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Paris has its majestic architecture, endless museums, and haute couture fashion. But there is so much more to see in France! The region of Burgundy is full of unique places to visit, activities to do, and gorgeous scenery. Known for its idyllic countryside, rolling hills, vineyards, and forests, Burgundy is full of surprises.
Located in Central Eastern France, this charming region has abundant historical significance, including several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From exploring the lovely fortified towns to visiting old châteaus, there are plenty of activities for your interest.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Paris or an exciting adventure in nature, Burgundy is an excellent and often underrated region in the heart of the country.
From immersing yourself in history and culture to taking a Burgundy wine tasting – you’ll never run out of things to do during your stay! So start planning your trip today and experience the magic of this beautiful region. From the historic Hospices de Beaune to mustard tasting in Dijon, here are some of Burgundy’s best things to do.
- Places to Visit & Things to Do in Burgundy, France
- 1. Explore the City of Beaune
- 2. See Burgundy From Above On A Hot Air Balloon
- 3. See The Roman Ruins Of Auxerre
- 4. Enjoy A Visit to The Iconic Château de Pommard
- 5. Treat Yourself To A Wine Tour Through The Region
- 6. Explore the History And Cuisine In Dijon
- 7. Sip Kir, a classic French aperitif
- 8. Immerse Yourself In World-Famous Artwork At Musée des Beaux-Arts
- 9. Test Your Skills On A Truffle-Hunting Tour
- 10. Visit The Charming Village of Vézelay
- 11. Enjoy History And Scenery In The Riverfront Town Of Mâcon
- 12. Embark On A Scenic Drive Down Route des Grands Crus
- 13. Revisit The Past At Guedélon
- 14. Take A Stroll Along The Burgundy Canal
- 15. Experience Medieval History at Château de Cormatin
- 16. See The Nevers Cathedral And Explore A Historic Small Town
- 17. Take A Tour Of Autun And See The Countryside From High Above
- 18. Visit the Past at Abbaye de Fontenay
- 19. Get A Breath Of Fresh Air at Parc de la Bouzaize
- Bonus Destination: Sancerre
- Best Tours in Burgundy
- What is the difference between Bourgogne and Burgundy?
- What is Burgundy, France, known for?
- Is Burgundy, France, worth visiting?
- What are the top Burgundy, France, tourist attractions?
- Most significant landmark – Abbaye de Fontenay
- Free activity – Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon
- Best park- Parc de la Bouzaize
- Best nightlife- Sipping wine at local wineries!
- Activity for kids – Strolling down the Burgundy Canal
- Activity for adults – Burgundy wine tastings
- Best food – Regional truffles
- Place to stay – Maison Cabotte
Places to Visit & Things to Do in Burgundy, France
1. Explore the City of Beaune
Located in the heart of Burgundy, Beaune is best known for its wine cellars and historical landmarks. Although small, this city has a lot to offer tourists. From soaking in the culture to indulging in wine tastings, plan to spend at least a day or preferably a relaxing weekend.
Make sure to check out the Hospices de Beaune. This historical landmark is a must-see for any history buff. The Hospices de Beaune was built in the 15th Century and served as a hospital for the poor and sick. Today, it houses a museum with ancient medical equipment and art dating back to the Middle Ages.
This medieval town transports visitors back in time with its cobbled streets and half-timbered houses. Be sure to visit Place Carnot, the central square lined with cafes and restaurants, perfect for people-watching.
For sweeping views of Beaune and the surrounding countryside, climb the hill to Notre Dame du Champs Cathedral. This Gothic-style cathedral was built in the 13th Century and is well worth a visit.
No trip to Beaune is complete without indulging in some local French cuisine. From coq au vin (chicken cooked in red wine) to Boeuf Bourguignon (a red wine-braised beef stew), there are plenty of hearty dishes to choose from. And, of course, don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass (or two) of Burgundy wine! For the best accommodation close to all the action in and around Beaune, we recommend booking a room at the Maison Cabotte.
