One of the most romantic cities of the world, France is an absolute delight for everyone who pays a visit. Since the time France was settled, it has been a leader in terms of its civilization, industrialization, arts, education, and culture. France attracts tourists in droves because it provides insight into the rich history and culture of olden days as well as preserves the ideals of modernity. This is the reason why it is filled to the brim with tourists all year round.
Created in the 17th century, the idea of building Chateau de Versailles was to demonstrate the absolute and complete power and hierarchy of the French monarchy. It was started under the guidance of Louis KeVau in 1661, but by 1670’s the construction responsibilities were handed over to Jules Hardouin Mansart. The interior designer and painter of the palaces was Charles Le Brun and the landscaping of the place was done by Andre Le Notre. The chateau is covered in marble, woodcarvings, gilt and frescoes, for which all the ideas were taken from Roman and Greek mythology. By the time it was complete Versailles changed from a small village to a thriving city. And this was the purpose to show the power of the wealth of the French rulers of the time. There are plenty of things to do at Chateau de Versailles. It is an extremely romantic spot if a lover or spouse is along and an extremely educational and historical one if family or friends are going together. Be it taking walks or taking pictures of the various artistic features and architectural marvels, Chateau de Versailles does not fail to disappoint. You will find that even an entire day spent at the palace is not enough for its complete exploration as there are so many things to do at Chateau de Versailles.
There are quite a few things that can be seen and enjoyed at the palaces and its surrounding gardens. Now the chateau is treated as a museum and tourist attraction. There are grand apartments to see, King and Queen’s private apartments to stroll through, the hall of mirrors to check out, chapels of Versailles and the royal opera to explore, Museum of the History of France to go through, as well as gardens of Versailles to check out. There are lots of things to do at Chateau de Versailles. Be it with friends or family, spouses or children, the place is an absolute joy to visit. When you are done checking out the palaces and its surrounding area, you can visit the city of Versaillesand all the attractions offered there. There are also plenty of eateries and fine-dining options as well as hotels where you can stay in for the duration of your trip.
Within the Château of Versailles is the fantastic The Château musée (Castle museum). The museum showcases the history of the French nation and area, and is a must visit for all tourists. This wasn't a part of the original Palace of Versailles. Versailles became the symbol of the absolute monarchy during the reign of terror, and lost its political importance. In the beginning of the 19th century it was decided that instead of reigniting the image of absolute monarchy, an amazing museum would be started here which displayed the most important points of French history. There are lots of great things to do in the Château musée, which makes a visit an absolute must for everyone. The decision to change the nature of Versailles was taken by Louis-Philippe of Orléans. He loved history himself, and saw the opportunity to start a perfect museum in the palace. After him Napoleon continued work on the museum, as he himself was interested in the project. The museum has a lot of historical art wealth in it, with over 3000 sculptures and 6000 paintings included in the collection. There are lots of things to do in The Château musée (Castle museum), which is why it is amongst the most recommended places for tourists to go and learn about what makes this country so great. The whole palace can be said to be a museum to French history, as you will see depictions of all the important people in France’s history here.
The Grand Trianon was the retreat made for Louis XIV and his Mistress. They needed a place out of court where they could skip the formalities and etiquettes of the court. Being the mistress of the king was an official position in those times, and most kings are known to have many documented mistresses, who were given respect and admiration from the society. The construction of this place was completed in 1700, though it has been restored many times since. The buildings are also peculiar for another reason; instead of being a wild show of artistic freedom the buildings are very well organized. Everything seems very geometric and straight lines are found everywhere, both in the Trianon and in the adjoining park. Visiting is regarded as one of the most important things to do in The Grand Trianon for any tourist in Versailles. King Louis XIV didn’t just come to the Grand Trianon with his mistress, he also used it as the chief place for all informal meetings. While he had to be very formal in the court, this was made as a place where he could relax with his friends. The Trianon reflects this, as instead of showing off wealth or power of the king, the whole set of buildings seems to have been made for comfort, and you will not find better things to do in Château de Versailles.
