Beaune succeeded Dijon as capital of the Duchy of Burgundy in its glory days. Today, Dijon is again the capital of Burgundy, a much bigger city, and an important site of industry as well as culture. But Beaune has much to recommend as it is a bustling, wealthy, and charming place of pilgrimage for art lovers, wine lovers, and gastronomes.
For the typical tourist, Beaune is a half-day town. The historic centre is charming and a pleasant place to walk around. The Hôtel-Dieu is a must-see but takes only about an hour or so. For the food and wine lover, there is not enough to time to spend in and around Beaune. Nearly every town along the Côte-d'Or has a fabulous restaurant and multiple places to taste wine. Even though the wine appellations in the Côte-d'Or are not far apart, the wines produced in relatively close appellations vary dramatically. The vineyards around Beaune form together with the historical centre of Dijon the world heritage site "Climats, terroirs of Burgundy".
Beaune makes a good base for exploring other small wine towns in the Côte-d'Or. It is centrally located about halfway along the wine route, and other famous nearby wine towns like Montrachet, Pommard, and Nuits-Saint-Georges are all a short drive from Beaune.
Beaune is easily accessible by the motorways A6, A31, and A36 and is 2.5 h from Paris and 45 min from Lyon.
There are regular trains departing from DIjon Gare to Beaune. It takes only 20 minutes and is one stop away; a one way ticket costs 8 euros (as of August 2016). Beaune has a direct link from Paris-Bercy by Regional Express train (3.5 hours). However, it is faster to take the TGV from Paris-Lyon to Dijon and connect to a local train (2.5 hours). There are occasionally services from Paris-Lyon directly to Beaune, without the need to transfer.
The nearest airports are in Dijon and Lyon.
A car is required to explore the surrounding wine towns in the Côte-d'Or.
phone: +33 3 80 24 45 00address: Rue de l'Hôtel-Dieu 21200 BeauneThe Hotel-Dieu features the Polyptych of the Apocalypse by Rogier van der Weyden and is a stunning example of Burgundian architecture.
VisioTrain 2000An open train with tyres that takes visitors on a tour around all the city's primary attractions. Audio commentary is played in the carriages with various languages available, including English and French. The full ride takes about 50 minutes, departing in front of the Hotel-Dieu at specific times throughout the day.
address: 8, hameau du Chateau 71150 RullyTravel agency specialized in bike and wine tours in Burgundy. Guided bike tours depart from Beaune every day. They also provide bicycle rentals.
There are many good restaurants in Beaune. Classic Burgundian dishes include beef bourguignon, coq au vin, oeufs meurette, escargot, and Époisses cheese.
Le Contyaddress: 5 rue Felix ZiemA good brasserie, with terrasse for the summer, and a caveau for the winter.
The local wines: the reds are all pinot noir and the whites are almost all chardonnay (the exception is Aligote, which is usually mixed with crème de cassis to make a kir).