Versailles Gardens: Fancy-Schmancy to Bucolic

By the time we were shuffled through the Versailles château, a jaunt around the gardens was a welcome idea. Indeed, walking around this huge expanse of terrain is an amazing way to take in Versailles. The outdoor scenes range from the elegant to the flowery to the pastoral–in short, there is something for every outdoor lover. Because of the sheer gamut of surprises the garden yielded, we all agreed that exploring this open-air version of Versailles was among the highlights of our trip to Paris.

Versailles Gardens

There is a wealth of ground to be covered at the gardens–The Grand Canal, the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet, Marie-Antoinette’s private theater, along with several other little buildings that are preceded by “Marie-Antoinette.”

A hint of the gardens from the windows of Versailles

The grounds are immaculately groomed

Exiting the Grand Trianon for more gardens

The count really got “into” the gardens as well

The Hamlet

Next, we came upon Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet. I had expected the Hamlet to seem out of place, but it nestles seamlessly into the countryside, tucked away from the prying eyes of the main palace. This bucolic English hamlet was constructed for Marie-Antoinette as another play place–it was here that she dressed up as a shepherdess and chased fluffy little sheep (but not before they had been cleaned and groomed, of course).

The Hamlet boasts a large lake which is encircled by a total of eleven houses. The land around these thatch-roof buildings is still very well maintained, and we saw several workers trimming up the area the day of our visit.

If you squint, you may see Little Boo Peep


Another Hamlet house

If I make it to Versailles again, I would love to come to simply explore the gardens. Unlike the palace, it’s free to get in! You only have to pay if your visit coincides on a “Fountain Spectacle” day. Picnic, anyone?

Interested in learning more about the gardens and Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet? Read practical info + tips here:

My Secrets to Versailles: The Queen’s Hamlet at Young Adventuress

Have you ever been to Versailles? If not, do you think you’d prefer the gardens or the château?

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  1. This was my favorite part of Paris! How cute are these gardens?

  2. bahahahah the count! classic. love the photos – can’t wait to check out the gardens…we only did the palace and that sucker to fooooreeeever.

    • Cassandra

      Thanks Anni! The count was my mom’s mascot–she’s an accountant, harhar.

      Hopefully you can go back sometime to see the gardens! I know, I know–if you go to Versailles you’ve got to see the palace. But the gardens would be a perfect follow-up if you’ve already seen that part of the tour!

  3. I love The Hamlet! It was my favorite part of Versailles before I ever visited, and after walking around it – even more so!

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