The beautiful French city of Beaune is nestled between the major cities of Paris and Geneva. Dubbed as the Capital of Burgundy wines, it is a must for wine lovers to drop by and sip in a taste of one of the best wines in France. The wine vineyards go on for miles in the outskirts of the city. Now, if wine isn’t your thing, there are also a plethora of amazing places to explore in the city.
To make things interesting, the history of Beaune goes way back to a thousand years ago and this place is rich in historical splendor; think about it as a time before our time. The remnants of ancient battlements, ramparts, and moats have survived the different eras and in a surprisingly good condition. Coupled with the rustic and charming old town decorated with middle-aged architecture and more, the city of Beaune is a wonder of its own. Here are the top 10 things to do in Beaune, France.
1. Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune
Founded in the year 1443 by Chancellor Nicolas Rolin, Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune was a hospital for the poor and needy which was run by the Catholic Chuch in France. There are many Hôtel-Dieu in France which operates in this manner and the one in Beaune was no exception. It operated during the middle ages around the time after the 100 years war. Its impressive 15th-century French architecture still captures hearts today with its bold polychrome tile designs on its facade. Now, the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a museum and on November of every year, they will host a wine auction with the proceeds donated to charity.
Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune
Address: Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, 21200 Beaune, France
Website: Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune
2. Marché aux Vins
Now, a visit to the capital of Burgundy wine is not complete without learning about them. Therefore a visit to Marché aux Vins is a must if you would like to try and savor the many different types of Burgundy wines, ranging from Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Pouilly-Fuissé and a lot more. You can also visit the wine cellar and taste the wines firsthand. A guided cellar tour is also available for those who don’t want to trouble themselves reading every single information board there is there. Located just across the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, it is a must go if you want to enrich your Beaune experience.
Marché aux Vins
Address: 7 Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, 21200 Beaune, France
Website: Marché aux Vins
3. Château de Savigny
Once home to the Duke of Eudes, the Château de Savigny was built in 1340. The ownership of the château has frequently changed hands since then due to an invasion, a marriage, and many other reasons until it was purchased by a wine operator in 1972. The château is now famous for its vast collections of racing cars, motorcycles and aircraft. If you’re a sucker for vehicles, the château is the place to be. The vast collection includes MIGS, Dassault, rare Fiat Abarth prototypes and many other historic racing vehicles. They also have around 20 fire engines and many other tractors too.
Château de Savigny
Address: Chateau de Savigny, 21420 Savigny-lès-Beaune, France
Website: Château de Savigny (in French)
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4. Place de la Halle
A visit to a city is not complete without visiting their famous squares. Place de la Halle is a beautiful square located right in the heart of the town. On the square, there are many shops that sell local wine, candies, and alcohols with beautifully decorated window displays. If you’re here on the weekend though, it’s a must for you to visit the Farmer’s Market here. It is an open-air market with local farmers selling their products ranging from delicious cheese, meat products, vegetables, wine, fruits and so much more. The lively atmosphere of the market will certainly add charm to your Beaune experience.
Place de la Halle
Address: Place de la Halle, 21200 Beaune, France
Website: Place de la Halle (in French)
5. Go on a wine tour
Being in the capital of Burgundy wine, you would want to tour around the big vineyards which produce these amazing wines. You can go on a bike tour - Bourgogne Vélo Evasion - which will take you to the heart of the beautiful vineyards across Beaune, Pommard Volnay, and various other villages. There, you’ll discover the scenic beauty of the vineyards plus, a visit to the cellar where you can taste the fresh locally produced wine. You can book them through the website below.
Bourgogne Vélo Evasion
Website: Bourgogne Vélo Evasion
6. Château de la Rochepot
Another famous château in this region is Château de la Rochepot. This 13th-century castle was converted into a château later in its life and was used as the home of the Lords Pot, knights of the Golden Fleece and advisers of the Dukes of Burgundy. It was then destroyed and left in ruins during the French Revolution. Luckily in 1893, the president of France bought the remains of the château for his son of which, the castle was then restored to its former glory. It was the last big example of Gothic Revival architecture in France.
Château de la Rochepot
Address: Château de La Rochepot, 21340 La Rochepot, France
Website: Château de la Rochepot
7. Basilique Notre-Dame
Just a stone’s throw away from Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune lies the Basilique Notre-Dame. The beautiful Basilica was built in a Burgundian Romanesque design during the 13th century. Several Gothic and Renaissance additions were made, most notably the bell tower. Even until today, the chimes of the bell tower reverberates across the city every day. Inside the Basilica, a collection of 15th-century tapestries depicting the life of the Virgin Mary can be viewed at a cost of a small fee. The entry to the church itself is free though.
Address: 4 Impasse Notre Dame, 21200 Beaune, France
Website: Basilique Notre-Dame
8. Parc de la Bouzaize
Escaping the city within the city is not impossible thanks to Parc de la Bouzaize. It is essentially a park with a beautiful artificial lake where visitors can go on a calm row boat ride or simply sit by the aisle and have a picnic. Nestled right in the city, the tranquility of the park attracts both locals and tourists who just want to sit back and take in a breather or two. It is also a famous romantic spot for couples to walk about hand-in-hand and admire the beautiful scenery of this place.
Parc de la Bouzaize
Address: Avenue du Parc, 21200 Beaune, France
Website: Parc de la Bouzaize
9. Cirque du Bout du Monde
Located just 20 minutes outside the city center of Beaune, Cirque du Bout du Monde is a popular haunt for the locals to go out and explore the beauties of nature. There are a couple of caves that you can visit there and there is even a beautiful waterfall. It is the only steelhead valley located in the same province as Beaune. If you’re there in the summer, make sure to bring a basket full of picnic items and have a picnic amidst the trees and let nature engulf you in its flora and fauna.
Cirque du Bout du Monde
Address: Cormot-le-Petit, 21340 Vauchignon, France
10. La Cave de l'Ange Gardien
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Located close to the city center, La Cave de l'Ange Gardien is another famous place where they have a wine tasting cellar. On top of that, they sell their locally produced wines in accompaniment with different types of local delicacies both sweet and savory. The atmosphere here is warm and friendly and anybody who steps into this place will feel encouraged or even compelled to try out everything they have. It a pleasant stop in Beaune which you need to make at least once during your visit here.
La Cave de l'Ange Gardien
Address: 38 Boulevard Maréchal Foch, 21200 Beaune, France
Website: La Cave de l'Ange Gardien
Explore the magic of Beaune
With all its amazing wineries, vineyards and captivating French architecture and history, Beaune is a place where its charm can never leave you. A place full of history, life, art, and wine, there is no reason why you should not visit this place. So my advice now is, book your tickets, pack your bags and go beyond to explore the beauties of Beaune.
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