When the Grand Trianon was being made, one thing which the architects focused on was making the view from the Trianon beautiful. Thus, it was decided that the Grand Trianon Gardens would surround the building so every window gave a beautiful view of the flowers. This design philosophy can be easily seen in the beauty of the gardens. The royals claimed that just looking at the flowers made them want to leave the building and venture outside, while visitors who came after the gardens were completed, claimed the beautiful smells were absolutely overpowering. The gardens are maintained very well till today and are a beautiful sight. There are lots of things to do in The Grand Trianon Gardens as they are vastly different from the main gardens of the Versailles. They do not focus on sculptors and fountains, and instead the focus is on the flowers, and the fragrance around the garden is amazing, which makes it a lovely place to visit. The gardens will not take too much of your time, but if you’re visiting the palace of Versailles, then these gardens are a must visit because they’re amongst most beautiful things to do in the palace. It is also a great place for a photo session.
The Petit Trianon (which literally means little Trianon, named such because it is located next to the Grand Trianon), is a château made on the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. Its construction was completed in 1768, and it was made on the orders of Louis XV. Like the Grand Trianon, the reason of construction of this place was also the king’s mistress. To be specific, it was made for Madame de Pompadour, who was the official mistress of the king. She died before its construction could be completed, and after completion the château became the home of her successor, Madame du Barry, who was the last mistress of the king. There are plenty of things to do in Petit Trianon, and the design of the château is very interesting indeed. It was explicitly made so that the royals could have their fun, without needing to be formal at all. Marie Antoinette was known to come to the Petit Trianon a lot, because she found the court to be boring. The servants couldn't even mingle with the royals, which allowed the royals to act upon all their whims. The food, for example, was put on the table on a lower floor, which was then raised to the floor the royals were sitting waiting for food. You will find lots of interesting things to do in Château de Versailles, which is a why you should plan a visit today.
The Gardens of France are considered to be the culmination of the best features of French Gardens. However, when Queen Marie Antoinette was getting her Hamlet built, the styles had changed. English style gardens, which are more freeform, were the trend of the period, and thus, Queen Marie Antoinette wanted the garden around her Hamlet to be English. This is how we came to have The English Garden within one of the most iconic French gardens of the world. One of the best things to do in the English Garden is visiting The Belvedere, a part of the garden, which is the best place to visit to see the full effect of the garden. Much of the gardens were not maintained and lost the original magic to which people used to flock. In 2012 the Belvedere was completely renovated and restored, and if you go there you will be able to see the original beauty of the place. The Love Temple is more famous, and whenever the Queen had her guests over and a performance was put on, it would happen in the love temple. The rock emulates natural landscapes, and the artificial cascade of water is wondrous. That is the reason so many people like to visit the garden since there are so many different things to do in things to do in Château de Versailles. Marie Antoinette was forever trying to free herself from orthodoxy, and seeing this wild garden stand out from the methodological and geometric style of the French Garden represents that perfectly.
When you are in the palace of Versailles, you will enter a hall that will be grander than anything else in the palace. This is referred to as the Mirror Gallery, and called La Grande Galerie in French. Standing out for grandiosity is a tall order here, because the rest of the palace is amazing as well, but the gallery manages to outshine the other parts of the castle as there are so many different things to do in the Mirror Gallery. It was constructed after a victory, and was made to show off how well France was doing at the time. It was a common walkway for the people working and living in the castle, and whenever dignitaries from other countries were brought here, they would be brought in through La Grande Galerie. Even to this day dignitaries are brought through this hall due to its beauty, and you simply have to visit in order to check out all the great things to do in The Mirror Gallery. It is called the hall of Mirrors, because arches made of mirrors are its defining feature. There used to be a lot of silver furniture here as well, but they were not able to survive the wars that were fought over this palace. They were melted and sold to fund the Nine Years' War, and are just one thing among the many beautiful items lost due to wars.
