Going back to the 19th century, the millennia old history of “the horse” awaits you in the heart of a 115-hectare historical park. Come and discover our opinion on the Château de Chantilly.
- Living the experience of a castle that went through centuries
- The breathtaking equestrian shows
- The family friendly activities
- The many incredible works of art -including the historical park
We don’t like as much
- The many different activities and visits ends up making its price rather high
What Is the Château de Chantilly?
The Château de Chantilly is an great part of the Domaine de Chantilly, located 25km north from Paris.
The Domain, named Musée de Condé, remained on hiatus in the 19th century, managing to keep its wealth and princely character thanks to the will of Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale, who made it his life’s work to restore it. The charm of that time is still as enchanting as ever.
The Creation of the Castle
Previously, the Château de Chantilly was a medieval fortress dating back to the 11th century.
In 1875 and at the request of the Duc d’Aumale, the reconstruction of the Grand Château started and he left the entire estate to the Institut de France in 1886, which is still the proud owner today.
The Domain has a rather eclectic style.
The last reconstruction of the Grand Château was inspired by the classical style of the royal buildings, as are the Grandes Ecuries.
You will be able to discover the masterpieces of its classicist buildings during your visit.
The Petit Château is a reference to the French Renaissance, as it is itself adapted from the Italian Renaissance, for which Anne de Montmorency had an unmistakable appreciation.
It was the Grand Condé who chose André Le Nôtre to design the French garden of the domain in the 17th century, who had not yet worked on the famous Versailles Gardens at the time.
It is also the Grand Condé which has made Chantilly a social and intellectual place beyond compare.
Can you imagine La Fontaine, Mme de La Fayette and Bossuet chatting in the allée des Philosophes which surrounds the garden flowerbeds?
Or Molière being so inspired in Chantilly that he created Les Précieuses Ridicules in 1659.
The Petit Château is the oldest part of the estate, dating back to the 16th century.
This princely castle dating back to the July Monarchy is one of the few still standing.
It is a must-see when you are visiting the Château de Chantilly, don’t forget it!
Make a stop to taste the wonderful and famous homemade Chantilly cream at the Domain’s restaurant, La Capitainerie, which is located under the vaults of the old Vatel kitchens which is otherwise inaccessible. The enchantment is guaranteed.
If the weather is nice, go to the restaurant, Le Hameau.
Located in the Anglo-Chinese garden in the heart of the park and composed of rustic houses, this is where Marie-Antoinette was inspired to create the Petit Trianon of the Château de Versailles, nice, isn’t it?
How to Reach the Château de Chantilly?
- From the Gare du Nord (grandes lignes) take the TER towards Amiens, get off at the “Chantilly-Gouvieux” stop (about 25 minutes).
- By RER: Take the line D, towards Creil then get off at the “Chantilly-Gouvieux” stop (about 50 minutes).
Average price for the trip: €9 in TER and €5 in RER
Then, take the bus DUC (Desserte Urbaine Cantilienne) or the n°15 bus in direction of Senlis at the bus station, then get off at the “Chantilly église Notre-Dame or Château” stop. These 2 buses are free of charge when going to the Domaine de Chantilly.
Schedules from Monday to Friday during school time:
- the DUC: 9:30 am, 11 am, 12:40 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm
- the bus n°15: twice per hour from 6:20 am to 8:40 pm
Otherwise, the “Navette Gratuite Touristique” (Free Tourist Shuttle) going to the Domain is available from the Chantilly-Gouvieux train station (9min), every weekend and during public holidays.
Schedules are available by clicking here (PDF in French):
- from the train station to the Château: 9:40 am, 11:40 am, 1:40 pm
- from the Château to the train station: 5:04 pm, 5:34 pm, 7:09 pm
Extra tip: choose the TER PACK Domaine de Chantilly — for more information, click here (website in French).
- From the center of Paris: take the A3 freeway and/or the A1 freeway, exit at ‘Chantilly‘ or follow the departmental roads D316 and D317 (50 km from Paris center, about 1h30).
- From Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport: follow the A1 freeway in the direction of Lille, then take the D924a departmental road (30 km, about 30 min.)
Average fare: €5.50 from central Paris and €3.50 from CDG
Parking spaces are available near the Château and the Grandes Ecuries at a €5 per day price.
Visiting the Château de Chantilly
The Domain is open from 10 am to 6 pm and until 8 pm for the park, every day except on Tuesdays.
The opening hours of the Capitainerie, the Café des Écuries and the Grandes Ecuries may vary.
