Come explore Fontainebleau township, Fontainebleau Castle and Forest with me on a day trip away from Paris! Short but oh-so sweet!
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How do you get there?
If you want to get to Fontainebleau from Paris by public transport, take a Transilien train from Gare de Lyon heading towards Migennes, Montargis or Montereau. You want to get off at Fontainebleau-Avon (normally the first, second or third stop), and the journey should take around 40 minutes. Trains run between every 20 and 90 minutes and the ticket costs 8.85€ each way, unless you have a Navigo or five-zone Paris Visite card. Once at the station, you can head directly into the forest or take Bus 1 in the direction of Les Lilas to the Château de Fontainebleau, which will take about 15 minutes. You can also walk the three kilometers into the town in under 40 minutes.
Fresh air fills your lungs on arriving in the classy town of Fontainebleau. It’s enveloped by the 280 sq km Forêt de Fontainebleau, which is as big a playground today as it was in the 16th century, with superb walking and rock-climbing opportunities. Situated 68km southeast of Paris, the town grew up around its magnificent château, one of the most beautifully decorated and furnished in France.
What is there to see?
The Château de Fontainebleau is, of course, at the top of most people’s list of things to see in this town 55 km southeast of Paris. Its 1,500 rooms, including Marie Antoinette’s Turkish boudoir and Napoleon III’s lavish theater, have been preserved or immaculately restored in recent years. Set within 130 acres of formal gardens and parkland, this UNESCO World Heritage Site lives up to and exceeds expectations. It is a monument depicting the whole of French culture in (relative) miniature. The palace and the town are surrounded by the Forêt de Fontainebleau. The 25,000 hectares of woodland contain 1,600 km of walking trails, great spots for bouldering, hiking and horse riding, and amazing biodiversity, including its own endemic tree species. If it’s your kind of thing, you can also visit the grave of Katherine Mansfield — the prominent modernist short story writer from New Zealand — in the local cemetery.
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