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2. See Burgundy From Above On A Hot Air Balloon
See Burgundy from a different perspective on a hot air balloon ride! As you float above the rolling hills and vineyards, take in panoramic views of this picturesque region.
Starting in Beaune, you’ll float high above the town, slowly making your way to the city of Dijon. Taking in the bird’s eye view of the mustard fields, you’ll surely get some fantastic photos!
A local guide will be with you throughout the journey, pointing out historical and cultural points of interest. Upon landing, you’ll receive a certificate and a glass of bubbly to commemorate your experience! Book your balloon ride in advance, as these trips tend to fill quickly. This hot air balloon ride is the perfect way to experience Burgundy from above.
3. See The Roman Ruins Of Auxerre
Auxerre is a charming city with a rich history in Burgundy, its Roman roots, and an incredible Gothic cathedral. Here are a few highlights you won’t miss on your trip to Auxerre.
The Romans settled Auxerre in 52 BC and remained under Roman rule until the 5th Century AD. As a result, there are numerous Roman ruins scattered throughout the city.
The most impressive of these is the Porte d’Arcy, an old city gate that dates back to the 3rd Century. Other notable ruins include the amphitheater, which could once seat 8,000 people, and the Temple of Cybele, a well-preserved temple dedicated to the Roman goddess of nature.
Badly damaged during the French Revolution, Auxerre Cathedral was rebuilt in a Gothic style in the 19th Century. The cathedral’s exterior is decorated with numerous statues and gargoyles, while the interior houses beautiful organs and stained glass windows.
Some of the region’s vineyards are located just outside the city, many of which you can tour and enjoy tasting sessions. From exploring its Roman ruins to climbing to the top of its Gothic cathedral, you’ll never be bored in Auxerre. Don’t forget to try some local wines while you’re in town – after all, Burgundy is renowned for its reds!
See Related: Best Wine Tasting in Paris, France (+ Vineyards)
4. Enjoy A Visit to The Iconic Château de Pommard
Address: 15 Rue Marey Monge, 21630 Pommard
The Château de Pommard is a stunning estate that dates back to the 18th Century. This iconic château houses a beautiful museum, an extensive wine cellar, and an exquisite garden.
Make sure you explore the Château’s museum, which is filled with artifacts from its long and fascinating history. Then, head down to the cellar for a private tour and taste some of the estate’s best wines. Finally, walk in the garden and admire the peaceful lake view.
Château de Pommard is renowned for its outstanding wines, so pick up a few bottles before you leave. From exploring its museum to indulging in some of its most famous vintages, Château de Pommard is an unforgettable experience.
See Related: Best Wine Tours in Burgundy
5. Treat Yourself To A Wine Tour Through The Region
Burgundy is home to some of the world’s best wines, and a regional wine tour is a perfect way to experience them! Depending on your preference, you can go on a guided tour or set up your custom itinerary. Either way, you’ll be sure to sample some amazing wines!
Burgundy tours visit family-run vineyards, where you can learn about traditional winemaking techniques. Taste some of the most famous wines, like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Explore some of Burgundy’s most iconic wine regions, such as Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune.
Whether a novice or an experienced oenophile, a regional wine tour is a great way to explore the best burgundy wines, many regional guided tours include meals, so bring a hearty appetite! You can sample some delicious local produce and classic French dishes. And, of course, enjoy several glasses of Burgundy’s best wines.
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6. Explore the History And Cuisine In Dijon
Dijon is a beautiful city steeped in history with a delicious food scene. A few top places to visit include the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, Saints Michel, Gervais Cathedral, and the Porte Guillaume city gate.
For a look at Dijon’s Roman past, pay a visit to the Musée Archéologique, which houses artifacts dating back to the 1st Century AD. And no trip to Dijon would be complete without a stroll through the picturesque Parc de la Colombière.
