We took the train out from Paris to the nearby palace of Versailles. Built by French royalty in the 1600’s, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and museum/tourist destination. We spent the whole day here exploring, beginning with an exhibition on the sculptures at Versailles before exploring the lavish rooms and the famous Hall of Mirrors. I (Karen) had been to Versailles before, but it was even more grand than I had remembered it being and I was very impressed!
After a picnic lunch on the steps outside the palace, we explored the gardens and the outer buildings, including the Grand and Petit Trianon. The gardens were not at their most impressive during winter – lots of them were shut up and most of the statues had coverings over them – but it was still lovely to wander around these vast gardens. There are 800 hectares of gardens, and you can even rent golf carts and bicycles to explore them. Being on a budget, we just walked! This was a really easy daytrip to do from Paris and definitely worth doing independently rather than as part of a tour.