10 Fun Things to do in Beaune, France – The Wine Capital of Burgundy

Beaune in France had not been on my radar until I started researching places I wanted to visit on my European Road Trip. Located in eastern France, a short 40km drive from Dijon, this medieval town sounded like the perfect place to stay for one night and to do some wine tasting, after all, Beaune is the wine capital of Burgundy!

We would be staying in the Burgundy region for two nights on our way home from Switzerland. One night in Beaune Ibis Central and then one night in a treehouse at La Reserve des Pres Verts, which was an hour’s drive away from Beaune in the sprawling Burgundy countryside of Mont-Saint-Jean.

If you were interested in visiting Beaune from Paris, it takes 3 hours by train, and there are approximately 30 trains per day. A day trip is possible, but with so much to see and do a one-night stay would be a good option.

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Exploring Beaune

Beaune’s old town is quite compact and based around the medieval hospital complex, Hotel-Dieu. The historic city centre is a delight to wander around with cobbled streets, traditional shops and timber-framed buildings surrounded by Beaune’s ancient ramparts.

Beaune is a gastronomy delight with the majority of shops selling French delicacies and wines. Cheese stores, cake stores and deli’s rub shoulders with wine merchants offering the finest foods and wines in the region.

I later found out that quite a few of my acquaintances had been to Beaune for long weekends just to stock up on all the fine foods and wines! Quite a trek from the UK but seen as worth it for connoisseurs.

Best Availability and Rates for Accommodation in Beaune 

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10 Best Things to Do in Beaune

Beaune Wine Tasting #1

I have to admit that even though I was in Burgundy, I don’t like red wine! The wine tasting was my chance to learn to love it. I booked in at La Cave De L’Ange Guardien for an evening session where I would learn about legs, appellations and other vino related words. Pierre (the owner) allowed us to taste a selection of Burgundy wines, but my conversion wasn’t to be.

My husband swirled his glass identifying which varieties had stronger “legs and tears” and claiming to smell earthy, fruity and floral aromas. I, unfortunately, found all the varieties to taste like mulled wine, not a comment that went down well.

I fear that Pierre was quite perturbed when I admitted to enjoying New World whites over his exquisite red varieties. Feeling I had let him and myself down I invested in a crate of sparkling white wine and a bottle of creme de cassis which he said would sweeten it up – it did!

Wine tasting, whatever your preference is a fun thing to do, and there is a labyrinth of caves (wine cellars) to choose.

two glasses and a bottle of Burgundy red wine on a tray

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Beaune Vineyard Tour #2

A tour from Beaune of 10 wines Grand Cru tasting day along the Burgundy Wine Route will appeal to wine enthusiasts. Take a tour so that you won’t miss out on sampling the wine varieties by driving yourself. The rolling countryside is a beautiful setting for some of the best vineyards in the world.

view of a vineyard in Burgundy

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Hotel Dieu Museum #3

If you only see one thing in the city, it must be the Hospices de Beaune. A hospital founded for the poor in the Middle Ages and with the most impressive Gothic architecture, you could wish to see.

Its colourful tiled roofs give it a jaunty edge but step inside and discover a museum dedicated to the history of the hospital complete with a reconstruction of the central ward and apothecary. It is as fascinating as it is beautiful and you will also find out that the Hotel Dieu still retains many exceptional vineyards in Burgundy so you may decide to come home with a souvenir of the liquid kind!

It is free to enter, and you can take an audio tour of the buildings, this is such an excellent way to hear more about Hotel Dieu’s history and why this magnificent building sits in the centre of an unassuming small French town.

outer building of Hospices de Beaune

museum hospices de Beaune

outer courtyard of Hotel Dieu

A bottle of vintage Burgundy wine

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Explore Beaune’s Ramparts #4

A circle of 2.5 km of walls, towers and eight different forms of bastions have ensured the defence of Beaune for centuries and with around half of the ramparts still standing visitors can explore them during a visit. Of particular interest will be the Bastion Notre Dame, Square des Lions and the Rempart des Dames.

