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13 of the Best Things to Do in Burgundy, France

13 Best things to do in Burgundy, France

Burgundy, France is a truly special area that completely captivated me. It is a gorgeous region filled with vineyards, canals, rivers, medieval villages, and fantastic food. I spent the month of November exploring this amazing place and really can’t wait to go back. Burgundy is filled with amazing things to do and eat. Below you will find my favorite experiences from my time in Burgundy, France. So keep reading for the 13 best things to do in Burgundy, France.

At Pragmatic Travelers, we only recommend experiences, destinations, and food that we ACTUALLY tried and loved. We stand by what we enjoyed and offer it straight up and practically. Happy travels!

Burgundy in November

I wrote an entire post on Burgundy in November because it was amazing BUT that time of year has some definite drawbacks. The lack of crowds and feeling like a local completely won me over. However, the weather was miserable. Think, mostly gray skies and rain. So if you are considering visiting in November check out my post to see if it is the right fit for you!

Should you visit Burgundy, France in November? Click here for my full and honest opinion. 

13 Best Things to do in Burgundy, France
Beautiful Meursault!

Best Places to Stay in Burgundy, France

Since we went in November, I wanted to stay in larger towns and cities in order to avoid seasonal closures. This allowed for easier access to restaurants and attractions. We also stayed in three different locations as the Burgundy region is large and we wanted to get the most out of our trip. We stayed at Airbnb’s and loved the ones we stayed at. I highly recommend each location.

Beaune-Amazing Location

We stayed in this amazing vacation rental through It is literally across the street from Hospices de Beaune. You can see the nightly projects on the exterior walls of the apartment. Everything is a close walk and there is a free parking lot just down the road from the apartment. The space was incredibly clean, cozy, and spacious. I highly, highly recommend this location.

Dijon-Cozy Comfort Close to the Market

This Airbnb is a small but cozy apartment in the heart of Dijon. It is on a charming and gorgeous pedestrian-only street surrounded by timbered medieval buildings. There is a great bakery next to the entrance of the apartment. This is the ideal location for one or two people to stay and explore this amazing city. Please note that there are several flights of narrow stairs to get to the apartment with no elevator.

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France
The amazing pedestrian area in front of the Airbnb.

Auxerre-Beautiful Apartment in City Center

This is one of my favorite Airbnbs I have stayed in. It is so beautiful and comfortable. And arguably, the cleanest Airbnb I have ever stayed in. The utensil drawer was spotless. It has easy, free parking just outside of the apartment building. There is an elevator to this fourth-floor apartment. I highly, highly recommend this location.

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France
I loved my Airbnb in Auxerre. The cleanest I have ever stayed in!

How to get around Burgundy, France

You 100% need to rent a car. Burgundy, France is a large region in the country. Yes, there are trains but to appreciate the full beauty of Burgundy you need a car. Once we arrived, we rarely drove on a highway. It was all beautiful side roads. I loved every second. It also made it incredibly easy to get to small villages and off-the-beaten-path attractions. I would not skip renting a car here. It made everything so much better and easier.

If you are big into biking, this is the ideal location. You can bike along canals and there is a wonderful bike route through small villages. The weather was too poor for us to enjoy this but here is some information if you are interested.

Map of Attractions in Burgundy, France

13 of the Best Things to do in Burgundy, France

Eat all of the FOOD

Full transparency. I didn’t go to Burgundy for the wine. I went for the food. This region is known for being a foodie destination. It is also known for having been the origin of some of France’s most iconic food. I cannot say enough about the food I enjoyed in Burgundy. I can’t think of a single meal that was poor. The beef bourguignon was bloody fantastic. It was such the highlight of the trip. Here are the must try items in Burgundy.

  • Beef Bourguignon
  • Ouefs en Meurette
  • Coq au Vin
  • Poulet de Bresse
  • Escargot
  • Anything with cassis
  • Regional cheeses (Epoisses, Charolais)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Poires au Vin et Cassis
  • Anis de Flavigny
  • Gingerbread from Mulot et Petitjean

Take a Drive

Avoiding any major highway is a must in Burgundy! The drive between different towns was an absolute pleasure. We crisscrossed small towns, vineyards, farmland, canals, rivers, etc. It was just so beautiful even in gray November. Rent a car and get lost in Burgundy.

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France.
This is how beautiful it is to drive around Burgundy!

Visit Different Small Villages and Towns

After the food, the small villages and towns are why I wanted to explore Burgundy. Each town we visited was stunningly beautiful, charming, historic, and just plain wonderful. It was the highlight of the trip! I loved driving to each town. This, in my opinion, is the real beauty of Burgundy. Here are my absolute favorite places we visited.

