35 miles southwest of Paris lies the town of Fountainbleau, home to the Palace of Fountainbleau, an enormous 13th Century château which was once the home of the French monarchs.
Not only are the château and its gardens breathtaking, the town of Fountainbleau itself is amazing! It really embodies that famous “old France” feeling. I felt like I was in Beauty & the Beast!
It was pretty easy! All we had to do was take the Métro to the Paris Gare de Lyon train station and hop on the R train. We rode it for about an hour and got off at Fountainbleau-Avon, then walked across the street to the bus stop which took us directly to the town of Fountainbleau and dropped us off a two-minute walk from the actual château. All in all, it was about an 1.5-hour trip once we got to Gare de Lyon.
Once in Fountainbleau:
This is what we saw immediately after getting off the bus:
Flowers hanging from the streetlights? A carousel? It felt like we’d gotten off at Disneyland!
We crossed the street and entered a large grassy park with gravel paths which led up to the Palace. And when we saw it, it was magnificent.
And the outside practically paled in comparison to the inside (which we got to tour for about $15).
Each and every room was equally ornate, and there were a LOT of rooms.
The history was fascinating too: one room was for King Louis XIV’s two daughters when they visited; another room was the birthplace of one of the French kings.
And oh my goodness, the ceilings were incredible! They were by far my favorite part of the palace.
But checking out the interior of the château is not the only fun thing to do at Fountainbleau. After our walk-through, we headed out to the gardens to soak up the sunshine and admire the beautiful flowers.
Talk about #goals. Who wouldn’t want a garden like this one day? I know I do!
After our time in the gardens, we headed back out into the town to find some things for a picnic. We stumbled into a small boulangerie and bought baguette sandwiches, drinks, and pastries, then walked back through the grounds of the chateau to another grassy area where we could sit on the grass, read, and snack.
(Note: the first park area we walked through is not available for sitting on. We learned that the hard way — we were only two steps onto the lawn and *cue the whistle blowing*. It was like that scene from The Princess Diaries where the man on the intercom shouts at Mia, “Get off the grass!!!” Thankfully a kind local woman who spoke English knew of a different spot where we’d be allowed to picnic and showed us the way.)
We laid in the sunshine for about an hour, then decided to go explore the town a bit more.
I’m telling you, this is probably the cutest place I’ve ever seen. We didn’t get to explore a whole lot before we had to catch out bus back to the train station, but the little bit we did see was pretty convincing of Fountainbleau’s charm.
If you’re looking for a day trip from Paris, I highly recommend Fountainbleau! It was inexpensive and easy to reach, and nothing beats feeling like you’ve stepped into a Disney movie.
That’s all for today, friends!
Thanks for reading.