Looking for the best thing to do in Beaune, France? Look no further, we have a great suggestion for you.
What is a good day trip from Paris? The city of Beaune, in the region of Burgundy, is known for its world class wine and beautiful vineyards and it is close to Paris. Keep reading some tips on how to spend a day in Beaune.
What is a good day trip from Paris?
Only a couple hours away by car lies Burgundy, a beautiful wine country filled with rows and rows of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. These vineyards make arguably some of the best wine in the world, and certainly some of the most expensive.
If you’re staying in Paris, you can expect a trip to Burgundy to take approximately 2 to 3 hours by car, depending on traffic.
I recommend starting your Burgundy explorations in the town of Beaune which is essentially surrounded by the vineyard of Burgundy.
Once in Beaune, you can walk around the town. Visit the Hospices de Beaune. Eat traditional food from Bourgogne. Do some major shopping, or take a wonderful and informative wine tour.
The Best Thing To Do in Beaune France
The best thing to do in Beaune, France revolves around the luxury item growing all through the region – grapes, of course.
While in Burgundy, you must take a wine tour. Even if you aren’t a wine connoisseur, you will learn to appreciate the wine and also learn how to decipher a Bourgogne wine bottle.
Learn about the soils, climates, how to read a label, the grape varieties, the flavors, what to pair Burgundy wines with. If you learn any of this information while you’re in Burgundy, it is a win. Or, maybe you just want to taste all the Burgundy wines possible, there are tours for all the above.
How to Spend a Day in Beaune (Burgundy)
Take a Wine Tour
My specific recommendation is to book a tour with Safari Tours. Charlie, who owns and runs Safari Tours, was born and raised in Beaune. His knowledge of the vineyards and Burgundy wines is first-hand, and you will not be disappointed.
Safari Tours offers all sorts of different tours ranging from public tours, private tours, 2 hour tours to even 9 hour tours.
Personally, my husband and I took the 9-hour, private tour with Charlie. Our Burgundy wine tour included visiting the vineyards, three different wineries, a beautiful lunch of traditional Bourgogne food and tasting 19 different wines from the region.
Visit Romanee Conti Vineyards
Our wine tour took us through the vineyards where we learned about the different designations of vineyards including regional, Grand Cru and Premier Cru.
Charlie did a great job teaching us how to read Bourgogne wine labels and understanding where the grapes were grown that made the wine based on the label.
One of the vineyards we visited included Romanee Conti. This is where the grapes are grown for the most expensive wine in the world.
Our French vacation took place in March, and even though it was chilly and the vineyards hadn’t hit spring yet, we loved Burgundy. I can only imagine how much more beautiful the country would be in the spring, summer and fall.
Devour Traditional Bourgogne Food
While in Burgundy, be sure to eat as much traditional Bourgogne food as possible. I recommend that you try to eat the local and traditional foods wherever you travel, but especially in all parts of France. Check out our post of all the wonderful French foods not to miss while in France here.
The restaurant options in Beaune are endless, but our favorite restaurant was called Le Cellier Volnaysien in the small town of Volnay not far from Beaune. The part of the restaurant we ate lunch was actually built into a cave. The ambiance was as good as the food.
FRENCH: JAMBON PERSILLE BOURGUIGNON (ENGLISH: BOURGUIGNON PARSLEY HAM)
This classic dish from the Burgundy region is quite vintage. It is a terrine meaning it is a molded meat dish held together by gelatin. This version has tasty country ham and parsley.
FRENCH: D’ESCARGOTS DE BOURGOGNE (ENGLISH: BURGUNDY SNAILS)
If you’ve yet to try escargot (snails) in France, take the opportunity to try Burgundy snails. Between the butter and garlic, you won’t even notice any flavor from the snails. If you’re still weary, eat them with the fresh baguette served at dinner.
FRENCH: SUPREME DE VOLAILLE DE BRESSE A LA CREME (ENGLISH: BRESSE POULTRY SUPREME WITH CREAM)
Bresse chicken are a special breed of chicken known for outstanding flavor and very tiny bones. If you see the word Bresse at the French grocery store or at a restaurant, you know that this chicken was raised in the region of Bresse. Be sure to try Bresse chicken at some point while in France.
FRENCH: OEUFS EN MEURETTE (ENGLISH: EGGS IN MEURETTE)
My favorite meal in Burgundy (and possibly all of France) was poached eggs in red wine sauce. The flavor of the sauce was out of this world; plus I’m a big fan of a runny, poached egg. Dipping my baguette in this dish was almost an out of body experience for me.
Our tour guide informed me that eggs in meurette is actually a humble dish that traditionally took the leftover red wine sauce (possibly from boeuf bourguignon) and reused it in this dish with eggs. My frugal granny would have been impressed by this.
Roam the Streets of Medieval Beaune
The quaint streets of Beaune are perfect for meandering. You’ll find amazing high-end shopping, small regional shops with mustards, wines and other regional treats, great architecture such as the Basilica of our Lady (Notre Dame), and so much more. Take the time to enjoy the views around the town.
LA BASILIQUE NOTRE DAME DE BEAUNE
The Romanesque Basilica Notre Dame is beautiful day or night. I recommend checking it out at both times since they light it up at night with beautiful colors.
Enjoy Time With A Loved One
While in Burgundy (or any part of France for that matter), take time to enjoy your loved ones. Sip a glass of wine by an open fire, take a three hour lunch, hold hands walking down the streets. Whatever it may be, just be in the moment and enjoy life just as the French do.
Where to Stay in Beaune, France
If you’re planning an overnight while in the Burgundy town of Beaune, consider the elegant Hotel Le Cep. It is located right in the middle of Beaune which gives you the perfect starting point to walk around town for some easy sightseeing.
Parts of the hotel date back from the 16th century giving resulting in the perfect ambiance. In the colder months, there is an open fire in the fireplace and comfy couches and chairs all around to take a few minutes to unwind.
There’s also a bar, restaurant and spa on-site if any of those tickle your fancy.
Breakfast in Beaune
The breakfast spread at Hotel Le Cep is amazing. French cheeses, pastries, fruit, yogurts, cafés, you name it, it will most likely be on the breakfast buffet.
However, if you’re looking an option on the go, or a lighter breakfast, just down the street is the Boulangerie Pluchon where you can find perfect pastries and baguettes.
I stocked up on sweet treats for the airport before flying back home. In all honesty, I wish I would have bought about twice as many pastries as I did before heading out to go home. It’s a long trip!
Planning a Dream Trip to France
If you are like me and have a trip to France on your bucket list, I cannot recommend visiting Beaune, France enough. Between the vineyards and the food, you will not be disappointed.
If you want to see more about how we spent our trip, I shared some other helpful tips and thoughts about traveling to Paris, as well as other places in France:
- How to Spend 4 Days in Paris
- What to Eat while in Paris (and France in general)
- Tips on Traveling to Paris
- How to Spend a Day in Bayeux, France