Affordability - 7.2
Romance - 8.3
Adventure - 4
- His Top Tips
2. Spend as much time in the gardens as you possibly can.
3. Grab an ice cream cone and chill while enjoying the view of the palace from the Grand Canal.
Up until visiting Versailles, I had spent a large amount of time humming and hawing about whether it would be worth it. After all, one afternoon at the palace meant one less afternoon in the heart of Paris. On top of that, travelling through Europe can make you realize that although everything is so much older and more historic than anything North America has to offer, after the nine millionth tour a church is a church and a palace is a palace. When my friends had eventually convinced me that seeing Versailles was an opportunity I did not want to miss, I was still fairly skeptical. The idea of squeezing in to a room well over capacity and competing with hoards of Japanese tourists (which is always a losing battle) to view a chair that was built for some King 1000 years ago, was not what I was in the mood for. Taking this in to consideration, it should speak volumes about how cool Versailles actually is in that it managed to absolutely blow my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, on a tour of the palace, you are without a doubt going to run in to situations such as what I previously outlined. When that happens, you are going to hate your life. For this reason, a lot of people skip the palace entirely and choose to only tour the gardens. However, I would highly advise against that. The reason being is the hall of mirrors.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t bored senseless for the majority of the indoor tour. However, the intricacy and grandeur of the hall of mirrors has to be seen to be believed. With an absolutely incredible view of the gardens, as well as diamond and gold draped over literally everything, I can’t begin to put in to words how awe inspiring this endless hallway is in person. Also, for you history buffs out there, you would likely recognize this hallway as where the signing of the Treaty of Versailles took place, ending WWI.
Once you’ve seen the hall of mirrors, get the hell out of the building. Seriously, get out. The real majesty of Versailles, in my opinion, is the outdoors. From the enormous golden gate at the entrance, to the gardens which I’m guessing would likely take weeks in order to explore their entirety, Versailles is about as larger than life as it gets. As a Canadian, I have to chuckle to myself in the knowledge that the palace and gardens were paid for entirely through taxes from New France (Quebec). Similar policies that the British implemented on the Americans caused a revolution for independence. The Quebecois, in comparison, decided to focus their efforts on creating ridiculous language laws that promote the use of French. Go figure.
Original Photography From: Couple of Yuppies
The gardens are filled with an endless maze of pathways, golden sculptures, and fountains. I think what impressed me the most was how meticulously manicured everything was. Seriously, there was not a single blade of grass or tree branch that didn’t look perfect. I’m not exactly what you would call a gardening aficionado. My parents had some nice flowers behind our house, I guess. But it doesn’t take a whole lot to realize that the gardens of Versailles are a once in a lifetime kind of experience. Pick up an ice cream cone from a little shop along the right hand side of the grand canal, and chill while enjoying the view of the palace gardens. All in all, I would 100% recommend a visit to Versailles. You really would be missing out not to see it.