With special thanks to The Paris Guy, I took a guided walking tour of the Versailles palace and learned plenty of new trivia on one of France’s most treasured monuments.
I visited the Château de Versailles in January 2014, then visited the gardens—Petit Trianon and Domaine de Marie Antoinette—last summer. So, why would I want to visit Versailles again?
Taking a guided tour wherever you are visiting does make a difference.
Honestly, I’ve only taken a handful of guided tours, but every time I go, I am never disappointed because I learn information that I never would have found out without the guide’s insight.
I would recommend taking a guided tour:
… if you’re visiting a destination for a short amount of time and want to make sure you’re hitting the major highlights.
… if you are visiting a new country that does not share your native language.
… if you are not comfortable taking public transportation. I mention this because The Paris Guy’s walking tour includes transportation from Paris to Versailles and directly to the palace. The more traveled individual may find this easy, but for individuals who are unsure or want to be sure, it’s worth the
… if you’re traveling by yourself and don’t want to be solo at major tourist destinations. It’s not unreasonable to think of your personal safety. Unfortunately, a friend of mine had visited Versailles by herself and was followed by a stranger at the beginning of her Versailles visit.
… and even if you’ve already visited the site, chances are that you may not have done a crazy amount of preparation to research the architecture, the history, the culture of the period… Keep in mind that tour guides are meant to specialize in information that you wouldn’t readily find without heavy Google searching.
The final reason why you would want a guided tour? There’s a good chance you get to cut horrendous queues or waiting lines. Being able to save time to avoid waiting for hours in line is a *huge time saver* and allows you to do more during your destination visit! The “skip-the-line” feature for The Paris Guy tour caught my eye because I am more than familiar with what queueing is like for popular French museums and exhibits…
If you need a visual of what I’m talking about, at the time our group tour arrived at Versailles around 11:15 am on a sunny Friday, the line to visit the palace double-backed the stone courtyard:
Abbey, our tour guide, is an American who has been living in Paris for over 8 years. Between her university studies in history, architecture, and international affairs—as well as her experiences being a tour guide throughout her time in Paris—Abbey is happy to chat about Paris living and share recommendations for what to see and do while visiting.
I don’t want to spoil the tour by giving away all of Abbey’s tips, but I’ll share my top five favorite facts that I learned about Versailles from the tour:
- Louis XIV, the king who built the Château de Versailles, had his grand ego since infancy. His mother, Anne-Marie-Mauricie d’Autriche (Anne of Austria), instilled in Louis XIV the idea that he was a miracle and “little Sun God.”
- Louis XIV implemented very specific dress codes in Versailles. For example, royal family members or close friends of the king were the only ones privileged to wear red high-heels.
- Visitors who entered the throne room—in the presence of the king, Louis XIV—were required to bow and curtsy every three steps. Since it was looked down upon to turn your back on the king, visitors had to repeat the bowing/curtsying process backward while exiting the throne room.
- When Marie Antoinette celebrated her 21st birthday at the palace, Venice sent two gondolas and two gondoliers to ferry her noble guests around the Grand Canal in the royal gardens.
- It was expected—and encouraged—for kings to have mistresses. King Louis XVI, the husband of Marie-Antoinette, did not have any mistresses and was looked down upon in the royal court because it did not reflect “strong masculine values” of a king.
Even though I’ve included quite a few photos in this post, you’ll need to visit Versailles for yourself to witness its sheer majesty (no pun intended).
What’s Included in The Paris Guy Skip-the-Line Tour
- Guided transportation from Paris to Versailles (return ticket provided)
- Ticket to enter Château de Versailles and guided tour *skip the general queue and entry via Group Tour entrance*
- Ticker to enter Château de Versailles gardens – Jardins Musicaux
Specials thanks to The Paris Guy and Abbey for a wonderful trip! Visit The Paris Guy’s website for all tours and availability.
Note: Although this is a sponsored review, I only choose to work with companies who offer quality products and services that are relevant to P.S. by Macaron Hoarder’s brand messaging. All opinions are my own.