Beaune, France is not only one of the country’s most beautiful towns but it’s a wonderful hub for wine lovers.
Home to a famous weekly market, an impressive medieval cathedral, and incredible Michelin-starred restaurants, this small French city makes a perfect weekend getaway in France.
Take in Burgundy’s wine capital as you enjoy the best things to do in Beaune France!
Unravel its rich history as you walk along its cobbled streets and walled fortresses – and read along to discover what to do in Beaune.
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Where is Beaune, France?
Beaune is located in eastern France in the department of Côte-d’Or, nestled amidst rolling vineyards and lush countryside of the Burgundy wine region.
This famous region is renowned for its exceptional wines, making Beaune an amazing place to visit for wine lovers. Some of it is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Legend has it that Beaune was founded in ancient times by Julius Caesar himself, who recognized the area’s potential for viticulture and decided to establish a settlement here.
Over the centuries, Beaune flourished as a center for wine production, benefiting from its ideal location along the trade routes connecting northern and southern Europe.
Weather & Best Time to Visit Beaune, France
Before you plan out what to do in Beaune, consider the best time to visit according to the weather and ways to experience the best wine tourism.
Beaune has a temperate climate, typical of the Burgundy region. The town enjoys warm summers and cool winters, with moderate rainfall throughout the year.
If you like to bask in the sun, enjoy country bike rides and sip wine overlooking lush vineyards, the summer months boast the best weather! Average temperatures range from 20°C (68°F) to 26°C (79°F).
If you’re coming to the city for wine, the best time to visit Beaune is during harvest season (which generally runs from mid-late September through mid-October).
Fall weather is mild, with temperatures around from 12°C (54°F) in September to around 8°C (46°F) in November, but keep in mind this can be a busy time to visit towns in Burgundy.
Late October to the end of November is not only a less crowded time to visit Beaune, but you can see the wine-making process! Plus November is the time of the famous charity wine auction.
We visited in December when the biggest draw to town is the Marché de Noel. While it’s not anything like the bucket list Alsace Christmas Markets, it was nice to be a bit off the beaten track and feel the charm of visiting low season.
Best Things to Do in Beaune France
Don’t miss out on anything during your trip to this amazing city in Burgundy, France. Here are the top Beaune things to do for an unforgettable experience.
Tour Hôtel-Dieu – The Medieval Hospital
Step back in time as you explore Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune, a medieval hospital full of history and old-world architecture. You’ll also see this called Hospices de Beaune.
The place was founded in 1443 as a hospital for the poor and served as such until the late 20th century. Now it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Côte-d’Or.
When you visit the Hôtel-Dieu Museum, take in its glazed-tile roof, adorned with colorful patterns, and its beautifully preserved rooms like the Grand Hall that still holds ancient medical jars.
There are a few rooms with hospital beds like the one shown above. When you walk through with the audio tour, you get a feeling for what it might have been like to be filled with patients.
Walk the Beaune Ramparts
The best way to get to know a new city is by walking! So, stroll along 900-year-old battlements for one of the best things to do in Beaune. With 2.5 km of walls, towers, and bastions there is much to enjoy along the way.
As you wander atop the ramparts, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the city’s picturesque streets, charming rooftops, and the surrounding vineyards.
Plus, the walkway offers a peaceful escape and a unique perspective on the town’s history and layout.
Visit the Saturday Market (Marché de Beaune)
Beaune’s famous Saturday Market is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. From roughly 7:30 am to 1 pm, more than 100 stalls pop up around Place de La Halle.
Indulge your senses as you take in the market’s offerings, including an abundance of fresh produce, vibrant flowers, butcher stalls, delectable French wines, and an array of cheeses. It’s a very French experience!
The market also features craft vendors, clothing, shoes, handbags, and more.
Insider tip! Stop by Didier and Daniele, renowned for their cured meats and cheeses. They offer plenty of samples and will guide you on finding things you will absolutely love.
Many items are vacuum packed and perfect for travelers looking to bring something special home.
Needless to say, this market is a true gastronomic treasure that reflects the rich culinary heritage of the Burgundy wine region.
Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Beaune, Burgundy, France
Speaking of gastronomic treasures, this Burgundian city boasts several exquisite Michelin-starred restaurants. If you consider yourself a foodie, you will be in heaven.
Clos du Cèdre, set in a lovely 19th century house with a dreamy outdoor terrace, you will dine in one of the beautifully decorated rooms for a memorable experience.
Dinner is served from Wednesday to Sunday with lunch also offered on the weekends. The extensive wine menu includes many Burgundy wines.
