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Beaune/Burgandy in February???

Hello, my husband and I are planning a trip to France and Switzerland for February. We are spending 3 days in Paris, then 3 days in Lucerne Switzerland, and then considering 3 days in Beaune/Burgandy. Is it worth it to visit in February? We do enjoy wine but weren't sure if it was worth it to travel there in the winter. Would Beaune be too sleepy that time of year? Should we go elsewhere (Dijon, Strasbourg, other places?).

Merci!!

Posted by
4125 posts

The earliest I've been there was April, which is still not tourist season, but (though it was pretty wet and chilly) you could be outdoors. That's important because Burgundy is a pretty rural place. You'll be done with Beaune in less than a day, so the question is, what else would you like to do there?

The standard prescription for winter traveling is to focus on cities, which have night life and things to do indoors in bad weather. Dijon is close to Beaune, a mere 20 minutes or so, and would make a good base to see Beaune and other sights. Strasbourg has a similar relationship to Colmar; the latter is bigger than Beaune and you might consider Colmar as a base.

Best thing to do is dig into some guide books and see what calls to you. Note that Burgundy is not served well by rail (though the Paris connection is good) so if you want to see more that just Dijon and Beaune you'll want a car.

Posted by
4791 posts

Adam makes a good point about big cities in winter, more to do indoors and less weather exposure. But Beaune is compact and charming, with lots of good food and wine tasting options. The Hotel-Dieu is fascinating, also worthwhile are the Franciscan church and the Museum of Wine. There are frequent fast trains to Dijon with its medieval center, art gallery, and other museums. Either city could be a good base, and I think you could fill three days between the two. With a car you could see more of the countryside and even take a day for Alesia and Fontenay, a short beautiful drive on the autoroute, if the weather's OK.

Posted by
3696 posts

Have done plenty of winter travel and as long as I am dressed for it, sometimes I prefer it. You get a lot more of the ambience of a town if you are not fighting the heat, traffic and tourists. I don't want to stay a week in a sleepy little town (unless I am working on a project) but a few days would be fine. You can see a lot more of what a town is really like and enjoy a few different restaurants and maybe become a 'regular' for a day or two. I would definitely want a car to do a bit more sightseeing if I became bored and wanted to see the next town down the road.

Posted by
3013 posts

We were in Beaune in mid-to-late January a few years ago and found it to be too quiet. I think it would be better in the warmer months where you can visit the vineyards, rent bicycles, etc. Some of the restaurants were closed for the season.

We've been to Colmar in the winter and it's festive and fun.