The city of Dijon is renowned for its mustard, so be sure to sample some while you’re in town! You’ll also find plenty of other tasty dishes made with local ingredients, such as beef Bourguignon and coq au vin.
And no matter what time of day, you can always indulge in a sweet treat from one of Dijon’s many bakeries. Try a traditional flammekueche (a flatbread topped with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon) or a pain au chocolat (a type of chocolate-filled croissant). Bon appétit!
Whether you’re interested in exploring Dijon’s rich history or indulging in its culinary delights, this charming French city will surely please you. Wondering where to stay? The town center is a great base for all your excursions – try the Hôtel des Ducs.
7. Sip Kir, a classic French aperitif
Kir is a classic French aperitif made with crème de cassis (a sweet blackcurrant liqueur) and white wine, named after former Dijon mayor Félix Kir. This delicious drink is usually served before dinner to stimulate the appetite, but it can also be enjoyed as a refreshing beverage any time of the day.
In Burgundy, you’ll find plenty of places offering kir-tasting sessions. Many of these establishments offer classic recipes and more creative variations like kir royal (champagne) and kir blanc (white wine). So why not take a break from sightseeing and treat yourself to something special?
The Cassisium Mixology Museum is an interactive experience dedicated to Burgundy’s unique and rich culture of drinks. At this museum, you’ll learn about the region’s most famous liqueur, crème de cassis.
The Cassisium is located in Nuits-Saint-Georges and offers various activities, such as tastings and classes in mixology. You’ll have a chance to sample the classic kir recipe and different variations of it. Kir is an integral part of Burgundy culture, so try a glass while you’re in town. You’ll be glad you did!
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8. Immerse Yourself In World-Famous Artwork At Musée des Beaux-Arts
Address: 1 Rue Rameau, 21000 Dijon
For art lovers, the Musée des Beaux-Arts Dijon is a must-see. This museum houses an impressive collection of artwork ranging from Renaissance to Modern.
Highlights include works by renowned French artists such as Monet and Rodin, as well as lesser-known masters like Poussin and Clouet. As one of the country’s oldest and largest art museums, this can give the Louvre a run for its money!
The museum contains a unique collection of Egyptian antiquities, tombs from the historical Dukes of Burgundy, and some art dating as far back as Louis XIV! This Fine Arts Museum is in an old palace, so you can expect to be surrounded by grand architecture and intricate artwork.
The museum also regularly hosts workshops for adults and children, so check their website for upcoming events. From Renaissance pieces to more contemporary art, this art museum will give you a glimpse into the best of French culture. The best part? Entrance to the permanent exhibitions is always free!
9. Test Your Skills On A Truffle-Hunting Tour
Burgundy is renowned for its truffles, so why not take a trip to discover the culinary delights of this area? You can join an organized truffle hunt and learn more about harvesting these delicious mushrooms.
These truffle-hunting tours usually include lunch or dinner with local dishes made with fresh truffles, wine-tasting, and educational activities about the history of truffles.
For an even more unique experience, you can take a truffle cooking class and learn how to cook traditional Burgundy dishes like coq au vin with fresh truffles.
It’s a great way to learn about French cuisine while having fun! Burgundy is an excellent place for foodies, and there are many delicious dishes that you must try while in town. Don’t miss out!
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10. Visit The Charming Village of Vézelay
Nestled in the picturesque Burgundy region of France is the charming village of Vézelay. This small town is steeped in history and boasts several amazing sights and activities for visitors.
One of the most popular attractions in Vézelay is the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene. This 12th Century Romanesque church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of France’s most important pilgrimage sites.
The basilica’s stunning facade is adorned with intricate carvings, and inside, you’ll find beautiful stained glass windows and ancient frescoes. Make sure to take a look at the crypt, which is said to be the final resting place of Mary Magdalene herself.
Another must-see sight in Vézelay is the ruins of the former Benedictine Abbey. Founded in the 11th Century, this abbey was once one of Europe’s largest and most influential monasteries.
