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A perfect weekend in Beaune

Your itinerary for a perfect weekend in Beaune, Burgundy's wine capital.

For wine lovers worldwide, planning a trip to Beaune is like a dream come true. Quaint cafés, sun-drenched terrasses, a bustling weekend market, and wine-soaked meals all the day long – what more could you want? In terms of discovering the city itself, a weekend’s worth of time is plenty – however, despite its small size, knowing where to go is key. Check out our weekend guide to Beaune for all of the top spots (industry and winemaker approved) for an unforgettable stay, here.


Friday

Maison du Colombier. Credit: Georg Berg / Alamy Stock Photo

Evening

Arriving in Beaune from Paris takes approximately 3 ½ hours by car or 2h15 to 3h35 by train, depending on which line (fast TGV or local TER) is used. Both means have their pros and cons. Having a car on hand is essential for doing visits throughout the region, so renting one from Paris may be the most convenient, however, taking the train down and renting directly in Beaune is also an option.

Start the evening with a bottle of wine or by-the-glass pours and apéro-essential small plates at Maison du Colombier (1 Rue Charles Cloutier, 21200 Beaune). The bar’s quaint ambiance and bible-like wine list—Burgundy heavy, of course—is loaded with classics and up-and-comers alike, as well as a good amount of trophy bottles for those looking to splurge. Despite its epic wine selection, Maison du Colombier is better known for its drink than its food. Expect small bites and tapas perfect for pre-dinner snacking.

Head to dinner at Caves Madeleine (22 Rue du Faubourg Madeleine, 21200 Beaune), arguably the best restaurant in Beaune. Located on the, albeit, small, limits of the city’s main borders, the restaurant’s quaint space and poster-laden walls offer a homey and warming ambiance. Expect hearty, seasonal cuisine and classic French dishes served up alongside a 500-reference long wine list. Reservations are recommended.

Post-dinner, take the 10-minute walk over to La Dilettante (11 Rue du Faubourg Bretonnière, 21200 Beaune), Beaune’s infamous laid-back wine bar with an excellent selection of both traditional and natural wines. The food offerings are small yet substantial and include croque monsieurs, local cheese plates, and salads, though the star of the show is really the wine here – and don’t be surprised to bump shoulders with local young winemakers late into the evening.


Saturday

Musée du Vin. Credit: Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo

Morning

Start the day with coffee and delectable pastries—or heartier breakfast of eggs, quiches, or other bread-heavy favourites—at l’Imprimerie (12 Rue Colbert, 21200 Beaune), located just outside of the city’s limits (though certainly walkable from anywhere in town). This relatively new-to-the-scene spot operates as a café, chambre d’hôtes, and coworking space alike, and includes both ample outdoor seating and cozy indoor ambiances. Locals can agree that this is undeniably where to get the best coffee in Beaune today.

Once caffeinated, hitting the Beaune Saturday Market is an absolute must. Scour the selections of fresh produce, pungent cheeses, and meat products indoors, then peruse the numerous streets lined with antique goods, which include kitchenware, vintage wine posters, and a number of other knick-knacks. Similar to La Dilettante, don’t be surprised to run into winemakers here – countless locals in and around Beaune head to the market on Saturday mornings in search of their weekly fresh goods.

Afternoon

Although there are plenty of terrasses to lunch on in Beaune, for a nature-inspired touch of peace and quiet, we recommend heading to Parc de la Bouzaize, located just outside (though walkable from) the city’s limits. Grab a blanket, load up a picnic basket with your market finds, and soak up the sun settled alongside the banks of the park’s charming lake – and don’t forget the wine! While there are countless places to stock up on bottles in Beaune, we’re particularly fond of Avintures (20 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Nicolas, 21200 Beaune). This hole-in-the-wall gem on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Nicolas focuses on artisanal wines from small, local producers, with an emphasis on low-intervention winemaking and organically-farmed fruit. Wines from other regions outside of Burgundy are also available.

For a late-afternoon activity—and a much needed break from drinking—head for a quick visit to the Musée du Vin, conveniently located in the centre of the city. Brush up on the history and climats of Burgundy, as well as the intricacies of viticulture and vinification as a whole. Although frequently overlooked, this hidden gem spot is not to be missed.

Evening

Head for dinner—and possibly a late evening—at Le Comptoir des Tontons (22 Rue du Faubourg Madeleine, 21200 Beaune), another local watering hole beloved by industry folk and local dwellers alike. Easy-to-share tapas and larger plates are crafted from locally-sourced and organically-farmed products, served up alongside a hefty selection of wines sourced from all over France. Come for the wine, stay for the ambiance, and definitely plan for a return visit.

Should Tontons actually shutter its doors at its 10:30 PM closing time, head to the vibrant Le Bout du Monde (7 Rue du Faubourg Madeleine, 21200 Beaune) for a sastiating last bottle. With a closing time of 1 AM, this late-night hotspot is ideal for ending the night on a high note. Expect a cozy ambiance of stone walls, ample couch seating, and over 1,500 wines available at any given time, including over 100 Champagne references.


Sunday

Credit: Per Karlsson, BKWine 2 / Alamy Stock Photo

Morning

Although Sundays are relatively sleepy in most French cities, there are still plenty of activities to partake in in Beaune. Start the morning with a coffee on one of the many terrasses on Place Carnot, then head to Athenaeum (5 Rue de l’Hôtel Dieu, 21200 Beaune) for all of your paper good needs. If you’re familiar with the infamous horizontal Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune posters that line retail shops, wine bars, and wine-focused establishments worldwide, this is exactly where they came from – though rather than pay and arm and a leg for international shipping, stock up in person at the source (a set of both maps only costs 46€!) In addition to maps galore, Athenaeum is an equally incredible source for food and wine books, both in French and English, as well as French cookware, wine accessories, miscellaneous gifts and more.

Afternoon

No trip to Beaune is complete without a visit to the famed Hospices de Beaune (2 Rue de l’Hôtel Dieu, 21200 Beaune). Also referred to as Hôtel-Dieu, this breathtaking building operated as a former charity establishment to care for the poor. Founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin and Guigone de Salins, this breathtaking establishment began operating as a charity wine auction house in 1859, a tradition of which is still upheld today. Additionally, the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune owns 61 hectares of donated vines around the region, the majority of which are located in premier and grand cru designations. 45 barrels of wine are produced and auctioned off from these sites annually.


A Note on Wine Tasting / Winery Visits

Although the above itinerary promises to keep you busy, at least one or two winery visits while in Burgundy is a must. It’s important to note that many of the region’s bigger names (think Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, etc.) don’t accept visitors. Rather than rolling up to a winery and pressing your luck, calling or emailing in advance to schedule an appointment (or attempt to do so) is always recommended. Accessing wineries in the Côte de Nuits is certainly doable, though having a car is recommended. Cycling is also an option, and a scenic ride through the vineyards promises an unforgettable experience. For wine tastings in the city centre of Beaune, consider bigger names such as Albert Bichot and Bouchard Ainé & Fils. Reservations are still recommended.


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