A night to remember at the Château de Versailles: Night Fountains Show


Picture this: an after-hours nocturnal walk at the magnificent gardens of Château de Versailles, complete with music and ethereal play of lights and water. Luckily, you don’t have to imagine it, because you can in fact experience it for yourself. From June to September the Château de Versailles put together incredible nocturnal walks every Saturday night, with their night fountains and musical garden show. Called, Les Grandes Eaux Musicales, needless to say, it is no ordinary walk in the park.

Last year, thanks to a friend who works at the Palace of Versailles, I got an opportunity to visit the show on its very last night of the season.

Being so close to Paris, Versailles is definitely worth a visit. And more so, for such an extraordinary experience. Here’s all you should know about the musical fountains show at Versailles, and why the it is worth visiting, in my opinion. Plus, some tips and practical information you should keep in mind before coming to the event.

Palace of Versailles at night with a view of its fountains
The stunning Palace of Versailles at night. Photo by Pronoti

What’s so special about the gardens of Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles was once the royal residence of King Louis XIV. His penchant for lovely things found the right partnership in royal gardener Andre Le Nôtre, who designed many a royal gardens including the one at Versailles. On my first visit to the Château de Versailles, while I was absolutely gob smacked by the exquisite details and richness of the palace itself, for me, the real star were the gardens.

The jardins des Versailles have been celebrated not just as being magnificent in its own right, but almost as a blueprint for elements that have come to be expected from a French garden. One of Louis XIV’s enduring architectural fixation was on grand visual perspective. More precisely, the ability to look far far into the horizon. This meant, royal residences and palaces that were built for him provided sweeping, unimpeded, gorgeous views. Indeed, the Grand Perspective at the Château de Versailles, sweeps through the palace grounds, symmetrically taking the eye out across the luscious palace grounds, towards the Grand Canal, and onward out to the horizon.

Its remarkable to stand outside the palace of Versailles, and gaze onto the expanse of green grass, and the glistening waters of the canal as far as the eyes go. To think that you’re doing exactly what Louis XIV must have done multiple times a day! The play of perspective, water fixtures and manicured topiary, is what has elevated the gardens of the palace of Versailles among one of the jardin remarquable or remarkable gardens of France.

The sheer scale of the garden means that a section here does not do justice to it. But we will be posting a detailed article on it here on Détours soon. For more of these remarkable gardens, visit our post on this amazing garden in Paris, or this garden in the episcopal city of Albi in the Tarn region of France.

The garden of the Palace of Versailles at night
The gardens of the Palace of Versailles lit up with pretty lights. Photo by Pronoti

What to expect at the Versailles night fountains show

A signature aspect of Le Nôtre’s and indeed French gardening style, is incredible water fixtures. So of course, the fountains of the palace of Versailles are some of the most stunning with each fountain in the garden having its own unique presence and story. If you want to find out more about each of them, here’s all the information at the Versailles website.

Some of the fountains here date back to the mid 1600s, and stand as incredible feat of art and engineering. This makes the gardens of Versailles just the right place to host such an incredible musical fountain and garden show. Sauntering around in this historic garden by the evening lights will transport you to an era, where kings and queens might have walked the grounds exactly like this. Speakers playing baroque music have been installed in the gardens for that extra era-appropriate transportive feels. Obviously, being without the humdrum of thousands of tourists that the chateau receives daily, also helps.

The palace organises the fountain shows in their musical garden every Saturday night from June- September. ( There’s also exceptional opening on the 14th July and 15th August.) The gates open for visitors at 8:30 PM. And the show closes at 11:05 PM with an incredible firework display that graces the Grand Perspective.

The musical fountains show Versailles consists of a route designed especially for the nocturnal walk. The parcour takes you across several of the garden’s most celebrated fountains. In essence, visitors go from fountain to fountain, ambling through the walkways of the gardens of Versailles. The trees, the statues, the exotic details of the gardens are all lit up with lovely lights. Some of the light fixtures that line the grounds are specially designed, with interesting motifs that change from year to year.

