The Palace of Versailles in France is one of the most unforgettable sites you will ever see. Now combine that with a serenade in the Hall of Mirrors and the garden fireworks show, and your day will feel like royalty.

During our Paris trip in Summer 2016, we wanted to spend a day in Versailles. When I looked up tickets on TripAdvisor’s Viator, I saw great options to build out my day and evening for the ultimate experience.

There are fantastic things to see besides the standard tour that usually has very long lines and impossible crowds. Because we wanted to make our time the most efficient and go above and beyond the average tour, we opted for the following experiences:

  • Viator VIP: Palace of Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of The Royal Quarters
  • Royal Serenade Dance Show in The Hall of Mirrors
  • Summer Fountains Night Show and Fireworks

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Viator VIP: Palace of Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of The Royal Quarters

The VIP Tour is an 8 hour tour that provides many advantages. There are many “skip the line” or so called “private tours” out there. The Viator VIP tours are truly one of kind, white glove experience you would expect from an exclusive tour. The groups are small, generally no larger than 16 people. Skip huge lines and enter the Palace through a private entrance.

In addition to the standard Palace access you get with a general ticket, the VIP guided tour extends to the following:

The Royal Chapel

The Royal Opera House

The Royal Quarters which are usually off-limits. The rooms of Louis XV and Louis XVI that you can see are:

  • Louis XVI’s library, reportedly a favorite room of his
  • The formal dining room in which Louis XV held important dinners for nobility
  • The clock room, with a clock with a crystal globe depicting planets revolving around the sun
  • The ‘corner room,’ in which Louis XV’s roll-top desk is located, thought to be one of the finest pieces of furniture on earth.
Arrival in the AM, already a crowd, but you can beat it with VIP entrance

Our tour guide was an expert who actually works at the Palace of Versailles. She also had access to secret rooms and doors that helped to avoid lines and crowds.

Access to Secret Doors and Rooms avoiding lines and crowds.

Although this was during the day during primetime hours, it still felt like we roamed many halls ourselves. It was wonderful to avoid all the crowds.

Private access hallways for VIP guests

The Royal Chapel VIP Style

My favorite place in the entire palace was the Royal Chapel. Only VIP guests can actually go inside, walk around it, and take as many pictures and videos as you’d like.

The Palace security regulated the crowds and will not allow anyone inside the gorgeous chapel without the VIP or authorized access. At moments we felt like an exhibit as the crowds walking by wondered how we got inside.

The Royal Chapel all to your VIP group to walk around in. Not open for walk-throughs to general public.

Our VIP group only inside The Royal Chapel!

The general crowd wondering how our VIP group is inside the Royal Chapel

Another great perk about VIP is you can take as many pics and videos as you’d like inside the exclusive rooms. Take a look at this video as we show you inside.

Our video inside the Royal Chapel at Palace of Versailles

The Royal Opera House

The VIP Tour states the guide will take you either to The Royal Chapel or to The Royal Opera House, our group that day got to see both! You can only access The Opera House by tour guide or buying a ticket to a formal show.

The Royal Opera House was built for Louis XV in the 17th Century by Ange- Jacques Gabriel. It was the largest entertainment hall in Europe at the time. Today, it still hosts the fine arts and musicians to the public.

Inside the Royal Opera House, Palace of Versailles, France

The Royal Quarters or “The King’s Private Apartments”

The Royal Quarters or also referred to as The King’s Private Apartments were designed for Louis XIV’s private and personal use. His son, Louis XV, extended the apartment to the upper floors, creating new rooms, work cabinets, dining rooms, libraries, scientific galleries, and laboratories. 

If you have access to the Royal Quarters or “King’s Private Apartments”, here are some of the must see antiques and rooms during your visit.

Louis XVI’s library

Louise XVI loved to read! One of the first things he did was build a large library in the Private Apartments when he became King.

Louise XVI Private Library during our VIP Tour

Formal Dining Room

The formal dining room in which Louis XV held important dinners for nobility

Private Formal Dining Room in King’s Apartment during our VIP Tour

The Clock Room

The clock room, with a clock with a crystal globe depicting planets revolving around the sun

Private Clock Room in King’s Apartment during our VIP Tour

The ‘Corner Room’

The Corner Room in which Louis XV’s roll-top desk is located, is thought to be one of the finest pieces of furniture on earth.

The Bureau du Roi (the King’s desk).

The Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s Private Palace

The story of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette was of obscene opulence. She was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. Her most famous line is “let them eat cake!” The King gave Marie a palace of her own through the gardens of Versailles. The VIP ticket gives you access to her palace without a guide and extra ticket fee. We enjoyed our leisure walk around Marie’s private palace immensely.

Temple de l’amour
Portrait Marie Antoinette
Petit Trianon Staircase

Royal Serenade Dance Show in The Hall of Mirrors

After regular hours of visiting the Palace, the day is not over. During each Saturday in the Summers, you can buy tickets to see a Royal Serenade brought to life with live actors in costumes.

The tour goes through a few rooms in the Palace of Versailles before entering the Hall of Mirrors where the serenade takes place. Each room has an actor to entertain the crowd. They all speak French and I could only understand bits and pieces with my limited knowledge. We still enjoyed the scenery and authenticity of the production.

French Storyteller
Royal Serenade in The Hall of Mirrors

Summer Fountains Night Show and Fireworks

Summer is the best time to visit Versailles for the longer days and the activities don’t seem to stop. To end our evening after the Royal Serenade, we stayed to see the musical fountain show and the fireworks.

The gardens of Versailles are stunning. It’s manicured and shaped to absolute perfection. In the Summer time, the fountains come to life and dance to choreographed lights and music at night!

We were able to grab a seat next to famous gold fountain when it was time to see the fireworks around 10pm. The night show starts at 8:30pm and ends at 11:00pm.

The Gardens at The Palace of Versailles
The Fountain Night Show begins when the torches flare
Fountains choreographed with lights and music

Many different fountains throughout the large gardens that dance to lights and music.

The Famous Gold Fountain
Our seat and view for fireworks show
The Fireworks were spectacular!
Gold Fountain fully lit after fireworks

Visiting Versailles was a bucket list destination we loved and would do over again. The day was full of adventure and we loved every moment of it. If you have a chance to see the activities at night, it’s worth the time.

Palace of Versailles at night

Enhance your experience at The Palace of Versailles with these upgraded tours.

The VIP Palace of Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters- Read Tripadvisor Reviews and Ticket Information

Versailles Gardens Ticket Summer Fountains Night Show and Fireworks- Read Tripadvisor Reviews and Ticket Information

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