During this private tour of Versailles, learn about the history of the Chateau, official residence of three Kings for 107 years, originally built for Louis XIV, the “Sun King “ learn about the every day life at the court, the etiquette, the personality an the more intimate life of our Kings and Queens, their hobbies, their passion, the entertainment at Versailles certain evenings, the symbols, what happened in the Hall of Mirrors etc.
When Louis XIV’s superintendent of Finances and wealthy Nicolas Fouquet spent huge amounts of money to build his castle in Vaux le Vicomte, commissioning André le Notre (landscape gardener of King Louis XIV and at the origin of the “jardins à la française”, the French formal garden style), the architect Charles Le Vau and the painter Charles le Brun, he was far from thinking that by doing so, he would trigger the King’s wrath and provoke his own downfall in 1661. Then King Louis XIV who became the absolute center of power, decided to put Fouquet in jail for the rest of his life and will require to have the same three artists work for him to build his new castle in Versailles.
Here is an extract from the list of the rooms you will be able to see during your guided visit:
- The Hercules room with fabulous paintings by Veronese and François Lemoyne
- The Salon of Abundance used as a refreshment room during evening gatherings
- The Venus room with its most baroque decoration, used to have tables offering rare fruits and candied fruits to the guests
- The Diana room formerly a vestibule to the Kings State Apartment and used as billiard room for King Louis 14
- The Mars room used as the Guard Room
- The Mercury room originally the Royal bedroom, replaced in the winter by game tables
- The Apollo room also known as the Ceremonial room was where the throne was placed with its ceiling dedicated to the Sun King.
Of course you will be able to walk through and admire the spectacular Hall of Mirrors (one the very best examples of the King’s obsession with grandeur and luxury) the idea was to pay tribute to the political, economic and artistic success of France and was also used for ceremonies, balls or games on rare occasions.
- The King’s Apartments:
- The King’s Guard Rooms: you will learn about the different King’s inner guards, the Swiss Guards and the Garde du Corps (bodyguards) who amounted up to 2960 at the end of King Louis XIV’s reign
- The Antechamber of Great Dining, used for dining after the Queen’s death (Maria Theresa of Austria)
- The Bull’s Eye Antichamber originally composed of the antechamber and the King’s chamber
- The King’s Chamber where the Sun King died after a reign of 72 years
- The Queen’s Apartments:
- The Queen’s Bedchamber where the Queen would spend most her time, receiving guests; it is also where she would give birth “in public” to the Princes and Princesses (actually in front of a limited circle of people from the court)
- The Salon of the Nobles was the place where Queen Marie Leszczynska held formal audiences and where the Ladies of the Court had their conversations.
- The Queen’s Antechamber ( Grand Couvert) is where the public meals were taken by the King and the Royal family
- The Queen’s guard room is (from all the other Apartments) the only one that kept its 17th century decoration. The room served as a guardhouse and this is where one of the Ladies received the information from a bodyguard that a group of rioters was trying to come in (in October 1789) and warned the Queen Marie Antoinette to escape as soon as possible.
The duration of our half day Versailles tour from Paris is 4 hours in total from pick up to drop off at your accommodation (we do not pick up clients outside of Paris unless you are staying in Versailles).
The Versailles estate is so vast that you can actually really spend an entire day if you wish to learn and discover more: if you would like to see the Royal Gardens, the water fountains, discover the hidden grottos and learn more about Marie Antoinette's private hideaways, enjoy a walk near the Grand Canal, discover the Petit and/or the Grand Trianon and visit Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet (especially if you have children) please send us an inquiry in order to book an all-inclusive private full day Versailles tour with Best of France Tours.
We can also combine this tour with a Giverny guided tour to make it a full day tour. Giverny is the village where the expressionist painter Monet lived half of his life, the village, it surroundings, his house, garden and pond were a great source of inspiration (the water lilies serie, the Japanese bridge).
On request, we can also offer a Versailles & Chartres full day tour to visit the masterpiece cathedral in Chartres, known for its 176 stain glass windows and described as “the high point of French Gothic art”.
We highly recommend you to book this tour early in advance in order to have the best experience.
Our Versailles half day guided tour includes:
- Private transportation including pick up & drop off at your accommodation in Paris
- Skip the line admissions and rights to speak for your licensed tour guide
- A guided visit of the magnificent state apartments
- Tour of the Hall of Mirrors
- A visit of the King and the Queen's apartments
- Your Paris to Versailles tour will end with a highlight of the gardens "à la française » if time permits.
On request, your licensed guide can meet you in front of the castle of Versailles and we can provide bigger vehicles/buses for up to 18 people.
What is not included:
- meals and personal expenses
- gratuities (discretionary)
- only if you book the Sprinter bus tour option: admission tickets to the gardens water show/musical gardens extra
The tour duration of our half day Versailles guided tour from Paris is 4 hours from pick up to drop off at your accommodation.
If you wish to receive more information about this tour please call us directly at +33624892412 or at our US/Canada toll free number +1 888 988 77 66. If you prefer to book a longer tour, we also offer full day Versailles tours see our suggestion here below.
We only give private tours (no shared/semi-private tours)
Tour not available Mondays, May 1, July 14, Dec 25 and Jan 1.
Admissions included (castle and gardens, musical/fountain show when available)