A Day Trip to Fontainebleau Castle from Paris, France

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Whenever people think of a château near Paris, they usually think of Versailles, not Fontainebleau which is a shame considering how beautiful it is. A couple of weekends ago it was a sunny day so me and a couple of friends decided to get on the train (along with a picnic in hand) and head south east of Paris to the cutest little town, Fontainebleau.

As you can imagine, the palace itself is very opulent and is one of the largest French royal châteaux. It was the residence of French monarchs from Louis VII (born 1120) all the way through to Napoleon III (born 1808) but nowadays it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a museum and has one of the most beautiful parks which is perfect for a picnic.

It was literally the most gorgeous day and we started our visit not by visiting the castle, but by setting up our lunch by the lake in the gardens. We had bought baguette (obviously), some cheese, madeleines, strawberries and olives as well as some other goodies and just spent a while basking in the sun, eating our weight in French carbs (no regrets).

After eating we had a stroll around the garden which was honestly beautiful, and then made our way into the château, which thankfully for us was free to visit, thank you French state.

Obviously it was stunning and very ornate, however I preferred Versailles and if you're choosing between the two I would say go to that one, that being said we had a lovely afternoon and it was all free as we had navigo passes which covered travel, and our EU residency paired with being under 25 got us free admission tickets - so definitely worth it.

The town itself is very quaint and picturesque so I would definitely recommend having a look around there before heading home. Fontainbleau is also famous for its forest which is 25,000 hectares! It has more than 1600km of routes and trails that you can discover either on foot, bike or horse. For more information about the forest, click here (including a list of riding clubs for pony treks).

Useful Information

Getting to Fontainebleau is quite easy from Paris, you simply take a train headed to either Montargis Sens, Montereau or Laroche-Migennes from Gare de Lyon and get off at Fontainebleau-Avon, then take the 'Ligne 1' bus in the Les Lilas direction, getting off at the Château stop - if you get lost just follow the tourists. 

The castle is open every day except Tuesdays and some public holidays (January 1st, May 1st and December 25th).
October to March it is open from 9:30 until 17:00
April to September it is open from 9:30 until 18:00
The courtyards and gardens are open every day from 9:00 until 17:00 (November to February), 18:00 (March, April and October), 19:00 (May to September).

Tickets were free for us as we are EU citizens under 25, however tickets are normally 11 euros so still not too expensive.

For more information on the château, please visit the website by clicking here.

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  1. Ah what a gorgeous place! Free admission for under 25s?! Crap, I need to get myself there quickly!! (Mind you, the whole EU status and Brexit thing means I might want to get a move on anyway..) French carbs are healthy carbs right? And I mean you had cheese which has calcium in and strawberries and olives (which are definitely a vegetable... right?!) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua

    1. Luckily for me I have a Belgian passport and luckily for you you're going to marry an Italian so there is hope for us!!! Hahahahaha exactly - not unhealthy at all ;) x

  2. Love this post!! Need to plan a getaway to Paris ASAP!