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10 Fun Things To Do In Beaune, France – The Wine Capital of Burgundy

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 on the beautiful wine route in Eastern France and 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!

On our way home from Switzerland, we stayed in the Burgundy region for two nights: one night at Beaune Ibis Central and then at La Reserve des Pres Verts, an hour’s drive from Beaune in the sprawling Burgundy countryside in Mont-Saint-Jean.

If you want to visit Beaune from Paris, it takes 2 hours 30 minutes by train, and there are approximately 30 trains daily, or it’s a 3-hour drive. A day trip from Paris is possible, but a one-night stay would be a good option as there are some great things to do in Beaune.

In this post, I highlight all the Beaune attractions so you can enjoy sightseeing and immersing yourself in the city’s cultural delights.

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Visiting Beaune Along The Wine Route

Beaune’s old town is 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 most shops selling French delicacies and wines. Cheese stores, cake stores, and delis rub shoulders with wine merchants offering the region’s finest foods and wines.

10 Best Things to Do in Beaune

If you are wondering what to do in Beaune, you needn’t worry because there are plenty of Beaune tourist attractions to keep you occupied. From wine tasting to historical tours, there is something for everyone to enjoy; the only problem is you might not want to leave!

Experience the delights of Beaune Wine Tasting

I must admit that even though I was in Burgundy, I didn’t like red wine. However, one of the top things to do in Beaune is wine tasting; in fact, Beaune is known for its wine tourism, and this was my chance to learn to love it. 

I booked an evening session at La Cave De L’Ange Guardien to 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. Unfortunately, I found all the Bourgognes Burgundy wines to taste like mulled wine, which is not a comment that went down well with Pierre!

I fear Pierre was annoyed 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!

Whatever your preference, wine tasting is fun, and there is a labyrinth of caves (wine cellars) to choose from. And, as Burgundy is one of the best wine regions in France, you have to indulge!

Book a Beaune vineyard tour

A tour from Beaune of 10 wines Grand Cru tasting day along the ‘Route des Grands Crus’ will appeal to wine enthusiasts.

Take a tour so 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

Book a Beaune wine-tasting tour

Visit the historic Hotel Dieu Museum – Hospices de Beaune

One of the best things to see in Beaune is the Hospices de Beaune. It was a hospital founded for the poor in the Middle Ages 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 hospital’s history, complete with a reconstruction of the central ward and apothecary.

It is as fascinating as it is beautiful, and you will 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 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

Explore the city ramparts.

A circle of 2.5 km of walls, towers, and eight different forms of bastions has ensured Beaune’s defence for centuries, and with around half of the ramparts still standing, visitors can explore them.

The Château de Beaune, Bastion Notre Dame, Square des Lions and the Rempart des Dames are particularly interesting.

Access onto the ramparts is from any road leading to the town centre marked with a wall and turret symbol – Amis des Remparts de Beaune.

view between houses on Beaune ramparts

Step inside the Church of Notre Dame

The Basilica is just around the corner from the Musée du Vin and the Hôtel-Dieu.

The Basilica is best known for its collection of 15th-century tapestries and is a delight to visit. While in Beaune, you will hear its bell chimes throughout the day.

A view along the street to the cathedral Notre Dame

Hire a bike and explore Beaune’s countryside.

One of the fun things to do in Beaune, France, is to hire a bike and pedal your way around the rolling French countryside. After all, some of the best vineyards in the world are located just outside of Beaune’s town centre.

The Route de Grande Crus will allow you to discover the best vineyards in Burgundy.

Bikes against a wall by vineyards in Beaune

Jump aboard the Beaune Visiotrain

A charming 40-minute train journey around the city centre will describe the old town’s history and monuments.

You will also get an insight into Beaune’s world-renowned vineyards. Bookings can be made online.

Learn about vinification at the Museum of Wine.

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 Dukes of Burgundy’s former home, a spectacle in its own right, and explains the history of Burgundy’s wines through the centuries.

Exhibits show the winemaking process from soil to bottle and display wine presses from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Shop at the Beaune markets

Saturday is the Beaune market day, offering visitors the choice of two excellent markets.

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

Of course, there are cheese, wine, and patisserie shops where you can wander inside, and you will surely come out laden with goodies.

We bought creme de cassis, wines, cheeses and loads of marzipan sweets – well, we were on holiday!

Eat and drink at the best restaurants in Beaune.

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 city’s outskirts. It offers a Michellin-rated menu, an indoor/outdoor bistro, and a cocktail terrace. According to Trip Advisor, it is currently the best restaurant in Beaune.
  • L’Ecusson offers fine dining in an exquisite setting.
  • Le Cheval Noir offers a menu that will leave you drooling. This is Michelin-style dining at its finest.
  • 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.
Fine Dining in Beaune Restaurants

Where to stay in Beaune

Budget: 2-star Ibis Budget Beaune. Scores 7.4 /10 from guest reviews. An average nightly stay in June is £78.

Mid Range: 3-star Hostellerie De Bretonnière – Groupe Logis Hotels. Scores 8.1 /10 from guest reviews. An average nightly stay in June is £135.

Comfort Luxe: 4-star Novotel Beaune. Scores 8.2 /10 from guest reviews. An average nightly stay in June is £140.

Luxury: 5-star Hostellerie Cèdre & Spa Beaune. Scores 8.6 /10 from guest reviews. An average nightly stay in June is £574.

Conclusion

For a small town, Beaune packs a punch. It is a great place to discover France’s best food and wine.

Spend a day and squeeze in as much as possible, or spend a week and use Beaune as a base for trips to other towns in Burgundy, such as Dijon, Chablis or Châteauneuf-en-Auxois or as a starting point for other French wine-tasting regions.

Please PIN for Future Travel to France

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16 Most Beautiful Towns and Villages in the South of France

18 Most Beautiful Towns and Villages in Northern France

12 Great Reasons To Visit Chamonix in Summer

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Vinn

Monday 20th of July 2020

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

Monday 20th of July 2020

Hope you get there soon 😃

The Holidaymaker

Saturday 18th of July 2020

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

Saturday 18th of July 2020

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

Faith Coates

Saturday 18th of July 2020

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

Saturday 18th of July 2020

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

Saturday 18th of July 2020

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

Emma

Monday 13th of July 2020

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

WhereAngieWanders

Monday 13th of July 2020

Thank you. I’m glad you liked it 😃