Beaune is known for being the capital of Burgundy wine country (and not without good reason), but it has so much more to offer than just vino. Much like an almost-overflowing glass of Pinot Noir, this captivating French city is filled to the brim with taste and culture.
With art, architecture and history galore, it can be hard to know where to begin. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best things to do in Beaune. If you agree, consider joining us on our Classic Cruise of Southern Burgundy aboard L’Impressioniste. We’ve taken care of the itinerary, so you can sit back, relax and float gently through wine country.
Things to Do
Walk the Ramparts
The ancient Beaune ramparts surround the city centre. They make for a lovely, romantic stroll and a great introduction to some of the town’s most important historical sites. You’ll be able to see the Porte de Nicolas (a gate that allows access to the city), the Théâtre de Verdure (now a public garden), the Square des Lions (a statue garden) and the Château de Beaune (it was built in the fifteenth century and used as a castle until 1872 when it became the headquarters of the wine estate Bouchard Père et Fils).
Sample some of the Best
The entire Burgundy region is known for its wines – and many of the most well-known producers are located right in Beaune. Aside from the aforementioned Bouchard Père, the city is home to Louis Jadot and Joseph Drouhin. Our itinerary allows for an authentic and interactive vinous experience amidst the vines. On the fourth day of our cruise, you will be invited to have a tour, a private tasting and a gastronomic lunch at Château de Beaune.
Places to See
The Hospices de Beaune (also known as Hôtel-Dieu) was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, Philip III Duke of Burgundy’s chancellor. Although it began as a charity and refuge for the poor, today it is a museum known for its stunning architecture (just look at its glazed-tile roof). However, it hasn’t given up on its charitable roots: one example is the wine auction it hosts every year. This event rakes in an enormous sum of money, all of which is donated to the less fortunate.
The Dalineum is an art museum filled with over 1,000 pieces (including surrealist sculptures, paintings, photographs and furniture) by Salvador Dali. This curiosity, put together by art editor and Dali-collector Jean Amiot, is refreshingly modern – the perfect brief breath of fresh air in comparison to the rest of Beaune’s ancient wonders.
The Parc de la Bouzaize
Take a break at this lovely English-style park. It boasts a small lake with rentable canoes, a café, an animal farm and five hectares of green space. Whether you’re looking to have a picnic, a boat ride or just lie in the sun, a visit to the Parc de la Bouzaize is the perfect way to spend a relaxing day.
If you’ve enjoyed our guide on the best things to do in Beaune then why not book a cruise that will allow you to experience some of the highlights for yourself? Get in touch with our team for more information and find the barge holiday that’s right for you.