Château de Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau
4.5
Architectural BuildingsCastlesGardens
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
With over 1500 rooms at the heart of 130 acres of parkland and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. A visit to Fontainebleau opens up an unparalleled view of French history, art history and architecture.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • sus67
    London, United Kingdom269 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    do not miss!
    This is an amazing chateau, with amazing displays and stunning gardens. To get there from Paris, you do need to get the Transilien train from Gare de LYon, which runs every 1/2 an hour on weekends (note: metro tickets not valid on this journey!!); and then a bus (from directly in front of the station) to the chateau for 20mins. So the journey time to/from central Paris is about an hour, but it is worth the journey. Because it is less crowded than Versailles, I actually enjoyed it more as it is equally opulent. On the way back, you can saunter the main road of Fontainebleau which has some lovely restaurants and patisseries.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 29, 2023
  • Stevietz
    London, United Kingdom77 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not open Tuesday!
    Although we were too late to get into the chateau on Monday late afternoon and it’s closed on Tuesday’s we still managed to walk around the grounds and the gardens. Very lovely place. Will go back when next in the area and it’s opened. The English gardens were open but they wanted to charge €8 pp when you can see the whole thing for €12/14. So we declined and will wait.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 12, 2023
  • SeeTheW0rld62
    Sunnyvale, California2,069 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely palace
    We enjoyed our visit to Fontainebleau. It's interesting to see how the palace was decorated and used. We visited on a France National day so unfortunately no audiotours were available. There are English translations for the main signs in each room, which was very helpful. It's worth a visit here. It wasn't nearly as crowded as Versailles which made it more enjoyable.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 16, 2023
  • Hope
    31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loved It - Well Worth a Visit
    If I only had time to visit one palace near Paris, I wouldn't hesitate to choose Fontainebleau. It actually has decorated rooms and authentic furniture. Fontainebleau was beautiful and well worth a visit.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 16, 2024
  • TubaKoseogluOkcu
    Istanbul, Türkiye6,563 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Large Estate
    During our Loire Valley visit, though it was pretty far from the rest of the famous castles, we wanted to visit this castle as well. We were to make a decision between Versailles and Fontainebleau and we opted for Fontainebleau as it was supposed to be less crowded, which was indeed the case. We were there a bit off season, so we did not have to wait in any queues. In fact, there were also automated ticket machines at the entrance which help you to proceed more quickly. This is a pretty large estate, so it takes almost 3 to 4 hours to make a quick tour. When we were there the castle cafés were not open and it was a pity as it would be great to sit on the lake side and sip a coffee.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 25, 2024
  • dmlandis
    Indio, California50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth the price of admission.
    Everyone bears the crowds to see Versaille but Fountainebleau is just as interesting and is uncrowded as well. The audio guide was great - Napoleon had this as his home but the castle itself is 800 years old. There is an awful lot to see and it is well worth the price of 12 euros.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written March 26, 2024
  • HENssl
    Houston, Texas97 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perhaps......
    Wonderful day. Easy to get out to the location, no crowds. Yes, yes, Versailles, I know. I've been on a previous and had to persuade my group that it might be a better day trip to see the true abode of French royalty. They were not disappointed and hearing others discuss the crowds at V they didn't really feel like they missed out by visiting the alternative. I get the bucket list nonsense but you might give it a second thought, you may have a far more enjoyable experience.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 31, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,595 reviews
Excellent
2,183
Very good
1,079
Average
219
Poor
70
Terrible
44

tiz S
Rome, Italy191 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
The Château de Fontainebleau is decorated by the famous Italian Mannerist artists Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio. It is a must for Renaissance and Napoleon enthusiasts (it was at Fontainebleau that Napoleon signed his abdication in 1814). It is also a must for someone interesting in tapestries. You can also immerse yourself in the daily life of France's first Renaissance king Francis I as Château de Fontainebleau gives you the possibility to rent historical costumes and dress up in period costumes to have fun and take hilarious photos! Way better then Versailles and maybe the best castle in France.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RaymondHua
Vancouver, Canada106 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
It is not a long train ride from Paris Gare de Lyon to get off at Fontainebleau-Avon. The good thing is this trip is fully covered by the Navigo découverte (a weekly Metro & bus ticket), the bad thing, for me at least, is that it was a bit confusing to identify which train to get on at the Gare de Lyon. The station is not announced until about 15 minutes before departure. As a new visitor, it is a challenge.

By the way, the Navigo découverte also covers the RoissyBus service between the Paris Garnier and the Paris International Airport. It is therefore a very good option for tourists if they stay in Paris for about 7 days.