This one star Michelin restaurant is located in Hostellerie Cèdre & Spa Beaune. Guests of the hotel can enjoy the 24 hour room service menu too.
If you’re willing to venture a little farther, Maison Lameloise in Chagny, just 20 minutes away, is a 3-star Michelin restaurant, and L’Amaryllis in St. Remy boasts 2 stars and is just 25 minutes away in a beautiful setting.
Visit Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune for Amazing Beaune Tourism
We definitely recommend visiting the charming Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune during your time in Beaune, France!
This centuries-old castle is home to an impressive collection of vintage motorcycles, fighter planes, and race cars, which will captivate not only automobile enthusiasts.
Stroll through the picturesque gardens, admire the medieval architecture, and head down into the wine cellar for some history!
Wine Tasting in Beaune
Indulge in delicious Burgundy wines when you hop on a wine tasting tour at Chateau de Pommard.
Located just a short distance from Beaune, this renowned winery offers one of the best wine tasting experiences in the region.
Explore the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample their exquisite selection of wines.
Shop at Marché aux Vins
Wine enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Marché aux Vins, a historic store that offers wine tastings!
Located in Beaune’s largest cellar (the 15th-century Église des Cordeliers), you’ll be able to sample a wide variety of Burgundy wines from knowledgeable staff who will guide you through the tasting.
When planning out your days in Beaune, keep in mind that Marché aux Vins is opposite Hôtel-Dieu.
Admire art at Musée des Beaux Arts de Beaune
A trip to France is hardly complete without a bit of art! Luckily, there’s Musée des Beaux Arts de Beaune. It’s honestly one of the most underrated things to do in Beaune France.
Housed in the former Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, this museum showcases a diverse collection of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
See Collégiale Notre-Dame (Basilica of Our Lady)
Visit the Collégiale Notre-Dame, a magnificent 13th-century Gothic church in the center of Beaune. Admire the intricate details of its façade, the soaring vaulted ceilings, and the stunning stained glass windows. Inside you’ll also find 15th-century tapestries and Renaissance elements.
This is a very picturesque area and we can’t recommend stopping by the cathedral enough!
Burgundy Bike & Beaune Wine Tour
The best way to get to know the vineyards of Burgundy is by bike. That’s why we love the Bicycle and Wine Tour in Burgundy, starting from Beaune.
Cycle along scenic routes surrounded by rolling hills and lush vineyards. Stop at local Burgundy wineries to sample the region’s renowned wines, like pinot noir, and then enjoy lunch at a traditional Burgundian restaurant.
To add a touch of history, the tour will also take you to one of the area’s most iconic medieval castles.
Cycle the Route des Grand Crus to see more of Burgundy
For those seeking an independent cycling experience, consider exploring the Route des Grand Crus.
This picturesque route winds through some of the most prestigious vineyards and towns in Burgundy, passing by renowned wine estates and picturesque landscapes.
Rent a bike and pedal at your own pace, allowing yourself to savor the beauty of the vineyards and make pit stops along the way to sample regional wine.
Check out the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction in November
If you happen to be visiting Beaune in November, you’re in for a treat! Don’t miss the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction. It’s one of the top things to do in Beaune France during the year.
This annual event, dating back to the 15th century, showcases the rich winemaking heritage of the region. Experience the excitement as prestigious wines are auctioned off for charity at the stunning Hôtel-Dieu.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, witness the passion of winemakers, and perhaps even bring home a unique bottle to commemorate your visit. This is a fantastic way to soak up local French culture during your trip!
How to Get to Beaune, France
Getting to Beaune, France is a delightful journey that takes you through the picturesque landscapes of the Burgundy region and so much more. Here are the best ways to get to Beaune.
By Air: The nearest major international airports to Beaune are Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. From there, you can either rent a car or take a train to Beaune. Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport offers more convenient access, as it is closer to Beaune.
By Train: As the wine capital of the oh-so-famous Burgundy wine region, Beaune is well-connected by train, making it easily accessible from major cities in France. High-speed trains (TGV) run regularly from Paris, Lyon, and other major cities to Beaune’s train station. The journey from Paris takes around two hours.
By Car: The town is conveniently located near major highways, including the A6 (Autoroute du Soleil). From Paris, the journey takes approximately three hours, while Lyon is just under two hours away. Car rental services are available at airports and major cities, and driving is easily one of the best ways to see more of France!
Final Thoughts About the Best Things to do in Beaune France
If you are a wine lover or want to see the picturesque countryside of Burgundy, a trip to Beaune France will be a delight. There are so many great things to do in Beaune that it’s well worth spending a few days.
We recommend booking early if you plan to visit during the summer so you get the best accommodations and Michelin starred restaurant reservations.