Europe Travel Tips

DOS AND DON’TS OF VERSAILLES

 

DO: TAKE IT SLOW

Versailles is super crowded. There are people everywhere, and they are all apparently in some sort of race to see who can see Versailles the fastest. It is easy to get swept up in a crowd and move at their pace. Stop! Let them go by you, and slow it down.  You will see so much more if you explore this way.

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DON’T: WEAR UNCOMFORTABLE SHOES

Versailles is gigantic. While it can be tempting to dress like a princess when visiting a palace, leave the heels at your hotel. Opt for something stylish but comfy. You don’t want to miss things because your feet hurt too much to walk there.

DO: EXPLORE THE GARDENS

So many people go through the palace, think they’ve seen everything cool, and leave. DO NOT DO THIS. The gardens are arguably the best part about this place. Take a walk and go explore them.

 

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DON’T: SKIP THE STUFF IN THE BACK

There are even more things to see in the back of the gardens and because they are so far back, many people don’t even realize they are there. My personal favorite part of Versailles, the hamlet, is hidden in the back of the grounds. Not only is it gorgeous, but there are no crowds because so few people make it back that far.

 

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DO: READ UP ON YOUR HISTORY 

Visiting Versailles is so much more meaningful when you know a little more about it and the people who lived there. The palace played such a huge part in France’s history and in the French Revolution. There are so many things that will go right over your head if you don’t know the history. Take 15 minutes to read the Wikipedia page or, if you want a little more depth, pick up a history book, a biography, or watch a documentary. I for one am a huge Marie Antoinette buff, so I suggest the Sofia Copolla  movie and the book Marie Antoinette: The Journey.

 

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DON’T: RELY ON THE AUDIO GUIDE

As with many  historical sites, audio guides are available in almost any language. While these are nice, they do not take the place of doing your own research. They can be boring, bland, and completely miss or skip over interesting facts. Don’t think this is the same as reading on your own.

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