This section of our
Paris Travel Guide describes Fontainebleau, an "easy" daytrip to
the east of Paris that
we highly recommend.
- Fontainebleau is an extraordinary
chateau, although less impressive than Versailles. Conversely, it
is more impressive than Chantilly, another of our choices for
daytrips from Paris.
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|The entranceway to the Palace leads through the White Horse Courtyard,
directly to a very impressive curved staircase. When you reach the
center of the courtyard you will be tempted to continue to the
staircase but you need to turn and enter the wing on your right
to purchase tickets for your tour of Fontainebleau.
We suggest that you take
a formal tour or buy one of the inexpensive, illustrated
available at the gift shop as a substitute.
The Palace of Fontainebleau originated as a hunting
lodge. It is located to the southeast of Paris, about an hour away by
train, in what was once a heavily forested area. A
series of royal residents kept adding on to the original buildings and transformed
the palace in
to a collection of unique architectures that work together with the charm of a
The Palace of Fontainebleau is large and dignified, although not
quite as opulent or interesting as Versailles. The lush landscape, buildings and gardens
interact to provide an enchanting environment that makes Fontainebleau a great place to spend a
We recommend that you tour the grounds in order
to appreciate the immensity and setting of the Palace. The use of water (in the
fountains and lakes) is impressive and magnificent. Be sure to explore Le Pavilion de l'Empereur surrounded by the four acre L'Étang des Carpes. The Etang contains an
enormous number of carp, many of enormous size.
The town of Fontainebleau ( surrounding the former
royal residence) is a good place to have a bite to eat before starting your
tour, as the grounds of the Palace are enormous and require some time to
properly view. The area immediately adjacent to the Palace features efficient
restaurants staffed by friendly help. Parking is available on the neighboring streets
(buy ticket from meters that dispense them and place the stub on your
dashboard) or park in the underground garage near the Palace entrance.
Visit the website for the
Town of Fontainebleau
for more information.
If you need information about another travel destination, try Googling our site or the Web
Barbizon and Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte Chateaux Day Trip by Minivan
From Viator Tours