Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau is a lovely historic town 55.5 km (34.5 miles) south of Paris. Palace of Fontainebleau is one of the largest French royal châteaux, a favourite weekend getaway for Parisians, and attracts crowds of tourists. The earliest record of a fortified castle at Fontainebleau dates to 1137.

Fontainebleau tourism website
Government website

Basic tourist information

The medieval castle and subsequent palace served as a residence for the French monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III. Francis I and Napoleon were the monarchs who had the most influence on the Palace as it stands today. It became a national museum in 1927 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

Orientation in town is very easy as there is only one main artery called the “Rue Grande” (map) which goes from the Castle to the other end of town, passing by the central “Napoléon Bonaparte” place.

During the late French Renaissance, the decoration of the Palace of Fontainebleau engaged some of the finest artists and craftsmen from Italy and France, including The style of painting and decoration they created became known as the School of Fontainebleau, and covered a period from about 1530 until about 1610. It helped form the French version of Northern Mannerism.

Its interior decorations are especially interesting as a fine example of the French Renaissance style. At the same time, its historical significance is hard to overestimate, since it was the preferred residence of French kings and emperors for 7 centuries. The first mention of the castle dates back to 1137.

Although by no means less interesting than the Versailles castle, the Fontainebleau castle is a bit more difficult to reach and less known to tourists; as a result, there are at least ten times less visitors in Fontainebleau than in Versailles.

Except maybe on national holidays, there is never a queue to get in, and you can explore the immense castle almost on your own, which, together with the fresh air and the absence of street vendors contributes to make your visit a very peaceful and enjoyable experience.

The castle is open every day except Tuesday, January 1, May 1 and December 25th.

Also сheck оut мore info about Fontainebleau: WikipediaWikivoyageUNESCO

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The *French Riviera (Côte d’Azur, map), in southeastern France, is the second leading tourist destination in the country, after the Parisian region. Main cities on the French Riviera include Nice (map), Antibes (map) and Cannes (map); Cap Ferrat (map) is also a popular destination.

Provence – numerous famous natural sites can be found in the region, as the Gorges du Verdon (map), the Camargue (map), the Calanques National Park (map) and the typical landscape of *Luberon.

Loire Valley – This World Heritage Site is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Amboise (map), Angers (map), Blois (map), *Chinon (map), *Orléans (map), and Saumur (map) >> +*Châteaux of the Loire Valley)

French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (map) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions. Notable towns in the French Alps include Grenoble (map), Chamonix (map), Annecy (map) is called “the Venice of Savoie”, Chambéry (map), Évian-les-Bains (map) and Albertville (map).

Corsica – is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus. It is a popular attraction for tourists with both cultural aspects (cities *Ajaccio and *Bastia) and geographical features (Parc naturel régional de Corse, map).

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / adm. center Lyon
Bourgogne-Franche-Comté / adm. center DijonBesançon
Brittany / adm. center Rennes
Centre-Val de Loire / adm. center Orléans
Corsica / adm. center Ajaccio
Île-de-France / adm. center Paris
Normandy / adm. center CaenRouen
Nouvelle-Aquitaine / adm. center Bordeaux
Occitanie / adm. center Toulouse
Pays de la Loire / adm. center Nantes
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur / adm. center Marseille
Alsace / adm. center Strasbourg
Champagne-Ardenne / Châlons-en-Champagne
Lorraine / adm. center Metz
Hauts-de-France
Nord-Pas-de-Calais / adm. center Lille
Picardy / adm. center Amiens

For the most up-to-date information, see the official tourist resources.

Transport around Fontainebleau

RATP ::: Metro timetablesBus timetablesTramway timetablesRER timetables

You can go by train from Paris by Gare de Lyon (map): there are at least two trains an hour between 06:19 and 00:49.

From the Gare de Fontainebleau Avon (map) you can use a line 1 bus to get to the Chateau (about 15 minutes).

Public transport (parisinfo.com) • Getting to France (uk.france.fr)

sobus.travel — sells bus tickets for all the bus companies.

The Noctilien (Map of Noctilien) is a night bus service that operates in Paris and the Paris region from 12.30am to 5.30am. OuibusIsilinesFlixBusEurolinesMegabus >> (*Intercity buses in France)

Trains are a great way to get around in France. For regional trains, schedules can be found at ter.sncf.com. You can get from pretty much anywhere to anywhere else by train.

For long distances, use the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or High-speed train) on which reservations are obligatory. TGVThelloOuigo. + RailEurope • EurostarThalysizy (Paris-Brussels) • TGV Lyria (Switzerland) • DB (Germany) • RENFE (Barcelona) >> *Rail travel in France

Several weekends throughout the year in France are known as ‘Black Saturday’ (Samedi noir) because of the start or end of school holidays and the coinciding traffic jams on French roads caused by thousands of tourists travelling to and from their holiday destinations. When possible it is wise to avoid these days. For traffic reports, see the website of the French traffic service.

⇒ Driving in France (wikivoyage)

aeroport.fr – list of airports in France. / parisaeroport.fr – Paris airport information.

Brittany FerriesP&O FerriesDFDS Seaways

England ⇔ France:

  • P&O Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Dover to Calais.
  • DFDS Seaways – operate freight and passenger services from Dover to Dunkirk.
  • LD Lines – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Le Havre.
  • Brittany Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Caen, Cherbourg, andSt Malo, from Poole to Cherbourg and from Plymouth to Roscoff.
  • Condor Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, Poole to St Malo and Weymouth to St Malo.

Ireland ⇔ France:

  • Brittany Ferries – operate ferry services from Cork to Roscoff.
  • Celtic Link Ferries – operate ferry services from Rosslare to Cherbourg.
  • Irish Ferries – operate ferry services from Rosslare to Cherbourg and from Rosslare to Roscoff.

Links to additional resources with useful information for planning your trip.