3 castles to visit around Paris this summer
To be amazed during your stay in Paris, pay a visit to the castles around Paris. The spectacular Versailles, the romantic Vaux-le-Vicomte or the blazing Chantilly are waiting for you!
1/ Château de Versailles
At first modest castle built by Louis XIII for hunting, Versailles has become the palace we know now thanks to his son Louis XIV. Classified for thirty years at the World Heritage of Humanity, the building is a worthy representation of French art in the 17th century. Until the French Revolution, kings succeeded each other—making—in turns— the Château more beautiful. Today, we dash to it in order to see the hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Apartments, the Grand Trianon or Marie-Antoinette’s estate. Since last May 10th, Versailles reopened its Coach Gallery located in the Great Stable—containing one of the most significant collections of coaches in Europe. One more reason to visit it—not forgetting the joy to stroll in the huge gardens with numerous water games.
The castle is open every day, except on Monday, on May 1st, December 25th and on January 1st, from 12:30pm to 6:30pm in high season, and from 12:30pm to 5:30pm in low season.
Full rate Château: €15 / Reduced rate: €13 / Free under 26.
This rate gives access to temporary exhibitions.
Château de Versailles
Access: RER C – Versailles Château Rive Gauche train station.
2/ Château de Vaux-Le-Vicomte
Nested in around a 1235-acre park—at the heart of the Seine-et-Marne (77)—the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and its domain are the fruit of a both creative and passionate mind—Nicolas Fouquet’s (1615-1680). To make his dream come true, he surrounded himself with the best artists of the Grand Siècle—painter-decorator Charles Le Brun and architect Louis Le Vau. The French formal garden was drawn by André Le Nôtre. The place inspired a lot of artists like Jean de la Fontaine who wrote ‘Le Songe de Vaux’. Vaux-le-Vicomte is also famous for its candlelit evenings during which we visit the domain during the night—lighted by candles. You can also have dinner on the spot—at the Charmilles—the restaurant which overhangs the park and the castle—before linging over the beautiful gift shop where books, jams or beautiful crockery await you!
Open every day from April 1st to November 2nd, from 10am to 5:15pm.
Full rate: €15.50 / Reduced rate (students, over 65 and under 18): €13.50 / Free under 6.
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
Tel.: +33 (0)1 64 14 41 90
Access: Train line P (towards Provins) at Gare de l’Est. Stop at Verneuil l’Etang. Then take the Châteaubus shuttle and stop at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte.
3/ Château de Chantilly
Like Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, Chantilly is the work of a man: Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale (1822-1897). Throughout his life, he has been paying tribute to his predecessors—the Princes of Condé—and kept making the place more beautiful. Today, the spot houses the largest stables of Europe as well as The Museum of the Horse. Every year, the Château organises equestrian shows and displays of dressage. Chantilly is also renowned for its around 284 acre-park which gathers 3 different parks. The French formal garden was drawn by André Le Nôtre, the Anglo-Chinese garden by architect Jean-François Leroy and the English garden by architect Victor Dubois. In addition to the external splendours, visiting inside the castle is worth the journey and notably the apartments which are the perfect example of the decorative arts in the 17th and 19th centuries.
Open in high season, from March 26th to November 1st, 2016. Seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm (8pm for the park).
In low season, from November 2nd to March 25th, open every day except on Tuesday, from 10:30am to 5pm (6pm for the park).
Full rate: €17 / Reduced rate: €10.
Domaine de Chantilly
Rue du Connétable
Tel.: +33 (0)3 44 27 31 80
Access: with main line train from the gare du Nord, allow 25 minutes / 45 minutes in RER D / Stop: Chantilly-Gouvieux.