Beaune should be on top of the list for everyone who is planning to visit the Burgundy wine area in France. This picturesque wine village is beautiful; all year around. I can imagine during summer months, with the vineyards covered with green leaves and big grapes, warm weather, outside lunches, lots of sunshine, old French men playing boules under the trees on the market square, and long lazy summer nights, the beauty of Beaune must be at her maximum! But although it was heart of winter (last week of January, this year) when we visited Beaune, we were amazed by this picturesque small wine village, in the heart of Burgundy, France. I will show you some impressions of the 18 hours we spent in Beaune.
The village itself is perfect for a walk.
Don’t miss the iconic building of Hospices de Beaune, the old hospital for the poor. It’s also called ‘Hotel Dieu’. We didn’t have enough time to go inside, but if you have; do it. The roof is spectaculair with it’s colourful pattern.
Even from the outside the Hospices de Beaune building you could see parts of the arty roof. Definitely visit the wine shop of Joseph Drouhin. The building is special, and so is his wine collection.
Pommard by Joseph Drouhin
The entrance of the wine shop of Drouhin is next to this beauty; Basilique de Notre Dame.
How pretty is the Basilique de Notre Dame?
One of the wine domains just outside the city wall of Beaune. This is Maison Bouchard Aine & Fils. For a good vacation photo go there and put your face inside this funny painting.
Where to eat?
– Bistro du Coin, nice bistro in the center
– Le Carmin at Place Carnot, nice bistro in the center
– Clos the Cèdre, classical French restaurant with 1 Michelin star in Hostellerie Le Cèdre
– Just wander around and visit one of the many vinotheques, bars or small restaurants in the center of Beaune
Starter at Clos de Cèdre
Where to stay?
– Ibis Hotel Beaune Styles Centre, good price-quality. Just outside the city wall with its own parking (you pay a fee for parking but at least it’s safe and easy) Keep in mind there are two Ibis Hotels in Beaune. The one says ‘Styles’ is new, clean and convenient. The other one is older, further away from the center and didn’t look so appealing to me. (while passing it by car)
– Hostellerie Le Cèdre. Okay it isn’t cheap, but if you have something to celebrate and like to spend your money well. It’s a lovely address, not cheap, but classic, French and tasteful. What I loved most here was the lounge area with Vin Chaud in a big pot placed in front of the fire place, so it would stay nice and warm. The Vin Chaud (Glüwein) at 5pm after a day of sightseeing in Beaune was delightful.
– L’Hotel de Beaune, a hotel in the city center with its own restaurant.
Furthermore you can:
– Visit the Saturday morning market, around Place Carnot. Especially the food section is worth a visit; vegetables, cheeses (loved the Comté and Beaufort cheeses), fruit, oysters, flowers, saucissons secs, mustards, escargots (snails), baguettes and much more. The French an their food…
– Visit the wine museum Burgundy – We were unfortunately too early in the year for a visit. They open only in April again, so if you are there during spring of summer months, or early autumn, go and check it out.
– Wine domains situated in a circle, just outside the city walls. Maison Bouchard Aine & Fils and Domaine Chanson are examples of wine houses which van be found and visited here. Do a wine tasting or just wander around.
– Now we talk about ‘just outside city walls of Beaune’, it is great to go for an early morning run (or walk) around the city. It’s an easy way to get your exercise for the day, without possibility to get lost as you just follow the outside of the city’s wall. You can take a little detour toward city park Parc de la Bouzaise.
– Go for the full wine area experience and visit a Wine Domaine outside the center of Beaune. So the real thing; the Chateaus (castles) surrounded by vineyards where the grapes actually grow. Chateau clos de Vougeot and Chateau de Savigny-les-Beaune are well-known chateaus to visit. As it was winter time and we did run out of time we didn’t visit these places this time. It’s on the list for a next visit. I would love to visit Beaune once during their harvest time. Keep in mind most of the chateaus are a 15-30 minutes drive away from the center. Perfect to do during the day.
No, not really. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in wine village Beaune. Well, there is one negative; Beaune is pricy. Especially now with the Rand-Euro it’s not the best for your wallet to visit. But even without the currency exchange; it isn’t cheap to visit Beaune. But if you are a wine, food and old city lover, it will be worth it.