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Top 8 free activities in Beaune

Beaune : unusual side for free

Visit Beaune for free, off the beaten track!

I’d like to offer you the most pleasant way to discover Beaune: for free 😉. Follow me through our beautiful town of cobbled streets, stone houses, multicolored roofs and surprising secrets hidden around the bend of an alley.

Starting point: our Tourist Office, 6, Boulevard Perpreuil (free first stop, where warm smiles and valuable information welcome you)

On the program...

01. The Maison des Climats

Our reception office at 6 Boulevard de Perpreuil, in Beaune, is home to the Maison des Climats, and don’t get me started on Burgundian meteorology! Here, a Climat – from the Greek Klima-atos (the inclination) – is quite simply a plot of vines, whose renowned wine is consumed come rain, shine or snow! Open since 2015, the exhibition features a 9-meter model of the vineyard in augmented reality thanks to touch-screen tablets, explanatory panels and a video presentation: a very welcome place to understand the specificity of our terroirs, and all of course entirely free of charge!

2. La Grande Vadrouille fresco

With my brain full and my taste buds tantalized, I continue my day’s stroll in the direction of the Saint Jean rampart, accessible in particular from Rue d’Alsace. The town, once completely fortified, still has a large part of its outer walls, giving it such an intimate and mysterious feel. I arrive at Place du Docteur Jorrot, where there is a commemorative painting in honor of Gérard Oury’s celebrated film La Grande Vadrouille.

To immerse yourself in the adventure of the Grande Vadrouille, you’ll need to visit the Musée de l’Hôtel-Dieu – Hospices de Beaune and head to Meursault to admire the Kommandantur, now the town hall.

3. The courtyard of the Hôtel des Ducs de Bourgogne

Burgundy Wine Museum

Without my bike, but with my shoes (to say with the accent!), I ride up rue des Tonneliers and enter the courtyard of Hôtel Boussard de la Chapelle, a shady, tree-lined little haven of peace, ideal for a little moment of relaxation! A perfect spot for a picnic.

A stone’s throw from this garden, the courtyard of the Musée du Vin houses a collection of wine presses and the typical facades of this former hotel of the Dukes of Burgundy.

If you’d like to learn more about Burgundy’s wine-making techniques, treat yourself to a visit to the Musée du Vin.

4. Notre-Dame Collegiate Church

Stop off at Notre-Dame Basilica to admire the tapestries depicting the Life of the Virgin Mary. You can admire them in summer, and even book a tour with one of our enthusiastic guides to find out more.

5. The courtyard of the Gaspard Monge Library

I continue along the cobbled streets to the Gaspard Monge municipal library, formerly the Couvent des Minimes. Its courtyard and fish pond invite meditation and reflection, no doubt aided a little by the statue of Etienne-Jules Marey, inventor of chronophotography and precursor of cinema, erected a few meters away on the square.

6. Square des Lions

My bucolic break has whetted my appetite. I set off again, stopping almost immediately at the Square des Lions. The place is ideal for picnics on the go on the stone or wooden benches. It’s also the ideal spot for a game of pétanque with friends. For the more romantic, you’ll catch a glimpse of lovers snogging.

I then head up Avenue du Parc, along the river.

7. Bouzaize Park

I arrive slowly by a beautiful shady alley at the Parc de la Bouzaize. La Bouzaize is that little river beside which I quietly set my footsteps. The park is an ideal place for families, with its rowing boat hire in fine weather, carousel and playground. I can simply enjoy the scenery, the coolness under the trees, the spectacle of geese teasing over-curious passers-by, or that of clumsy ducklings in spring.

When I’m feeling brave, the vineyard paths right next door, are conducive to short hikes (including path number 12 marked in yellow).

8. The terrace of the Cité des Climats et vins de Bourgogne

As the late afternoon approaches, I head back towards the city center. I take the opportunity to do a little window-shopping. I arrive at Place Carnot, where I can catch the shuttle bus that takes me to la Cité des Climats et vins de Bourgogne. The tour is not free (and well worth it). But today, my challenge was to visit Beaune without spending any money. So what can I do at this new Cité des Climats without opening my wallet?

Well, quite simply, I can go to thea terrace on the 5th floor of this magnificent building and admire the view over the vineyards of the Côte and Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. At the end of the summer, I’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful light of the setting sun, hand in hand with my lover.

Hoping he’ll take me to one of the best restaurants in Beaune or the surrounding area to celebrate this economic day.

But my curiosity is whetted, I’ll be back tomorrow morning with the kids to do the Cité tour route. There are specially-designed areas so that children too can get acquainted with the Climates of Burgundy. As for my husband, he can always learn about oenology while waiting for us at the Ecole des Vins.

I’m already planning a next weekend when this time he’ll take the kids to Beaune Côté Plage, and it’ll be my turn to discover the wines of Burgundy from the inside. I’ve spotted a “Food and Wine pairing” tasting workshop at Château de la Crée, in Santenay, which would be just right for me.

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