An hour outside of Paris is a charming small town called Fontainebleau. With that being said, it begs the question, is Fontainebleau worth visiting? The short answer is Yes, Fontainebleau is worth visiting! If you are looking for a relaxing place to escape the city, a remote area, and a place to enjoy the outdoors filled with history, then Fontainebleau, France is perfect for you.
Why is Fontainebleau Famous?
If you are a history buff or love history then Fontainebleau, France is a great spot to be transported back in time. Fontainebleau is full of a rich history and many notable events took place there. For example, did you know that from the 12th Century to the 19th Century every King of France declared Fontainebleau as their residence? From what I read, it is because they loved being surrounded by the forest.
If you are interested in exploring the famous Fontainebleau Château, it is open to the public and you’ll be surprised to see every room you visit is fully furnished. Probably one of the most interesting tidbits of knowledge about the Château I learned was Marie Antoinette never actually got to sleep in the bed that was designed for her. She was killed before she ever had the opportunity to utilize it. However, the bed she picked out is still on display today.
In addition to Fontainebleau's rich history, there is over 50k acres of forest area to explore! In short, Fontainebleau is known for its rich history, the Fontainebleau Château, and the incredible forest.
How Far Away is Fontainebleau from Paris?
Many Parisians love escaping Paris to Fontainebleau because it is only about 41 Miles away (66 km drive time) There are a few ways you can travel from Paris to Fontainebleau including by train which takes on average 1 hour or by car which takes 48 minutes with no traffic. I traveled to Fontainebleau by car, but because of the traffic it took longer than the expected time. I highly recommend that you take the train, as it is simpler and you will avoid traffic. You can leave from any of the major train stations in Paris. The price for a train ticket one way is between €6-€20.
Where to stay in Fontainebleau
For me one of the most important things when choosing a hotel is ensuring that it directly aligns with your needs. For this holiday, my main goal was to escape the city, have open space where I could relax, and a hotel that offered a nice outdoor area. The Demeure de Campagne Château de Fontainebleau hotel offered all these things and more. This property is a one-stop shop, meaning you could literally stay at the hotel the entire time. There are outdoor games, a heated pool, tennis courts (don’t worry if you don’t have a tennis racket the property has extras), a delicious restaurant, and even a spa!
The Demeure is a perfect property to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Plus the property is within walking distance to the city center, the famous Chateau, and even the forest. AKA the ideal location. Hands down, I highly recommend Demeure de Campagne Château de Fontainebleau hotel if you are visiting Fontainebleau. This property is great if you are traveling alone, with friends, or even with a significant other.
What to do in Fontainebleau, France
- Carriage ride around the palace
One of the most famous, ways to do explore the Fontainebleau Château is a carriage ride. There is no better way to explore the Château grounds than a horse-drawn carriage ride? This was a magical experience to say the least. I’m a tad embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve never actually been on a carriage ride before. The Carriage Ride was both as charming and enchanting as I envisioned it would be. Our tour guide filled us with facts about the history of Fontainebleau, the Chateau and the carriage ride took us around the city.
- Mixology Class
One super fun activity I booked was a “mixology” class. Both my cooking and my drink making skills are limited which is why I thought this would be a fun yet educational experience. I had a blast, met new friends, and learned how to create 2 fresh summer drinks. One of the things I loved about the class was that we used fresh herbs from the hotel's garden.
- Scooter Ride through the forest
As many of you know, I’m not a super outdoorsy type of girl. I love to go on walks around the city and work out which is evident by the posts I’ve created, but a scooter ride through the forest? Well this was definitely out of my comfort zone. Being on holiday and really wanting to try something new I decided to give it a go. To my surprise, after about 20 minutes, I got the hang of things and started to enjoy myself. Scooting through the forest was very relaxing, and a bit scary at times. The scooter doesn’t go over 25 kilometers and I definitely didn’t go that fast often.
If you are booking a scooter ride through the forest, I recommend wearing log leggings (to avoid ticks), a light colored top, and finally tennis shoes. The scooter company will provide you with a helmet.
All 3 of these activities are offered directly through the hotel and you can book directly using one of the theme packages. With so many fun activities and things to do it's no wonder that Fontainebleau is worth visiting!
What to Pack for Fontainebleau, France
More likely than not if you are heading to Fontainebleau you will spend time outside exploring the forest. There is over 50,000 acres of Forest area and endless hiking trails. I highly recommend you pack accordingly. You'll need a good pair of tennis shoes, bug spray, black leggings if you are hiking, a light colored top, and a water bottle! If you are going hiking in the forest off the beaten path to take your phone with a portable charger.
Final Thoughts Is Fontainebleau worth visiting?
I was in Fontainebleau for 24 hours and to be honest, I should have stayed there for a week or even longer. This charming city is the perfect balance between city life and outdoor wilderness. I plan to visit Fountainebleau again, this charming city embodies nature, outdoor living and has a rich history. This popular weekend getaway is home to 15,000 people and has miles upon miles of outdoor forest area to explore. If you are looking for a weekend getaway from Paris, or even a longer holiday then I highly recommend Fontainebleau.
Sincerely Petite in Paris,