Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fontainebleau Castle

When it comes to France sightseeing it's not all about Paris. And it's not all about crowded tourist attractions or endless waiting lines that just turn your leisure activity into an exhausting experience.

For example the region surrounding Paris, Ile-de-France, has several hot traveling spots.

Fontainebleau is for sure one of them. It is located at about 60km south of Paris, its main attraction being The Fontainebleau Castle.

The palace is one of the largest French royal châteaux, dating from the 12th century. Besides its great works of art it holds a lot of historic moments.

It's great to see Napoleon's throne or the table he signed his exile at. But for us, what really turned this trip into a great one were the Palace Gardens. Garden is a really limited word to describe the beautiful landscapes that surround the Palace. The place is so quiet and intimate it almost feels like you own it. To spice up you can take a horse carriage garden tour.

The commune of Fontainebleau is a rather small site so the center has one main street with smaller pedestrian ones along.
Fontainebleau is also renowned for the Forest of Fontainebleau and the Fontainebleau Golf Course (designed in 1909).

Useful information

How to get there:
- from Paris Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau Avon; 35 min with the Transilien train
- train ticket price is 8€
- from the Fontainebleau Avon train-station there's a 20min walk to the Palace.

At the Palace:
- the entrance ticket is about 10€ including audio guide, and 1€ if you are a student.
- the gardens can be accessed from around the commune and are free
- palace opens at 9:30 and closes at 18:00, as well as the gardens.

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