Planning a trip to Paris with kids and aren’t sure if it’s worth visiting Versailles with kids? Keep scrolling for my honest opinion about what it was like bringing kids to Versailles for this Paris day trip!
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I visited the Palace of Versailles on my first trip to Europe when I was in high school. I remember it being sort of cool because we had learned about it in my history class and there’s something special about seeing something in real life that you had only previously read about in a book.
On our most recent trip to Paris, but husband and I debated whether or not it would be worth visiting Versailles with our 8-year-old and 5-year-old.
Our kids didn’t know much about the French revolution or any French history really. And we weren’t sure if they would be bored.
We ended up booking a day tour that stopped at Claude Monet’s home in Giverny as well as the Palace of Versailles. While it worked for our family this trip, I’m not sure it’s what I would recommend to other families.
Let me tell you why.
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Versailles with Kids FAQs
It’s free for anyone to visit the gardens. On Musical Fountain Shows and Musical Gardens days, there is an admission but kids under 6 years old are free. People ages 18 and younger can also visit the Palace of Versailles for free.
While it used to be against the rules to bring strollers inside the palace, they are currently making exceptions. However they strongly recommend soft-sided baby carriers instead. You are allowed to push a stroller in the gardens.
Yes! They have some inside the palace (before the ticket check) and even in the garden. Find out all the details HERE.
Why We Visited Versailles on Our Paris Vacation
When I started planning our 5-day Paris itinerary, I realized that we had one completely free day. So, I started looking at the best day trips from Paris by train.
There are a lot of great options in the Paris-area or even traveling to Belgium!
But, even though my husband had visited Paris twice before, he had never visited the Palace of Versailles. He had heard a lot about it and it seemed like something that is on my peoples’ Paris bucket lists.
So, we decided to do a half-day trip to Versailles from Paris so he could see what all the hype was. And we went in with low expectations for the kids.
What’s It Really Like Visiting Versailles with Kids?
Like we had predicted, our kids really weren’t that impressed with Versailles. To them, it was just a big building and some gardens. They honestly didn’t understand what the big deal was.
We did it as part of a 10-hour tour and we only had 1 hour and 45 minutes there. Find out more about this Giverny and Versailles tour.
Our kids were so bored that they asked to skip most of the palace tour in order to just sit outside and eat macarons (there’s a Laduree on-site).
Our tour only allowed for 20 minutes to visit the gardens, which was its fatal mistake. The gardens are pretty cool and there are lots of things to see on the property.
The gardens themselves are really expansive and you can spend all day exploring. We saw families taking boats out in the water. There’s also the Queen’s Hamlet.
Inside the Palace of Versailles
The rest of the time of our tour to Versailles was spent on a timed-ticket guided tour through the palace. It was super crowded (and hot and stuffy) inside. And the tour moved slowly and it was difficult to hear.
It pretty much felt like we were cattle being herded from one room to the next without getting time to stop and look around.
The showstopper was the Hall of Mirrors and my 8-year-old thought there would be MORE mirrors and so he was disappointed.
My 5-year-old couldn’t handle the crowds after about 15 minutes and we had to tag team sitting with him outside during the tour.
Am I glad we did it? Maybe. Should we go back when they are older? Probably.
Although I spoke with a mom who brought her teens to Versailles and after a few selfies, they were also pretty bored. She was complaining to me that she had already visited so they only were there to show their teens who weren’t even interested.
My Versailles Travel Tips
1. Don’t Combine it With Another Tour
My friend Vanessa from Wanderlust Crew thought I was really ambitious doing both Giverny and Versailles with kids on the same day. After doing it, I totally get where she was coming from.
We should have taken the train ourselves and spent however long we wanted just exploring at our own pace. We probably would have spent 75% of the time in the gardens and 25% of the time in the palace.
2. Rent a Golf Cart or Take the Little Train
If we were to do it over again, we’d definitely set aside time to fully explore the gardens by either renting a golf cart to explore the vast property or get tickets for the train ride. I know our kids would have loved either of these options.
The only downside is that you can’t book them in advance. So, it’s first-come first-serve once you get there.
3. Consider Skipping the Palace
I know that it might seem crazy to travel to Versailles and NOT see inside the palace, but that might be the best option for some families.
If you’re going during high season, families will be herded through each room where it’s almost shoulder to shoulder with other tourists.
Plus, it’s free to walk around the gardens but it costs money to enter the palace.
4. Learn a Few Versailles Facts for Kids
If your kids are like mine, they will appreciate a few fun facts that they can either tell other people or tour guides. It makes it more interesting for them.
Here are a few facts about Versailles:
- The Palace of Versailles is one of the most expensive and extravagant buildings in the world.
- French Kings only lived in the Palace of Versailles for 100 years (right before the French Revolution).
- The Palace of Versailles became a museum in 1830 when King Louis-Philippe thought it would be a great way to highlight the glorious history of France.
5. Download the Apps
There are a bunch of cool Versailles apps perfect for families. One is an audio tour that also has a map of the whole estate. This is great for people exploring on their own.
There’s also some games and stories that are sure to keep kids engaged while visiting Versailles.
6. Visiting Versailles with Toddlers or Babies
Personally, I wouldn’t do a day trip to Versailles from Paris with toddlers or babies. While they do allow strollers, a lot of the gardens in Versailles have gravel and that can be a pain to push a stroller on.
They also have restrooms however they are really spread out and don’t have many stalls. So, if you have a toddler who is potty training, you might have a stressful experience.
Best Day Trips from Paris for Kids
It’s totally your call whether or not you feel your kids would enjoy Versailles. If you’re looking for a few alternative kid-friendly day trips from Paris, here’s what I suggest:
If you are a fan of Claude Monet or you appreciate lovely gardens, you’ll definitely want to plan a trip to Giverny. It’s actually in Normandy and it’s just an hour or so outside of Paris.
You really can spend the whole day here walking through his home, enjoying the gardens, and exploring the little village.
I know it might seem weird to use up a day of your trip to Paris visiting a theme park that we have in the United States. But, it does provide a nice break from museums and historical sites.
While they have awesome Disneyland hotels, I think a day trip to Disneyland Paris is sufficient. You’ll definitely want to upgrade to a Premier Pass in order to bypass the lines, especially if you go during peak season.
If you are okay with traveling 2-3 hours from Paris, the Loire Valley makes an awesome Paris day trip. There are tons of real castles that will put Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland Paris to shame!
There are several tours you can take with transportation from Paris so you don’t have to worry about logistics.
So, Is it Worth Visiting Versailles with Kids?
For our family, I’m not sure it was worth it. It felt a bit more like just checking something off the list of things to do in Paris.
At ages 8 and 5 years old, I think they were just too young to appreciate the historic significance of Versailles.
However, if your kids are interested in French Royalty, architecture, or just want to relax in a gorgeous garden, then you might want to plan a trip to Versailles with kids.