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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Seine-et-Marne

Fontainebleau - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Seine-et-Marne

Fontainebleau is a town in Seine-et-Marne, in the Île-de-France region, 60 km southeast of Paris.

Its famous forest covers more than 90% of the municipal territory, which is also the largest in the region with an area of 172 km².

Today with around 15,000 inhabitants, the locality has been inhabited since Antiquity (remains of a Gallic village have been unearthed) then, in the Middle Ages, a first fortified castle first used as a relay hunting is appreciated by Saint-Louis. In 1528, Francis I had a new Italian-inspired palace built where he stayed regularly with his court. The village benefits from it and develops. And when the king and the court are absent, the castle continues to be fitted out, enlarged, embellished.

Subsequently, Henri IV further developed the building and developed the park and the forest (canal, roads). In Fontainebleau several future sovereigns were born, including Louis XIII. It is also in this castle that Louis XIV signs the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, then that Louis XV gets married. Later, Napoleon I renovated the estate and installed his Hussar guard in the town. A few decades later, the castle was appreciated by Napoleon III and then, in the 20th century, the site was chosen to host several international conferences.

In addition to a few major schools, it is still its castle and its forest which give Fontainebleau its prestige and make it a major tourist destination. Ile-de-France residents and visitors from all over the world benefit from an extraordinary range of leisure activities (“nature” sports, culture). A must-have!

Geographical information

Tourism labels
Latitude48.4046760 (N 48° 24’ 17”)
Longitude2.7016200 (E 2° 42’ 6”)
AltitudeFrom 42m to 150m
Surface area172.05 km²
Population16368 inhabitants
Density95 inhabitants/km²
PrefectureMelun (16.8 km, 23 min)
Insee code77186
IntercommunalityCA du Pays de Fontainebleau

Nearest cities & towns

Avon2.4 km (5 min)
Samoreau6 km (12 min)
Vulaines-sur-Seine6.7 km (12 min)
Thomery6.9 km (10 min)
Héricy7.7 km (14 min)
Bourron-Marlotte8.4 km (10 min)
Bois-le-Roi8.9 km (11 min)
Samois-sur-Seine9.1 km (12 min)
Champagne-sur-Seine9.1 km (13 min)
Moret-Loing-et-Orvanne9.8 km (13 min)
Barbizon10 km (13 min)
Recloses10.3 km (11 min)
Ury10.6 km (12 min)
Saint-Mammès10.6 km (16 min)

Things to see and do

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 bear witness to several centuries of presence, even if not permanent, of a wealthy court, which loved to stay at Fontainebleau.

Private mansions or hotels in the first sense of the term line the magnificent rue Saint-Honoré, boulevard Magenta or place Napoléon.

Let us cite for example the Hôtel de Pompadour built for the favorite of Louis XV, surrounded by a park with a botanical garden, the Hôtel de l'Aigle Noir.

We will also notice the obelisk, on the eponymous crossroads, erected in 1786 in honor of Marie-Antoinette.

Furthermore, on a religious level, the Saint-Louis church built between 1611 and 1614 then considerably remodeled under the Second Empire deserves a specific visit. It is adjoined by a Mission hotel (which housed a community of priests, now 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 remodeled 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 theater, built in a Louis III style, was inaugurated in 1912. Its sumptuous architecture is coupled with great richness in terms of programming. Information on +33 1 64 22 26 91.

Then head to the castle, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The current building dates largely from the 16th century but it was remodeled, enlarged and embellished, externally and internally in the 18th and 19th centuries. At 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 1500 rooms all richly furnished and decorated. Emblem of the Renaissance then symbol of imperial splendor, not to mention its annexes (dedicated in particular to horses, such as the Sénarmont riding school), the Fontainebleau estate can be visited today via multiple options.

The free tour 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 bid 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: 12 and 14 euros.

In addition, guided thematic tours are dedicated to the “small” apartments of Napoleon I, the “large” apartments of kings and emperors, the Renaissance room and its Italian decorations, the theater commissioned by Napoleon III, the Chinese museum (collections of Empress Eugénie), at the boudoir thing. For young audiences, visits are also offered in the form of a family investigation.

The castle is open every day except Tuesday and January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. The park, gardens and courtyards are freely accessible. Information on +33 1 60 71 50 70.

In the town of depending on ages, available, ball pool, foam games, trampolines, city stadium, climbing wall. Information on +33 1 64 23 71 03.

Sometimes called the capital of horses, 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 Solle racecourse, 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.

A fitness trail is also available, Route de l'Ermitage, with free access, 2000 m long, comprising 19 pieces of equipment, in a green setting. Information on +33 1 64 22 29 37.

Featuring a small bath with spa area and a large pool reserved for swimming, the city swimming pool is enjoyable in all seasons. Price: 3.20 and 6.30 euros. Information on +33 1 60 74 54 70.

It is then time to head towards the immense forest of 22,000 hectares, two thirds of which are located in the town of Fontainebleau.

Appreciated by hikers as well as artists and athletes, dotted with ponds, rocks (dedicated to climbing), crossed by large paths or more intimate trails, you can understand it by visiting the Franchard Ecotourism Center open also to the general public from April to October. Information on +33 1 60 70 35 84.

For the rest, the variety of landscapes of the forest itself (60% deciduous trees such as oaks or beeches, 30% conifers), between moors and high forests, sandy or rocky areas sandstone, and its richness in terms of fauna and flora can be discovered via 400 km of marked routes.

An unparalleled paradise for hiking and horse riding enthusiasts. Within the forest, dedicated geological zones have become references for understanding the practice of climbing.

Maps and information at the Tourist Office on +33 1 60 74 99 99.

Photo hikes are also offered throughout the year, and in season boat trips on the carp pond of the castle of The course (a par 72 of 6153 m) was laid out on the former imperial hunting ground. The fairways are lined with trees and dotted with bunkers. Open every day except Tuesday. Information on +33 1 64 22 22 95.

Places of interest

Leisure centres
Natural sites
Performance halls

Events and festivities

Le Printemps des Sports Equestres
Exhibition: Sport and Urban art
Cesar, Fanny and Marius or Almost! After Marcel Pagnol
European Museum Night
Hunting, Fishing, Nature & Venery Festival
Art History Festival
FBLO Festival 2024
"Summer Night at Court" Evening Tour


Rue des Sablons
Rue des Sablons
See photo
Fontainebleau Forest
Fontainebleau Forest
See photo
Castle Fontainebleau
Castle Fontainebleau
See photo
Carrousel 1900
Carrousel 1900
See photo
equestrian event at the Grand Parquet
equestrian event at the Grand Parquet
See photo
waterjet Square
waterjet Square
See photo


Monday 22 april
Min. 2°C - Max. 10°C
Tuesday 23 april
Min. 2°C - Max. 10°C
Wednesday 24 april
Min. 4°C - Max. 10°C

Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Hot air balloon flight in Île-de-France
Nature and the great outdoors169 € to 796 € Fontainebleau


Last nameOuting typeDifficultyDurationDeparture municipality
Cave Art Path
HikeEasy1:30Le Vaudoué (14.6 km)
Path of the Rimarde
Village visitEasy2:00La Neuville-sur-Essonne (34 km)
Along the Yonne
All-terrain bike itineraryEasy2:00Sens (48 km)
Discover the religious heritage of Sens and Sénonais
All-terrain bike itineraryIntermediate1:35Sens (48 km)
The Valley of Gaillarde
All-terrain bike itineraryIntermediate2:10Sens (48 km)


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



Your holidays
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