Access onto the ramparts is from any of the roads leading to the town centre marked with the symbol of Amis des Remparts de Beaune. A wall and turret symbol.

view between houses on Beaune ramparts

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Church of Notre Dame #5

The Basilica is just around the corner from the Musée du Vin and the Hôtel-Dieu. Best known for its collection of 15th-century tapestries it is a delight to visit. While you are in Beaune, you will hear its bell chimes throughout the day.

A view along the street to the cathedral Notre Dame

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Hire a Bike #6 

With some of the best vineyards in the world located just outside of Beaune’s town centre then why not hire a bike and pedal your way around the rolling French countryside. The Route de Grande Crus will allow you to discover the best vineyards in Burgundy.

Bikes against a wall by vineyards in Beaune

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Jump aboard the Beaune Visiotrain #7

A charming 40-minute train journey around the city centre will describe the history of the old town and its monuments. You will also get an insight into Beaune’s world-renowned vineyards. Bookings can be made online.

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Museum of Wine #8

As Beaune is the wine capital of Burgundy, one would expect to find a wine museum within its city centre. The Musée du Vin is housed in the former home of the Dukes of Burgundy, a spectacle in its own right, and explains the history of Burgundy’s wines through the centuries. Exhibits show the process of winemaking from soil to bottle and have displays of wine presses from the 16th-19th century.

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Saturday Markets #9

Two markets operate on Saturdays in Beaune. The food market selling fresh produce is located in Place de la Halle beside the famous hospital, Hotel Dieu. The second market, open only between March and November, is an antique market in Place Carnot.

Of course, there are cheese, wine and patisserie shops to wander inside and you will be sure to come out ladened with goodies. We ended up buying creme de cassis, wines, cheeses and loads of marzipan sweets – well we were on holiday!

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Eat and drink at the best restaurants in Beaune #10

Beaune has several Michelin rated restaurants, and as the Burgundy region is famed for fine foods and superb wines, a meal here will be an enjoyable experience.

Check out some of the finest restaurants in Beaune.

  • L’Hostellerie de Levernois is a five-star restaurant on the outskirts of the city offering a Michellin rated menu along with an indoor/outdoor bistro and a cocktail terrace. Currently, the best restaurant in Beaune as listed on Trip Advisor.

Read TripAdvisor’s Review of L’Hostellerie de Levernois

  • L’Ecusson offers fine dining in an exquisite setting.

Read TripAdvisor’s Review of L’Ecusson

  • Le Cheval Noir offers a menu that will simply leave you salivating. Michelin style dining at its finest.

Read TripAdvisor’s Review of Le Cheval Noir

  • Olivier Leflaive is a restaurant run by one of the world’s leading wine families. You can be sure of a perfect meal matched with the most astounding wines.

Read TripAdvisor’s Review of Olivier Leflaive Restaurant

Fine Dining in Beaune Restaurants

Conclusion

For a small town, Beaune packs a punch. It is a great place to stop and discover the best food and wine in France. Spend a day and squeeze in as much as possible or spend a week and use Beaune as a base for trips to other Burgundy towns such as Dijon, Chablis or Châteauneuf-en-Auxois.

 

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Vinn
4 months ago

Wow I’m learning more on France’ idyllic places. Wine testing will be first on my list, train ride and food tasting. I hope i can visit this place.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Vinn
4 months ago

Hope you get there soon 😃

The Holidaymaker
The Holidaymaker
4 months ago

Ooooh, love this post. This was the destination I planned in 2016, and at the last minute switched to Provence. Headed back to France in 2021, so this very may be back on the list again. Pinned for future reference.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  The Holidaymaker
4 months ago

I would definitely recommend this region , lots to see and do 😀

Faith Coates
4 months ago

Headed that way in September so looking forward to trying the wines. I’m with you not a big red wine fan but many years ago tried a white burgundy that was amazing will be looking for that in particular.

Heather Markel
4 months ago

It’s not allowed to go to France if you don’t like red wine! 😉 Well, I hope you liked it a little, my favorite kind. Beaune looks beautiful, and though I’ve been going to France over 30+ years, I’ve never been, will have to add it to the future list.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Heather Markel
4 months ago

I still want to fall in love with red wine so I will have to just keep on trying 😂

Emma
4 months ago

I really love this blog. Travelling is really the medicine for the soul.

WhereAngieWanders
Reply to  Emma
4 months ago

Thank you. I’m glad you liked it 😃

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