Burgundy Travel Guide

France  #5 in Best Wine Vacations

Best Things To Do in Burgundy

Covering a wide swath of east-central France, Burgundy is filled with interesting attractions in all of its charming towns. You'll find an array of wine tours in Beaune, architectural wonders, such as the Chantier Médiéval de Guédelon in Treigny and the hilltop Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay, and historic sites along the Owl's Trail in Dijon. As you hop from town to town, enjoy the region's rolling countryside, picturesque canals and Michelin-starred restaurants.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 28, 2019

  • #1
    Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun
    View all Photos
    #1 in Burgundy
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun, also known as the Autun Cathedral, was built in the 12th century as a Roman Catholic cathedral and storehouse of the relics of St. Lazarus. Of particular note are the works of art, including a tympanum of "The Last Judgement." The iconic sculptures, carved by Gislebertus in the Romanesque style, are equally engaging. 

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Hospices de Beaune
    View all Photos
    #2 in Burgundy
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Hospices de Beaune was founded in 1443 by Burgundy Chancellor Nicolas Rolin and his wife Guigone de Salins as a hospital for the region's poor and needy. But this building is far from austere. Underneath the slate roofs are brilliantly colored tiled ceilings and skylights, and walls hanging with historic artworks, such as the altarpiece "The Last Judgement" by Rogier van der Weyden. Other highlights include a courtyard, a kitchen and an apothecary, which visitors can learn about on an audio tour (covered by the price of admission). Plus, every November, the site hosts a famous charity wine auction. 

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Owl's Trail
    View all Photos
    #3 in Burgundy
    Churches/Religious Sites, Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Dijon's Owl's Trail – or "Le Parcours de la Chouette" – is a great way to get an overview of Dijon's history, especially from the 11th to 14th centuries, when the Dukes of Burgundy infused the province with art and architecture. Visitors can download a smartphone app from Dijon's tourism site or pick up a booklet from the tourism office and take a self-guided tour of 22 sites that define the city, including the Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and Les Halles, among others. Although you can visit all 22 sites (and see the accompanying owl placards, hence the trail's name) within the space of an hour, you'll likely want to spend more time at the attractions that most interest you. 

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Le Château d'Ancy-le-Franc
    View all Photos
    #4 in Burgundy
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Designed by Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio in the 16th century, Le Château d'Ancy-le-Franc is a study in symmetry, as its four main facades come together to create a perfect square. Inside, more treasures await, as the walls are decorated with works by some of the most famous 16th- and 17th-century Italian, Flemish and Burgundian artists. Outside, the 123 acres that comprise its park and gardens are reminiscent of Paris' Versailles

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Wine Tours
    View all Photos
    #5 in Burgundy
    Sightseeing, Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    No trip to Burgundy is complete without indulging in a wine tasting – or two or three. And one of the best ways to enjoy a wide variety of Burgundy vino is on a wine tour of the region. The Bourgogne Gold Tour, based out of Beaune, earns high marks among travelers for its knowledgeable guides that take travelers to picturesque vineyards and wine cellars with delicious vintages. Authentica Tours, based out of Beaune and Dijon, is another highly rated operator praised by past reviewers for its personable guides and educational tours. 

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine
    View all Photos
    #6 in Burgundy
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, also known as the Vézelay Abbey, dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries – and throughout the years, has experienced a host of tumultuous events from its hilltop perch. From two separate fires in the 12th century to destruction by the Huguenots in the 15th century, the basilica was also the site from which Thomas Becket issued his condemnation of Henry II from exile and where meetings from the crusades took place. In 1979, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, it hosts religious services and is open for the public to enjoy. 

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Chantier Médiéval de Guédelon
    View all Photos
    #7 in Burgundy
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you ever wondered what it took to build a castle back in the 13th century, the Chantier Médiéval de Guédelon gives you the opportunity. A collection of master builders, including quarrymen, stonemasons, carpenter joiners, woodcutters, blacksmiths, tilers, carters and rope makers, are building a castle using only the techniques and materials of the 13th century. In addition to the actual castle, there is a village and a mill. Visitors can walk through the construction site and see what's being called a "21st-century medieval adventure." 

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Burgundy

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019