Whether you're looking for a quick day trip from Paris or a longer stay, there are plenty of things to see and to do in Beaune. Here's a guide to some of the most popular tourist spots as well as some hidden gems and new experiences you should check out on your next trip!
1. Visit the Cathedral
The Cathedral of Beaune is a beautiful medieval church that dates back to the 12th century. Originally known as the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Beaune, it is considered one of the finest Romanesque churches in Burgundy.
It has a lavish facade that features a tympanum with impressive medallions and a Last Judgment sculpture by 15th-century Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden. Inside, you can admire the collection of tapestries that tell the story of the Virgin Mary and her family.
This church is a must-see for its architectural features as well as its priceless artefacts. It also houses a unique polyptych of the Last Judgement.
In addition to the Cathedral, you can also visit the Hospices de Beaune which served as a hospital for the sick and the poor for more than half a millennium. Founded in 1443, it is an icon of the Burgundy region. It has a wonderful mosaic-tiled roof and half-timbered buildings.
2. Visit the Hospices de Beaune
The Hospices de Beaune, built in 1443 by Chancellor Nicolas Rolin and his wife Guigone de Salins as a hospital for the poor, is a wonderful example of flamboyant 15th-century Gothic architecture. Its brightly colored tiled ceilings and skylights, as well as the polyptych altarpiece "The Last Judgement" by Rogier van der Weyden, are a reminder of its rich artistic heritage.
The Museum of the Hospices, housed in the original hospital building, is a treasure trove of period works and furnishings. Among them is the polyptych altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden, considered one of the finest masterpieces in French art.
Over the centuries, the hospital has been supported by donations of vineyards, and now owns over 60 hectares of wine land in Burgundy (85% Premier Crus and Grand Crus). Most notably, the Hospices de Beaune vines span the Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits, and also cover Maconnais, Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. The wines are sold at auction to raise funds for the hospital, maintenance of its historic buildings and other charitable causes.
3. Visit the Museum of the City of Beaune
Located in the heart of the walled city, this former hospital museum is a must-see attraction for those interested in heritage. It’s recognizable by its colorful tiled roof and the Polyptych of the Last Judgment, a masterpiece of Flemish master Rogier van der Weyden, which was painted between 1143-1452.
The building’s interior is a treasure trove of medieval and baroque art. There are impressive barrel-vaulting, multi-colored glaze-tiled roofs, and an 18th-century pharmacy with interesting medicinal displays.
Another must-visit in the town is the Musee du Vin de Bourgogne, which focuses on the history of winemaking in Burgundy. Housed in a timber-framed mansion, the building is one of the best hidden gems to discover when exploring Beaune. The Musee also features a dedicated wine bookshop and a wide selection of books on the topic.
4. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
Located in the heart of Beaune, the Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to spend a few hours. It features a large collection of paintings and artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries.
- The museum is also home to a beautiful garden. This is an ideal spot to enjoy a relaxing time in the shade.
- While there, take a stroll around the beautiful park which is lined with vineyards. It is also a lovely place for a picnic.
- Beaune is a charming town that is full of character. Its medieval architecture is well preserved and makes it a great place to explore.
- Beaune is the wine capital of Burgundy and it offers a variety of activities to do. You can walk through the city's ramparts, sip a wine from one of the many vineyards in the area, or visit a castle or abbey.