Burgundy Travel Guide

Written by on January 2, 2018 in Burgundy

Burgundy Canal snaking its way to Chateauneuf-en-Auxois village

Burgundy has it all: glorious countryside, vineyards, amazing gastronomy, a fabulous history, picturesque villages, awesome towns, the Burgundy Canal and an incredible capital city – Dijon.

Wine, chateaux, gastronomy!

Of the hundreds of reasons Burgundy, or to give it its French name Bourgogne, will tempt you to visit again and again – these three stand out. The wonderful wines, some of the best in the world. The plethora of delicious cheeses. And, the astonishingly beautiful chateaux. There are more chateaux in this region than any other in France.

And, I haven’t even mentioned the diversity of the local landscape, the chance to stay in a fabulous chateau, amazing heritage, picturesque villages, the waterways, the peacefulness of the countryside…

Dijon Capital of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

medieval buildings in Dijon town

The Dukes of Burgundy were once more powerful than the royal family of France. Their footprint in Dijon is incredible. Hugely wealthy, the Dukes of Burgundy were patrons of the arts and spent fortunes on making Dijon as beautiful as possible. An enormous palace, wide open squares, medieval streets with gorgeous mansions – their legacy is on every corner.

Wander round Dijon town and take in the sights of this historic town that bears so many traces of its illustrious and very prosperous past. Pop into a modern clothes shop and discover an ancient well left over from the 15th Century. Dip down an alleyway and find a hidden medieval house that looks like it was built yesterday.

The unique and free to enter Museum of Burgundy Life in Dijon has an eclectic and wonderful mix of objects. The recreations of shops and their contents from the 19th and early 20th Centuries are truly superb.

Dine out in Dijon

Rest your feet and people watch at Place Francois Rude, encircled by cafés and bars whose tables spill onto the pedestrianised square. A lively place named after the Dijon-born sculptor of “La Marseilleise” which graces the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The locals call it Place du Bareuzai thanks to the statue of a naked man treading grapes. The name means  ”red stockings” (from bas rosé) which the winegrowers had after crushing grapes with their feet

There’s a huge choice of places to eat in Dijon. I really love Les Oenophiles restaurant for its 15th century pigeonnier, 17th century dining room, 100% home cooked food and incredible tasting boeuf bourguignon, the region’s signature dish.

The Perfect day in Dijon

Dijon market

Start at the gorgeous market with its Eiffel designed architecture, the great man and designer of the famous tower in Paris was born in this town. Burgundians love their food and in this market you will really see, smell and taste the love that goes into preparing it. From bread with little heart shaped ends to snail cake and divine chocolate nibbles. There are amazing cheese such as Epoisses produced in a little village of the same name. Perfect washed down with locally produced wine such as Chablis. There is a café in the centre of the market that simply oozes joie de vivre as happy customers sit and chat… and eat.

Afterwards enjoy coffee in the square with a nibble on a nonette, the local gingerbread cake. Then it’s time to browse the second hand book stalls, lunch in the Place Francois Rude and then hop on the tram to Beaune which is slower than taking the train but a fun and charming route.

Beautiful Beaune the winetastic town

Wine tasting in Beaune, home of the famous and really quite sensational Hospices de Beaune. It’s a pretty town where they take their wine seriously. When one of the locals discovered that robbers had been tunnelling from her wine cellar into the local bank, she called the robbers “idiots” for ignoring her wine collection which she felt was far more worthy than the gold or money in the bank! The Hospices de Beaune was a cutting edge hospital in the 1400s and incredibly parts of it stayed open until the 1990s. It is a fascinating place to visit and you will never forget the site of that magnificent multi-coloured tiled roof.  (About 20 mins by train from Dijon, or scenic route by tram about one hour 20 mins).

Great activities for families in Burgundy

  • Enjoy a picnic along the famous Burgundy canal
  • Cycle – there are 800 km of cycle routes and 5 major routes.
  • A must-see is the Chateau of Guedelon, Yonnne, a medieval castle being built in the 21st Century. (Open March – November).

Don’t miss

Chateauneuf- en-Auxois is a fairy-tale looking picture perfect hill top Burgundian country town. It overlooks the Burgundy Canal and is officially one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France”. A great place to spend a relaxing day chilling out though there is not a lot to do other than wander, wonder and eat – the views alone are worth the detour.

Take a tour

Enjoy a brilliant barge holiday on the famous Burgundy Canal taking in beautiful sights, fabulous villages, wine tasting, gourmet meals and more. We love the barge Saroche run by Jason and Dawn who are fabulous hosts and show you France as it should be seen. Details: Charterbarge.com

Related Articles

3 Fabulous chateau hotels in Burgundy

Chateau Vault de Lugny, Yonne Burgundy | A hotel fit for royalty Channel your inner King and Queen at this stunning moated chateau hotel – you can even book the room once reserved for kings. Built between the 13th and 17th centuries the chateau Vault de Lugny oozes charm and history. A roaring open fire […]

Continue Reading

Chateau de Sully, Saone-et-Loire Burgundy

Madame de Sévigné, a 17th century aristocrat who is remembered thanks to her fabulous letter writing skills, called the courtyard of the Chateau de Sully “the most beautiful in France”. She wasn’t wrong, it is a huge space, perfect for partying aristos and surrounded by the walls of the fabulous castle. The Chateau de Sully […]

Continue Reading

Chateau d’Ancy-le-Franc Yonne Burgundy

The Chateau d’Ancy-le-Franc was built in the Renaissance style in the middle of 123 acres of parkland in Yonne, the heart of Burgundy. It is one of the first French castles to have been built to a design that was set out on paper. Before then, castles tended to be designed as they went along. […]

Continue Reading

Chateau de Germolles, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy

The ancient chateau de Germolles in Burgundy is really quite extraordinary. Not just for its gorgeous good looks and its wonderful history but because in one of the rooms the original wall decoration dating to the 14th century is still intact and very beautiful. The best preserved residence of the Dukes of Burgundy The Chateau […]

Continue Reading

Biking in Burgundy, along the famous EuroVelo 6

The long-distance cycling route, EuroVelo 6, runs 3,653 km from the Black Sea to the Atlantic, following the course of Europe’s major rivers. Rupert Parker gets on his bike and tries a short stretch along the Saône through Southern Burgundy. EuroVelo 6 from Dole As I’m setting out, the lady from the B&B Maison Curie […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.