  • Cluny: Charming village with Cluny Abbey being a must-visit. During its heyday (1100), it was the largest church in the world. Most of the abbey no longer exists but there is still plenty to see and tours to take part of. This town was a pleasure to walk through
  • Meursault: I am in love with this village. The town hall is gorgeous with its colorful tile roof. The village is a pure joy to walk around. It is charming and just everything you want a small French village to be. It is also a must-visit for wine. It produces almost entirely white wines for Chardonnay. Plus it has a vineyard to go cycling through. A must-visit while touring Burgundy.
  • Chateauneuf-en-Auxois: This is one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was just so stunning to explore. You can see it as you drive to it as it sits on a hill. There is plenty of signage to find parking. Then just enjoy a stroll through the small lanes and admire the beautiful ancient houses from the Middle Ages. There is an amazing medieval fortress in town to visit. This was just an amazing place to visit and you need to go there.
  • Nuits-Saint-Georges: Another beautiful town in Burgundy. This was one of my favorite stops in Burgundy. The town center is adorable with plenty of shops and restaurants. There are great vineyards and wines to try. Like Louis Bouillot! You can also visit Le Cassissium which is perfect if you are a big fan of cassis! We did this. The tour was interesting and the tasting was even better!
  • Flavigny-sur-Ozerain: This small medieval town is an absolute must-visit while in Burgundy. You must explore the ancient buildings with half-timbered houses. It is just dreamy. Check out Flavigny Abbey. Make sure to walk behind the abbey for gorgeous sweeping views of the area. Absolute a must-visit!
  • Noyers: Noyers is lined with cobble streets and half-timbered houses. This is an incredibly well-preserved medieval village. It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France.
  • Semur-en-Auxois: Another village that is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Stunning village. The cobbled streets, towers, half-timbered houses, red roofs, ancient buildings, and ample restaurants-each element will just charm you. Not to mention it is perfect for taking photos. Make sure to walk along the ramparts and venture down to the bridge, Pont Joly. This has amazing views looking back up to the village. A must-visit.
  • Chablis: We stopped in this lovely small town on a driving day. There had several options for restaurants. The architecture is just beautiful to wander along. Make sure to walk along the river.
13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France
Gorgeous Semur-en-Auxois!

Visit Fontenay Abbey

Fontenay Abbey is a UNESCO site in Burgundy that was built in 1118. It is the oldest and most well-preserved Cistercian Abbeys in the world. The architecture is renowned for its simplicity. The buildings are constructed in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. It is truly jaw-dropping to walk around. The grounds are beautiful and the abbey is massive! We went in November and we were the only people there. It was amazing. I highly recommend that you visit this abbey.

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France
Fontenay Abbey is a must visit.

Spend a Day in Beaune

Beaune is a special place to spend some time. I spent a few days exploring this charming town and just loved every second of it. I honestly didn’t want to leave and regret not having spent more time there. I know I keep saying it but it is the French town of your dreams. Honestly, it is like stepping into a fairytale. In my opinion, this should be a mandatory stop on any France itinerary. Beaune is the unofficial capital of Burgundy. So it is the perfect base for exploring the region and having all of the wine! (The town is filled with wine shops.)There is plenty to see and explore in Beaune. Below are my two favorites, along with just walking around Beaune and getting lost on adorable streets.

Visit Hospices de Beaune

This is one architectural beauty! I have been dying to visit ever since I watched the Burgundy episode by Rick Steves. And it has more than lived up to the hype.

The Hospices de Beaune dates back to the 15th century. It was founded by Nicolas Rolin and his wife Guigone de Salins in 1443. The hospices provided medical care and shelter for the poor, sick, and needy. It provided 450 years of medical service; it stopped in 1971. It is no longer a hospital but a museum and cultural center. It is famous for its wine auction which started in 1859. The museum has a strong connection to wine as it was gifted vineyards and equipment over the centuries.

The architecture is the real star with its distinctive Burgundian-Flemish style, with colorful glazed tile roofs and intricate carvings. The Hall of the Poor is an incredibly famous and beautiful room where patients were once housed and cared for. The art is also incredible.

This is an absolute must-do while in Burgundy. It is a gorgeous building. The history is fascinating! There are audio tours in many languages so you can learn so much about the hospital. Plus, it is in the center of Beaune, making it easy to visit the rest of the city.

Pro Tip: If you go in November, there are no crowds…at all. (Check out the picture at the top of the page for the beautiful tile work.

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France.
Make sure to visit Hospices de Beaune!

