Hello everyone! In this post I’ll introduce you to the Château de Versailles, Arc de Triomphe (old and new) & Montmartre (Sacré-Coeur, Le mur des je t’aime and Moulin Rouge). As in my previous three posts about Paris, I’ll give you a brief introduction first, (just in case you didn’t see them, if you have please just skip the next two paragraphs) 😛
“Paris – the city of love. When I first arrived in Europe, the cities I always wanted to go are London and Paris, but I waited for more than two and a half years. I don’t know why I waited so long but fortunately I went there in May this year, finally. I have to admit, compared to other cities I’ve been to in Europe, Paris is huge. I wouldn’t suggest you explore the whole city by foot. Thanks to Paris public transportation, it is very convenient to go to most of the attractions by metro or bus, and to Versailles, by train.
I spent 5 days in Paris and I believed I made my travel plan pretty intense. However, I would’t say I’ve seen everything I wanted to see. Also, some of the places such as Louvre and Pantheon, I would definitely go and visit again. Well, I guess that’s because Paris is just not the city to be seen enough in one visit. The good thing is I’ve taken a glimpse of many places this time and when I come again I’ll know where to go. If you wanna take a close look at whole Paris, I would say your stay should be at least a week, or, just come back whenever you want to as Paris says, you’re always welcome.”
Like I mentioned in my previous three posts, both the entry tickets to Versailles and Arc de Triomphe are included in Paris Museum Pass. If you didn’t read my first post about Paris, “Paris – Louvre!”, please click here to check more info about The Museum Pass and Paris public transportation tickets. Now let’s begin out journey.
Château de Versailles
From Paris to Château de Versailles, it takes in general around 55 mins to arrive. However, you should decide which specific route you choose depending on where to start in Paris. Whichever route you choose, remember, Château de Versailles is outside of zone 3 so you can not use the zone 1-3 ticket to get to Versailles, otherwise you will get fined.
Among the 5 most famous palaces in the world, Château de Versailles has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30 years and it is also one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. According to Wikipedia, “Versailles was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789, within three months after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.”
In Château de Versailles, there are basically four places that you should particularly visit, the palace, the garden, the grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. If you don’t have the museum pass, the full ticket for the palace and the garden is 15 Euros and for the grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate 10 Euros.
- For more info about tickets (prices, reduced tickets or free tickets) please click here.
- Be careful! There are from time to time musical fountain shows, and during the “Grandes Eaux musicales” (musical water shows), the gardens and the grove are not accessible to the holders of the museum pass. If you wanna know when these events happen, please click here.
- For more info about opening hours of the Palace, Coach Gallery, Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate, Garden and Park, please click here.
- Thanks to the convenient website, you can click here to check where the Palace, Trianon Palaces, Marie-Antoinette’s Estate, Garden and Park are and click them to see in detail where particular halls, chambers, or apartments are.
Unfortunately I only went to the Palace as at that time there were events going on in the garden and the weather was cloudy and rainy, so I thought it’s not worth it. Also, as I was in a hurry I didn’t go to the grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate either. However, there’s always next time and now I have more reasons to visit Château de Versailles again. Anyway, I suggest if you wanna take a full look at Château de Versailles you should plan at least a whole day.
Now let’s have a look at the palace.
The Hall of Mirrors, the Grand Apartments of the King and Queen, the Chapel and Opera are definitely worth a visit. However, don’t expect here to be empty or quiet during busy seasons. When I got in I felt like I was back in a 20th century old Chinese train station……
Arc de Triomphe
According to Wikipedia, “The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l’Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.”
Avenues radiate from the Arc de Triomphe, which stands in the middle of a long avenue that connects Louvre and Grande Arche de la Defense.
If you don’t have museum pass please click here to check the opening hours, tickets and a brief introduction. However, if some events are happening, the Arc might close earlier than the normal closing time. The first night we wanted to go and climb up but there was a sign at the entrance saying it’s closed at 20:00. Also, if you have museum pass I suggest that you should probably go up twice, once during the day time and once during night as I’m sure the views will be both great but different.
The line for buying the tickets is usually quite long and you might need to wait for up to 1-1.5 hours. Even if you are eligible for free tickets you still need to stand in the line to get your free tickers. After you get your free tickets or with your museum pass, there’s also a line for security check, but this one is much quicker.
In the mid-way up to the top, there’s a museum and you can see a screen showing people walking under the Arc. If you look closely at the pictures I showed of the Arc you will see a camera hidden among the squares on the top.
After you get to the top, the view is absolutely wonderful. You can see the whole Paris with lights in the night. You can see Eiffel Tower, you can see Champs-Élysées, you can see Grande Arche de la Defense and many others. Just walk around on the top, you will feel you’re surrounded by Paris.
Oh right, If you have time, go to Grande Arche de la Defense to have a look. That area feels totally different from the rest of Paris I’ve seen. Take a metro to La Defense, get off and have a look at Arc de Triomphe from afar. It’s also interesting to stand between the old and new Arc while they look at each other. 🙂
Montmartre is a large hill in Paris’s 18th district. At the beginning of the twentieth century, many artists had studios or worked in or around Montmartre, including Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.
Here, I suggest a visit to Sacré-Coeur, Le mur des je t’aime (The wall of love) and Moulin Rouge.
Entry to the Basilica is free to all visitors, but do expect a long line during busy season.
If you wanna go to the Dome or (crypt, currently closed) (Unfortunately they are not included in the museum pass)
- Dome and crypt: €8 / €5 (4-16yrs)
- Dome: €6 / €4 (4-16yrs)
- Crypt: €3 €2 (4-16yrs)
For the opening hours please click here.
I hope you’ll enjoy your time in Versailles and Arc de Triomphe. If you have any other questions please contact me directly. Thanks you for reading my post and next, finally, I’ll come to the symbol of Paris – Eiffel Tower! 🙂