The King’s Grand Apartment is located within the Palace of Versailles, and it was made to show off the power and wealth of Louis XIV. Thus it is an extremely grand apartment, and consists of seven salons. The apartment wasn't made for the king to live in, rather it was made to show people about how grand the king’s lifestyle was, and is referred to as a parade apartment. Anyone who wanted an audience with the king had to come here. One of the things to do in The King's Grand Apartment is checking out the seven salons are based on the seven different planets discovered till that time, and on the gods associated with those planets. Visiting all the salons in The King's Grand Apartment is considered to be amongst the grandest things to do in Château de Versailles.The salons within The King’s Grand Apartment contain a lot of art that is meant to show the greatness of Louis XIV, by referencing his actions through the depiction of other great leaders such as Augustus, Alexander the Great, and many more. The Hercules salon served as the chapel of the palace. The Abundance salon was the place where the king would have his evening refreshments. The Venus salon served as the entrance to the apartment, the Diana salon served as the billiard room. The Apollo salon is the most magnificent of the salons, and was dedicated to the Sun God. The Mars salon has a military theme and is similarly grand.
Similar to the king’s apartments, the Queen’s Chamber (grand appartement de la reine ) was the place for the queen to hold an audience. The design of the apartment and the salons all correspond to the king’s grand apartment and the chamber is extravagant and luxurious. One of the things to do in the Queen's bedchamber is checking out the incredible architecture of these apartments, which will leave you awe struck with the opulence of it all. The king’s apartment focuses on military history and political wins, and is a lot more subdued than these chambers. Wealth seems to overflow from every part of the Queen’s Chamber. This is also an important historical site, as much of the political intrigue of the city happened here, and taking a tour is highly recommended on the list of things to do in the Queen's Chamber. Marie Antoinette, used these chambers, and if you look closely behind the jewel case in her room, you will be able to see a small door. This is the door she used to escape the palace from when a mob broke in to kill her. The seven salons, corresponding to the ones in the King’s chamber, are the Chapel, Salle de gardes, the Antichambre, the Chambre, the Grand cabinet, the Oratory, and the Petit cabinet. Some of the rooms have changed their décor over time.
Queen Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet is located within the Château de Versailles; however, you will not feel that way when you are inside it – an intentional part of the design. It was made as a retreat for Marie Antoinette who wanted a place where she could have fun. The Palace was her house, but in the palace, she had to follow protocols and act formally since she was royalty. This retreat was a place where she would sit with her friends. It is now open to the public and is a great site to see the place which Queen Marie Antoinette made for her enjoyment. One of the best things to do in Queen Marie Antoinette's Hamlet is visiting the gardens surrounding it, which will make you feel like you are in the countryside instead of within the Palace’s walls. This was done to make sure the Château de Versailles’s opulence did not have an imposing presence. The village built here can only be defined as quaint, and has a beautiful feeling to it. You also get a sense of how far away removed the royals were from the peasants of that time and why the peasants felt the revolution should happen, when you see that the royals made a fake beautiful village just because it looked good. You will definitely have no problems in finding things to do in Château de Versailles.
When Louis XIV was getting work done on the palace, he believed that the Gardens were just as important as the château. Thus, he had André Le Nôtre design a park that was as grand as the Château itself. The park is designed to be as beautiful as possible when viewed from the Hall of Mirrors, and when you view it from the hall, you will see the beauty extend from your point of view perfectly. This is a park literally fit for kings and a visit here is a great experience, as you will find plenty of things to do in The Gardens. The Gardens are a popular spot for tourists, and people who come here love the vibe of the place as well as all things to do in the Gardens. There is an air of serenity about the gardens, the gardens being meant for adults. Most parks we have nowadays have a focus on family and children and are filled with people enjoying and having a good time. These gardens were made so the royals could live in peace, and the peace and calm here is very refreshing. The fountains within the gardens are still legendary; a third of the construction costs of the Palace of Versailles was just the water supply because the fountains needed water. There are also some notable statues here, which are a pleasure to discover as you explore these gardens and the things to do in Château de Versailles.