Tour La Moutarderie Fallot

I love spicy mustard so a visit to Edmond Fallot Mustard Factory was a must. The company started in 1840 and has been making knock-your-socks-off mustard ever since. The tour was interesting and in-depth on both the history of mustard in Burgundy and how their mustard is made. It included a tour of their factory. The only negative about this tour is for English speakers. The tour is delivered in French first (which makes sense) then in English. At times it got a little boring but completely makes sense why they did this. I loved the tasting portion. This mustard is different from our sweet brown mustard in the States. It is so strong it’s like taking a spoonful of wasabi. I LOVED IT.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have time for a tour, the tasting portion is in their gift shop. I highly recommend this!

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France.
You got to try this delicious mustard!

Ramparts of Beaune

A fun way to explore Beaune is by walking along the 900-year-old battlements. Beaune is a walled city. The ramparts are a fun way to view the colorful tile roofs of Beaune, and manicured moats and explore the outer edge of the city. You can enter throughout the city and small signs and symbols will guide your way.

Spend a Day in Dijon

Dijon is a much larger city than Beaune and it is another must-visit while in Burgundy. Dijon is beautiful. I keep using this word but there is no other way to describe Dijon. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. This all comes from the medieval architecture you can find all around the city. You will find half-timbered houses all over the massive pedestrian area. The “city of 100 steeples” has plenty of beautiful churches to ogle at like Notre-Dame and Saint Philibert. And the gorgeous Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy which has been around since 1365. It is just mesmerizing to walk and explore Dijon. It is also a foodie city! You will find plenty of great restaurants to eat and try local Burgundy food. Below are my two favorite things to do in Dijon! (Other than just marveling at the amazing architecture.)

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France
Make sure to follow the Dijon owls to explore this amazing city.

Follow the Dijon Owls

The unofficial symbol of Dijon is the owl and this stems from small owl that is carved into Notre Dame. There is a tale that if you rub it with your left hand and make a wish then your wish will come true. After you make your wish, use the Owl Trail to explore the city.

Dijon has 22 small owl plaques on the sidewalks that will guide you around the major Dijon sites. If you download the app, you can get access to historical information while you are exploring the owl trail. The app is called Le Parcours de la Chouette. Here is the link for Andriod. There is a small fee attached to this app but it is well worth it! This is an excellent way to explore the city and see the major sites. Make sure to follow the Owl trail to learn and see all that Dijon has to offer!

If you are looking for in-depth information on each stop, check out this blog by Off Beat France.

Visit Dijon’s Central Indoor Market

Oh. My. Goodness. This market is the best I have ever been to. Les Halles of Dijon is a covered market with ironwork that was designed by the same person who designed the Eiffel Tower: Gustave Eiffel. So it is beautiful to behold. But enough of that, let’s talk about food. This market offers the best of French food. So many cheese stalls, take-home escargot, meats, quiches, fresh produce, wines, pastries, etc. It was so good that we constantly went back to buy food for lunch and dinner to make in our Airbnb. If you don’t visit this market you have made a huge mistake. HUGE! The whole market (inside and outside) is open only a few days a week: Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturday mornings. On Thursday mornings, only the inside is open. Just go!

Visit all the Wineries

Burgundy = wine. It is what the region is known for. So visit the wineries that you like or want to try. Make sure to reach out to the vineyards first. It isn’t like California where you can just waltz up and do a tasting. In some places, you need to make contact ahead of time and make an appointment.

Visit Louis Bouillot

We are not huge wine people but I do love a glass of bubbles. So we did a tasting and tour with Louis Bouillot. Their wine is called Cremant de Bourgogne which is champagne but can’t be called it since it is not in the Champagne region of France. Let me tell you that wine was fantastic. It is now my favorite type of wine! The tour was interesting and informative but the tasting was the best. We were the only people there and got huge samples of 6 different types of wine. While in Burgundy the Cremant was so affordable to have with dinner. I wish I brought a larger suitcase because their bottle of wine was only 10 euros but in the States, they are almost $30.00. I highly recommend visiting Louis Bouillot. Plus it is located in the very cute town of Nuits-Saint-Georges.

13 of the best things to do in Burgundy, France
Just a gorgeous café in Dijon.

Explore the Canals

So full disclosure, I didn’t get to explore the canals due to the crappy weather. We drove by them a lot and they looked beautiful. I would love to walk, bike, or sail down the canals. The weather was the only thing I regret about visiting in November.

Final Thoughts

This list was my 13 favorite things to do in Burgundy, France. I loved my time in Burgundy. The medieval villages were such a big highlight for me. It is a beautiful region in even the crappy November weather.

Your Thoughts on Burgundy, France

This is the 13 best things to do in Burgundy, France. What are you looking forward to? Are you going to try some spicy mustard? Comment below!

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