Château de Fontainebleau

A visit to the expansive and spectacular Château de Fontainebleau can easily fill the better part of a day

An impressive courtyard and entrance welcomes visitors to the Château de Fontainebleau
An impressive courtyard and entrance welcomes visitors to the Château de Fontainebleau cc licensed photo by dalbera

The Château de Fontainebleau is one of the largest royal palaces. A great many monarchs have made their mark on the Château, each resident making some kind of improvement or renovation to at least a portion of the Château.

The Château has been home to some of the greatest monarchs in French history, including King Louis VII, Philip II and Louis IX. Napoleon also made good use of the Château from time to time. The Château has gone from being the home of a number of monarchs to being the home of the Ecoles d'Art Americaines, an American school of art and architecture.

The Château is not just a palace. There are a number of courtyards and gardens and a park that are interspersed throughout the buildings of the palace. Even the surrounding city is something of a historical monument. It grew up around the Forest of Fontainbleau. What remains of the Forest is now home to a number of endangered species that once called all of Europe home.

Although the Château does attempt to make its tours as family friendly as possible, it is important to note that you are not permitted to bring pushchairs or back mounted baby carriers on the tour routes. It is possible to swap your pushchair or carrier for a front mounted carrier at the cloakrooms though. If schools or home schooled groups of children would like to visit the Château then they may make use of the specially adapted tours that the staff of the Château offer. There is also a lift to allow those who suffer from limited mobility to access the Grands Appartements.

For those who love the outdoors, the park and various courtyards offer many different attractions and activities to help you while away the time. You can take a horse drawn carriage ride or a hot air balloon ride. Then there is the boating and ice cream parlours and the Segway rides.

If you are planning on visiting the Château de Fontainebleau then you really do need to set aside an entire day to do so. It is better to have more time than you need as you do not want to miss a single sight in this amazing palace.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes - Free entry with the Paris Pass.

Currently Closed

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: 77300 Fontainebleau, France

Phone: 01 60 71 50 70

Official Website: Château de Fontainebleau

Directions

Metro / SNCF Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M1 or M14 plus SNCF RFontainebleau Avon‎2 minutes

How to get to Château de Fontainebleau by Metro / SNCF

By Metro plus SNCF Train and Bus: Make your way via Metro M1 or M14 to Gare de Lyon. From Gare de Lyon (main line) board an SNCF Transilean R to either Montargis Sens or Montereauline and exit at Fontainebleau Avon‎ Station. Catch the Optile ‘Ligne A’ bus destined for Les Lilas, from bus platform #2 in front of the station and disembark at the ‘Château’ stop. Walk southeast and cross over Rue Grande then go left followed by a quick right onto Rue de la Chancellerie to the entrance. If you have an all zone Paris Visite Pass this journey is fully covered.

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Reviews

Rated 4.5 out of 5Château de Fontainebleau Star Rating

5 Star Rating Located at a distance of 2 hours from Paris by train, this is a beautiful Château belonging to the French royal family. While less renowned (and thereby less crowded than Versailles) the Château is much larger and houses numerous artifacts, attire, paintings and royal objects of daily use. The well-maintained possessions of Napoleon are a sight to behold. Highly recommend the conducted tour aboard the mini-train, which traverses the entire palace premises. Once familiar with the area, can decide where and how to spend time. Definitely spend a moment to enjoy the view from the pond / lake. The swans swimming there add a majestic feel.

Kaustubh Rane - 1 day ago

2 Star Rating Now, the place is a beautiful place and very well kept. But the staff was very rude. From the moment we came in till the end not one single staff member was nice with us. That is why I'm giving them 2 stars, I wanted to put 1 but the place is a very nice place to visit.

Sophie Jrg - 10 days ago

5 Star Rating This place is just as good as Versailles. This should be one of the top 10 places you must see on any trip to France and especially to Paris. Outstanding royal palace that is best known for being Napoleons favorite place to hang out. Also where he also was forced to abdicate.

Daryl Schumann - 28 days ago

5 Star Rating Great chateau, better than Versailles if you enjoy the interiors of chateaus! Rooms all well kept, family friendly (kids can borrow costumes and even sometimes adults for a little extra!)... on a sunny day bring a picnic to enjoy whilst wandering the grounds.

Jennifer Grimshaw - 1 month ago

4 Star Rating Parts of the Chateau were slightly more rundown than we had expected but they have ongoing maintenance to address any issues. My wife and I both enjoyed the audio guides which are well done in English and very informative. If you see a large tour group with preteen school children about to walk in, maybe think about coming back later. The group in front of us was not misbehaved, their parents and teachers deserve credit. But with 30 or 40 kids packed together, their voices can't help but carry inside the rooms, and, it can be quite distracting.

William Dausner - 1 month ago

Video


A video tour or Château de Fontainebleau including the beautiful surrounding park and gardens and the extraordinary interior

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