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    Welcome to Fontainebleau! Tile portrait of Napoleon at Place de la Republique Fontainebleau

    A Warm Welcome to Fontainebleau

    Your INSEAD Journey Starts Here!

    Tile portrait of Napoleon at Place de la Republique, Fontainebleau

    Welcome to Fontainebleau, future INSEAD students!

    As you prepare to set off on this exciting journey of personal and professional growth, take a moment to familiarise yourself with the charming town that will be your home while you are studying. Hopefully, our regular blogs will help you get acquainted with your new surroundings and make you feel more at home. They will also provide some insider tips, and offer a glimpse into the incredible experiences that await you at INSEAD’s Europe campus.

    Located about 60 km south of Paris, Fontainebleau has a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty just waiting to be explored. Up until the 19th century, when it became a popular holiday resort for Parisiens, the town was little more than a hamlet.

    Discover Fontainebleau

    Fontainebleau is a picturesque town that has captivated the hearts of many people over the centuries. Also referred to as the Gateway to the Forest of Fontainebleau, these are just a few of the key highlights you can look forward to during your stay here. 

    Château de Fontainebleau

    The town is home to one of France’s largest and most famous royal châteaux. Originally a mediaeval royal hunting lodge, the chateau has been home to several French monarchs, including Louis IX (Saint Louis) and Catherine de Médicis. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, take time out to explore the opulent halls, beautiful gardens, and rich history.

    Welcome to Chateau de Fontainebleau - image credit isaac-arnault-h8Y43ekJEbU-unsplash-1

     Also, while you are in the area, try to include a visit to the splendid Vaux le Vicomte. Although it may not be as famous as other destinations, it has a captivating story and is a marvellous experience. 

    Cycling in the forest of Fontainebleau

    Fontainebleau Forest

    Nature enthusiasts will fall in love with the vast and ancient Forest of Fontainebleau. It is a paradise for hikers, climbers, and anyone wanting to enjoy a brief respite surrounded by nature.

    To help you make the most of your stay, we are happy to share our favourite bike trip itinerary. This scenic journey provides an enjoyable experience on a lovely autumn or spring day.

    Local Cuisine

    Indulge in delicious French cuisine in one of the town’s many restaurants and cafés. Try a few regional specialities such as coq au vin, escargot or an array of mouth watering pastries.

    One of our top recommendations is Le Franklin, a charming place offering a unique culinary experience. Visit Primo Bacio for an authentic Italian experience or, for more casual dining, Grand Café is the perfect spot. For a tasty treat, check out Frite’Nbleau, well known for serving the best French fries in town!

    Welcome to France! French pastries - image credit: kirsten-drew-n49BjsFf5dI-unsplash

    Art and Culture

    Fontainebleau is not just about natural beauty – it’s also steeped in culture. Visit local art galleries and museums, enjoy live music and theatre performances and immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene.

    Getting Around

    Fontainebleau is a compact town, so it is easy to navigate on foot or bicycle. For longer trips, the town’s bus service is very reliable. However, if you want to travel further afield, renting a car or using the train service from Paris (about an hour away) is probably more convenient.

    Shaping your future

    As you settle into life in Fontainebleau, remember that this experience will shape your future in many ways. Accept the challenges, seize the opportunities, and relish every moment. Fontainebleau is more than just a backdrop; it’s an integral part of your INSEAD story. The town’s diverse history, outstanding natural beauty and vibrant culture will complement your academic pursuits and provide the perfect environment for personal growth and reflection.

    Welcome to Fontainebleau and to INSEAD – your adventure starts here! Embrace it with an open heart and an open mind. And you’ll undoubtedly emerge from this experience as a more empowered, globally-minded individual. We wish you the very best of luck on your INSEAD journey. Enjoy every moment!

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