Fontainebleau Property Insight

Fontainebleau is a French town located in the south east of Paris. It belongs to the Seine et Marne department and to the Paris Ile de France, it also belongs to the large crown of Paris. Fontainebleau accounts for 15,700 inhabitants, called the Bellifontains, and with 17,205 hectares the town is the vastest of the Ile de France region. Its area is almost entirely covered by forests, which is a key destination for Parisians in search of nature and greeneries.


Fontainebleau’s former name was Fontaine Belle Eau, which means literally Spring Nice Water, and in 1169 it definitely became Fontainebleau. Louis IX (known as Saint Louis) was the first King to go to Fontainebleau and he built a detached house and a hospital. During seven centuries, 34 Kings spent time in this lovely castle, appreciating especially the forest and the countryside.

Fontainebleau’s economy is mainly based on tourism. In addition to the castle, people enjoy walking in the forest and in the beautiful park. The town around the castle is also very nice and well preserved. By strolling in the streets you will discover medieval quarters and houses which were very well preserved along the centuries.

The royal town is also renowned to the horse capital city. It boasts impressive infrastructures, such as the Horsing Military Centre, located in the former castle stables, the Solle racecourse, and the Grand Parquet and the Salamandre field.

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Fontainebleau Immobilier & Property Market Trends

In France in 2009 a property is sold around €3,200/sq m. Since a house in Fontainebleau is sold €3,219/sq m in April 2009 we can say that the area is rather expensive. However, it might be not very relevant to compare the town to the national average, as Fontainebleau belongs to the Paris region, which can only be compared to other European capitals.

As a matter of fact, Paris Ile de France average is around €5,100/sq m, which of course changes the perspective. Compared to the region, Fontainebleau seems fairly affordable, especially if we take into account its assets: a forest at the door of Paris is priceless.

Fontainebleau is of course a very great place for a second home, as it is close by Paris, which means close by transport infrastructures, and it is also a very nice and quiet town within easy access to countryside and nature. It is also a good investment for a buy-to-let, as 60% of residents are tenants.

To get updated info about the property prices in Seine et Marne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

Click here to have an overview of Paris Ile de France Property Prices.

5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Fontainebleau

  • Gastronomy: Fontainebleau boasts various typical dishes and especially sweets. The Fontainebleau is a cheese made with fresh cream; the Rochers Bellifontains is a sweet made of chocolate (dark, milk and white chocolate) with almonds, rice and dry fruits; the Petit Caporal is a chocolate sweet with the shape of Napoleon’s hat. The only salty dish is the Caille Fontainebleau, which is a quail prepared with grapes, mushrooms, carrot and zucchini pasta.

  • Castle: the castle is listed as the UNESCO world heritage. Fontainebleau is mostly renowned for its castle and its forest. The castle was built by Francois 1er and dwelt and modified by all Kings after him (until Napoleon 3). As a consequence it is a Renaissance castle however, it was meant to replace a medieval fortress. Outside the castle you will find various courtyards, such as the White Horse Courtyard, the oval courtyard, the Fontain courtyard, etc. Not to mention the beautiful parks and gardens {Diane Garden, English Garden, Ponds, the Big Garden, and the Park.

  • Forest: it is a huge piece of land covered by trees and which account for 25,000 hectares. The forest is worldwide renowned as it was the source of inspiration for many painters (Impressionists), writers, poets, photographers, etc. The forest was also appreciated by French Kings who were staying in the castle and used to go for a hunt game in the forest. Indeed, the forest houses a large range of games, and in general a rich fauna and flora heritage. In the forest you will find pathways, but also climbing rocks and monuments. It is a key destination for Parisians in search of nature.

  • Medieval town: even though the town is renowned for its castle and its forest, the town itself is very charming as it has managed to preserve its medieval identity. Strolling in the narrow streets of the town centre you will be amazed how well its heritage has been preserved.

  • Location – transport infrastructures: its proximity to Paris makes Fontainebleau easily reachable from all over the world. Moreover, as it is a popular destination amongst Parisians, the transport network has been well developed.

Property Styles and Architecture in Fontainebleau

  • Apartments: they represent 67% of dwellings in Fontainebleau. They are a good investment for a buy-to-let, especially as there some prestigious universities in the town. They are also a good pied-a-terre close by Paris and near the countryside. They are rather modern and new apartments, and come most of the time with a private parking.

  • Half-timbered houses: they are located in the town centre and are vestiges of Middle Ages. You will not find many of them in the market, and the ones you will find are likely to be rather prohibitive.

Click here for more info about the Architecture in Paris Ile de France.

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