26 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Burgundy

Written by Lisa Alexander
Updated Jun 23, 2021
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The Burgundy region is a veritable treasure trove of historic monuments and picturesque towns, surprisingly tucked away in a sleepy countryside. The landscape of deeply wooded forests and green rolling hills abounds with Romanesque chapels, quaint villages, and medieval abbeys. There are more than 300 churches in Burgundy, and many are masterpieces of Gothic architecture.

Burgundy has its own unique culture. Burgundian buildings feature a distinctive architecture of colorful tiled roofs, and the hearty cuisine is famously delicious. Visitors should sample traditional local specialties such as escargot, boeuf bourguignon, and poulet à la moutarde (chicken in mustard sauce) to truly savor quintessential France.

This beautiful region offers endless tourist attractions and things to do. Plan your trip with our list of the best places to visit in Burgundy.

See also: Where to Stay in Burgundy

1. Dijon


During the Middle Ages, Dijon was the capital of the Duchy of Burgundy. The Dukes lived in elegant mansions called "hôtels particuliers" that still grace the city with their impressive facades.

At the historic center of town is the Palais des Ducs. This medieval palace allows visitors to imagine the grandiosity of Ducal life, which included lavish gourmet banquets.

Housed inside a wing of the Palais des Ducs, is the Musée des Beaux-Arts, which ranks among the best art museums in France. The collection covers a range of historic periods and genres, including Egyptian antiquities, medieval religious objects, Renaissance paintings, Impressionism, and contemporary art.

The Musée Magnin displays an excellent fine arts collection in a stately townhouse featuring the decor of the Louis XV and Louis XVI epochs. The collection includes French 16th- to 19th-century paintings, as well as masterpieces of European paintings and antique furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Eglise Notre-Dame in Dijon

The most important church in Dijon is the Eglise Notre-Dame built in the 13th century in glorious Burgundian Gothic style. The spectacular exterior with its profusion of gargoyles provides a contrast to the harmonious interior.

Another noteworthy example of Burgundian Gothic architecture is the Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne. The building incorporates a Romanesque-era crypt, which contains the relics of the local patron saint Benignus, a 3rd-century martyr who brought Christianity to Dijon.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Dijon

2. Beaune


This lovely historic town brims with old-world ambience. It's one of the best places to visit in Burgundy for a taste of the region's charm.

Beaune's most important landmark is the Hôtel-Dieu (Hospices de Beaune), built in the 15th century as a hospital for the poor. The distinctive Flemish Gothic building now houses a museum that displays exquisite tapestries and a precious 15th-century altar piece.

Other attractions are the Romanesque Collégiale Basilique Notre-Dame and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, which boasts many fine examples of French, Flemish, and Dutch painting, as well as modern artworks.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Beaune

3. Cluny


The most important monastic order of the Middle Ages, the Benedictine monks of Cluny founded the Abbaye de Cluny in the 10th century and created what was the largest church in Christendom, until Rome's Saint Peter's Basilica was built in the 16th century.

Although the abbey church was mostly destroyed during the French Revolution, there are still remnants of the original architecture, including many masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture. The Abbaye de Cluny is now open to the public for visits. The site presents an educational film that brings the historic abbey to life.

In the town of Cluny, the 13th-century Eglise Notre-Dame is classified as a Historic Monument. The church has a splendid Gothic sanctuary, remarkable for its bright and harmonious high-vaulted nave, which is illuminated by delicate stained-glass windows.

Berzé-le-Châtel castle

Many amazing castles are found near Cluny, including the 13th-century Berzé-le-Châtel castle (open April - October); the 12th-century Château de Saint-Point-Lamartine (open April through July), surrounded by delightful English gardens; and the Château de Cormatin (open late March - early November), a refined 17th-century castle enclosed by a moat and leafy gardens.

Perched above the medieval village of Brancion is the Château de Brancion, an ancient fortified castle with stunning views of the countryside. The castle reveals architectural elements of various historical epochs, from the Carolingian period (10th century) to the Wars of Religion (16th century).

The interior of the castle is open for self-guided visits from April through November. The Château de Brancion also hosts special events, such as costumed visits and gastronomic experiences.

Amid vine-covered rolling hills, the romantic Château de Pierreclos has been converted to a luxury hotel with modern rooms and a swimming pool.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Cluny

Cluny Map - Tourist Attractions
Cluny Map - Attractions (Historical)

4. Vézelay


Vézelay clings to a hilltop in a bucolic landscape overlooking the Morvan mountain range. Because of its picturesque quality and charm, the town is listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages (Most Beautiful Villages) of France.

As an important medieval pilgrimage destination, Vézelay reveals a legacy of magnificent Romanesque art. Crowning the village is the UNESCO-listed Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine, which was on the "Way of Saint James" trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

This serene site, with sweeping views of the Burgundian landscape, still functions as a monastery and attracts many pilgrims. Open to the public year-round, the basilica is often filled with inspiring music sung by monks and nuns of the "Fraternités Monastiques de Jerusalem" during Mass and Vespers. Visitors may attend a religious service or retreat.

Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine
Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine

Tourists will enjoy exploring the medieval walled village of Vézelay, with its narrow cobblestone streets, charming medieval buildings, and Renaissance houses featuring ornate decorative details.

Art lovers will appreciate Musée Zervos, which displays an exceptional collection of modern art, including pieces by Picasso, Chagall, Miró, Kandinsky, and other 20th-century artists.

The Musée de l'Oeuvre Viollet-le-Duc educates visitors about the renowned French architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc's restoration project of the Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine which began in 1840. The museum also exhibits original sculptures from the basilica's facade, as well as capitals and statues from the basilica's sanctuary.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Vézelay

5. Abbaye de Fontenay

Abbaye de Fontenay

In the idyllic wooded countryside of Burgundy, the 12th-century Abbaye de Fontenay is the world's oldest surviving Cistercian abbey. The Abbaye de Fontenay including the property (the 1,200-hectare Valley of Fontenay) is a registered Historic Monument, as well as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Constructed between 1139 and 1147, the Abbey Church is a rare 12th-century Cistercian church that exists in a state of almost perfect preservation. The church is noteworthy for its simple and austere Romanesque Bourgogne architecture. The lack of adornment ensures that nothing distracts from spiritual worship.

The 12th-century cloister is considered a gem of Romanesque art. Designed to inspire prayer and meditation, the cloister features graceful colonnaded galleries, which create an ambience of serenity.

Gardens at the Abbaye de Fontenay
Gardens at the Abbaye de Fontenay

The medieval monastic gardens were redesigned in 1996. These beautifully landscaped gardens have been labeled as a Jardin Remarquable (Remarkable Garden).

The Abbey of Fontenay has retained its original bakery, church, and sleeping quarters, giving visitors a realistic impression of the 12th-century monks' daily life.

The site is open to visitors for an entrance fee. Guided tours are available by reservation. Visitors will also appreciate the museum, bookstore, and gift shop.

Address: Fontenay Abbey, Montbard 21500

Official site: http://www.abbayedefontenay.fr/en/introduction

6. Auxerre


Auxerre is a lively riverside town full of architectural treasures. The historic part of the town is a maze of winding streets with a sprinkling of half-timbered houses and old churches.

The Place Charles-Surugue town square is especially picturesque. Auxerre's most important religious monument is the 11th-century Abbaye Saint-Germain, a marvelous Romanesque church with a Carolingian crypt dating to the 6th century.

The Cathédrale Saint-Etienne has a splendid Gothic interior with a collection of well-preserved stained-glass windows, considered some of the most beautiful in France. The cathedral's treasury contains precious reliquaries with Limoges enamel decoration.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Auxerre

7. Sens

Sens | Jean-Pierre Dalbra / photo modified

Sens is a small town with an interesting heritage, especially during the medieval era. The doctrines of Abelard were condemned at a church council held here in 1140, and Louis IX was married in the cathedral in 1234.

Visitors can begin a sightseeing tour of the town at the 13th-century Palais Synodal de Sens, which displays expositions of contemporary art, then continue at the Palais des Archevêques to admire the collection of fine arts.

Not to be missed, the Cathédrale Saint-Etienne has an immense Gothic interior illuminated by stained-glass windows. The cathedral's treasury is one of the richest in France.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Sens

8. Autun

Autun and the Cathédrale Saint-Lazare
Roman Ruins in Autun

Autun has a distinguished history dating back to Roman times. On the east side of the town are ruins of the largest Roman theater in Gaul (that seated 20,000 spectators), ancient town gates (Porte d'Arroux and Porte St-André), and the imposing remains of the Temple of Janus.

