Before discovering the castle, a stroll in the center of the city allows you to appreciate a very elegant form of town planning and opulent buildings which testify to several centuries of presence, even non-permanent, of an easy court, which liked to stay. at Fontainebleau.
Private mansions or hotels in the true sense of the term thus line the magnificent rue Saint-Honoré, boulevard Magenta and place Napoléon.
For example, the Hôtel de Pompadour built for Louis XV's favorite, surrounded by a park with a botanical garden, the Hôtel de l'Aigle noir.
We will also notice the obelisk, on the eponymous crossroads, built in 1786 in honor of Marie-Antoinette.
In addition, on the religious level, the Saint-Louis church built between 1611 and 1614 then considerably altered under the Second Empire deserves a specific visit. It is adjacent to a hotel de la Mission (which housed a community of priests, now the Tourist Office). In the heart of the city, its main facade, its transept facade overlooking rue Grande as well as the Chapel of the Virgin, an extension of the apse, were redesigned under Napoleon III (19th century) in a monumental style. The materials (alternating stones and bricks) and the interior furnishings add to the majesty of the church.
In another register, the Italian-style theater, built in a Louis III style, was inaugurated in 1912. Its sumptuous architecture is coupled with great wealth in terms of programming. Information on +33 1 64 22 26 91.
Next, head to the castle, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The current building dates for a large part from the 16th century, but it was altered, enlarged and embellished, externally and internally in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the center of 130 hectares of parks and gardens, it was more or less inhabited by all the sovereigns from the 12th to the 19th century! Summary of the history of art and architecture, it has no less than 1,500 rooms, all richly furnished and decorated. Emblem of the Renaissance then a symbol of imperial splendor, not to mention its annexes (especially dedicated to horses, such as the Sénarmont merry-go-round), the domain of Fontainebleau can be visited today via multiple formulas.
The free visit allows you to appreciate the Renaissance furniture and works of art commissioned by François I, the refined interiors of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the state apartment of Napoleon I, the tastes of Napoleon III... The same ticket gives access to the Napoleon museum (ten rooms near the courtyard where the emperor bade farewell to his faithful, presenting a collection of furniture, works of art, paintings, sculptures, weapons, costumes, symbolizing the reign of Napoleon). It is valid all day. Price: 10 and 12 euros.
In addition, thematic guided tours are dedicated to the "small" apartments of Louis XV, to the "large" apartments of the two Napoléons, to the Renaissance room and its Italian decorations, to the theater commissioned by Napoleon III, to the Chinese museum (collections of the Empress Eugenie), in the boudoir truc. For young audiences, tours are also offered in the form of treasure hunts.
The castle is open every day except Tuesday and January 1, May 1 and December 25. The park, gardens and courtyards are freely accessible. Information on +33 1 60 71 50 70.
In the town of Fontainebleau, again, in terms of sports and nature recreation, the Plaine de Jeux, avenue du Maréchal de Villars is a space dedicated specifically to adolescents and children with, depending on age, available, ball pool, foam games, karting track, trampolines, city stadium, climbing wall. Information on +33 1 64 23 71 03.
Sometimes referred to as the capital of the horse, the city has a site dedicated to equestrian sports, Le Grand Parquet, which regularly hosts high-level competitions. It is intended for young riders as well as professionals. Information on +33 1 64 23 42 87.
The Hippodrome de la Solle, for its part, was founded under Louis XVI. Modernized, 20 horse racing meetings are organized there each year. Contact on +33 1 64 22 29 37.
There is also a fitness trail, Route de l'Ermitage, free access, 2000 m long, with 19 apparatus, in a green setting. Information on +33 1 64 22 29 37.
Comprising a small bath with a balneotherapy area and a large pool reserved for swimming, the city's swimming pool is appreciated in all seasons. Price: 3.20 and 6.30 euros. Information on +33 1 60 74 54 70.
It is then time to head for the immense vast forest of 22,000 hectares, two thirds of which are located in the same commune of Fontainebleau.
Appreciated by hikers as well as artists and sportsmen, dotted with bodies of water, rocks (dedicated to climbing), crossed by large alleys or more intimate paths, it can be understood by visiting the Maison de la forêt, an educational center run by the ONF also open to the general public. Contact on +33 1 60 74 93 67.
For the rest, the variety of landscapes of the forest itself (60% deciduous such as oaks or beeches, 30% conifers), between moors and high forests, sandy areas or rocks sandstone, and its richness in terms of fauna and flora can be discovered via 400 km of marked routes.
An unparalleled paradise for fans of hiking and horseback riding. Maps and information on +33 1 60 74 99 99.
Within the forest, the dedicated geological zones have become references for understanding the practice of climbing: contact on +33 6 86 70 81 11.
For activities equestrian in the forest, contact the Ecuries de la Faisanderie on +33 1 64 22 63 49. Photo hikes, gym or yoga sessions under the foliage, boat trips on the ponds are also offered throughout the year. Information on +33 1 60 74 99 99.
Finally, the town's golf course has been established since the beginning of the 20th century on the edge of the forest. The course (a par 72 of 6153 m) was laid out on the former floor of the imperial hunts. The fairways are lined with trees and dotted with bunkers. Open every day except Tuesday. Information on +33 1 64 22 22 95.