Hop on the Marie Antoinette-themed train – complete with bright, floral walls – from the Paris Metro into Versailles to visit the Queen’s meticulously preserved palace. It’s a bit of a walk from the train station to the cobblestones fronting the grounds, but once you arrive, there are enough details in any room to keep you firmly planted in one place for minutes on end. Learn of the Austrian princess’s ascension into the role as Queen of France, her marriage to Louis XVI, and their extravagant tastes as you follow a tour through living spaces that make the term “ornate” feel like an understatement. You’ll pass under painted ceilings lined with chandeliers, dining halls fit for dozens, and bedrooms with gilded sheens.
The dropped-jaw crowds may keep you at a shuffled pace, so much so that the stunning size of the rooms may still feel stuffy. Break free in the gardens, where perfect landscaping and the soft ramble of stones underfoot will restore your senses.