We recommend these hours during which the periods of affluence are rather lighter:
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Arrivals between 10 am – 2 pm
- Saturday and Sunday: Arrivals between 10 am – 12 pm
It will take you at least half a day to visit the entire estate.
The castle can be visited in 1h30 without a guided tour and it takes about 2 hours to stroll and admire the gardens and parks of the Domain where there are 115 hectares to stroll on.
If you also choose to go to one of the superb equestrian shows, count on 1h30 more and add another 30 min for the equestrian animations which are also available.
The visit of the Grandes Ecuries will take you another 45 min.
Depending on how much time you spend visiting the Domaine de Chantilly, there are a large number of activities, exhibitions and events that are fun, romantic or athletic for all ages.
Two equestrian shows are offered at different times of the year: “Du Manège à la Scène” or “Il était une fois les Grandes Ecuries”. This is a must-see stop if you’re planning a family outing.
- The priceless treasures of the library
- The largest stables in Europe
- The Musée du Cheval (Horse Museum)
- The second biggest collection of ancient paintings -after the Louvre
Should I Plan for a Guided Tour?
A guided tour is the only way to visit the private apartments of the Duke and Duchess of Aumale.
A 45 min visit will cost about 5€ (it’s free for children under 3 years old, in addition to the purchase of an entrance ticket), learn and imagine the private life of the nobles of French History in a setting which has remained unchanged since the 19th century, it’s worth it!
Other occasional guided tours are available throughout the year, please inquire on the Domain’s website.
Be sure to book well in advance (at least 72 hours).
No guided tours can be purchased on site.
What Can the Children Do?
It is, of course, possible to take children to visit the Domaine de Chantilly, it is an attractive and family-friendly castle. Check out a lot of ideas here.
For younger and older children, the Labyrinthe des Princes (a maze), which is entirely vegetal and covers over 4000m2, awaits them as well as the Petit Parc which shelters sheep and Bennett’s wallabies.
You will also be able to choose between renting an electric cart or a Rosalie to go for a ride with your family, bearing in mind the equestrian shows.
The choice of activities is wide and available from Wednesdays to Sundays.
For older children, cooking workshops teaching how to make the famous Creme Chantilly (whipped cream) are available.
Don’t forget to reserve your time slot.
You can even organize a birthday party for your children at the Domain!
Buy Your Tickets
Tip: access to the Domain is available with the Paris Museum Pass.
‘Accès au Domaine’ (Access to the Estate) (parks, castle except private apartments, the Grandes Ecuries including the Musée du Cheval (Horse Museum)):
- Children under 7 years old: Free of charge
- Young people under 18 and students: €13.50 (reduced price)
- Adults: €17 (full price)
Click here (website in French) to book easily.
The castle audio guide for adults and children is included in the “Accès au Domaine” ticket.
Remember to book your timed ticket in advance on the website, you will be entitled to a 10% knockoff.
‘Spectacle équestre’ (Equestrian show) (with access to the Grandes Ecuries) :
- Children under 3 years old: Free of charge
- Children under 7 years old: €17 (reduced price)
- Young people under 18 years old and students: €17 (reduced price)
- Adults: €22 (full price)
Check on the Domain’s website for group offers, family tickets or visits of the Domain + Equestrian shows… the offers are various and very attractive. Apps, visit booklets, podcasts and games are all available for download, think about it.
The Extra Touch of Chantilly
The Domaine de Chantilly does not offer a ride or to learn how to ride a horse.
But many places in the city of Chantilly or in the closeby area will be more than happy to welcome you.
- Espace Equestre Henson-Chantilly-Apremont: try horseback riding in the very park of the Château and on the grounds of the Polo-Club de la Ferme d’Apremont for timeless rides. Find all the information here.
- Chantilly Attelage: horse riding lessons and rides will be offered to you. Click here for more information.(website in French)
- Balade-Cheval-Chantilly: open to everyone from 2 years old and older, all kinds of rides are available from beginners to the most experienced riders. Click here for more information.
Get information here on the Chantilly Tourist Office website to find all the riding schools and other owners in the region.
The Château de Chantilly is full of history and intrigues, it is accessible to everyone and hosts many historical collections.
It is the place to visit when you are passionate about horses. It’s a unique place, we recommend you to visit it!
I aim to share my tips and recommendations for the beautiful country of France. My goal is to help you plan your next adventure, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime trip. From finding the best hotels and restaurants, to discovering unique activities and sights, I’ve got you covered!