Top French Cities - Versailles at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Versailles Tourism Office at

City region: Paris Ile-de-France

Population & what they are called: 85,461 inhabitants (2014 census), called Versaillais

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 30 min (13 miles)

  • by train: about 30 min

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Agnes Troublé, fashion designer, founder of Agnès B

  • Stéphane Audran, actress

  • Bruno and Denis Podalydès, brother actors

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • Because of the Château de Versailles, the town of Versailles was the capital of France from Louis XIV's reign until the French Revolution.

  • In history, Versailles is known as a place where important treaties were signed, such as the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War, and the Treaty of Versailles, after World War I.

Notable sites:

  • Palais de Versailles – the opulent ensemble that includes the Palace of Versailles, the Trianon Palaces, Marie Antoinette’s Estate, André le Nôtre gardens and the park (

  • Potager du Roi – the huge vegetable gardens used to fill the table of Louis XIV (

  • Académie Equestre Nationale de Versailles – an equestrian show like no other, with horses and riders from the National Equestrian Academy (

Top annual events:

  • Le Mois Molière – a theatre and music festival promoting the renewal of popular theatre (

  • Versailles Jazz Festival – a music event focusing on jazz (

Most notable museums:

  • Galerie des Carrosses (Grande Écurie) – a collection of horse carriages, mostly from the 19th century, located in the Great Stables

  • Salle du Jeu de Paume – a museum about the French Revolution

  • Musée Lambinet – the museum of the city of Versailles, located in an 18th-century mansion

Culinary specialties:

Local wines & spirits:


  • Marché Notre-Dame – on alternating days, good for food and household goods

  • Quartier des Antiquaires – aka the Quartier de la Geôle, antique shops set in a cluster of small streets around the old bailiff’s offices

  • Cour des Senteurs – an olfactory trail enabling visitors to discover the world of scents and perfumes

Most popular night spots:

  • Baradoz – pub with a good range of Beligian beers, whiskies and wines, plus excellent cheeses

  • Montbauron – a bar-brasserie with a good selection of drinks

  • O’Paris – a surprisingly charming fusion of Irish and French traditions

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Grand Musical Fountain Shows – glorious walks through France’s most amazing gardens during which the fountains and jets are active in time with great classical music (

  • parks – palace and municipal parks account about 50% of the city and are easy to reach for a run, bike ride, boat ride or moment of calm

  • theater – a good number of stages (Opéra Royal, Théâtre Montansier, Centre de Musique Baroque, La Royale Factory), several associated with the palace, mean there is always good theater and music being performed

Local industries:

  • Craftsmen – Versailles and its surroundings welcome more than one hundred craftsmen working in different disciplines: luthiers, creators cabinetmakers ...

  • Specialized Higher Schools – School of architecture, National School of Landscape, International Institute of Perfume and Cosmetics, school of mural art, school of Fine Arts, Regional Music Conservatory

In Pop Culture:

  • A Little Chaos (Les jardins du roi) – the 2015 film directed by Alan Rickman in which Kate Winslet plays a fictional landscape gardener and Rickman plays King Louis XIV

  • Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons dangereuses) – the Oscar-winning 1988 historical drama by Stephen Frears starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer

About Top French Cities -

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency