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Things to do in Burgundy

Things to do in  Burgundy

Welcome to Burgundy

A visit to central France's historic Burgundy region is all about vineyard-dotted hills, gourmet French food, and lots of wine. Known as one of the country's most prolific wine-making regions, Burgundy has 100 appellations—more than any other part of France—and there are 25 red grand cru wines produced there. However, most of the region's wines are, surprisingly, white, including the famous Chablis. With so many world-class wines to navigate, it helps to have a guide to make sense of it all on wine tours of Burgundy, many of which include samples of some of France's best vintages and stops at historic wine cellars. Private, small-group, and bike tours are available, too, with select options giving visitors special access to Burgundy's grand crus. In between winery visits, stroll the charming historic center of Beaune, the center of the Burgundy wine world; or pop into Dijon—yes, that's where the mustard gets its name—to browse shops selling regional gourmet foods such as mustard, kir, gougères, and gingerbread. Among the historic structures in Dijon are the 13th-century Church of Notre-Dame and the Dijon cathedral, with its 6th-century crypt. Then, once you've had your fill of on-the-ground attractions, take in the beautiful Burgundy scenery by hot-air balloon or helicopter for a truly spectacular view.

Top 10 attractions in Burgundy

#1
Dijon Ducal Palace (Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne)

Dijon Ducal Palace (Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne)

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One of Dijon’s most important historical landmarks (and included in the Historic Center of Dijon UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Dijon Ducal Palace was, for centuries, the seat of Burgundian power. Constructed in the 14th century, it is today host to a museum and government offices, and is open to the public.More
#2
Route des Grands Crus

Route des Grands Crus

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Winding its way through the Burgundy wine appellations, the scenic Route des Grands Crus (translated as Road of the Great Wines) is the region’s main tourist route, linking together more than 30 wine-growing villages and dotted with grand châteaux and historic wine caves. Possible by car or bike, the route follows mostly quiet country lanes through the heart of wine country, taking in all the wineries of the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune wine districts, famed for their pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.Highlights of the Route des Grands Crus include the striking Burgundy wine capital of Beaune, home to the flamboyant 15th-century Hospices de Beaune (Hôtel-Dieu); the grand Château Clos de Vougeot; and picturesque wine-making villages like Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey St Denis, Vosne-Romanée, and Chambolle-Musigny, where it’s possible to stop off for tastings and winery tours.More
#3
Hospices de Beaune

Hospices de Beaune

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Also known as Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune to locals, the Hospices de Beaune used to be an almshouse in the 15th century and was used as a hospital for the poor people of the region recovering from the Hundred Years’ War. It was actually used as a fully functioning hospital until the late 1970s; it now houses a museum and a major charity wine auction every November.The building itself is now regarded as one of the finest architectural gems in France; it was designed by the Flemish architect Jacques Wiscrère, which explains the striking resemblances to architecture typically found in the Flanders region of Belgium. The hospices’ façade is an exceptional example of Northern Renaissance architecture and features an abundance of panel painting, long half-timber galleries and, of course, the signature gabled roof and its multi-colored and geometric tiles. There are also plenty of ironworks, carvings, and tapestries inside the hospices’ walls.More
#4
Fallot Mustard Mill (La Moutarderie Fallot)

Fallot Mustard Mill (La Moutarderie Fallot)

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TheFallot Mustard Mill (La Moutarderie Fallot) is the first museum in France to be entirely dedicated to mustard, the renowned condiment that has become the pride and joy of the Burgundy region. Inside the museum, visitors will find a selection of modern and ancient tools that were used to create mustard and its derivative products, revealing many surprising trade secrets along the way. The multi-sensorial and interactive exhibits explain everything from the manufacturing process to the tasting criteria; visitors are even encouraged to test their own knowledge of mustard through different experiences. The museum offers two different guided visits: the first one, called Découvertes, is more traditional and features a mixture of commentary and videos in the museum. The second one, called Sensational Experiences, takes visitors inside the actual production facilities in order to get a better understanding of the process and the challenges the industry faces today. The real highlight, however, is the “mustard bar” inside the Espace Faillot gift shop, where visitors are encouraged to taste as many mustards as they like.Moutarderie Fallot has been in operation since 1840 and is now the only remaining artisanal mustard producer in Burgundy.More
#5
Clos de Vougeot

Clos de Vougeot

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The arresting Château du Clos de Vougeot lies at the heart of Burgundy’s wine country and makes a popular stop along the Route des Grands Crus tourist trail, offering a unique insight into the region’s wine-making history. Although the winery was originally built by monks in the 12th-century, the Renaissance-style château that stands today dates from the 16th-century and the complex includes the original kitchens, medieval vat-house and presses, and Cistercian cellar.The Clos de Vougeot no longer produces wine, but is preserved as a national monument and hosts regular events, exhibitions and concerts, as well as daily tours, which allow visitors to peek at the historic grape presses and stroll through the surrounding vineyards.More
#6
Chablis

Chablis

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The northernmost wine district in Burgundy is not only home to some of the most sought after vintages, it also happens to be staggeringly stunning. Nicknamed the “Golden Door of Burgundy,” the village of just 2,500 occupants has numerous remarkable edifices, including the City Hall, the Porte-Noël, St Martin’s Church and the Maison de l’Obédiencerie, a historic building in which ancient wooden press is hidden.But what most visitors truly seek in Chablis is the wine. The flowery, crisp white nectar is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes and isn’t quite as fruity as other white wines typically found in Burgundy. Monks from the Abbey of Pontigny, upon settling on the slopes surrounding the River Serein in the Dark Ages, realized that the microclimate they found themselves in could only bring novel flavors to their cultivation. Indeed, the chillier temperatures slightly stimulate the acidity of the grapes, which is only further enhanced by the stainless steel tanks used by local wine-makers, rather than traditional oak tanks.There are various vineyards and cellars open to visitors in Chablis, each worth a visit; the most popular one being William Fevre, where wine aficionados can taste different Chablis wines by the glass and eat regional delicacies in the atmospheric setting of the village’s historic hospital, surrounded by 51 hectares of vineyards.More
#7
Vézelay

