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Château de Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau

Château de Fontainebleau

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Wednesday-Monday 9:30am -6pm (closes at 5pm Oct-March)
Fontainebleau, France

The Basics

Visitors can discover the Château de Fontainebleau on a guided tour or take a self-guided tour of the Grands Appartements accompanied by an audio guide. Most Fontainebleau tours run from Paris. Although it’s possible to take in the highlights on a half-day tour, a full-day tour will give you free time to explore the vast parklands. In summer, popular activities include Segway tours, horse-drawn carriage rides around the palace grounds, or boat cruises around the lake. You can also soar overhead in a hot-air balloon.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Plan at least two hours to visit the castle and gardens.

  • Visitor facilities include cloakrooms, lockers, and restrooms.

  • The palace is wheelchair accessible, and lifts are available for entrance to the Grand Apartments.

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How to Get There

The Château de Fontainebleau is located at the heart of the Fontainebleau Forest, 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of central Paris—about an hour-long drive. From Paris, trains run from Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon station, from where the Ligne 1 local bus takes you right to the château entrance in about 10 minutes. Coaches also run from Paris to Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte, another nearby castle.

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When to Get There

Fontainebleau is open daily (except Tuesdays) year round. The most popular time to visit is in summer, when you can enjoy a picnic in the park and make the most of the seasonal activities and events. The castle itself can get busy, especially in July and August, so aim for an early-morning tour to avoid the crowds, then set off to explore the park just as the tour buses roll in.

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A Tour of the Royal Palace

With an incredible 1,500 rooms, there’s plenty to explore at Fontainebleau; tours typically include the the Renaissance rooms, the Papal apartment, the Francis I gallery, and Marie Antoinette’s boudoirs. Visitors can also brush on up French history at the palace museum, peek into the private apartments of Napoleon I and Josephine, his first wife, and stroll around the idyllic gardens.

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