes to other Metro lines. In short , one ticket can be used from first point of entry to your final station of exit including interchanges.

Each ticket costs EUR 1.70 . It is better buy a book of 10 tickets called carnet  ( Costs EUR  13.70 )


How to ride Paris MRT & RER
The Metro T + ticket bought as a carnet(group of 10)

RER  :  This is a regional rapid transit system predominantly serving the suburbs surrounding Paris.  The 5 RER lines RER A, RER B, RER C, RER D and RER E.  While travelling within Paris using the RER network,  the metro Ticket t+ itself can be also used for the RER trains.

For travelling to the outside of Paris ( Versailles, Disneyland, Charles De Gaulle etc ) you need to buy special Tickets called Billet ( pronounced as Bee-yay ) which can be purchased over the ticket counters.



Riding Paris  Metro & RER
RER Ticket to Versailles Rive Gauche


For buying round trip tickets for instance to Palace of Versailles you would need to say Aller- Retour ( pronounced as Al-Eh Ray-tour ) Versailles.

Going to Versailles : The thing that you need to keep in mind is that Versailles is serviced by the RER C line and you need to get to any of the stations that is serviced by the RER C line

1.  If you are already in a metro station serviced by RER C line   Head to the platform that serves the RER C line. Take a train that is heading towards the direction of Versailles Chateu Rive Gauche  ( Metro station for Palace of Versailles ).


how to go to palace of versailles by metro
At the platform , displays that show the time of arrival of the next train- Take the train to Versailles Chateu RG


2.  If you are not in a metro station serviced by RER C line : Take a local metro train to any one of the stations serviced by RER C line and then you can interchange to a RER C train from there. You dont need to buy 2 tickets in this case. Buy a round trip RER ticket to Versailles from your first station which can be used for the first journey to RER C metro station ( from where you will be changing to RER C train to Versailles)

For instance since we were staying next to the Opera, so we took the M8 line ( TOWARDS Balard ) from Opera Metropolitan station got down at the Invalides metro station. We changed trains at Invalides  and took the RER C train to Versailles River Gauche.



how to travel to palace of versailles
Follow such signs which shall take you take you to RER C line platform


how to go to palace of versailles
RER Trains that we took to reach Versailles Chateu River Gauche
         


After a 40 minute ride we reached Versailles Chateu Rive Gauche
    
Get down at the last station, Versailles Chateu River Gauche. The Place of Versailles is 10 minute walk away  from the exit. 
·         
palace of versailles photos
After a 10 minute walk we reached the Palace of Versailles

    







Should you take a guided tour or not ?

If your knowledge of French history is only basic and you would not like to stand in long queues then booking a “ Skip the Line guided tour “ is probably the best idea. The palace of Versailles is very huge and there are good chances it can get a little boring looking at painting after painting / sculptures after a while . ( Something that happened to us at the Pantheon ). So we would strongly suggest a guided tour / at least take an audio guide.

Guided Tour of the Palace :

We had booked a Skip the line guided tour of the Palace of Versailles from  Getyourguide.com for Euro 39 and we felt it was really worth the money. Our guide Pauline spoke excellent English and was really knowledgeable, which made our visit very enjoyable. Getyourguide.com also has guided tour of the gardens , the Grand Triannons and Mary Antoinette’s estate if that interests you.Getyourguide.com office ( for initial orientation) is just opposite Versailles River Gauche Metro station as soon you exit.     



palace of versailles queues
Queues are really long for a normal entry


palace of versailles guided tour
Direct Entry for Skip the line Guided Tours- No waiting- Really worth it
      


palace of versailles images
Yes the queues are really this long even at 10 AM


  A Quick Pic Before the Guided Tour of Palace of Versailles :


palace of versailles hours
Hubby and Me
                 

Some Pictures of The Palace of Versailles from our Guided tour : 


palace of versailles hall of mirrors
The famous Hall of Mirrors- Really Beautiful


palace of versailles royal chapel
The Royal Chapel- Palace of Versailles


palace of versailles kings chamber
The Kings Chamber


palace of versailles queens chamber
The Queens Chamber


The Council Study

palace of versailles louis 14
From  (L-R)  A statue of Louis the 14th - A potrait of Marie Antoinnate

The Gardens :

We wanted to explore the gardens on our own and bought tickets for the same independently.  Each adult ticket cost EUR 9 as there was the musicial fountains show on our day of visit.  Otherwise the entry to the gardens is free. 



Palace of Versailles Musical Gardens
Ticketing Booth- You can buy tickets for the gardens here.


palace of versailles gardens photos
The Garden are really enormous- Options to avoid walking. The train takes you to the Triannons and the estate
           
  
palace of versailles fountain show
Some pics from the Gardens
            
·    What are the different types of passes/ tickets if not taking the guided tour ?

Palace of Versailles is divided into 4 major zones :
1.       The Palace
2.       The Gardens
3.       The Grand Triannons
4.       Marie Antoinette’s Estate


Palace is open daily except on Mondays . However do check out the opening hours for the day of your visit.  You can either buy tickets for each of the individual attractions or buy one passport ticket that gives you full access to all the regions.  

 Are the Grand Triannons and Mary Antoinnete’s Estate worth a visit ?

If you have time, please try to allot a whole day to visit the Palace of Versailles and we are sure you will enjoy the time spent. Since we were on a tight schedule we visited only the Palace of Versailles and the gardens, but did not visit the Grand Triannons and Mary Antoinette’s estate, something that we regret now,  after seeing some beautiful pictures  in other blogs.  

So if we could do it again we would allot a whole day for Versailles and explore the Palace , the gardens , the Grand Triannon and the Mary Antoinette’s Estate at leisure.

Place where we ate lunch inside The Jardins :



palace of versailles musical gardens
A hidden gem inside the gardens- La Girandole



palace of versailles gardens pictures
Menu- La Girandole



Tips :
  • There is also a lot of walking involved so try wearing something comfortable and carry lots of water. 
  • If possible do not try to combine Versailles with any other major attraction as it can get really tiresome.
  • If not taking a guided tour do arrive early as the lines get atrociously long.  Do also consider taking the Passport ticket as it would work out cheaper.
  • Do be very careful of your belongings ( something our guide kept repeating like a zillion times ) as there are lots of pickpockets.
  • Avoid Tuesdays as the Louvre is closed and hence more people tend to visit Palace of Versailles. Around 50000 people visit on Tuesdays ( A fact that our guide shared with us ). 
The post was written in collaboration with my husband


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