6 Tips on visiting Versailles

6 tips on visiting Versailles, France

If you are visiting Paris, I absolutely recommend visiting Versailles. And here's how you do it:

What is Versailles?

Versailles (pronounced vair-sigh) is a town some 15 miles outside of Paris. When most people mention Versailles, they are actually referring to Château de Versailles or the Palace of Versailles. It was built in the 17th century and has been home to the lavish French court and famous rulers including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and later on Napoleon. The palace and smaller estates sit on a more than 700,000 square feet property filled with gardens, fountains, canals and even its own farm.
Illustration of the Versailles estate

How to get there

  • Easiest way to get to Versailles is to take the train. Take the RER C line and get off at the last stop for "Versailles Château". Parisbytrain.com has an awesome detailed guide of exactly how to do this and buy your ticket. It's a great resource for navigating all of the Paris metro lines.
    A smaller palace on the Versailles estate

  • BUY YOUR RETURN TICKET BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. Seriously, just select "round trip" when you buy your ticket. Don't wait to buy it at the station at the end of your visit. You will be tired, hungry and have to wait in an extremely long line of tourists struggling with the ticket machines at the train station if you do.

On visiting Versailles

The Temple of Love, Versaille, France
The Temple of Love

  • You will have to wait in long lines no matter what. If you buy tickets there, you have to wait in line to buy your tickets but that line isn't the worst part. The longest wait is waiting to enter the palace. We probably waited an hour and half. You are also waiting outside so be conscious of the weather. Its annoying but totally worth it so stick it out. Just play some games or chat up the people around you. We met a lovely Canadian couple and listening to their stories of traveling through Eastern Europe made the time go by much faster.
  • Explore everything. Walk out to the Trianon palaces and Maire Antoinette's estate and all around the gardens. The main palace itself gets really crowded but the gardens and smaller palaces feel intimate and peaceful.
The Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, France
The famous Hall of Mirrors. So. Many. People.
  • You cannot bring food inside. You will have to check your bag upon entering if you have food and can't get it back until you leave so plan your meals accordingly. We were famished by the end of the day so pack a sandwich and eat it during your wait to get inside or on the train ride back.
  • Make Versailles an all day excursion. To really fully appreciate the beauty of Versailles you should plan your whole day around your visit there. Get there early (seriously, get there when it opens) and don't plan any big events for afterwards to avoid rushing through. By the end of the day, you will have done a lot of walking so its best to save some relaxing activity for the evening.

What's in a shoe?

Guess leopard print hightop sneakers

Never taking off my new Guess leopard print, high-top sneakers.

If Scarves Could Talk

A close up of a gray knit scarf worn with a two toned faux leather jacket.

If scarves could talk, this one would have a few stories to tell.

Let me explain...

Inspiration Roundup: Summer Dreaming

While I am stuck inside under layers of long underwear and sweaters, in one of the coldest Minnesota winters in recent memory, I've been spending my free time dreaming away. Here is a roundup of some of the images that have been inspiring me as of late.

Inspiration collage with quotes, Miraslava Duma, streetstyle, Budapest, and fashion.

1. Once the weather warms and my hair can escape the winter hats, I want to dye my hair. I'm deciding between a warm chestnut or a light brown.

2. Certain moments in life stay with you. For me, its the simple moments when I feel all is right in the world. Two from the last year came to mind for me when I saw this graphic. One is when I spent the afternoon with a friend hanging around the plaza in front of the Catedral de Granada. It was the perfect afternoon spent in good company, people watching and moseying around the city I had fallen in love with. Another one was just last month when I was in Australia. After a few nights spent  camping, we were driving out a valley that was far out of phone and radio reception. To fill the silence, one of our friends grabbed his guitar and played for us as we made our way back to Sydney. His absolutely beautiful version of Daughters's Youth is something I won't soon forget.

3. Miraslava Duma. Need I say more? Fashion goddess. 

4. I finished the Divergent series a couple of weeks ago and when my friend asked me what faction I would be in, there was no hesitation: Dauntless. Deep down I feel that I'm just a big scaredy-cat and Dauntless's mantra left more of an impression on me than any other themes of social commentary the books did.   

