Setting the benchmark for Italianate garden conservatory design, the elegantly long and low palace of pink marble and porphyry features geometrically ordered rows of columns and windows, topped by a balustrade roof. Since the original furnishings were plundered during the Revolution, the palace is furnished in the Empire style as Napoleon Bonaparte lived here for a time.xa0
Travelers may discover Grand Trianon on a tour that encompansses the many attractions of the magnificent palace and gardens of Versailles, including entry to Marie-Antoinette’s Petit Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet, where she created an idealized French village to serve as her rustic escape from court life.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Admission to Grand Trianon is about $11; check specific tours and tickets for inclusions and exclusions.
- Wear comfortable shoes, since the palace and the grounds are vast.
- Bring a sweater or long-sleeved shirt, as it can get very windy in the gardens. Versailles is usually a few degrees chillier than Paris.
- There is a restaurant and cafe on-site.
- Plan to spend a full day at the estate.xa0
- Guided tours allow entry to otherwise closed rooms.
How to Get There
The cheapest and easiest way to reach the palace is by RER train to the Versailles Château Rive Gauche stop, which costs about $8, and takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Driving takes about 30 minutes depending on traffic leaving Paris; parking is available on the premises. The Grand Trianon is located about a mile (1.5 kilometers) northwest of the Château de Versailles, an easy stroll along Avenue de Trianon from the Bassin de Neptune fountain.
When to Get There
Grand Trianon is open year-round from 12pm to 5:30pm, but closed on Mondays. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, travelers may enjoy the Musical Fountains show, and on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Musical Gardens afternoon show. Come in the summer for the live musical events with costumed performers and fireworks in the gardens. Check the calendar. In general, try to arrive at the palace at 9am, then wind your way through the gardens to Grand Trianon, which opens at noon.
Petit Trianon Petit Trianon is most remembered as the domain of Marie-Antoinette. Once Louis XVI bequeathed her the estate, she quickly updated the gardens from botanical to the more fashion-forward Anglo-Oriental style. After the revolution, Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, converted the Petit Trianon into a museum dedicated to the memory of Marie-Antoinette. Look for the “moving mirror room” where an ingenious system of mobile wood panels allowed her privacy when she needed it.