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Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

Jakarta, Indonesia
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57 posts
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Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

Hi,

We have no option but to split one day of our trip to Paris to Versailles & Notredame/St. Chapelle.

For less queuing & better effiency, would you advise us to go:

1. Versailles at 9.00 am, Notredame & Sainte Chapelle after lunch.

2. Notredame (8am opening), Sainte Chapelle and Versailles after lunch til closing time.

We'll be going next month in June, and already purchased Versailles Palace Ticket online.

Merci!

Clayton, North...
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1. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

Hmmm....good question.

I would go to Versailles first thing in the morning. Get there about half an hour BEFORE they open, the lines tend to get a little long. (meaning, inside the palace) This way too, you can stay ahead of the tourists. Some of the rooms tend to get a little crowded, so its hard to take pictures or even see when other people are trying to jump ahead of you. I would do the inside first, then head out to the gardens. Don't forget to pick up an audio guide, they are FREE. :)

Even on the most crowdest days at Notre Dame, you will still have plenty of room to navigate around.

Have fun! :)

Clayton, North...
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2. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

also forgot to mention, if you are pressed for time at Versailles, they do have golf rental carts for 30 euros. Its a pretty long walk from the palace to the apartments, and through the little paths through the gardens. Just park, get out and go see the attractions. They also have bike rentals and a tram. Do whatever is best for your family.

:)

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

second the first in the morning for Versailles. It gets full with tour buses and then good luck getting photos without throwing some elbows. While there is a line for Ste. Chappelle it does clear out pretty fast. In the afternoon, you might luck in on a english speaking tour which helps understand the scope of the Chappelle.

Jakarta, Indonesia
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57 posts
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4. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

Alright! Many thanks for your responses & advice.

Versailles first then :)

Toronto
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5. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

I had this question as well and have read somewhere that most tours leave Versailles after lunch so if you go in the afternoon a lot of the big groups have left.

Miller Place, New...
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6. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

When we were there 2 weeks ago, we arrived around 12:00 in the afternoon to a very long line that took about 90 minutes to snake through. When we left around 3:30 we saw that there was virtually NO line at all. We both said that next time we would either get there very early or wait until after 3. It was very crowded during our whole time there and it did take away from the total experience. And like the other poster said the tour bus lot was practically empty at that time as well. I suggest you wear a hat as the wait lines are in total sun. An empty water bottle can be refilled at a fountain near the lines.

Edited: 11 May 2011, 19:36
New York
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7. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

If you take the RER back from Versailles, you can get off at the St. Michel stop which is a stone's throw from Notre Dame and have lunch in that area before you go to Notre Dame. The food at Versailles is nasty. There are lots of nice places to eat on the Left Bank right across from Notre Dame. Check out the back streets behind the Quai. There are some excellent little places back there. Avoid the tourist traps in front of Shakespeare books. You will know them when you encounter the guys trying to get you to eat there.

Fort Worth, TX
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8. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

One important question: When you visit Notre Dame, are you just going inside or do you intend to climb the towers? If the towers are involved, there could be quite a line, especially by the afternoon. They only let 20 people up at a time, so this could be a lengthy wait. If you intend to climb the towers, I might consider doing that first thing in the morning, and wait until the afternoon to tour Versailles. As others have said, save the actual palace tour for as late as possible.

Another important point: since you have bought tickets to Versailles online, this should allow you to bypass the largest line at the palace, which is for non-ticket holders. There would still be waiting involved, but I do not believe you have to go to the back of the huge line you will encounter. There should be a separate line for those who already have tickets.

San Carlos...
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9. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

We waited 90 minutes in line at Versailles (got there at 10 am - big mistake but it was out of our control), and 2 hours in line at ND Towers. Both were totally worth it, though. We were there Easter week, along with half of Europe, so hopefully you will not have the same crowds.

Personally, I would plan for a whole day at Versailles - I think it's a lot to try to do both that and ND/St Chapelle in one day, especially if you are going up the towers at ND. The grounds at Versailles are amazing and there is so much more to see than the Chateau itself. We rented bikes and rode to the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, Marie Antointte's Hamlet, and along the canal. We brought cheese, bread, and fruit with us and picnicked on the grounds - it was lovely.

However, if you are determined to do both, I'd agree with the previous posters who said go to Versailles first and get there 30 minutes early.

The line at Versailles is not for tickets - it is for security. Your advance tickets (or Museum Pass) do not allow you to bypass it.

St. Chapelle is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen - totally worth going there. Have a great trip!

pacific northwest
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10. Re: Versailles or Notre Dame in the morning / after lunch

If you have the museum pass, is it clear which line is security verses which is for ticket buying?