I am planning a trip to France with my 22 and 18 year old children in late May for a week and then are likely headed to Italy with my wife and younger two (ages 11 and 15 for another week afterwards). We are interested in wine tasting and taking day trips but I also want to relax. Any thoughts? Also, suggestions of other locations if not these?
Beaune. Very relaxing town and closer to the wine towns.
Thanks for the help.
You can do both, as they are very close to each other.
I went to college in Dijon for a year. It's an small city that used to be the seat of the Dijonaise Empire, which ruled from France up through the Netherlands. It was huge!
The Art Museum in Dijon is second only to the Louvre in rating. The small city is walkable and charming, with architecture, chestnut vendors on the street, shops, cafes and theatres. The Universite de Dijon, which brings a huge student population from all over the world is there.
If it were me I would stay in Dijon and visit Beaune as a day trip. Are you planning any time in Paris?
Beaune is not just close to a wine town, is IS a wine town, as Beaujolais is produced there. You can also see the Famous Hospice de Beaune, which was a hospital long ago. It's a pretty freaky thing that your kids will love.
The food in both places is amazing, ditto on the wine. It is considered that the French spoken in Dijon is the most pure in accent.
We loved Beaune. The old town area is small enough to walk around easily. A nice quite stroll is to walk around the whole old town area from atop the park-like old city walls.
Great restaurants, but one of my most memorable meals was a simple lunch at a "wine bar". We sat at a table outside and I got the cheese and grapes plate, with bread and wine and it was just a perfect light lunch before heading out on a great wine tour.
Going through the old middle ages hospice is fascinating.
We stayed at Hotel des Remparts, which is inside the old city walls, quiet but just a short walk (about 4 minutes) from the activity of the busy central area (hospice, marche aux vins, Tourist Info center, etc.)
We stayed in Beaune about 12 years ago. It was a beautiful small town. We had the best wine tasting I ever had. We found it by driving in the countryside. The lady (owner) took us down into her cellar. Instead of tasting many kinds of wines grown from different grapes, they were all from the same grape. We started at her cheapest and then we gradually went up in price to taste. It was incredible to be able to tasted the difference in quality even though it was from the same grape. We bought different bottles from the wines we sampled. At that place there were no crowds (just us) and no food and no souviners for sale except her incredible wines. It was enchanting and spoiled me for the regular wine tasting we get in USA. There is a pretty canal we ate a dinner by and good wine museum we toured. The town Napoleon went to school at is nearby along with an abbey and canal walks. Lot of white cows in the countryside. A pretty area. We stayed at a B&B, the owners did not speak English, fun!
I LOVE Beaune. My sister lived in Gray (near Dijon) for 18 months and she took so many visitors to the Caves des Cordeliers in Beaune, that they started giving her free bottles of wine! Also convenient in that area for some nice outdoors stuff is the Source de Lison. Besancon (sorry, missing the cedilla on the c) has a wonderful museum and zoo in the old fortress above the town. It also figures in WWII history as it was the site of an allied military hospital. My brother-in-law's father recuperated there. The city park is very interesting and excellent for a picnic. I would stay in Dijon the entire week and daytrip from there to the places I have mentioned (if it were me).
Beaune is great, and from there the vinyards are real close. Go to Pommard, right outside of town and have a country meal with local wine!! It is the heart of Burgundy. And that means wine.
Go to Dijon if you prefer mustard. Just kidding!
Beaune!!! I was there a couple of years ago, to attend a wedding in a nearby village. Friends stayed in Dijon and came to Beaune. They gave Beaune the definite "plus" over Dijon. I stayed at the Henry 8 (?) hotel, just outside one of the city gates. Convenient, clean, and well run. Within walking distance of everything. Do see the Hospice, and especially the painting in the gallery - fantastic experience! The restaurants are scattered over town and are both reasonable and serve good food.
One other thing about Beaune, I don't remember exactly where it is, but there is a museum of wine-making there that is great. Note the part about the French vineyards being saved by a Texan and Texas grapevine rootstock that is immune to phylloxera (sp?). As a native Texan, I take a little pride in this fact. :-)
We visited Dijon and did a tour + wine tasting with Wine and Voyages. It was a perfect trip through the wine region with A LOT of wines to taste. Very nice guide.
Authentica Tour suggest a very good wine, historical and discovery tours from Dijon.
My own experience of Dijon was that it was an interesting and friendly place, but big and sprawling. I freely admit that was probably, in part, because I did not spend enough time there to really get to know it.
I preferred Beaune, for all the reasons people have said. Its just more accessible. Also I think if you have a car for day trips (which is a good idea), it's probably easier to manage in Beaune than Dijon, although that probably depends on exactly where you were to stay.
Still, I think either town would be a good base for touring the region. Consider renting bicycles--Florent at the rental place in Beaune has some amazing day-trip itineraries.
My husband & I are planning a trip to France in September & are having trouble deciding which city to stay in, Dijon or Beaune? We won't have a car but I understand that it's easy to get to & from each city by train. We will be heading down to Nice, by train, after these 2 days & wanted to know which city had better train access to Nice? Also, would like a good recommendation for a hotel in either city around $150 US.
I would reccommend Beaune, but with a twist. If you will not have a car, you really should rent one for a day and drive around Burgundy. One can be rented at the train station and other places. The small villages are what make Burgundy.. well.. Burgundy, Close to Beaune is the Burgundy canal and above it is my favorite village ..Chateauneuf-en-Auxois.There is a very special little creperie there that is wonderful... great soups and salades, and desert crepes.The countryside around this area is beautiful.
I would also recomend Beaune. I stayed there a week a back in 2008 and rented a car once I arrived. I kept it for two days and did some incredible wine tasting in the area (Cote de Or consists of the Cote de Nuits and the Cote de Beaune). I would highly recommend it. There is also a great little restaurant that I think has the name Paradis but I cannot recall for sure. Maybe others will help. You can easily take day trips inton Dijon but I really liked Beaune.
Julie, note that Rusty started this thread back in 2008!
To echo Adam, Julie, this has become a "zombie" post. You'll have better luck taking the information from those who responded to the 2008 question and then forming your own questions in an original post of your own.
That way, people here - who are only too happy to help - can answer your questions and not Rusty's.
By the way, my answer is Beaune.
Don't listen to them. Your post brought back great memories :)
Okay, I reluctantly agree that you would get more responses with a new post.
Just go to Beaune and have the time of your life!
My point was more on the order of, Hey Julie, listen to Rusty! Who has (1) asked, (2) been answered, (3) been there, and (4) done that.
But I agree she would have best luck with a new post, with specific questions (if she still has any!).
I guess I'm just out of step with most everyone else here...I liked both Beaune and Dijon, but for different reasons...I found Beaune to be a great small town get-away (good for 2 to 3 days)...Dijon was more engaging with many more options...with side trips to Beaune and maybe even as far away as Belforte, I think Dijon is a better base for a week long stay.