Transportation by RER Train or Car to the Château, Estate, & Park
Getting to Versailles with its palace (chateau) and formal gardens is easy from Paris by bus tour, RER train C5, or by car for a great day trip to a top sight in France.
The palace of Versailles is arguably the best-known chateau in France. Getting to Versailles from downtown Paris is easy by tour bus, train, or car making Versailles probably the most popular day-trip destination from Paris. RER train C5 gives the easiest and cheapest access to Versailles and allows for seamless connections to the rest of the Paris metro system. An organized tour may also be a good idea to skip the lines and get into the Palace of Versailles fast. Taxi2Airport and Suntransfers give online quotations for private airport transfers without first requiring personal details or flight numbers.
Public Transportation to Versailles or a Bus Tour?
Getting to Versailles from Paris by train is very easy even for inexperienced travelers. However, taking an organized tour by bus or shuttle from Paris to Versailles can be sensible even for experienced travelers during busy periods. Advance purchase tickets for the chateau including the Paris Museum Pass allow visitors to skip the ticket line at the chateau but not the queue for entering the palace itself. On busy days, an organized tour is an easy way to get into the palace without queuing.
Tour bus excursions and day trips by shuttle bus from Paris to Versailles are offered by many companies and are easy to book, e.g. Get Your Guide. Do compare prices though as the offers vary widely. It may even be sensible to book an excursion to get into the palace easily and then if desired break away from the group to spend more time at Versailles and simply return by RER train to Paris – the train ticket will be just around €4.
Getting to the Palace of Versailles by Train from Paris
The regional RER trains provide the easiest and fastest transportation from Paris to Versailles. RER trains have fewer stops than the metro (subway) but easy connections are possible between the two systems in central Paris. RER line C5 provides the easiest connections but other options are also available and worth considering especially when traveling from the western parts of Paris. Buying a return ticket cut out queuing time to do so at Versailles later in the day. T+ metro tickets are not valid for travel to Versailles.
RER Line C5 from Paris to Versailles-Rive Gauche Station
The simplest way to travel from Paris to the Chateaux de Versailles is by RER line C5 to Versailles-Rive Gauche station (Chateau de Versailles is often added to the station name), which is a mere five minute stroll to the palace. Line C5 trains have names starting with a V. Avoid if possible lines C7 and C8 that stops at Versailles-Chantiers station, which are far less convenient when heading towards the palace.
The RER line C5 runs through central Paris on the left bank of the Seine with stops at amongst others Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel, Pont de l’Alma, Invalides, Musée d’Orsay, St-Michel – Notre-Dame, and Gare d’Austerlitz.
NOTE: From mid-December 2018, RER trains will not run on many weekends and holidays between Invalides and Musee d’Orsay – it a 13 minutes walk, or use bus 63 or 69, or try to change to a metro line.
RER line C5 trains run up to four times per hour in around half an hour from central Paris to Versailles. The return fare is around €8 – buy tickets before getting to the platform.
Other Trains from Paris to Versailles
RER Line C5 trains are by far the most convenient trains from Paris to the Chateau de Versailles. It is generally better to avoid trains that stop at stations other than Versailles-Rive Gauche but for travelers traveling especially from the western parts of Paris, including La Defense, it is better to take a train to Versailles-Chantiers and walk from there rather than to go all the way to central Paris and backtrack just to get onto RER C5.
Versailles-Chantiers station is around 15 to 20 minutes walk from the Chateau de Versailles. It is a stop trains from Paris-Montparnasse and La Defense amongst others. Versailles-Rive Droite is a stop on trains from Paris-St Lazare and a more complicated walk of just more than twenty-minutes from the Palace of Versailles – buses are available.
Getting to the Palace of Versailles by Car
Driving from Central Paris to Versailles can be as fast as 30 minutes but generally takes much longer. Follow the Autoroute A13 towards Rouen and use exit 6 (Versailles Centre) – signs point the way to the chateau. Parking (charged) is available in several car parks near the palace.
The taxi fare from Paris to Versailles is around €70 and depends on traffic conditions. Taxi2Airport gives online quotations for private airport transfers without first requiring personal details or flight numbers – such transfers can be a good idea for small groups especially when traveling directly to / from an airport. For a taxi from the airport to Versailles expect to pay around €100 from Charles de Gaulle and €80 from Paris-Orly.
Versailles is often seen as a good place to pick up or drop off a rental car. Enjoy Paris without a car and then pick up the car here for a less stressful start to the driving part of a French vacation.
On summer weekends, the seventeenth-century fountains can be seen in action on Grandes Eaux Musicales days.
Admission tickets to Versailles are easily bought online from for example Tiqets and GetYourGuide but individual ticket bearers still have to queue up for security, which is currently fairly strict and slow, while organised group tours use a different entrance for faster admission. At busy times, a group tour makes a lot of sense to get into the palace without waiting – simply abandon the tour afterwards and return by train if planing to stay longer inside the palace or gardens.