After spending a couple days in the City of Light, you should take a trip outside the city to the Palace of Versailles! Paris itself certainly has plenty to offer, but Versailles is rich with French history.
And if you visit between June and September, you can see the Fountains Night Show in the Gardens of Versailles! It’s a unique event that will make your summer trip to Paris even more memorable.
American Living in Germany: Know Before You Go
Paris is a 4 1/2 hour drive from Kaiserslautern – an easy long weekend getaway! From Grafenwoehr, it’s easily an 8-hour drive, so depending on your itinerary, you may just want to fly.
And before talking about the musical fountain show at Versailles, I want to mention that whenever you travel outside of Germany, you need to bring your travel passport. Your SOFA passport is not for tourism, and it does not grant you the same travel permissions as an EU citizen. But to be clear, you don’t need to bring it to Versailles with you!
Visiting Versailles from Paris is easy, but if you travel with little ones, it may be quite the excursion. There is a LOT of walking, no air conditioning in the Palace, and not much shade in the garden itself.
About Palace of Versailles
Originally the royal residence, Versailles is now a testament to the wealth that the royal family accumulated.
In early 17th century, King Louis XIII began building the Palace originally as a hunting lodge. But as the royal family started spending more time in Versailles, more rooms and building were added. Louis XIII expanded the lodge into a chateau, but Louis XIV oversaw most of the expansion.
The Palace of Versailles was the seat of government and royal residence until the French Revolution in 1789. After that, parts of the building were temporarily transformed into a museum and art school. It also served as a location for important diplomatic and political events.
Many had tried to make it into a museum, but it always lacked the funding and resources. It wasn’t until John D. Rockefeller’s donation after World War I that restoration really started. Today, the Palace of Versailles Paris receives millions of visitors every year to witness the majesty of France’s history.
Things to Know Before Seeing the Fountains Night Show
The Gardens of Versailles Fountains Night Show takes place every Saturday from June through September.
We (and the Palace) recommend taking the RER line C to Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche. You can take a cab, but it will be an expensive fare! If you have a car, there are several parking lots in the area where you can pay to park.
We also recommend arriving before sunset so that you have time to tour the palace and enjoy the sunset in the gardens. The palace offers a ticket that includes entry to the Fountain Show as well as the famous Hall of Mirrors.
And there will be plenty of ways to stay entertained as you wait for the show! You can grab a drink, walk through the gardens, and tour the installations. Or, if you’re feeling especially bourgeois, book a dinner reservation with the show.
Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Versailles from Paris
Still have questions about the Fountain Show? Let me know in the comments!
Versailles is southwest of Paris. Set aside at least half a day to travel there, tour the palace, and then head back.
It will take approximately an hour to get there by train (take the RER line C to Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche). You could get there faster by car, but depending on traffic, it may take the same amount of time.
Enjoy the Gardens of Versailles Fountain Show!
The Fountain Night Show at Versailles is the perfect way to enjoy a warm summer evening outside of Paris. Add a little fire to your vacation!