Each fountain has its very own choreographed show, complete with water jets, music and lights, all synchronised in perfect harmony. These shows usually happen at intervals of 10-15 minutes, and last for about the same amount of time. However, each show has its own unique rhythm, crescendo and twist that makes it spectacular. The sound of water and the music in the air definitely muffles out the noise of the crowd. Once the shows start, trust me, there is just silence as the audience can’t help but be overwhelmed by the extravagant showcase.

A fountain with the backdrop of chateau de Versailles at night
The musical fountain show at the Palace of Versailles is a true feat of art and engineering. Photo by Pronoti

Highlights from the Versailles night fountains and garden show

Even though the entire walk was a magnificent, unparalleled experience, here are some of the highlights from my visit that stand out.

The laser show at Colonnade Grove of the Palace of Versailles stood out as a perfect blend of the old and the new. The Colonnade is made up of 32 marble columns. These surround sculptures from the the Abduction of Proserpina by François Girardon. These were constructed between 1678 and 1699. Water jets and fountains surround the Colonnade, as laser displays light up the skies above. The sculptures add a surreal element to the entire show. Scroll further down the post to see a photo from here.

In terms of scale and majesty, the fountain show at the Neptune Fountain took my breadth away. First of all, the setting is incredible. Le Nôtre himself designed the Neptune fountain between 1679-81. This almost semi-circular pool saw some design changes, with the addition of sculptures and 99 water jets.

Last but not the least, the fireworks over the Grand Canal of the Palace of Versailles in the end, was absolutely the proverbial cherry on top of this deliciously decadent evening. To see the sky lit up in such beautiful ways with the perspective of the palace grounds and the Grand Canal, is unforgettable. If you think you are not romantic, I challenge you to experience this and describe it as being anything else but.  

Fireworks over the grand canal at Palace of Versailles
A spell-binding end to a spectacular soirée. Photo by Pronoti.

Is the Versailles night fountains and musical garden worth it?

What I loved most about this experience is that it felt so wholesome, and yet so elaborate and luxurious at the same time. Just the garden, the music the night lights and your special someone. But the musical fountains show is also perfect for a multi-generational family outing with kids or older parents.

Another aspect of the show I liked is that you can tailor it according to your preference. You do not have to cover the entire grounds of the garden if you do not want to or aren’t able to. You can limit the fountain shows that you would like to see, and stick to those. On the other hand, there’s nothing stopping you if you want to hit each and every point included in the show.

I would say for the price and the kind of off-beat experience that this it, the Versailles musical fountain show is completely worth it.

Tips for visiting the Versailles night fountains show and musical garden

Here are some things to keep in mind before visiting the musical fountain show at Versailles.

  • Book your tickets to the night fountains show and musical garden online in advance. This will save you time and effort.
  • If you fancy having dinner in the town of Versailles before heading to the show, consider getting a restaurant reservation. So many people attend the evening show, particularly during the peak season. This means, well-rated restaurants tend to be booked way in advance.
  • There is a lot of walking involved, so bring your most comfortable footwear. Also carry water.
  • If you are coming with children, prepare them for walking. Or make alternate arrangement.
  • Depending on the month you visit, evenings could get both cold and rainy. So do check the weather forecast. Carry a jacket or an umbrella.
  • Remember that the ending of the show happens right after the amazing fireworks. Once it finishes, people tend to rush all at the same time towards the exit. It is not a big deal, but just be prepared for a slow-ish exit.
  • And if you are in a hurry to get somewhere, it could be advisable to be stood near the exits at the beginning of the fireworks, or leave a little earlier.
A laser show with a view of a statue and fountains at gardens of Palace of Versailles
A laser show during the Palace of Versailles musical fountain event. Photo by pronoti

Additional Information

Here are some practical information you should know about the night fountain show at Palace of Versailles.


Every Saturday night, from June to September. (Also exceeptionally open on Sundays 14 July and 15 August)

  • Opening of the show: from 8.30pm to 11.05pm.
  • Final fireworks display in front of the Grand Canal: from 10.50 pm to 11.05 pm.


Single ticket: €32. Concession: €28. Free for children under 6.
Prestige ticket: €55.
Royal ticket: €110.

Nearest station: Chateau rive Gauche train station at Versailles

Website: Versailles Fountain Shows and Musical Gardens

Leave a Comment