Fontainebleau is a sub-prefecture of the Seine-et-Marne department. It is the seat of the Arrondissement of Fontainebleau. The commune has the largest land area in the Île-de-France region. It is the only one to cover a larger area than Paris itself.
Fontainebleau, together with the neighbouring commune of Avon, Seine-et-Marne and three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 36,713 people (according to the 1999 census). This urban area is a satellite of Paris.
Fontainebleau is known for the large and scenic Forest of Fontainebleau, a favourite weekend getaway for Parisians. It is also known for the historical Palace of Fontainebleau, which once belonged to the kings of France.