Beaune, France is a stunning city with an abundance of culture and history. Located in the heart of France’s Burgundy wine region, it has been treasured for centuries by locals and tourists alike.
From its grand architecture to its vibrant markets, Beaune is sure to captivate visitors who come to explore all that this amazing place has to offer.
Beaune is home to many historical sites such as the Hospices de Beaune which was built in 1443, making it one of the oldest hospitals in Europe still standing today. The Gothic style cathedral Notre-Dame de Beaune adds another layer of beauty and mystery to the city’s streetscapes. There are also several opportunities for wine tasting at some of the region’s best wineries located nearby.
If you’re looking for more than just sightseeing during your stay in Beaune then there are plenty other activities available too! Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll through town or go on an adventure into nature – there’s something here for everyone! In this article we will explore some of the best things you can do while visiting this wonderful destination – so read on!
About Beaune, France
With a rather exceptional historical heritage, Beaune is a medium-sized city located between Dijon and Lyon, in Côte d’Or (Burgundy), easily accessible by train. To drive there, it will take you about 30 minute from Dijon, and over an hour and a half from Lyon.
Beaune is known for being the wine capital of Burgundy. A hub of the wine-trade in the region since the 18th century, this reputation is also due to the Hospices de Beaune, which own more than 50 hectares of vines that produce great Burgundy wines. Each year, these are the wines that are rated at high prices during the famous Vins des Hospices auctions.
Let’s visit the beautiful winegrowing region of Beaune together, starting with the top 5 things to do in Beaune for winelovers and those looking to explore Beaune wineries.
While Beaune is therefore highly renowned for the region’s incredible vineyards, you will discover in this article that Beaune is also a city of Art and History. Winalist’s wine-enthusiast have made a special selection of the unmissable places to visit during your stay, as well as the best wine tours and tastings in Burgundy!
Top 4 sites to see in Beaune
Here is the checklist we suggest you to consider if you want to make the most of your stay in Beaune, especially if you won’t be able to stay long!
- Hospices de Beaune, also called l’Hôtel Dieu
- Fallot Mustard Mill
- Burgundy Wine Museum
- Notre-Dame de Beaune Basilica
- Visit Beaune through walks around the town
1. Hospices de Beaune
A medieval hospital foundation, the Hospices de Beaune is one of France’s most prestigious historical monuments. The Hospices de Beaune are also famous for their exceptional wine estate, with a large majority of Premiers Crus and Grands Crus.
It was Chancellor Nicolas Rollin who, in 1443, decided to found the Hôtel Dieu to help those most in need following the 100-year war and the plague epidemic that ravaged the region. This Gothic-style building is absolutely remarkable thanks to its very particular roof, made of 4-colour tiles decorated with intertwined geometric patterns, built in the codes of traditional Burgundian architecture.
The originality of this hospital institution lies in the importance and the nature of its heritage: on the one hand there is the historic monument, the Hôtel-Dieu, which no longer accommodates elderly or sick residents since the beginning of the 1980s. And on the other side, it is above all this prestigious wine estate which is one of the best appellations in Burgundy. The production of these exceptional vines is marketed each year at auction on the 3rd Sunday of November. It is currently one of the world’s best-known charity sales. This institution plays a fundamental part in tourism, wine-tourism and the promotion of Burgundy wines, which are central activities in the region.
2. Fallot Mustart Mill
Among the last independent and family mustard production in Burgundy, there are those of Maison Fallot. The House has been maintaining know-how of mustard-making perpetuated since 1840, and opens it doors to give you access to one of the best mustards in the country in its two shops (Dijon and Beaune). The store and the production workshop are located 31 rue du Faubourg Bretonnière.
It’s very fun to visit this shop with your folks or friends! Kids love this place.
You will find two courses on site: “Discoveries” or “Strong Sensations”. The “Discoveries” trail is a mustard museum, and retraces through the centuries the traditions that have made this condiment famous. This fun visit then introduces you to the making of traditional mustard. The “Strong Sensations” route takes you directly to the current premises where Fallot mustards are made. Very well staged thanks to the use of visual, sound and sensory devices, this course shows you the stages of manufacture from the raw material to the finished product, mixing tradition and modernity.
To find out more about visits to the Mustard Factory Fallot, simply contact them!
3. Burgundy Wine Museum
This high place of culture is a treasure trove of history on the cultivation of vines and the production of wine in Burgundy. Promoting the particularity of the Burgundy climates, the museum houses approximately 1000 m2 of permanent exhibitions on two levels, and is located Rue d’Enfer in Beaune, in the hotel of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Having become very modern since its last renovations, it allows you to discover what makes the great wines of Burgundy special in a very calm and welcoming setting. You can also admire the old presses collected in the museum.
