A spot of culture paired with France’s most exquisite garden. Your perfect day trip from Paris that's family friendly, too.
Push past the Palace of Versailles (+ 33 1 30 83 78 00) and its grand interiors, priceless art and famed Hall of Mirrors that keep the tourist buses lined-up and you’ll pop out into Louis XIV’s backyard. It’s all about epic scale here from the Grand Canal to The Orangerie. This garden makes the Tuileries look like your gran’s rose garden. Make like the locals and use the garden as a public park – hire a bicycle and ride through the woodlands or go paddle boating on the lake. Alternatively, step things up a tad by grabbing a golf buggy (they’re not just for lazy tourists) and make Versailles your own elegant theme park.
Eat and Drink
There are plenty of refreshment stands in the gardens, from fresh, pressed orange juice to jacket potatoes – so why not eat on a bench rather than heading indoors for another brasserie lunch? For dessert, enjoy an ice-cream cone on the go, as you stroll through the manicured fields, visualising scenes from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.
The Palace of Versailles is about 20 minutes from the centre of Paris and the easiest way there is to take the RER C (yellow line) train that goes directly to the Château de Versailles stop. The palace is then only a five-minute walk away from the train station, so simply follow the signs.