Marie Antoinette’s Rooms Just Reopened at Versailles—Here’s a Look Inside

The apartment of France’s last—and most lavish—queen was closed for five years for restoration.

White and gold interior of room with chandelier and lavender curtains and upholstery.

Some of the wall hangings are decorated with pineapples—considered a sign of wealth during Marie Antoinette’s time.

Courtesy of Palace of Versailles

Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, was famously frivolous and had ornate taste—this is the royal who was said to have ordered 300 gowns a year, after all.

Shortly after becoming queen in 1774, her husband, Louis XVI, gave her a first-floor apartment in the sprawling Palace of Versailles, somewhere she could retreat and relax away from court life. During the nearly two decades that she spent time in her Versailles quarters, Marie Antoinette decorated and redecorated the space numerous times, always with her trademark flair.

Now visitors can see inside her private apartment again. The Palace of Versailles, a massive, 721,206-square-foot royal complex outside of Paris, has reopened the rooms to the public after five years of extensive restoration, right in time for the 400th birthday of the Versailles estate.

According to officials at the Palace of Versailles, “Several years of research and restoration have reawakened the richness and coherence of an eminently feminine suite of rooms.” Here’s what it’s like inside.

Interior shot of one of Marie Antoinette's rooms with teal-colored upholstery and curtains.

Marie Antoinette entertained a small circle of friends in her concealed rooms.

Courtesy of the Palace of Versailles

What Marie Antoinette’s private rooms at Versailles are like

The rooms, which were accessible from Marie Antoinettes bedroom from a hidden door, include the “Méridienne chamber,” a parlor-like space covered with mirrors and lilac textiles; the “Gold Room,” adorned with myriad gold objects; a library; dining area; billiard room; and many small rooms for Marie Antoinette’s servants and chambermaids. They’re spread over two floors and overlook a courtyard.

This space is where Marie Antoinette would entertain a close circle of friends and spend time with her children. It is also believed that these private quarters were where the queen first tried to hide as people marched on Versailles during the 1789 French Revolution before she and her husband attempted to flee.

Throughout the 19 years Marie Antoinette lived in the apartment, she constantly renovated her space. The current decorations either actually belonged to the royal or mimic those from 1784, the year historians were able to find the most documentation of, including wall coverings patterned with pineapples—a sign of wealth, considering how rare the fruit was in Europe then. Other original objects include the “serre-bijoux” (a jewelry cabinet) offered to Marie-Antoinette upon her arrival at Versailles in 1770 and the “coffre à layette” (a chest used to store children’s linen), likely gifted by the city of Paris on the occasion of the birth of Louis-Joseph in 1781.

How to see Marie Antoinette’s private chambers

While general admission to Versailles is €19.50 (US$22 based on current conversion rates), guests keen on seeing where Marie Antoinette lived will have to purchase separate tickets. The cost is typically €10 and comes with a one-hour guided tour, though the rate is reduced when purchased together with tickets to other attractions (such as the Estate of Trianon) within the palace or on the grounds.

How to get to the Palace of Versailles from Paris

Versailles is only 12 miles outside the city of Paris, making it an easy day trip destination. One of the easiest ways is to go with a tour organizer, such as The Tour Guy or Paris to Versailles Private Tour, which will pick you up from your hotel in Paris, provide transportation to and from Versailles, tickets, fast-track priority entry (available only for guided tours), and arrange for an expert guide on site.

It’s also possible to get to Versailles by train: take the RER C line to Château Versailles Rive Gauche. The ride is roughly 30 minutes, depending on where you get on.

Travelers can also drive. There are several parking lots inside and outside the estate. Alternatively, you could use a ride-share service (Uber is available in France) or a taxi. Transit time is between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on where you start from in Paris, but it could increase if stuck in traffic.

An ornate hotel room (mostly white and gold) at the luxury Palace of Versailles hotel with patterned wallpaper, curtained bedposts, and antique furnishings in the style of Marie Antoinette

Make your Marie Antoinette dreams a reality by staying at the recently opened luxury hotel within the Palace of Versailles—which took inspiration from the queen’s apartment.

Photo by Renée Kemps

Staying at the Palace of Versailles

For those who want to spend a night (or more) living like Marie Antoinette, a luxury hotel located within the the Château de Versailles, Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, opened in 2021. The interior spaces were reimagined by architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer, who drew inspiration from Marie Antoinette’s Versailles estate for the opulent, 14-room property. Each of the rooms and suites is uniquely decorated and the property is outfitted with restored and recreated period furniture, artwork, fabrics, chandeliers, and artifacts.

The 21st-century incarnation features dining by celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse, a spa by Swiss skincare brand La Maison Valmont, a 50-foot indoor pool, and views of the Orangerie, the section of the gardens known for its fruit trees, and of the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses, the pond within the gardens.

Included in each stay is access to areas of the Palace of Versailles and grounds, including the gardens, halls, and Marie Antoinette’s apartment. There is also the option to pay extra for after-hours access to the Hall of Mirrors, a Marie Antoinette–themed costume fitting, a private performance at the Royal Opera, and private dining with a live string quartet in the former apartment of Louis XV’s daughters, among other unique add-ons.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at AFAR. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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