Only a few walls and columns remain today, but it’s still an impressive site. Be sure to climb to the top of the hill for fantastic views over the town and the surrounding countryside.
Vézelay’s quaint village center is perfect for a relaxed walk. Wander down winding streets lined with timbered houses, stop for a drink or bite to eat in one of the cafes or restaurants, or browse the shops selling local produce and handmade goods.
Don’t forget to explore Place du Champ de Foire, a pretty square in the heart of town flanked by colorful houses and medieval half-timbered buildings.
Vézelay is a charming village in Burgundy, France, that offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do. For those looking to treat themselves in this charming town, The Hôtel Restaurant De La Poste & Du Lion D’or is a beautiful guest house in the central town.
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11. Enjoy History And Scenery In The Riverfront Town Of Mâcon
Mâcon is a historic town located in the Burgundy region. From its Roman ruins to its riverfront setting, there are plenty of sights and activities to enjoy on a trip to Mâcon.
The Romans founded Mâcon in the 1st Century AD, and traces of their presence can still be seen today as ruins scattered around the town. The most notable of these is the Porte d’Arroux, an ancient Roman gateway that once served as one of the entrances to the town.
Other Roman ruins in Mâcon include the Theatre de Mâcon, an open-air amphitheater that would have been used for public performances, and the Tour du Guaitot, a stone tower that was once part of the town’s fortifications.
Mâcon is located on the banks of the Saône River, and one of the best ways to enjoy its riverfront setting is by strolling along the promenade that runs along Quai Lamartine.
This is a great place to take an easygoing amble and view Mâcon’s historic bridges spanning the river. If you’re feeling active, rent a bicycle from one of the many rental shops along Quai Lamartine and explore more of Mâcon’s riverfront paths.
Mâcon is home to several historic churches worth exploring, including St. Pierre Cathedral, an 11th Century Romanesque cathedral with Gothic elements; Notre Dame de Lafayette, a Gothic church dating back to 1296; and Saint-Vincent Abbey Church, a 12th Century Romanesque church with beautiful stained glass windows.
Even if you’re not religious, these churches are definitely worth a visit for their architectural beauty alone.
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12. Embark On A Scenic Drive Down Route des Grands Crus
A great way to explore the Burgundy region is to drive along the Route des Grands Crus, a scenic route that winds through some of France’s most famous vineyards.
Along this route, you’ll pass through quaint villages and towns like Beaune, Nuits-Saint-Georges, and Auxerre, each with unique charm and atmosphere.
Of course, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to sample some of the region’s famous wines, from crisp white Chablis to full-bodied reds like Pinot Noir and Gamay.
Starting in the Côte de Beaune region, the Route des Grands Crus follows the vine-covered hills of Burgundy and takes visitors through some of France’s most famous wine regions. It’s a great way to explore the area and admire its beautiful scenery.
And if you’re worried about drinking and driving, don’t worry! With many of these guided tours, all the driving is taken care of, so you can sit back, relax, and take in the views.
13. Revisit The Past At Guedélon
Address: D955, 89520 Treigny-Perreuse-Sainte-Colombe
A trip to Burgundy isn’t complete without a visit to Guedélon Castle. Located in the heart of the Morvan Natural Regional Park, this 13th-century castle is one of the most unique attractions in Burgundy.
The castle is still under construction using only traditional methods and materials from the Middle Ages, so visitors can watch as artisans recreate history in the making. The medieval vat house, the stonemason’s workshop, and the forge are all fascinating.
At Guedélon, visitors can explore the castle grounds and watch carpenters, stonemasons, and blacksmiths construct this amazing structure with their hands.
There are also a number of activities available throughout the year, such as archery sessions, falconry demonstrations, and costumed jousts between knights. Guedelon Castle is a great way to experience a bit of Medieval Burgundy.
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14. Take A Stroll Along The Burgundy Canal
The Canal de Bourgogne is one of the most beautiful canals in France, running through some of Burgundy’s prettiest countryside. It offers visitors a tranquil way to explore the region.
