The journey there from the centre of Paris ran smoothly enough. The Metro followed by the train from Gare Du Montparnasse to Versailles-Chantiers, and then a short walk to the Palace. We arrived as early as possible to try and beat the queues, and we actually didn't have to wait that long. The queue moved quickly and we were in within about 15 minutes. We had purchased tickets beforehand so maybe that helped?
Despite not having to queue for very long it was very,very busy inside. You couldn't really linger too long in any room, and you couldn't get near the front to look properly at the paintings or objects. It was a bit disappointing really as the building is lovely, and the rooms very impressive. We got a bit fed up with the crowds after not very long and went into the gardens for a bit of peace and quiet. Got excited by the prospect of driving round the huge gardens in a golf buggy, until we saw the price (30 odd euros for an hour...) Not worth it. Instead we found a lovely little cafe/restaurant not too far past the main fountain, which surprisingly not many people had also discovered by that point. Enjoyed a hot chocolate before heading across to the Royal stables.
As a keen horse rider I was looking forward to this bit. It was slightly frustrating when we got there though as although we arrived early and therefore weren't surprised by it not yet being open, the man in the ticket booth was not particularly helpful. We overheard him telling some other people he had no idea when it would be open as there were strikes on?! A bit off putting, as the tickets said anytime from 1.30pm. At that point several other groups decided not to hang around and wait. We did, and luckily the ticket booth opened around ten minutes after that....a bit of a shame for the people that were put off by the lack of organisation.
It's quite a short walk through the stables, but you can go up to the school to watch the riders. The indoor school is particularly impressive with huge decorative lamps, mirrored walls and classical music playing.
Unfortunately when we wanted to head home it turned out there wasn't another train until much later on in the evening due to strikes. We had to get a taxi to the nearest Metro station that could take us into Paris, costing an extra 30 euros.
The highlights for us were the gardens (and the stables, just because I love horses that much not because it was worth the money particularly...) Would I go back or recommend to others? Probably not. We paid quite a lot for the day in the end and didn't enjoy it as much as we thought we would.
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