If you are visiting Paris, Chateau Fontainebleau is a welcome escape from the city. Marty and I spent hours wishing we could live in this beautiful chateau. Not only is it located in a super quaint village in France, but the house and grounds are immaculate! We enjoyed our time here so much that we just had to blog about it! Here are 10 reasons that you should visit Chateau Fontainebleau!
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Read about our entire trip to Paris in our post, Three Days In Paris!
1. It is WAY less crowded than Versailles.
Really, friends, Versailles gets overrun with tourists. Everyone wants to see the famous palace, and we understand that, but Fontainebleau is just as magnificent and far less crowded.
2. It’s easy to get to from Paris.
Leave from the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris take the train to Montargis Sens or Montereau (stopping in Fontainebleau-Avon). When you arrive at the train station in Fontainebleau, head out front and catch the “Ligne 1” bus heading to the Chateau (they are all clearly marked). When we went, the roundtrip train ride and the bus ticket was less than $20/person. You can check current train prices here, and current bus schedules and prices here.
If you prefer someone to organize the trip for you, consider taking this trip from Viator. They will pick provide transportation from Paris and your entry ticket into the chateau. You just sit back and relax!
3. The Chateau is full of history.
Chateau Fontainebleau has been a residence for eight centuries! Many French ruling families have lived within its walls and expanded the Chateau to make the palace their own. Visit the Chateau’s website to read about a full account of its history.
4. Take a photo on the famous horseshoe-shaped staircase.
All of the architecture at the Chateau was amazing, but I especially loved this staircase!
Want an even better photo? Then take to the skies with a one-hour hot air balloon ride over the chateau! Your sweetie won’t see that surprise coming!
5. See Marie Antoinette’s bed and Napoleon’s throne.
This beautifully designed bed was made for Marie Antoinette, but since she never actually slept in it, Napoleon decided to give it to Empress Josephine.
Napoleon’s throne is housed in what was formerly the King’s Chamber. The luxurious fabrics and the opulent decor demand attention and respect.
6. Be amazed as you stroll through the Galleries and Theatre.
The opulent decor and the amazing architecture will have you mesmerized. I didn’t know where to look. At one point, I just had to stop and sit down to take it all in.
7. Tour the Four Museums.
It felt as if we were surrounded by priceless treasures, probably because we were, as we roamed through the museums. My favorite was the Napoleon museum. It was full of furniture, sculpture, painting, and costumes from this famous family.
8. Visit the three historic Chapels.
The Chateau has three chapels. While all of the chapels are gorgeous, the original chapel, the Cour Ovale, is breathtaking.
Although the chateau offers audio guides, this would have been a great place to have a private guide lead by an art historian. I so wish we would have booked this trip so that we could have a true insight to all of the beauty and history that we were seeing in Chateau Fontainebleau.
9. Get lost in the gardens.
There are four main gardens at the chateau, all of which have their own character and uniqueness. The bus will drop you off at the Jardin de Diane. The Jardin de Diane has a statue of Diane the Huntress dating back to Henry IV.
The gardens at the Chateau were the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. We walked across the street to a little cafe and bought a Croque monsieur and then came back into the gardens for a picnic lunch. Marty and I munched our sandwich in front of the carp pond while watching the swans swim around and the lovers paddle through the pond on their rented boats. It was perfect!
10. Roam around the town of Fontainebleau.
While you’re here, be sure and visit the town surrounding. The “Ligne 1” bus just makes a big circle around the town, so hop back on and explore. There are quaint cafes and charming shops to do some shopping in.
Friends, this was truly a magical day for Marty and I. I was apprehensive at first to visit the Chateau because I was afraid it would be so closed off and too much of a museum feel…boy was I wrong! I strongly recommend that you take this trip and enjoy some time at Chateau Fontainebleau. You won’t regret it!
Need accommodations in France?
Consider using Airbnb to “live like a local”. You can click on our link here and get a $40 credit toward your first booking.
If you would rather stay in a hotel, then consider using Hotels.com and signing up for their rewards program. Marty and I try to always book through Hotels.com. Not only do you get great rates, but you earn free nights. This is one of our secret weapons to get to travel more often. We took a 4 day trip to Vegas for free using flight and hotel credits. Read more about it in our post, How We Afford to Travel and How You Can Too!
Need to plan flight and hotel. Book with Expedia and get great savings on flight and hotel packages.
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What do you think about Chateau Fontainebleau? I would love to hear from you! Be sure and comment below.