Vézelay

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Nestled in the Cone Valley, halfway between Dijon and Paris, stands the idyllic village of Vézelay, a ninth-century hilltop fortress that is not only home to one of the most remarkable basilicas in France, but also a UNESCO-classified old town.Vézelay’s most famous attraction is indisputably the Romanesque Basilica of St Magdelene, an 11th-century marvel that contains the relics of its saint patron, Mary Magdalen. An exceptional place of pilgrimage if there ever was one, the basilica played a significant role in both the Second and Third Crusades back in the 12th century and is now one of the major starting points of the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela.In addition to outstanding architecture, Vézelay is also home to a prominent wine appellation–Bourgone Vézelay–that specializes in white wines of the Chardonnay and Muscadet variety. Most of the vines were planted by Christian monks back in the seventh century, which slowly grew into what is now a massive production spreading over 100 hillside acres of four villages (Asquins, Saint Père, Tharoiseau and Vézelay).More
#8
Rue des Forges

Rue des Forges

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One of the oldest and most evocative streets in Dijon, the picturesque Rue des Forges is located in the city’s historical center. Featuring several hôtels particuliers (historical manor homes), the street also wends its way past the Palace of the Dukes and Burgundy States and connects to the verdant Square des Ducs.More
#9
Dijon Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Benignus of Dijon)

Dijon Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Benignus of Dijon)

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In Dijon, west of the Ducal palace, looms the twin-towered Dijon Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Benignus of Dijon). This large, Gothic church is the current seat of the Archbishopric of Dijon, as well as a French national monument. Originally a Benedictine abbey, the cathedral is the latest iteration of a series of reconstructions that have occurred over the past 1,500 years.The cathedral (as well as its previous incarnations) sits upon the alleged resting place of St. Benignus of Dijon, a 3rd-century martyr known for spreading the Christian gospel throughout Gaul. While he was successful in his proselytizing, he was eventually tried, convicted and executed by the Roman authorities. His grave was originally adorned with pagan markings so as to keep his persecutors from further desecrating his memory.Over the centuries, the original basilica was razed and replaced with a Romanesque cathedral incorporating two-stories of churches (one underground, surrounding the sarcophagus in the crypt) and a tri-level rotunda. In the late 13th century, the structure, already undermined by a fire in 1137, saw irreparable damage when its crossing tower collapsed and ruined the upper church and much of the one underground. In 1325, the current Gothic-influenced building was completed and consecrated.Today, in addition to its status as a national monument, the church’s abbey serves as a museum. The exhibits here primarily feature Roman and medieval artifacts.More
#10
Hôtel de Vogüé

Hôtel de Vogüé

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One of Dijon’s loveliest historical landmarks, the Hôtel de Vogüé dates to the 17th century and was built as a hôtel particulier—a luxurious manor house—for Etienne Bouhier, an adviser to the Parliament of Burgundy. The building is renowned for its stone carvings, colorful roof tiles, grand courtyard, and other ornamental flourishes.More

Top activities in Burgundy

Private Full Day Tour Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Private vineyard and wine experience

Private vineyard and wine experience

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From
$232.34
per group
Private guided tour - Dijon - 2h

Private guided tour - Dijon - 2h

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From
$186.83
per group

Recent reviews from experiences in Burgundy

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Book this tour for burgundy
HayatB, Sep 2020
Small-Group Full-Day Tour of Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune Vineyards and Beaune Historical District
Really enjoyed trying over 12 different wines and getting to see a bit of Beaune for lunch, as well as seeing many different parts of the burgundy region.
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What a great tour. Paul Chevreaux...
chicaroth, Jun 2018
Burgundy Grand Crus Route Day Tour with 10 Wines Tastings in Family Domains
I felt I was able to see the best that Burgundy has to offer.
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This tour was absolutely wonderful...
Jaclyn W, Jun 2018
Small-Group Burgundy Tour with Wine Tastings from Dijon
Her english was flawless and we learned SO MUCH about wine and the burgundy region.
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Very Informative and Fun Wine Tour
terryrose50, Nov 2019
Beaune Small-Group Day Tour including Wine Tastings and Lunch
He carefully chose three wineries for us to visit, each unique.
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Magical Tour of Burgandy
larrybochat, Oct 2019
Full-day Private Burgundy Wine Route Tour from Beaune
If you are interested in Burgundian wines and would like to see some of the great wineries of the region this tour is for you.
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What a memorable day in Beaune! 11 July 2019
LawrenceW742, Aug 2019
Dijon Small-Group Day Tour including Wine Tastings and Lunch
We are longing to go back to Burgundy again and hope to see Matt again for another terrific tour.
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Burgundy wines
Ronald M, Oct 2018
Small-Group Burgundy Tour with Wine Tastings from Dijon
The trip was small group and thus all were able to interact with the guide in both French and English.
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This is the absolute best way to...
Anna P, Mar 2018
Burgundy Bike Tour with Wine Tasting from Beaune
We're already planning to come back next fall to ride through the vineyards when they change color!
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