4. Notre-Dame de Beaune Basilica
An essential building to discover when you come to visit Beaune: the Notre-Dame de Beaune basilica (Classified Historic Monument) located on Place du Général Leclerc is a monument whose history dates back to the 12th century of our era.
The interior is quite sober but very vast, since this basilica is one of the last great Romanesque churches built in Burgundy. The organ concerts taking place in this church are grandiose, and you can also come and admire the tapestries and the stained glass windows.
At nightfall, from June to September, as well as during Christmas celebrations and on the occasion of major events, you can admire outside light projections on the facade of the Collegiate Basilica. The animation retraces its history and the different periods of its construction.
5. Visit Beaune through walks and outdoor tours
Around the hospices and the beautiful Place de Hale, you can stroll through the typical cobbled streets of Beaune, admiring the pretty old houses alongside the small shops.
Another pleasant walk is that of the ramparts. Take to the skies and discover the city from another angle by completing this loop of approximately 2 kilometers.
And of course, you can explore many hiking trails outside the city to discover the vineyards of Beaune. We recommend one of the hikes “discovering the vineyards of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune” to instantly find a walk to do on sunny days.
Visit Burgundy wineries & vineyards
If you plan a stay in Beaune, even of short length, visiting wine estates is an absolute must, even if you are not a wine expert. Indeed, you will share unique moments with winegrowers who are always proud to share family traditions and local know-how. Whether by car, bike or foot, we suggest to visit one of these below estates!
Founded in 1726, Château de Pommard combines three hundred years of savoir-faire and the innovative vision of the Famille Carabello-Baum for the future. Today, you can be immersed in deep Burgundy wine-making traditions and terroir by visiting the estate, meeting the family and participating to one of their many and much-appreciated wine-experiences.
A family business since 1898, and the first producer of Crémant de Bourgogne, Veuve Ambal opens the doors to its production site to anyone eager to discovering Burgundy terroir. A fun course on a footbridge overlooking the various workshops, will fascinate young and old.
Vineyard bike trails and walks
While wondering around in the area, you will pass by emblematic places of the region and will have the opportunity to admire sumptuous landscapes of the Burgundy vineyard. It is there that you will taste delicious Meursault, Aloxe-Corton or Chassagne-Montrachet.
We highly recommend booking a tour with one of the bellow hosts available on Winalist!
Active Tour in Beaune : cycling and wine day in Côte de Beaune
After a short transfer by vehicle to the heights of Saint Romain, we set off for a 24 km cycle tour. Your guide, a specialist in Burgundy wines, will explain to you how the vineyard works while telling you his best anecdotes. Your walk will be punctuated by numerous stops for explanations, but also by 3 tastings, including one in a wine château, and one in a small family estate in Pommard. In the middle of the day, a meal in a restaurant is also included.
In total, you taste 9 different wines! It’s best if you plan a full day for this activity. Book this activity with our partner Active Tours in Beaune!
Domaine Debray, located in the heart of Beaune
Just a few meters from the famous Hospices de Beaune, Yannick Debray welcomes you to show you around his vat room, his cellar and taste his various wines. You will learn how this passionate winemaker carefully selects the best grapes for his cuvées, and how he proceeds for each step of the winemaking process.
Make sure to visit and try tastings at the Debray estate!
Once in Beaune, you can still use our search engine and our interactive maps to find an excursion or an estate visit near you.
Enjoy your stay in Beaune!
FAQ and useful resources
Where is the Tourist Office in Beaune?
You will find the Tourist Office of Beaune and the region’s at 6 Boulevard Perpreuil. You will be able to get tickets to visit Beaune’s main historical monuments.
How to get to Beaune?
Beaune is easily reachable from several highways:
– A6, A31 (towards Dijon, then Lille or Nancy)
– A38 (towards Besançon, Bâle).
To come by train, you can count about 2h15 from Paris and passing through Dijon, and about 1h45 from Lyon or Mulhouse.
Why visit Beaune?
Visiting Beaune means discovering moving heritage from the past such as the Hospices de Beaune and the city’s historical center. It also means tasting the exquisite bourgignonne gastronomie and savor one-of-a-kind Burgundy wines.
Last but not least, the area offers tremendous walks in the vineyards and hikes in the hills, where you will be able to appreciate roman patrimony and the architecture of older religious estates.