Would appreciate opinions and recommendations regarding Beaune- things to see/do, restaurants, hotels, and best time of year to visit. Of interest to us are easy bike rides to visit wineries. Generally we like quaint, old, smaller towns thus considering Beaune.
We loved our stay in June at Les Jardins de Lois. Wonderful hosts and a beautiful B&B. Winemaker Philippe gave us a free tasting of his Pinot Noir in their wine cave located on the property. Anne-Marie serves a delicious breakfast included in the price. Beautiful grounds that you may use for a picnic.
Follow Rick's advice in his France guidebook for a fun bike ride to the wineries.
Be sure to be there on market. day.
Don't miss a visit to the beautiful and interesting Hôtel-Dieu.
We have been to Beaune two times and stayed at Hotel Le Cep, a restored merchant's home. Walkable everywhere you might want to go in town.Braune is lovely but around 20,000 pop do not a small town. It is surrounded by small wine villages on the Wine Road.
We liked Hotel de la Paix when we stayed there many years ago. Nice little hotel, good breakfast, easy walk into the central historic part of Beune. There is reserved private parking although it is tight squeeze getting into the parking courtyard. We booked there after reading an hilarious review on TA by a disgruntled father who was outraged that the hotelkeeper insisted he keep his small children quiet after 10 pm (after all they had been in the car all day and needed to run off steam by running and jumping off the beds and what did he expect?) and was equally outraged that they charged him for the lamp his children broke (it should be normal wear and tear). After reading that we decided it was our kind of place and it was. Pretty small room with romantic candle and very nice bathroom and huge shower.
We enjoyed several dinners at Brasserie le Carnot. The best sight in Beaune is the Hospices de Beaune, a restored Renaissance-era hospital that also has a remarkable tryptich by Roger van der Weyden. Also of interest are the wine museum and cathedral. I believe market days are Wednesday and Saturday. There's a pretty hokey "train ride" that winds through the streets, not a great experience for us but maybe a good way to see the town without walking.
Beaune is a great base for the southern part of Burgundy. It has a lot of tasting rooms where you can sample the products of the surrounding vineyards without getting behind the wheel, but you'll want a car to explore the rest of the region. However Dijon, with its art museum and medieval center, is a short train ride away. We were there in fall, toward the end of the harvest in the vineyards, and it was beautiful. I expect winter would be a little bleak but other seasons would be fine.
I was there this May and it felt a little early in the year. Still cold and the vines were barely growing. The crowds were fairly thin around the area, not so much in Beune. The restaurants were full.
I didn't love Beune, partly because the hotel stay was horrible but also because of the age. The buildings are 17th century for the most part. I much prefer older, medieval, centers. In the area with the tourist attractions everything is nicely maintained. On the other end of the center it seems run-down. The traffic seems too much for easy bike riding. I'd suggest people visit Beune; my favorite stay in the area, however, was Semur en Axois.
We can't wait to go back to Beaune. We were there in May and it was still a little cold, I would go in June. Les Jardins de Lois is the cleanest and nicest hotel/B&B I have ever stayed in, just wonderful. Riding the Velo route through the vineyards to the small wine towns is easy. I followed Rick's guide as well as some local recommendations. You need to plan ahead and make a reservation for dinner, most every restaurant is booked if you wait till you are hungry. If you like food and wine and perfectly "French" looking villages...Burgundy is the place to go.
My wife and I just visited Beaune at the end of October. We actually stayed in Dijon and took the train to Beaune for a day trip. So I can't really comment on hotel recommendations - but we loved Beaune. We took a wine tour of the Cote d'Or - which was absolutely spectacular at that time of year. The city center of Beaune is extremely walkable and has wonderful shops/cafes to visit. As others have mentioned - the Hotel Dieu is well worth the 60-90 minutes to visit - and includes a free audio guide.
Beaune is a wonderful place to spend a few days - or more if you're looking to relax. We can't recommend it enough! And if you run out of things to do - jump on the train to Dijon (20 minute train trip). The Dijon train station is a five minute walk from the historic center of Dijon.
Happy and Safe Traveling!
It's a charming, friendly town. You will exhaust its charms quickly if you don't venture forth, however.
The bike rental shop can advise you on routes. It's pretty flat to, say, Pommard and Meursault, but don't be afraid of hills--they're not so bad and those bikes have a millions gears. I strongly recommend a bike ride if the weather cooperates.
One fun destination is the place in Aloxe-Corton, just north of Beaune, that offers a tasting lunch. It's basic hearty Burgundian food, but depending on how much you are willing to pay you get to sample 4 or 6 different wines. Bikeable too, though maybe less so after all that wine under your belt.
In June 2017 we stayed at Hostellerie De Bretonniere. It was affordable and well located for walking into town to explore. Nice breakfast, extra charge. DO NOT think you can walk into town in the evening and fine a place to eat! The restaurants are crowded and will not try to 'fit you in'. Be sure to make a reservation - we ended up eating cheese in our room!
You asked about restaurants in Beaune. It's always subjective, but we really enjoyed our dinner at Le Belena. The address is 1, place Madeleine. We made a reservation ahead of time.
I agree, Don't miss a visit to the Hôtel-Dieu.
We had a couple of great meals at Le Conty.
La Belena is classic in Beaune. Good price and great food! Loved it.
I stayed outside of Beaune at an AirBNB...Domaine Fargues. THey make great wine and its a little cottage. The owners are awesome and will give you a wine tasting.
Also tour Patriarche Père et Fils. Its a winery with a labyrinth underneath the city.