Versailles on Sundays-Is it worth fighting the crowds?
Most guidebooks will tell you to avoid weekends at Versailles, but Sunday afternoons are the only chance to see the fountains operating, starting at 3:30 and 5pm. (Normally, the fountains operate during the summer season, but this past weekend in late September, they were still operating). Rather than rushing to Versailles, take a leisurely drive and arrive around 3 pm. Purchase your entrance tickets directly at the gardens entrance (which is separate from the chateau visit ticket. After 4 pm you can purchase an entrance ticket to the chateau for only10 Euros which allows you access to the State Apartments, the King’s Apartments open until 6:30 pm. Then, go back to the gardens, which remain open (at least in September) until 8:30 pm. Go for a half-hour carriage ride which, at the end of the day, is discounted to 50 Euros for the carriage, regardless of the number of people) (1-5) per carriage. Normally a half-hour carriage ride costs 80 Euros.
Due to a huge construction project in the main courtyard of Versailles, the usual locations to purchase tickets have been moved around. You can purchase tickets to the chateau at the welcome/accueil to the left of Louis XIV’s statue or in the traditional welcome lobby to the far right of the construction, next to the café and toilets.
Before coming to Versailles, you should be aware of two things. There are no toilet facilities within the chateau, so be sure to use the facilities adjacent to the café before entering. There are also toilet facilities in the gardens.
Wear EXTREMELY comfortable shoes because Versailles cobblestones take the prize for the most awkward – and slippery cobblestones ever to grace a palace.