Paris, France

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9 hours (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English and 9 more


Take a day trip from Paris to Fontainebleau to visit two castles once home to members of France’s extravagant aristocracy. First, explore Château Vaux le Vicomte, said to have inspired the Palace of Versailles. Then head to Château de Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage site whose history dates back to the 12th century. You’ll have free time at each castle to look around on your own via provided audio guides, checking out the ornate architecture and opulent gardens.
  • Visit two French castles in one day on a full-day trip from Paris
  • Discover the opulence of Vaux le Vicomte Castle, admiring the extravagant interiors that put its creator in prison
  • Hear tales of French royalty from an audio guide while exploring Château Fontainebleau -- a UNESCO-listed site
  • Spend free time in the gardens of both castles at leisure
  • Transport from Paris by luxury, air-conditioned coach
Your day trip starts as you depart Paris on board a luxury coach for the 35-mile (55-km) drive southeast to Château Vaux le Vicomte, a baroque castle that is said to have been the inspiration for France’s most famous royal residence, the Palace of Versailles.

When you arrive, you are free to explore independently using your provided audio guide. See elaborate interiors and vaulted cellars, and learn about the man behind this massive home, Nicholas Fouquet, who was King Louis XIV’s minister of finance. After Fouquet commissioned Vaux le Vicomte to be designed by a top architect, the king felt upstaged and threw the minister in jail. When you’re finished inside, walk outside to discover the castle’s 99 acres (40 hectares) of grounds made up of fountains, flowerbeds and sprawling lawns. If you’re hungry, grab some lunch from the onsite café (own expense) before returning to the coach.

Then make your way south to Château de Fontainebleau, the only royal castle in France to be continuously inhabited for more than 700 years. With its Renaissance architecture, ceiling frescos, 15th-century furniture and detailed wood carvings, this World Heritage site is a great alternative to visiting Versailles. Tour the building independently via the audio guide, listening to tales about the French royalty who once lived here.

Château de Fontainebleau is also home to extensive gardens and lakes, so take time to wander the grounds before hopping back on your coach for the return drive to Paris, where your day trip ends.

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Viator Traveler's Reviews

240 Reviews
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, Oct 2018

Vaux le Vicomte is so worth the trip! It was such a unexpected plus on top of Fontainebleau. The commitment that the family has made to keep Vicomte a viable estate is amazing and I feel so lucky to have experienced it. All arrangements were perfect.

, Sep 2018

It was so good to see these two sites. It's recommended that once at Fontainebleau, take the train/cart to tour the area. We ate at a restaurant across the street from Fontainebleau. It was a nice slice of village life. It helps a great deal to know some French though. There is not really a guide, and the bus driver does not speak any English or some English depending on who asks him.

, Sep 2018

Easy trip out to two incredibly beautiful sites. We spent most of our time on the grounds which were amazing. It might be a little tight if you do the full tour inside - ours was cut short by a security issue. Felt we had enough time, but you could easily spend more time at both places. Incredibly relaxing and beautiful.

, Jul 2018

Enjoyed the tour and guide which made it interesting and a very nice day overall. These two chateaux attract less crowds making them more accessible and able to experience all their grandeur.

, Jul 2018

The Fontainebleau was fascinating..the Napolean palace and the apartments are worth the time. Compared to Fontainebleau, Vaux le Victome was a dull. The gardens at Victome were beautiful but it was too hot a day for us to enjoy. The coach was comfortable and gave us the much needed relief from the heat. I would recommend this tour maybe in Spring or Autumn..

, Jul 2018

Vaux-le-Vicomte has a nice cafe in the garden to eat at. Save time for the gardens and pay to climb to the dome. Better than Versailles no -crowds!

, Jul 2018

The really exciting and worthwhile place to visit on this tour is Chateau de Fontainebleau which they make the second stop, in the afternoon, so there was insufficient time to visit the Chateaux and grounds. Vaux le Vicomte is nice but only really interesting now because of its architectural history.
I would not recommend this trip for the $100 US the charge. Go on your own by train to Fontainebleau. The Chateaux is close to the train station.

, Jul 2018

This was a great tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke perfect English -- well worth whatever extra money it is. I loved Vaux le Vicomte -- if you're interested in Louis XIV era, this is the place to go. Versailles was re-decorated after his death and then

, Jul 2018

This is the best Viator excursion we have taken. Both locations are beautiful but we actually preferred Vaux le Vicomte; beautiful setting and not too many people. This trip provides ample time to explore and see each location. I highly recommend this excursion. And it was a comfortable bus and great driver.

, Jul 2018

Worst tour service we have ever used (and have traveled worldwide so we aren't new to this). Checkin system is awful. There is no guide at all. Driver spoke only French, and no one on the tour spoke French so one was able to ask directions. They literally drop you off with no communication at all about how to get in or what to do. Everyone on the tour was very frustrated. The chateaux were amazing, but I would never use city vision for anything. We had two tours with them this week and they were both zero stars. Just horrible. So overpriced for what you get.

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Product code: 2050FVN

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