Make sure to go antiques shopping in the village of Versailles
Before going to the palace, make sure to have a walk through the city first. There are some wonderful antiques stores in Versailles, as shown in the photos below:
Visiting the Palace of Versailles
When we arrived at 11am, we were greeted by a very long line.
We decided to head out to the Gardens of Versailles first, which ended up being a good idea as during this time it was fairly sparse and you could enjoy the Gardens with very little people about. We went down the Gardens from the right hand-side, walked to the Grand and Petit Palace, then walked back up to the Palace through the Gardens on the left-hand side (by then, it was busy).
By the time we finished the tour of the Gardens and the surrounding areas, it was around 2pm and there was virtually no line into the Palace. We head out for lunch nearby then went back in again to explore the Palace of Versailles, with no line and less people about, until it was closing time.
Château de Fontainebleau
I’ve been watching all two seasons of Reign which is a Netflix show around Mary, Queen of Scots. I was really excited to visit the Château as it was featured in the show. It also contained a lot of French history and does not have the same number of visitors and hype as Versailles.
The palace was originally a 12th century medieval palace, and later turned castle for the likes of Louis VII, Napoleon III, Henry II, Henry IV, Catherine de Medici and more.
Many of the rooms inside were probably more luxurious than inside the rooms of Versailles. My favourite area was Gallery of Francis I, originally constructed in 1528, containing woodwork and paintings.
There is also a garden with a small lake that visitors can hire a boat in outdoors.