Versailles Gardens

These gardens are a feat to match the palace's interiors, designed by King Louis XIV's royal gardener.

TravelCurious Tip

Spend the morning in the palace, before getting lost the gardens and having a picnic for lunch.

The garden of Paris

The gardens of Versailles occupy some 800 hectares of land on the outskirts of Paris, and every inch is perfectly manicured. From the central window in the Hall of Mirrors, you can look down and see them laid out in grand perspective, dotted with parterres of flowers, sculptures and fountains.

The fountains date from the time of Louis XIV and still use much of the same complex network of hydraulics to produce their powerful jets.


No detail spared

In 1661, Louis XIV commissioned the designer and architect André Le Nôtre. In total, the works to over forty years to complete to the high standards demanded by the reigning monarch. Some other big names took part too - Jules Mansart and Charles Le Brun drew many of the outlines for the statues and built the Orangerie.

Vast amounts of effort were required. Tons of earth were moved by whole regiments of men; trees were imported from all the provinces of France; huge pieces of stone had to be quarried to sculpt the statues that adorn the fountains.

Make sure you take in the Orangerie, situated on a slope to protect the oranges in winter, and the statues from greek mythology which are the only remnants of the Grotte de Thétys.

Otherwise, you can walk for hours between parterres, fountains and bosquets - a typical formal French arrangement of trees, which requires at least five of the same species to be set out in a quincunx.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Versailles' Royal Chapel
This extraordinary two-level palatine chapel is one of many delights to be found at the Palace of Versailles.
Versailles' Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors reflects the height of French prosperity under Louis XIV.
Seine River Cruise
Get delighted with the magnificent views of the city along the Seine River, on board the Bateaux Mouches.
Royal Apartments
Inside Versailles Palace, the Royal apartments were not only a place for rest but also the setting for important Palace ceremonies.
Versailles Palace
Located about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris, The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI.
Musical Fountains show
Enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the water features synchronised to the tune of period music.

Related Tours

The Palace of Versailles & Gardens: Private Day Trip from Paris
Explore the golden splendour of the Palace of Versailles and its formal gardens on this half-day trip from Paris. The golden palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV, is France’s most visited attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fantastic tour of Versailles will introduce you to the glory and tragedy of one of the largest royal palaces in the world. 

On your private tour of Versailles, you will:
 
  • Travel in comfort with private return transportation from central Paris; 
  • Learn about the French monarchy and the run-up to the Revolution;
  • Hear the story of Louis XIV, France's longest reigning monarch: the Sun King, and his dream of the Palace of Versailles
  • Admire the golden gates and the impressive Baroque architecture
  • See the chapel where the unlucky King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were married;
  • Hear about the daily routines of the palace royals, nobles and servants and the royal ablutions and the duties of the King's gentlemen;
  • Learn the intricacies and scandals of life at court, how to hold your fan, drop your gaze, bow and curtsy;
  • Discover the mandate dubbed the 'Versailles Shuffle' and hear about Louis XIV's love of the ballet;
  • See the best of the palace, including the Royal Chapel, the magnificent Hall of Mirrors, Peace Room, War Room, and the King’s Grand Apartments; 
  • Enjoy the formal grandeur and beauty of the Gardens of Versailles;
  • On select days when running, enjoy the magical charm of the Musical Fountains shown in the garden;
  • After a tour of the famous gardens, enjoy an easy, private transfer back to Paris.

Explore this supreme symbol of royal power, the Palace of Versailles, with your expert private guide. Learn about the history of the French monarchy, and the story of the young King Louis XIV whose kidnapped ensured he was paranoid about his safety for the rest of his long life. Learn how he turned a humble hunting lodge into the golden, gilded Baroque masterpiece of a palace you see today.

Walk the halls that kings, queens, nobles, dignitaries and servants of ages past have walked, admiring the extensive art collection including the King Louis XIV bust by Bernini, and enjoy the exquisite furniture and Baroque atmosphere of this most grandiose of palaces. 

Admire the reflections in the Hall of Mirrors - an innovative design for the time, and learn about courtly soirees and etiquette, as well as the scandals, plots and power struggles that dominated life amongst the French nobility.  

You will discover the most famous parts of the Palace, such as Versailles' Royal Chapel, the Hall of Mirrors, and the King's Grand Apartments, where you'll learn all about Royal ablutions, and what daily life was like in this most luxurious of palaces. 
 
After exploring the decadent interior, relax and take in the majestic beauty of the formal Gardens at Versailles – the grandest example of classical French landscaping anywhere in France, strewn with many beautiful statues and colossal fountains. On select days, enjoy the Musical Fountains show, which incorporates sound into the beauty of the garden. 

Generally, the show runs from April through October, on weekends and some Tuesdays and Fridays. On days when the show is not on, your guide will take you on a walking tour through the Gardens, after which you will return to Paris via private transportation. 

Things to note: This tour includes the use of mandatory headsets for groups of 5 or more. Please note: the Musical Fountain show runs from April to October on weekends, and on select Tuesdays and Fridays. 
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