From the 12th century, the Cathédrale Saint-Lazare is a glorious example of Romanesque architecture. The sanctuary has multiple richly decorated chapels, and the third one on the left contains the Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien painting by Ingres (1834). This painting reveals the artist's skill in creating a complicated three-dimensional crowd scene.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Autun

9. Avallon


Still surrounded by its ancient walls, Avallon is renowned for its beautiful architecture. At the center of the historic quarter is the 15th-century clock tower on the Grand Rue.

A must-see site in Avallon is its Romanesque collegiate church, the Collégiale Saint-Lazare. The church is distinguished by its richly decorated 12th-century facade, which features some of the finest Romanesque portals in Burgundy.

Other historic churches are the Eglise Saint-Julien, which dates back to the 11th century, and the Eglise Saint-Martin-du-Bourg, a former abbey founded in the 12th century.

La Maison des Sires de Domecy in Avallon
La Maison des Sires de Domecy in Avallon

The Musée de l'Avallonnais displays a small collection of Burgundian art and presents temporary expositions. The museum also displays an ethnography collection devoted to the Yao Mien and Mun people of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand; this collection comprises Yao costumes, textiles, and jewelry, as well as exhibits about Yao culture and heritage.

Nearby (27 kilometers from Avallon) is the Abbaye Sainte-Marie de la Pierre-qui-Vire, a Benedictine monastery in the Morvan Forest, where monks spend a life of prayer and community service. Visitors may spend time in spiritual contemplation and prayer at this peaceful monastery. A hostel provides basic accommodations in an ambience of serene silence.

A short distance from the monastery is an organic farm that belongs to the Abbaye Sainte-Marie de la Pierre-qui-Vire community, L'Huis Saint-Benoît. This 170-hectare farm includes milking cows and goats that produce milk used by the monks to create a variety of cheeses and yogurts. The monastery also has an atelier, where monks create handcrafted pottery.

Avallon is 15 kilometers away from Vézelay and both towns could easily be visited on the same day.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Avallon

10. Bourg-en-Bresse

Monastère Royal de Brou in Bourg-en-Bresse

Bourg-en-Bresse is a historic market town known for its chickens: "Poulets de Bresse," which are appreciated for their culinary value. The celebrated French chef Paul Bocuse created the famous recipe for Bresse chicken in a creamy morel sauce.

For tourists, the main reason to visit Bourg-en-Bresse is the magnificent Monastère Royal de Brou à Bourg-en-Bresse. The monastery's church is a jewel of Flamboyant Gothic architecture with a marvelous high-vaulted sanctuary. The church is open to the public for self-guided visits. Guided tours are available.

The cloisters of the monastery house the Musée du Monastère Royal de Brou à Bourg-en-Bresse. This excellent fine arts museum contains a collection of 15th- to 20th-century French, Flemish, and Italian paintings and 12th- to 17th-century sculptures. The monastery also hosts exhibitions of contemporary art throughout the year.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Bourg-en-Bresse

11. Château de Saint-Fargeau

Château de Saint-Fargeau
Château de Saint-Fargeau

The Château de Saint-Fargeau has an illustrious history, which extends over 10 centuries. In 1652, Anne-Marie Louise d'Orléans, the first cousin of King Louis XIV, lived here and contributed to redesigning the château's interior.

With its harmonious proportions and graceful turreted towers, the Château de Saint Fargeau represents French classicism at its finest. A luxuriant English-style park surrounds the château.

Château de Saint-Fargeau is open from the end of March through mid-November. Visitors may see the furnished apartments, the chapel, the stables, and park.

On Friday and Saturday nights in July and August, the château hosts a Spectacle Historique (History Show) about important historical figures (Joan of Arc, medieval knights, etc.) and key events of France's history, such as the French Revolution and World War Two. The fantastical show features more than 600 actors, 50 horseback riders, and fireworks.

Details of the Château de Saint-Fargeau

Nighttime Visits (Visites de Nuit) on Thursday evenings in July and August are another favorite tourist experience. During this entertaining event, visitors are invited into the candlelit dining room and grand salon by château "residents" wearing authentic costumes. Fencing duels and an equestrian performance add to the excitement.