Back to the Fontainebleau Chateau, it has a long and important history. Not only you can see François I's renaissance-style court, you can also see the famous horseshoe-shaped staircase, which incidentally was used by Napoleon after his resignation in the Chateau, and he personally walked down the stairs to bid goodbye to his soldiers.

Visiting the Fontainebleau Chateau is walking onto history. Don't leave Paris without this experience, I would suggest.
Written February 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stevietz
London, UK77 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
Although we were too late to get into the chateau on Monday late afternoon and it’s closed on Tuesday’s we still managed to walk around the grounds and the gardens. Very lovely place. Will go back when next in the area and it’s opened. The English gardens were open but they wanted to charge €8 pp when you can see the whole thing for €12/14. So we declined and will wait.
Written July 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ghislaine E
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
We have lived for two years in Barbizon, 15 mn away from Fontainebleau. I finally took visiting friends. I was blown away! It is far more than anything I had imagined.
I took a two hour parking on an adjacent street. Mistake: it takes at least 4 h to visit! And I skipped some. So go to a proper parking a few blocks away where you can stay as long as you need.
I was particularly moved by the Napoleon apartment and more specially by the reconstitution of his field tent interior/ accommodation. It is as if I could touch his spirit. The burnt candles on his work desk where he spent the entire night writing his codified laws for France - the Napoleon Civil Code which is still in use today! His masterpiece- he would say (despite winning 40 battles). Book of Plutarques the Greek philosopher, at his foot. He was a very short man but a giant in history!
It is the only French château that has been continuously inhabited by all the French kings and the emperor during its 700 years. An absolute must see!
Written October 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mariedesjardins
Prince George, Canada6,909 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Solo
Visited in October on a chilly autumn day and even had hot chocolate. Good that the chateau was so large. The inspiration for Versailles was Fontainebleau which belonged to the King's finance minister. Beautiful tapestries, paintings, and furnishings throughout the property. Even tables inlaid in gold. Velvet line walls in some rooms with beautiful draperies and chandeliers. Outside it was beautiful thanks to the Le Notre designed gardens with fountains, conical trees, designs shaped in the lawn, and statues throughout the property. He designed Versailles gardens as well.
Written November 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Otto M
Delft, The Netherlands169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Business
Such a great palace. The gardens are amazing. I did some running and it was unique. Aside from the gardens around and the nice alleys, you can also walk around the huge pond on the back which is surrounded by trees. Super nice place. No access to the interior though. Why not?
Written March 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mister J
Stoke-on-Trent, UK1,256 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Truly epic, wonderful architecture. The country retreat of all the French Kings + Napoleon. There is a free car park near the military school/academy nearby and you literally walk into the grounds of the chateau (which is more like a palace?) There is reconstruction/refurbishment work taking place, take time to explore and there is a cafe on the courtyard. You pay to go inside the chateau (we didn’t have time) but instead spent a lovely hour or two just wandering around.
Written June 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sam D
Brookline, MA14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
In France they call it "Jue de Paumme", in England "Real Tennis" and in the US "Court Tennis". There are only 49 active courts in the world and one of them is at Fontainebleau. I actually play the game at a club in Boston, MA so I arranged to actually play at the court. But everyone can go in and see the court. In fact while I was playing a bunch of tourists stopped by to watch. As you face the front of the chateau within the main courtyard look for a door on the left with tennis racquets hanging above.

This is the original racquet sport that all modern games including tennis and squash descend from. There has been a world championship held since the late 1600's and the game's roots are in the 1200's!

Enjoy!
Written July 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Badcop
Cleveland, OH239 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
We had a wonderful experience at Chateau de Fontainebleau! We've been to Versailles several times and decided to try something new with friends who had not been to either. I'm so glad I decided on this, as the experience at Versailles with all the lines and people makes you feel like cattle being herded. The experience here was completely different and I felt like I could spend the whole day at the Chateau and town just wandering around and enjoying the beauty and relaxed pace without throngs of people.
Written October 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sus67
London, UK269 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
This is an amazing chateau, with amazing displays and stunning gardens. To get there from Paris, you do need to get the Transilien train from Gare de LYon, which runs every 1/2 an hour on weekends (note: metro tickets not valid on this journey!!); and then a bus (from directly in front of the station) to the chateau for 20mins. So the journey time to/from central Paris is about an hour, but it is worth the journey. Because it is less crowded than Versailles, I actually enjoyed it more as it is equally opulent. On the way back, you can saunter the main road of Fontainebleau which has some lovely restaurants and patisseries.
Written June 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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