Stroll along its towpaths and admire the stunning scenery as you go. You can also cruise along the canal to soak up the atmosphere.
The Canal de Bourgogne has many quaint towns and villages dotted along its banks, each with unique charm. This is a great place to take the kids- you can stop off at one of the charming villages and explore local markets, admire the historic buildings, or take a boat trip along the canal. It’s a great way to get to know Burgundy and its beautiful countryside.
15. Experience Medieval History at Château de Cormatin
Address: Grande Rue, 71460 Cormatin
Château de Cormatin is a stunning example of 17th-century French architecture in Southern Burgundy. Built by the Dukes of Bourgogne, it was once one of the most powerful fortresses in Europe and is now home to some remarkable attractions.
Inside the castle walls, visitors can explore the impressive collection of artworks. You’ll also find a vast collection of tapestries and furniture, as well as a beautiful formal garden with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Château de Cormatin is a must-see for those interested in medieval history. Its Great Hall provides an insight into life during the 16th Century, with its fortified walls and furnishings, while the interior courtyard is a beautiful spot for pictures. If this isn’t enough, visitors can also participate in educational workshops and activities to learn more about life at Château de Cormatin.
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16. See The Nevers Cathedral And Explore A Historic Small Town
Nevers is a small town in central France with a rich history and plenty of things to see and do, including classic French art and architecture, exploring the countryside, or enjoying traditional French food and wine.
The Nevers Cathedral is a magnificent 13th Century cathedral and one of France’s most important Gothic buildings. It is noted for its beautiful stained glass windows and ornate stone carvings. Another top attraction is the Palais Ducal.
This imposing palace was once the home of the Duke of Nevers. It now houses a museum with an extensive collection of art and artifacts from the 16th and 17th Centuries.
17. Take A Tour Of Autun And See The Countryside From High Above
Autun is a small town in central France with a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire. One of the most notable landmarks in Autun is the Cathedral of St. Nazaire, built in the 12th Century.
The cathedral is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture, and it features several beautiful sculptures by noted French artist Gislebertus. Visitors can also climb to the top of the cathedral’s tower for panoramic views of Autun and the surrounding countryside.
Another must-see spot in Autun is the Roman Theater, built in the 1st or 2nd Century AD- the exact date is unknown! The theater was used for various public events such as plays, concerts, and speeches. Today, it is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman theaters in Europe. Visitors can explore the theater’s grounds and even go inside the buildings to understand what life was like during the Roman era.
A visit to the Gallo-Roman Museum is necessary for those interested in learning more about Autun’s history. The museum houses a collection of artifacts from the Gallo-Roman period, including pottery, tools, and coins.
Several interactive exhibits allow visitors a hands-on experience with some objects on display. Autun is a small town with a big heart. Visitors can enjoy its thriving arts scene, learn about its rich history, or enjoy its natural beauty.
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18. Visit the Past at Abbaye de Fontenay
Address: Abbaye de Fontenay, 21500 Montbard
We’ve saved one of the top highlights of a trip to Burgundy for the last. The Abbey of Fontenay is a must-see for any traveler and one of the best Burgundy tourist attractions. This 12th Century abbey is one of Europe’s best-preserved Cistercian monasteries.
The site sits on 33 acres of pristine land. Be sure to wander around and enjoy the beauty of the monastery’s gardens and grounds. Don’t forget to visit the onsite museum, which provides an interesting look into the abbey’s history. The Abbey is so full of historical significance that it has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.
A guided tour of the Abbaye de Fontenay is a great way to learn more about its history and architecture. Audio guides are also available if you prefer to explore on your own.
In the mood to shop? The Abbey of Fontenay has an onsite shop selling local honey, jams, books, and more. Be sure to pick up some souvenirs for your friends and family back home! We recommend buying your ticket in advance to ensure you get your spot!
