7 Things to Do in Beaune France
Discover why Beaune is the perfect destination for hiking, bike tours, festival-goers and Burgundy-wine-lovers.
Visiting France is a true adventure. Besides Paris, there are amazing cities and regions to discover. Whether you prefer the beaches of Montpellier, the wines from Bordeaux, or the sites in Strasbourg, you won’t get tired of this European country. This time we take you to Beaune, a place that offers engaging activities, exceptional flavors, and a beautiful architecture.
The Town of Beaune, Bourgogne
The small but beautiful town of Beaune is a French commune located in Bourgogne or Burgundy. With its 2,118.2 square kilometers Beaune is one of the smallest districts in France. Despite its small size, it’s one of the richest districts in terms of history, culture, and nature.
DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, tells you 7 reasons why you should travel to the wonderful destination of Beaune.
#1 Visit Les Hospices de Beaune
Also known as Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, this former charitable almshouse sheltered orphans, homeless people and pilgrims. It was regulated by the Church. Nowadays, it’s one of the most famous hospices in the world, and it has a flamboyant Gothic architecture. It houses the Medical History Museum, which hosts several exhibitions.
Its colorful and bright glass tile ceilings will take you back to a time when sumptuousness was part of the daily life of counts and dukes. Also, the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune houses a renowned winery that produces very special wines. These are sold in an auction that takes place in November, and its profits are used to preserve this historical and iconic site in Beaune.
#2 Bike Tours Across La Voie des Vignes
Beaune offers bike tours in which you can ride across medieval-looking towns. However, the bike tours across the vineyards of Voie des Vignes (road of vines) are more popular.
What makes these bike tours unique is the natural landscape that surrounds the medieval towns of Pommard and Meursault. The landscape is enriched by the views of the Canal du Centre. What’s more, these bike tours will give you the chance to have a close look at the vineyards that produce Beaune’s exquisite wines.
#3 Hiking in the Hautes-Cotes de Beaune
If you enjoy ecotourism, another activity you can do is hiking through the Hautes-Cotes de Beaune. You’ll walk along narrow trails that connect the vineyards and lead to a mind-blowing cliff.
We recommend this tour because more than exhausting, it will be energizing. Why? Because your reward will be the natural landscape that remains untouched by human impact.
#4 Beaune Festival
Among the most peculiar attractions in Beaune are its numerous festivals. This destination organizes over 40 events throughout the year. You can find jazz, opera and classical music concerts, as well as contemporary sculpture exhibitions, and much more.
One of the most outstanding festivals in Beaune is the Thriller Film Festival, which the town has hosted since 2009. It offers criminal fiction fans a taste of the best movies of this genre produced around the world. If you want to attend the Thriller Film Festival, plan your trip in April. If you enjoy music, go to the Baroque Opera Festival, which is known for the use of historical instruments. This festival is considered a revolution of the Baroque movement. You can be sure it will be a wonderful visual and aural experience.
Take into account that even though these are two of the most emblematic festivals, Beaune organizes many more each month.
#5 Visit Fontenay Abbey
As part of its religious art collection, Beaune has some of the most outstanding expressions of Romanesque art and its transition to Gothic art. What’s more, Beaune offers a perfect combination of art, culture, and history sheltered by the green forest. Fontenay Abbey, heir of the Cistercian art, was declared World Heritage by UNESCO. It’s impressive for its gigantic and heavy architecture that, despite having an austere appearance, radiates elegance. The monks that lived there were skillful blacksmiths, so the fortress has many interesting forged details. Moreover, in keeping with the deep green of its surroundings, Fontenay Abbey houses enormous gardens that invite visitors to walk them over and over again.
Nowadays, the abbey is managed by a private company. It offers guided tours and free entry on some occasions. Tickets cost around 10 euros, which are truly worth paying to visit and preserve this historical site.
#6 La Basilique Collégiale Notre Dame de Beaune
The Notre Dame Basilica was inspired by the art of the Cluny order. It reflects the splendor of Romanesque architecture and the beginnings of the Gothic. Notre Dame will fascinate you with its vaults and majestic pointed arches that give the structure its impressive appeareance. Symbolically, because of its sky-projected architecture this type of construction was meant to make visitors feel closer to God. The roof is almost 10 meters high, and it’s height is only surpassed by the basilica’s towers.
The portico of the Notre Dame basilica is decorated with images of the End of Days, statues of the apostles, and a sculpture of Virgin Mary. You’ll be especially surprised by the enormous rose window that crowns the sculpture of the virgin.
#7 Wine Tasting in Beaune France
For some travelers, the most iconic attraction in Beaune is its burgundy wine paired with tasty dishes.
In Beaune, it’s really easy to find wineries that invite you to try a wide variety of wines. Many of them inherited the traditional winemaking processes that date back to the Middle Ages.
Moreover, most vineyards in Beaune are family businesses. This undoubtedly offers you a great chance to experience a cultural exchange in which you can learn about the family history, traditions and winemaking secrets behind the top-quality labels.
In order to make the most of your visit, try local restaurants, where wine, cheese and meat are the typical ingredients of a rich culinary tradition that will make you enjoy your vacation in Beaune even more. You can find more information about these restaurants in Beaune here.
We’re sure that with such a varied cultural, recreational, and culinary offer, your travel experience in Beaune will not let you down. So don’t forget to visit this wonderful destination next time you travel to France!