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“Extraordinary Setting with poor organisation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chateau de Fontainebleau

Chateau de Fontainebleau
Pl. du General-de-Gaulle, 77300 Fontainebleau, France
+33 1 60 71 50 70
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Top Rated
$139*
and up
Paris Pass
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: City walk sightseeing, Rock climbing
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This grand palace was a favorite of Napoleon, who dramatically remodeled the old château during his stays there from 1807 to 1809.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Extraordinary Setting with poor organisation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

The Chateau de Fontainebleau is probably one of the most extraordinary historic properties to visit near Paris. Unlike Versailles, it is still largely furnished.

The only two things that I found less than satisfactory is that the organisation is actually fairly poor - I am not certain if this is systemic or merely the result of the complete lack of interest on the part of the person who took our tickets (and did not mention that the exhibits were up a floor rather than along the same path we'd been on). The other is the miserly 30 centime charge to use the toilets. This used to be standard in France, but for the most part this has been done away with. Because it hasn't there are corners near the castle that smell suspiciously of urine.

The Chateau itself though is amazing. It will especially interest those who like trompe l'oeil.

Visited August 2014
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Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

You don't need to go into the chateau to appreciate the beautiful grounds and its setting in the forest. The coffee shop is very expensive!

Visited August 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
184 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014 via mobile

Fontainebleau is a good place to visit, not as well known as versailles so you don't get the maddening crowd. I went there on a sun so there is less of bus line 1 running from the Fontainebleau Avon station to the chateau so check the timings if you want to avoid waiting one hour for the bus. There are half hourly trains from gare bercy to the Fontainebleau station. The place is beautifully decorated and the gardens are a joy to walk around in.

Visited August 2014
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely Gardens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

We didn't go inside but the gardens are beautiful. Great place for the kids to get some exercise. Lots of water.

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Stroud, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Elegant chateau in wonderful parkland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

France has some great chateaux, this is one of the finest. I've visited on 14 occasions and enjoyed it every time, including 12 visits with around 40 pupils on language exchanges. The interior is on a grand scale, up there with Versailles but without the crowds. There are many highlights including the hall and the ballroom. If you have children, explain that servants walked between the walls to deliver say fuel to the fire, get them to look for the disguised doors in each room where they popped out from - the guides rarely mention this yet children love it helping to hold their interest.
The grounds are huge, the lake has a beautiful central folly, quite often you can photograph a perfect reflection of the house.
At the front of the chateau is the famous horse shoe staircase where Margaret Thatcher was photographed with the EU ministers after negotiating Britain's contribution reduction.
If you are in the area and love such grand grounds you can go around them for free, on two occasions my wife and I have spent several hours just moving from bench to bench around the lake with a good book, a wonderful way to spend a morning.
The town is just a cross the road, don't miss it as it has a lovely pedestrian area with lots of those wonderful food shops and restaurants the French are so good at.

Visited March 2014
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