There’s no doubt that the golden gate of the Palace of Versailles displays excess opulence of French royalty. Boy, I was blown away the moment I got a closer look of the iron-wrought gate swathed in gold. Ok, it might not be real gold but it should be something close to that. 😀 The palace is also widely known as Chateau de Versailles.
Exact Replica. The 80-meter golden gate that stands today is not the original one. Nothing was left of the old one that was destroyed during the French Revolution. The French government decided to build the exact replica of the golden gate. It took two years to re-create referencing historical documentations. This 15-tonne masterpiece cost 4 million pounds!
The Golden Gate. Today, the Baroque-style portal has 100,000 gold leaves, a crown, cornucopias, masks of Apollo, etc…
The Queue. Together with fellow backpackers from the hostel I stayed in Paris, we arrived at Versailles at 1:30 in the afternoon. If you can see from the photo below, we were still so far away from the first gate. Yes, after the first gate, there’s another one that awaits you. 😀 The guards at the first gate is for security purposes. The second one checks your ticket. It took us 45 minutes to get past through the first one and another 30 minutes to the ticket booth. And oh, it’s really a good idea to buy a ticket online.
How to get to the Palace of Versailles. The palace is an hour drive west of Paris. Instead of taking a train, I decided to take the bus that our hostel arranged because there’s only 3 euros difference. And the best thing about it, our own car dropped us off right at the entrance of the palace. Unlike the train, you have to figure out a ride to the palace when you arrive at Versailles station. Our driver gave us three hours and a half to explore the palace, which is enough, unless you want to explore the whole acres of gardens.
What to Bring. There’s a restaurant/cafeteria inside but, of course, pricey. It would be a good idea to bring an umbrella or a hat (for the queue). And yes, water!
Money-Saving Tip in Paris
What can I say about Paris? It’s anyone’s dream destination – blame it to those romantic movies and stories we’ve seen and read. It’s a big city and the world’s number 1 tourist destination. So, grab your Paris Pass – not just to save money but to maximize the attractions you shouldn’t miss.
This is a huge hostel that is clean and accessible to everything – cafes, bars and grocery shops. The metro / subway is just few steps away from the hostel. The rooms are wide and the beds are comfortable. The hostel can also help you arrange trips outside Paris.
Well, you know, solo travel is not for everyone. Should you decide to go on with a tour group, go with – Intrepid Travels. They have a wide variety of tours for all ages and different kinds of travelers, including solo, seniors, teenagers and family.