19. Get A Breath Of Fresh Air at Parc de la Bouzaize
Address: Av. du Parc, 21200 Beaune
Parc de la Bouzaize is a tranquil spot just five minutes from the center of Beaune. It’s a great place for visitors to go for a peaceful walk or bike ride, enjoy the stunning views, and escape it all. This sprawling park features lush greenery, tranquil ponds, and winding trails that are perfect for exploring.
Many locals here walk their dogs, jog, or breathe the fresh air. Visitors can also participate in outdoor kayaking, fishing, and bird-watching activities. Visiting Parc de la Bouzaize is a great way to exercise and enjoy nature.
Bonus Destination: Sancerre
Sancerre is a small central France town best known for its white wine and picturesque setting. The town is situated on a hilltop in the Loire Valley and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The Sancerre Wine Museum traces the history of winemaking in the region and includes exhibits on the grape varieties used to make Sancerre wine. Visitors can also learn about local winemakers’ viticulture and cellar practices. Best of all, the museum offers tastings of Sancerre wines!
The Loire Valley is one of the most beautiful regions in Burgundy, and there are plenty of hiking trails to explore near Sancerre. One popular route takes hikers up to the Château de Vitray, an abandoned castle that offers panoramic views of the valley. Another scenic hike leads to the village of Bué, where you can visit the 13th-century church of Notre-Dame de Bue and pick up some locally made cheese from one of the local farms.
Sancerre is located in an area of France renowned for its gastronomy, so be sure to sample some of the local dishes while you are in town. Some specialties to look out for include rillauds (pork belly cooked in cider), gaudes (a type of bean stew), and chaource (a creamy white cheese). Of course, wash it all down with a glass or two of Sancerre wine!
There are countless reasons why Burgundy should be your next travel destination – these are just a few of our favorites. If you’re looking for a breathtakingly beautiful region with delicious food & drink, rich history & culture, and plenty of photo opportunities, look no further than Burgundy!
See Related: Travel Guide to the Champagne Region
Best Tours in Burgundy
Join a small group of up to 12 for a memorable Burgundy wine tour with Burgundy bike tour and lunch, including visits to five family-run wineries. Take in the stunning scenery as you glide around the Côte de Beaune on your bike, stopping to explore picturesque villages and majestic châteaux. Learn about the history of the wine region from your guide before visiting local vineyards. Sample delicious wines at each stop and enjoy lunch before sampling more wines on your way back to Beaune
Burgundy is known for its world-class wine. This tour will give you a better understanding of the region, how it produces the most amazing wines in the world and where to taste them. You will visit two family producers of wine and one sparkling wine producer. To finish off, you will get an overview of local restaurants where you can try some amazing food and pair it with local wines.
The day starts with a visit of the cellars of great Burgundy wine producers. You’ll then be driven through the vineyards to some of the most famous and renowned places in the region such as Clos Vougeot and Nuits Saint Georges. Along this route, you’ll enjoy an in-depth tour that will allow you to discover all facets of Burgundy wines.
What is the difference between Bourgogne and Burgundy?
“Bourgogne” is the French regional name for this area of France, while “Burgundy” is its English translation. Both refer to the same region in eastern France – a region known for its delicious wines and stunning countryside.
What is Burgundy, France, known for?
Burgundy is known for its stunning scenery and world-class wines. It is also home to many historic sites, such as the Abbey de Fontenay and the Guedélon. And visitors can’t forget to indulge in some of Burgundy’s delicious regional dishes!
Is Burgundy, France, worth visiting?
Burgundy is a great destination for foodies, wine lovers, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy its thriving arts scene or natural beauty with a hike or bike ride through one of the region’s picturesque valleys.
What are the top Burgundy, France, tourist attractions?
The top attractions include Hospices de Beaune, The Abbaye de Fontenay, and the Château de Commartin.
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- About the Author
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Mackenzie Spellman is a cultural blogger penning insightful pieces on travel, culture, lifestyle; splitting her life between France and Canada.
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