A Day in Beaune, France
Blog Tour: Roaming through France
Welcome back everyone! Over the past two weeks, I was traveling through Japan and unplugged from blogging (what?!). Now that I am back, I am so excited to share my last blog post on France with you all!
To summarize, my trip to France started in Paris. My friend Courtney and I then made our way to Alsace, making a pit stop in Reims for a day. After spending a couple days in Alsace, we took the TGV train down to the South of France where we explored the lavender fields and small towns of Provence. After spending a few days in Provence, we then made our way back up to Paris where we would fly home. On our way from Provence to Paris, we made another great pit stop in the beautiful town of Beaune (pronounced as Boon).
The city of Beaune is a walled city located in the heart of the Burgundy winemaking region. Known as one of the most beautiful cities in France, Beaune is a cobbled town known for an annual wine auction that is held at the famous Hôtel-Dieu (Hospices de Beaune). It is the perfect city to wander through, enjoy some of the best wine and even get a taste of delicious mustard, a regional delicacy!
Today, discover everything you could do during a lovely day trip to Beaune.
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Since Courtney and I were coming from Provence, we took the TGV from Avignon Centre at 7:40am and took it all the way up to Gare de Beaune with only one stop in Nimes. Since we were on a high-speed train, it was only a 3.5-hour journey between Avignon and Beaune. On the way back to Paris, the train ride was only 2 hours.
Once you are in Beaune, you will realize that it is small enough to walk around in. If you need to, there are cabs you can use to also get around and you could always rent a bike too.
Where to Store Your Luggage:
Since Beaune was our pit stop from Avignon to Paris, we had to bring our luggage with us. If you haven’t had a chance to read my blog post on my day in Reims, my friend Courtney and I used Nannybag to store our luggage in a safe place while we explored the city. Overall, we had a great experience, so we decided to use it again in Beaune!
A brief rundown of Nannybag is that it allows travelers worldwide to store their luggage and bags in shops and hotels within various cities as they explore. Nannybag’s services run 24/7 and all you have to do is go to the website, type which city you will be in and how long you will be exploring. Nannybag will then pull up a map and show where you could drop your luggage off. It is pretty inexpensive to use Nannybag’s services and it is insured against theft, loss and breakage.
After we arrived in Beaune, we dropped our luggage off at Hôtel de France, across from the train station. Just like I mentioned in my Reims blog post, the hotel staff had a room where they stored and locked up the luggage. In addition, they also provided us with a receipt in case anything happened (it is rare if anything does).
What to do in Beaune?
Tour the Hôtel-Dieu Museum:
Known as one of the most iconic spots in Beaune, Hôtel-Dieu is recognized by its colorful and geometric-patterned tile roof and medieval architecture.
Dating back to 1443, Hôtel-Dieu was a hospital and almshouse that was ordered by the Duke of Burgundy, Nicolas Rolin. Nowadays, it is a museum that showcases impressive works of historical art such as “The Last Judgement” altarpiece by Van der Weyden.
In addition, on the third Sunday in November, the famous charity wine auction also takes place at Hôtel-Dieu. It is here where Burgundy’s most important vinters (wine makers) will be seen. To follow the auction, there is also a festival that offers a fun weekend of wine tasting!
I highly recommend paying a visit to this wonderful place. The architecture is absolutely amazing! Also, please make sure you book your tickets to the museum in advance through TripAdvisor.
Visit the Beaune Cathedral:
Located in the heart of Beaune is the stunning 12th century Basilique Notre-Dame de Beaune. This wonderful Gothic cathedral features Romanesque wonders and is known for its 15-century tapestries that beautifully illustrate the life of the Virgin Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ.
One of my favorite features of this cathedral was the colorful stained glass!
Get Lost in a Fairytale:
This wonderful capital of Burgundy is a real life fairytale. From the cobblestone streets to the castle-like architecture, you will be just as amazed as I was while I was experiencing this enchanting town.
