During its 2000 years of existence, Beaune became the ephemeral capital of the Dukes of Burgundy, then an active center of the cloth and wine trade. Beaune is one of the key wine centers in France. Beaune is the capital of Burgundy in the Côte d’Or department and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. Today, the city, rounded off in its ramparts, presents a harmonious and charming face where medieval half-timbering mingles, the softness of Romanesque architecture, dormers bristling with weather vanes, the multicolored roofs of the Hotel Dieu run a lace of lead as well as charming mansions. Towers now only defend a peaceful army of nectars from Beaune and the vinous coast, ditches and moats have become squares and gardens, sheltering for more than a century astonishing and sometimes exotic species. In this article, we have listed the Top 9 things to Do in Beaune France.
1. Hotel-Dieu de Beaune
The Hospices de Beaune are world famous for their exceptional roof with colorful geometric shapes and for their Gothic facades. This building, also called Hôtel-Dieu, was built in the Middle Ages and was at the time a hospital for the poor. This establishment is now a museum that you can visit. You will be able to see the rooms where the sick were cared for, the pharmacy, the Gothic chapel, the kitchen with the vast Gothic fireplaces … and discover the large collection of objects, furniture, and tapestries from the period.
Burgundy Wines Guide
Since the Middle Ages, Beaune has been at the center of wine culture and trade. So take advantage of being in Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, to discover and taste its famous wines. If you are driving, you have a wide choice in the areas to visit near the city. South of Beaune, Château de Pommard is one of the region’s most emblematic estates. This magnificent chateau is located in the village of Pommard, a 10-minute drive from Beaune. It is organically grown and produces prestigious wines of exceptional quality, including Grands Crus famous around the world.
Top wineries to visit in Beaune
In Beaune, whether you are looking for a family estate, a “négociant” (grower & merchant), a cooperative winery or a tasting cellar, you can find in and around Beaune a great variety of options. In Beaune or in villages nearby, if you taste wines at a winemaker’s house, the owner explains how he works, prepares his harvest, and raises his wines. If you are looking for a great wine experience in the Beaune you have to visit:
- Le Cellier de la Cabiote – Company – Beaune
- Safari tours
- Chemins de Bourgogne – Wine tour
- Le Cellier de la Cabiote – Oenology – Beaune
- Bourgogne Gold Tour – Beaune – Oenology – Beaune
- Burgundy Wine School – Wine tour – Beaune
Domaine Chanson is one of the great historic producers in Burgundy. Founded in 1750, they are 1 of only 6 producers in the region still remaining from the 18th century and earlier. Most critical to today, Chanson was purchased in 1999 and has been dramatically restored to once again become one of Burgundy’s top estates, best signified in 2017 by 3 of their wines earning “wine of the year” plaudits from the most renowned wine critic in France.
5. Comte Senard
On the Aloxe Corton side are the Comte Senard estate and its 9 hectares of vines. The cellars of the property were built in the 13th century by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Sainte-Marguerite and still ensure the aging of the estate’s wines today. You will enjoy a warm tasting and also a more in-depth visit ensuring you a total change of scenery.
6. Notre Dame Collegiate Basilica
The Notre Dame de Beaune collegiate basilica, listed as a Historic Monument, is a must-see. Built mainly in the 12th century, it is Romanesque with Gothic additions and was a place of pilgrimage. The basilica is full of works evoking religious fables and stories. It also houses the statue of the Black Madonna dating from the 12th century as well as a remarkable collection of 15th-century tapestries, illustrating the different stages of the life of the Virgin Mary.
7. The Town Square in Beaune
This lively square is located in the heart of the city. It is dominated by the famous Hôtel-Dieu. In the surrounding area, you will find numerous boutiques and shops, as well as regional specialty stores (wines, confectionery, etc.) with attractive storefronts. On Saturday morning, a market is set up there where you can buy regional products. We suggest spending some time in this place because is one of the best places to visit in Beaune France.
8. Burgundy Wine Museum
For those who wish to deepen their knowledge of Burgundy wine, the wine museum traces the history of vine cultivation and wine-making in this vineyard from ancient times to the 1920s. Modernized in 2017, the museum allows you to discover the terroir and the profession of winegrower through different themes. The rooms are arranged in stages of production and throughout the visit interactive animations surprise visitors. In particular, a space dedicated to Burgundy Crémants has just opened following the modernization of the museum.
9. The Bouzaise Park of Beaune
To relax and stroll around the city, go to the Parc de la Bouzaise, located a few minutes walk from the city center. This park is built around the source of the Bouzaise, very pleasant to enjoy a little piece of nature near the city center. We suggest spending some time relaxing in this place because is one of the best things to do in Beaune France. The playgrounds and educational farm for children, as well as the English garden, make it a pleasant place to relax with the family.