5. This outfit.... ugh. Give me. Now. Want.

6. Budapest! I'm currently planning a trip to Budapest, Hungary for next month! I hope it works out. *fingers crosses*

7. I spent too much time daydreaming about tattoos I'll never get. I want them all. But I'm too scared! (see #4)

8. I WISH I could look this cute in winter. Unfortunately, when it's so cold that it hurts to breathe, functionality tends to wins over style.

9. Dreaming of the days of short skirts and camisoles.

What has inspired you lately?

Kangas and Koalas and Spiders! Oh my!

I had the opportunity to go to Australia last month with one of my very best friends. We went to see her boyfriend/my friend who lives in Sydney and spent a wonderful two weeks on beaches, camping, going to the zoo, and kayaking. We rang in the New Year at a house that was straight out the O.C., got to celebrate our friend's 21st birthday and met some amazing new Aussie friends.  It was the perfect getaway from the bitter Minnesota winter. We even miss this who "polar vortex" thing people are talking about. Talk about a perfectly planned trip.

-a few snapshots from my time down under-

wallabies in Australian bush


View of Sydney Harbor

Jumpsuit Lovin'

Jumpsuit outfit styled with statement necklace and headscarf.

I think my obsession with black jumpsuits began when Carrie Bradshaw wore one to her engagement dinner in the first Sex and the City movie. Ever since then I have been desperate to get my hands on one. Then, lo and behold, I decided randomly to stop in a cheap little store on my way home from class while I was studying in Spain last spring and spotted this one. I had to have it. Now i

It's so much fun to style with all kinds of different accessories, which is good because I buy way too many belts for my own good and this goes with all of them. Here I'm wearing it with a big statement necklace, a silk scarf I bought in Morocco and a simple black braided belt.
Moroccan headscarf tied as a headband.
Gold statement necklace with red beads and dangling spikes and pendants worn with a black jumpsuit.
Jumpsuit: Stam (Spain)
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Scarf: Street market in Morocco
Sunglasses: Franchesca's
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Metal (Spain)

Inspired by... the Albaicin

Its been 2 months since I returned from my semester in Spain and I am missing it sorely. I miss the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes. I miss my host mom and my community of friends I had surrounding me. To cope with my Spain withdrawal, I have decided to do an "Inspired By" series for all of my favorite places I went last semester. First up, my beautiful home base of Granada, specifically the Albaicin neighborhood.

About Granada and the Albaicin. Granada is located in the autonomous community of Andalusia is southern Spain. It was under the rule of the Moors from 711 to 1492 and the last hold out of Sultan Muhammad XII making it the longest Arabic controlled city in Spain. Granada still is greatly influences by the Arabic world which can be seen in its architecture, food, music, and people. The historic neighborhood of the Albaicin is the best example of this with it's horseshoe arches, the smell of shawarma around every corner and the endless supply of Moroccan shops.

View of the Albaicin from the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
Morroccan lanterns in Granada, Spain.
Alley in the Albaicin neighborhood in Granada, Spain.
Street performers play guitar and sing in front of the Alhambra at the Mirador de San Nicolas in Granada, Spain.

Blouse, pants, shoes, backpack and accessories that embody the Albaicin neighborhood in the Granada, Spain.

Patrizia Pepe chiffon blouse / EAST tapered harem pants, $76 / JustFabulous / Light weight backpack, $220 / Blydesign turquoise bangle / Cathy Waterman tear drop diamond earrings / FOSSIL jewelry / STELLA McCARTNEY tortoise glasses
This is definitely the Moroccan inspired look. Lose and flowy complete with a leather backpack which were sold everywhere in the Albaicin.

Outfit inspried by the urban youth from the Albaicin neighborhood in Granada, Spain.

This second look is inspired by the young hippies who could always be spotted in the Albaicin selling their jewelry and art work. I don't mean the ironic, hipster hippie that are abundant in the US, these folks are the real deal. Hash smoking, grunge, dreadlocks, shaved heads, rat tails, barefoot, gauges, always with their dogs on homemade leashes, this group was always my favorite to people watch.