This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Fontainebleau. To help you make friends with Fontainebleau before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Fontainebleau is a town in Île-de-France, otherwise known as the “Parisian region” of France. Located southeast of Paris’ center, the commune serves as a weekend escape for Parisians. While the awe-inspiring beauty of Château de Fontainebleau in the town’s center draws its fair share of visitors, the primary attraction is the Fontainebleau Forest that surrounds the town.
Travelers will be hard-pressed to locate many hostels in Fontainebleau. Instead, an expanded search of the Île-de-France region to include the Seine-et-Marne department will bring more results. Just six miles away, tourists should be able to locate a hostel in La Chapelle-La-Reine. Hostel guests can expect clean, quiet accommodations with kind, English-speaking hosts, free wifi and proximity to public transportation. The hostel might provide transportation to Fontainebleau as well. Alternately, renting a car or bike is a convenient way to get around the area.
The primary attraction for thirteen million tourists per year is the Fontainebleau Forest. It contains about sixteen official trails, ranging from easy to difficult and given suitable names such as “Elephant” and “Bandits’ Cave,” the latter aptly leading to a cave. Visitors should get a map which will help them follow the trails that are marked with spots of various colors to lead the way. Among the trees and countless boulders, there are opportunities for hiking, biking, bouldering, and rock climbing along the paths. There is even a horse stadium, Le Grand Parquet, and a chance for horseback riding.
The second most popular part of Fontainebleau is its palace. Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an imposing building with parts dating back to the twelfth century. It contains 1,900 rooms decorated from floor to ceiling with refined wood panels, ornate tapestry, fresco-style paintings, majestic furniture, extravagant chandeliers, and gold-plated carvings. The structure includes a grand ballroom, the Napoleon Museum, a theater, and even Marie-Antoinette’s boudoir. Outside, elaborate sculptures and fountains as well as lakes adorn the beautiful gardens. Take an audio tour around the entire palace to learn about the history and feel like one of the French monarchs of bygone eras.
Written by local enthusiast for Fontainebleau hostelsJakob Lombardi