But, the estate can be broken down to 4 main areas:
1.) The Chateau. This of course is what most people think of when they hear about Versailles. The building is amazing and the free audio guide provided easily guides you through the rooms at your own pace. The opulence is breathtaking when you think people actually lived in this environment. My advice is don’t panic and rush through. Take time to look at details on the ceiling, walls, windows, floors. It is the details that make the castle.
2.) The Garden. Where to even start?! While the Chateau is amazing to tour, the gardens are spectacular. If you happen to go during April-October on the weekend or certain Tuesdays, you can enjoy the fountain shows set to music. Also on Tuesdays between April-October, you can enjoy strolling through the gardens with classical music playing through out. Of course, these times are very crowded but the gardens are so large, you don’t really notice. I highly recommend arranging your visit to experience both the musical gardens and the musical fountains even though it means you’ll likely be touring the Chateau with hundreds of people.
3.) Grand Trianon. Still opulent, the Grand Trianon was home away from home for the various Kings who occupied Versailles. It allowed for less formality than at the main Chateau. The Grand Trianon is a series of buildings that also has its own garden and fountain.
4.) Marie Antoinette’s Estate. Built specifically for Marie Antoinette, her mini estate includes the Petit Trianon and a Hamlet where she could really get away from the rigors and formality of court life. Only those invited could visit this area. It includes a grotto, a theater, an English style garden and a farm.
It is amazing how all four areas can be so different from each other and visiting the entire estate gives even more depth to the history of that time.
I hope you include Versailles in your Paris itinerary.