Day Trips From Paris: Fontainebleau Castle
Fontainebleau is one of the most elegant castles in France, beautifully decorated and furnished with wood pannelling, gilded carvings, frescoes, tapestries and paintings.
The chateau is a mix of Italian, Flemish and French styles, built and added to over the years by Francois I, Catherine de Medicis, Henri II, Louis XIV and Napoleon.
During WWII the castle was used as a German headquarters.
After it was liberated by Allied forces, Fontainebleau was used as the Allied and NATOs headquarters from 1945 to 1965.
Highlights of Fontainebleau castle include the spectacular Chapelle de la Trinité and the Salle de Bal, a 16th century ballroom with frescoes and coffered ceiling.
Fontainebleau also has the only remaining furnished Throne Room in France (built for Emperor Napoleon.
Paris Day Trips
Fontainebleau is one of many easy and very enjoyable day trips from Paris.
In fact, many Parisians like to come here on weekends – Fontainebleau castle is surrounded by the Forêt de Fontainebleau, a forest with beautiful old oak trees, and home to deer, rabbits, foxes and even wild boar.
You can go for walks or cycling trips in the forest, which has miles of marked trails.
To get to Fontainebleau, you can take a train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon station. A shuttle bus will then take you from the station to the castle. The trip takes about an hour.
TIP: You can buy an all-in-one train/bus connection/castle entrance fee and audio guide ticket – the Forfait Chateau de Fontainebleau in advance – ask for one at the SNCF ticket window in the Gare de Lyon.
If you’re driving, Fontainebleau is southeast of Paris on the A6 (direction Lyon). Allow about an hour and a half to get there.