The Best Historic and Cultural Attractions in Burgundy

Enjoy the cultural and historic attractions of Burgundy on a relaxing hotel barge cruise through this stunning French region…

For anyone with an interest in exploring some of the most interesting history and culture of France, Burgundy is a region that never fails to appeal – and it always delivers. Travelling by luxury barge through this iconic area is the ideal way to not only immerse in the magnificent scenery, but also enjoy the many opportunities to learn more about the history of the region first-hand.

Our range of Burgundy cruise itineraries take you through some of the most gorgeous scenery in France, with the chance to disembark for some superb shore excursions. Below are just a few of the attractions you’ll encounter.

Abbey of Fontenay

One of the most visited attractions of the area, the lovely Romanesque Abbey de Fontenay in the town of Marmagne dates back to 1118. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed abbey was founded by Saint Bernard of Clairveaux and is the oldest Cistercian abbey in the world. Aside from the beautiful building itself, it is surrounded by tranquil landscaped gardens and sits in a verdant valley, giving it an ambience of peace and spirituality.


As well as being one of the prettiest villages you’ll ever see, the UNESCO-protected medieval hilltop town of Vezelay lays claim to a very important heritage. Inside the Romanesque Basilique Ste-Madeleine are the presumed relics of Mary Magdalene, and for this reason it’s become somewhat of a pilgrimage site for Christians.

Historic Dijon

Dijon is the capital of the region and, as such, it is absolutely steeped in art, culture and history. Its charming streets are lined with the beautiful architecture that defines its past and present, including Art Deco and Gothic. There are numerous notable sites dotted about the historic centre, including the Place de la Libération, the Church of Notre Dame and the stunning medieval Cathedrale de Saint Bénigne de Dijon (as well as the two detailed below).

Discover Burgundy with European Waterways

Musée des Beaux-Arts (Dijon)

For lovers of art, Dijon’s Musée des Beaux-Arts provides a stunning exposition of art, with a stunning collection of Renaissance, European and Egyptian, along local examples dating back to the Middle Ages. Set within the impressive Palais des Ducs, a must-see part of the museum is the Salle des Gardes, which is a wood-panelled gallery containing the medical sepulchres of several notable historical figures.

Hospices de Beaune

Set in the town of Beaune (the capital of Burgundy wine country), the Hospices de Beaune date back to the late Middle Ages. Originally founded in 1443 as an almshouse and hospital to take care of the region’s poorest and most disadvantaged people, it has survived as one of the country’s most important historical monuments. The Gothic architecture is considered to be one of the best examples of its time, with its massive courtyard, turrets, colourful roof tiles and the vast, echoing interiors of the Room of the Poor.

If you’re looking for the best way to immerse in the history and culture of Burgundy, a European Waterways’ barge holiday is the way to do it! We’ll introduce you to the landscape, food, wine, culture and heritage of this magnificent region in the most unique and relaxing way possible.

Feeling Inspired?

Discover the very best of Burgundy aboard La Belle Epoque, L’Art de Vivre, L’Impressioniste and Finesse.

Request a brochure or speak to a member of our team for help in planning your Burgundy escape.

Discover Burgundy with European Waterways

Share this article