Paris - Versailles or Fontainebleau

Feb 25th, 2015, 04:42 AM
  #1  
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Paris - Versailles or Fontainebleau

I have viewed comments pertaining to the topic of visiting Versailles or Fontainebleau, but they don't appear to be too recent...... My wife and I are traveling to Paris in July, spending 9 full days there, (minus one, with a trip to Normandy).

We have been developing an itinerary for each day for some time now, honing in on our 'must sees', versus 'possibilities', finally coming to the decision of whether to go to Fontainbleau or Versailles. Making the assumption we will only do one, as well as the assumption that travel wont be an issue to either, (probably would elect the day trip to Fontainebleau & Vaux Le Vicomte, via Viator), or taking the train to Versailles; what is the public opinion ?

We would be more apt to spend more time internal to either place than the gardens - certainly viewing the gardens, but our interest would be more towards seeing the interior spaces/ detailing/ etc.

Public masses, we would love to avoid, especially assuming that during July, the masses might be even greater ! And we are willing to give up only so much grandeur (Fountainbleau), for the price of crowds. Is Versailles that much better to suggest going there, despite the crowds/ wait ? Has anyone taken the Viator day trip to Fontainebleau ?
luggageman is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 05:50 AM
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On a scale of 1 to 10 for "must sees", I'd rate Fontainebleau at about 3 and Versailles as a 10.

Yes, there will be crowds at Versailles -- that's because it's so worth seeing. Just grin and bear it.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Feb 25th, 2015, 05:59 AM
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I guess I agree with the above. I like Fontainbleau better and would rate it higher than a 3 but Versailles is one of a kind and should be visited at least once.
mamcalice is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 06:11 AM
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I liked Fontainbleau better too. And the town was charming.
SharonG is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 06:53 AM
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Versailles always seems to be crowded but it is an amazing place to visit.

I really like Fontainbleau. I was there a few years ago (during March) and pretty much had the place to myself. I'm going back there this April. Fontainbleau is easy to get to by train (Gare de Lyon) and then a short bus ride from the station to the chateau if you want to do the trip on your own rather than using Viator.
powhatangal is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 07:12 AM
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Versailles hands down for moi - been to both several times - Fontainebleau is really nice but to me not that remarkable as a palace or gardens, etc.\

Versailles is MUCH more than the mobbed palace tour - the vast park is hardly mobbed - Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon is nice and few casual tourists even get there - you can rent a bike to tour around the park or a canoe to paddle in the mammoth Grand Canal and the city of Versailles is really neat though few folks visiting the palace ever take time to see it - check out the area just to the south of the palace - when Versailles was the seat of the French government under the last kings this was the diplomatic quarter - Ben Franklin and others stayed in buildings still standing.

Get a walking tour from the Versailles tourist office - right by RER c exit and stroll thru this really neat area.

To the northeast of the palace is the thriving modern cay Versailles with a colorful outdoor food and veg market many days in an old wrought-iron market shed.

Versailles to me is a part of Paris and one of its must sights.

Fontainebleau is just another grandiose and neat palace but in no way compares in history nor grandeur to Versailles.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 07:15 AM
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It's been a long time since I visited the apartments in Versailles. I recommend them, and I suspect that one should get tickets ahead of time if at all possible, or be at the chateau first thing in the morning.

Both palaces are in this set: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7623316531799/
Michael is online now  
Feb 25th, 2015, 07:16 AM
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I found Fountainbleau charming and peaceful, but Versailles was in a completely different league. I wouldn't go back, but I'm so glad I went.

I would get there early though, and gird yourself for the crowds. They can't be avoided, just accept that's what the day will be like.
sugarmaple is online now  
Feb 25th, 2015, 07:18 AM
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If you are a history buff, Fontainebleau might have more appeal. It was a royal castle from the Renaissance until 1848, with changes and modifications to the decor carried out by various occupants up to and including Louis-Philippe.
Michael is online now  
Feb 25th, 2015, 05:47 PM
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Thank you ALL !
luggageman is offline  
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