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Grand Canal, Versailles

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#3 of 11 in Historic Sites in Versailles
Historic Walking Area Tourist Spot
In the gardens of Versailles, Grand Canal forms part of a grandiose cross oriented to reflect the setting sun. The cross-shaped body of water creates a long perimeter of 5.5 km (3.4 mi). Louis XIV used to hold boating parties here, and now you can rent a boat to paddle yourself, or hire a guide to row for you. Use our Versailles holiday planner to add Grand Canal and other attractions to your Versailles vacation plans.
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Where to stay in Versailles

Though you can visit the palace of Versailles on a day trip from Paris, travelers interested in exporing outside the château should consider staying in the town of Versailles, Rambouillet, or Fontainebleau. All three of these boast historical centers and a number of accommodations for visitors, from swanky hotels to short-term apartment rentals. You may want to avoid the other nearby towns, like Senlis, which don't offer any lodging in their old town centers. To put yourself within walking distance of the grand palace, pick a spot along the main avenue in the town of Versailles. When staying here, you can experience first-hand what city planners took into consideration when building this new capital.
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  • This was within full view of the gardens, but just outside the perimeter. It was full of couples in rowboats!  more »
  • You can rent a boat and row over the Grand Canal. Lovely to do on a summers day. Or you can watch the rowing boats from the terrace of the nearby restaurant  more »
  • The canal is the heart of the gardens of Versailles. On a sunny day you should rent a boat (17€perHour) and enjoy the breathtaking view to the Castel. We took some Picknick with us and enjoyed a wonde...  more »