As you wander through Beaune, you could explore all of the city’s different clothing and home décor stores, wine cellars, mustard shops and so much more. In addition, you could also find some hidden gems such as this beautiful blue door below!
Enjoy a Sandwich or Beverage in the Beautiful Place de la Halle:
Just like every other city and town in Paris, Beaune offers a beautiful square (place) that makes it perfect to relax and enjoy a delicious meal or drink. In the Place de la Halle, you can find beautifully decorated window displays, outdoor cafés featuring a warm and welcoming ambiance, a lovely carousel and old world architecture. It is the perfect place!
In addition, the Place de la Halle offers a great farmer’s market during the weekends! Locals rave about the local cheese, meat, fruits and vegetables, baked goods and wine being sold from the local farmers in Burgundy.
I truly enjoyed my time in the Place de la Halle. Courtney and I found a cute outdoor café called Bar à Vins. It was here where we met an older Australian couple and had a lovely conversation with them. I also had my first sandwich au jambon (ham sandwich) on a French baguette. It was awesome!
Visit a Wine Cellar and Do a Tasting in a Cave:
Since Burgundy is one of the largest wine producing regions in France, you cannot visit Beaune without going to a winery!
Beaune wine typically consists of both reds and whites (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the most popular in this region). One of the perfect places to taste this high quality wine is at Patriarche Père et Fils, located right in the main area of the city. Patriarche is a family-owned business that plays a major role in Burgundy wine tourism.
The goal of this amazing winery is to make quality wines accessible to all, for sharing unique moments of discovery and taste sensations for all occasions, whether they are out-of-the-ordinary, celebratory or everyday events… Well, I just want to let you all know that yes, this wine tasting was definitely a unique experience and it was out-of-the-ordinary because we got to celebrate life and do the tasting in the actual cave itself!
When we first arrived at Patriarche, we were given an old medieval-style wine glass to do the tasting and also keep as a souvenir. As we made our way into the caves (cellars), we were able to get a tour of the wine producing process and were also provided with a brief history lesson on the winery. As we moved into each cave, there was stations set up to taste the variety of different wines. We tasted a bunch of delicious white, red, rosé and sparkling wine. It was amazing! To top it off, we even got to taste some of Patriarche’s liquors as we exited the caves. I highly recommend making your way here when you go to Beaune, the employees of Patriarche make it an exciting experience for all!
In addition to wine tasting at Patriarche, you could also do a bike tour through the vineyards outside of the city, participate in a food and wine walking tour plus so much more. TripAdvisor offers different types of wine packages for you to enjoy during your time in Beaune or the region of Burgundy.
Taste some Incredible Mustard:
Another wonderful city located in Burgundy, near Beaune, is Dijon. As most of you know, Dijon is also a famous mustard brand that is regularly used with American BBQ food. Well, this spice (and condiment) that is enjoyed by many people, was first grown in the Burgundy region and was seen regularly at the Dukes of Burgundy’s dinner table back in the Middle Ages.
Since mustard continues to be a popular staple in the region, the city of Beaune offers tastings for people to enjoy. If you are mustard fan, I highly recommend this!
Feel Like Royalty at a Local Castle:
One thing to note about Burgundy is that it was a prime hotspot during the medieval era. Because of that, there are several castles that you could visit in the area.
If you have the time, venture outside the walls of Beaune and discover the châteaux and abbeys of the region. The main castles to visit are the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc, Château de Coraboeuf, Château de Savigny-les-Beaune, Fontenay Abbey, Château de la Rochepot, Cîteaux Abbey and Château de Germolles. They are all so magical!
I hope you all enjoyed reading about my wonderful day in Beaune and discovering what you could do in this enchanting city. If you are traveling throughout France, I highly recommend you visit Beaune! You will definitely make lasting memories no matter what you do.
If you have any questions about my time in Beaune or my trip to France in general, please feel free to email me at TAYLORL.DEER@gmail.com , contact me via social media or leave a comment below.
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