Updated: Jun 7, 2019
Have you seen those posts on social media that are "expectation vs. reality?" When I saw the side by side of someone who took a completely empty photo of the chandelier room and then another photo of peak visitor times, it really made me nervous. I really hate crowds but I guess that is expected here because The Palace of Versailles gets about 7 million visitors per year. The Palace of Versailles is a place I HIGHLY recommend you plan ahead before you visit. There are some small tips and tricks that I picked up after visiting late last year that you can apply to your own trip to save you time and avoid SOME crowds.
Coming from Paris? If so, a train ride on the RER C will take you about 45-50 minutes. Plan to leave so you are arriving at Versailles 15 min before it opens. Travel Tip: When you arrive at the train station in Versailles, buy a return ticket. By doing this, you are avoiding the crowds that will be lining up to buy their return tickets in a few hours!
Buy entrance tickets ahead of time online. As like most places, I usually recommend buying tickets ahead of time because that is just one less line you have to stand in.
If you get there at opening, don't spend a lot of time in the first few rooms. Get ahead of the crowd so you can then begin to enjoy some of the rooms without the mass amounts of people still browsing the first few rooms.
Spend time looking at the details in the room that they might not highlight as you are touring each room. The paintings and wall / lighting details are amazing!
Enjoy that chandelier room! It is the most popular room in Versailles for a reason. The chandeliers took my breath away when I first stepped in the room. I did my best to get some "non tourist" images but it was so hard!
Not spending a lot of time in Paris but you want some French macarons? Well, right at the end of the Palace tour, stop at the Laduree to grab a box of macarons to enjoy in the garden.
Finally! You will have some breathing room to explore the expansive gardens at the palace. They are so fun to wander around!
Overall, Versailles was an amazing place to explore. The attention to detail and the way the palace was decorated really helped me imagine what it must have been like to live there. I couldn't get over how much gold was in the palace!