Photos: The Gardens and Fountains at Versailles
Practical Info: If you can’t be fussed with waiting in the long line to get into the Château, take a stroll through the gardens. If you enter through the front entrance (i.e. just past the main entrance to the Château) you’ll gain access to the more manicured portions of the gardens in all their fountain dappled glory. The fee is a whopping 8€ though, so if you’d rather save your money for some ice cream and a rowboat ride, head over to the southwest gates where you’ll enter for free and can still enjoy acres and acres of parkland as well as the swan filled Grand Canal. Do as the locals and bring your bikes, friends, and enough cheese and wine to make a real afternoon of it.
If you simply MUST get a glimpse of your beautiful self reflected in the glittery hall of mirrors, aim to buy Château access tickets in the late afternoon (3:30 and on) when the hoards of tourists begin streaming out of the castle toward the gardens. Entrance to the Château alone costs 15€. For more info like prices to enter Marie Antoinette’s “playground”, hours of operation, and Château history, consult www.chateauversailles.fr .