Château de Fontainebleau is a great day trip from Paris. It is only 55km outside of Paris, and it is extremely easy to get from Paris to Château de Fontainebleau. It is one of the largest royal palaces in all of France and is filled with beautiful decor and lots of history.
History of Château de Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau is an interesting piece of French architecture. It was a royal Château then became a palace and one of the many residences for the French monarchs. It was used as a palace from the reign of Louis VII to Napoleon III.
The monarchs would go from Paris to Château de Fontainebleau in order to relax and get away from the capital city. The location was favourable because the monarch could easily go from Paris to Fontainebleau for a short retreat and not have to worry about extensive travel.
The palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage sight and is visited by hoards of tourists every year.
It truly is one of the best places in France to learn about French history!
How to Get From Paris to Château de Fontainebleau
The Most Common Way: By Train
The most common (and easiest) way to get from Paris to Fontainebleau is by train. The train rides takes approximately 40 minutes, and it is faster than taking a private car!
The first step to getting from Paris to Château de Fontainebleau is to get to Gare de Lyon station in Paris because that is where the trains to Fontainebleau leave from. Gare de Lyon is the sixth largest train station in Paris, and it is very busy.
You have to take the local Paris metro to Gare to Lyon and then transfer to another train to get to Château de Fontainebleau .
The metro lines that stop at Gare de Lyon are:
The RER lines that stop at Gare to Lyon are:
To figure out to get from where you are staying to Gare de Lyon, click here. This is an interactive map that will help you plan the best route for you to take!
Now that you’re at Gare de Lyon, you will have to exit the Paris metro portion of the station and follow the signs to the actual train station portion of Gare de Lyon. There will be lots of signs, so you shouldn’t get lost.
You are now in the train station portion of Gare de Lyon. You’ll need to take a Transition train (that’s the fancy name for the type of train you will be taking to Château de Fontainebleau). You will want to take a train in the direction of Migennes, Montargis or Montereau. All three of these trains will take you to Château de Fontainebleau.
You need to get off the train at Fontainebleau-Avon. This will be either the second, third, or forth stop depending on what train you take.
How to Buy tickets
You will need to purchase a ticket before you board the train to Fontainebleau. Tickets can either be purchased at a ticket machine or at a ticket booth. You cannot purchase a ticket to Fontainebleau-Avon at the metro stations, so you will have to purchase it once you walk to the train station.
The ticket machines will be purple on the side and have SNCF written on the side. The ticket machines accept both cash and card.
You are also able to purchase your ticket online and collect it at a ticket machine. Simply input your reservation number and the credit card used to purchase the ticket, and you’ll easily be able to collect your ticket!
You can also purchase a ticket at a manned ticket booth if you feel more comfortable with that. Make sure to leave a little bit of extra time if you plan on purchasing your ticket at a ticket booth because there is often a queue.
how to validate your tickets
You have to validate your ticket before you board the train! There will be a square metal box as you enter the platform. You have to stick the end of your ticket in the box in order for it to validated.
Once you get off the train, you will have to take a local bus to Château de Fontainebleau. The bus departs across the street from the train station exit, and you will be able to see the bus stop as soon as you walk out of the station.
It is impossible to get lost on your way to the bus. You will be able to see the station, and you can simply follow the other tourists who are heading to Château de Fontainebleau as well.
You need to take the Ligne 1 (line 1) bus in the direction of Les Lilas. Ride the bus until you hear the stop called Château is announced, and you will get off there.
There is a map inside the bus, so you can track where you are on the route and be prepared to get off when your stop is coming up. You can also get off when the rest of the tourists get off.
After you get off the bus, you have to walk about a block and a half before you get to the palace. There will be signs showing you what direction to walk when you get off the bus.
Château de Fontainebleau is right in the heart of the city. The bus stop you get off at is in a residential area, and it can seem a bit odd getting off there, but you are in the right place!
Tips for riding the bus
- You need change to ride the bus so make sure you have some with you!
- Make sure you check the bus schedule, so you know what time to be back at the bus stop after touring Château de Fontainebleau
- It is polite to give up your seat for elders, people living with disabilities, and pregnant women (but that’s common knowledge everywhere).
Getting from Paris to Château de Fontainebleau by Car
You can drive yourself from Paris to Fontainebleau. It will take approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, but that is subject to traffic, of course.
You take the A6 from Paris (Porte d’Orléans or Porte d’Italia) and take the exit for Fontainebleau. After you exit, you will follow signs that say Château until you get to the palace.
To find nearby parking, visit this link.
Getting from Paris to Château de Fontainebleau by Coach
You can take an organized tour from Paris to Fontainebleau, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The tours are normally overpriced, and they don’t give you the freedom to do what you want when you want.
That being said, there are instances where it is better for people to take a coach tour rather than travelling to Château de Fontainebleau on their own. People who are living with disabilities and cannot easily take public transportation or people with mobility issues who want to walk as little as possible.
Paris City Vision offers a guided tour that comes highly recommend (although I have never personally gone on it).
It is easy to get from Paris to Château de Fontainebleau, and it is an amazing day trip. Château de Fontainebleau is so close to Paris that it makes for the perfect day trip.
The most efficient and stress-free way to get from Paris to Fontainebleau is by train. I promise that having to take the train then a bus isn’t as difficult as it can seem to an inexperienced traveller.
The journey is extremely easy, and it is nearly impossible to get lost along the way. The only thing you need to worry about is getting on the right train and getting off at the right stop. Even if you get off on the wrong bus stop, you will be able to walk to the palace because it is a small town.
Château de Fontainebleau is a great piece of French history. I actually enjoy it more than Versailles. It is less busy, just as beautiful, and has some amazing history attached to it.
You won’t regret your trip to Château de Fontainebleau!