Another magical experience is spending the night on the property. The Grande Suite of the château's 18th-century apartment provides luxurious accommodations for two to four people. The suite features original decor, including parquet floors. Guests are treated to a gourmet breakfast with coffee, fresh-squeezed juice, fresh-baked croissants and bread, and homemade jams.

Visitors can also rent the Maison Jeanne d'Arc, a tastefully decorated bed & breakfast accommodation with three spacious guest rooms/suites. The Maison Jeanne d'Arc is found in the enchanting medieval village of Saint-Fargeau (100 meters from the château) and has a lovely garden where the homemade petit déjeuner (breakfast) is served.

The estate's renovated historic farm, La Ferme du Château, offers simple rustic accommodations. This is a good choice for groups and families.

Address: Le Château, 89170 Saint-Fargeau

Official site: https://www.chateau-de-st-fargeau.com/

12. Mâcon


On the banks of the Saône River, Mâcon is a delight to explore. A pleasant stroll through town leads to a discovery of cultural sites and historic buildings.

The Musée des Ursulines, housed in a 17th-century convent, is an excellent museum of fine arts and archaeology. The collection comprises over 25,000 items, from antiquities to Impressionist paintings.

Nearby, the Apothicairerie de l'Hôtel-Dieu (apothecary shop located in the old Hotel-Dieu hospital) appears exactly as the original 18th-century apothecary. This historic shop is now a museum, and admission is free of charge.

The oldest house in Mâcon is the 15th-century Maison de Bois, with a carved wood-paneled facade that features amusing statuettes of men with grimaces, monkey masks, and characters with wings.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Mâcon

13. Nevers


Several exceptional historic monuments make Nevers worth a detour. A must-see sight, the Palais Ducal is a graceful Renaissance château, where the Counts and Dukes of Nevers once resided.

The spectacular Cathédrale Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte dates back to the 11th century and shows a range of architectural styles: a Romanesque west choir, Gothic nave, and Renaissance spiral staircase.

Fascinating Gallo-Roman archaeological finds and Romanesque sculpture are on display at the Musée Archéologique, housed in the Porte du Croux medieval gate tower. Highlights include the Gallo-Roman Busts of the Emperor Hadrien; the 12th-century Vierge en Majesté de Tamnay, a Romanesque wooden sculpture of the Virgin; and the 16th-century Bas-Relief of Saint-Hubert, which is classified as a Historic Monument.

In the northeast of the old town is the Eglise Saint-Etienne, built in 1097 and a rare example of a purely Romanesque church.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nevers

14. Paray-le-Monial


Paray-le-Monial grew up around a Benedictine abbey founded in 973. The abbey's 12th-century Romanesque church became a place of pilgrimage in the 17th century, when the nun Marguerite-Marie Alacoque saw apparitions of Christ.

In 1875, the abbey church was renamed the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur by Pope Pius IX. The Neo-Romanesque Chapelle des Apparitions was built on the spot where Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque (canonized in 1920) had her visions.

Other noteworthy attractions are the medieval Chapelle de Romay; a Marian sanctuary; and the Musée du Hiéron, which has a wonderful collection of modern and contemporary art.

15. Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan

Lac de Saint-Agnan, Parc Naturel Regional du Morvan

The Morvan Regional Natural Park is a wild landscape of mountains, woodlands, valleys, and gorges. The name "Monts du Morvan" has a Celtic origin and means "black mountain," probably because of the dense deep-green forests of this area between the Loire River and the Saône River.

At higher altitudes in the granite hills, patches of farmland are intersected by hedges and expanses of lush forest. The natural park's rivers and streams are great for fishing, canoeing, and rafting. Other outdoor activities include boating at the lakes, hiking, and rock climbing.

Morvan Regional Natural Park
Morvan Regional Natural Park | Jan de Haas / photo modified

Amid this unspoiled nature, there is also an interesting cultural heritage. The sublime scenery is dotted with small villages, magnificent castles, and ancient churches.

The 17th-century Château du Creuset, an elegant French castle surrounded by 14 hectares of gardens is now an upscale bed-and-breakfast hotel, ideal for those seeking a comfortable retreat in the countryside.

16. Château d'Ancy-le-Franc

Château d'Ancy-le-Franc
Château d'Ancy-le-Franc | janebelindasmith / photo modified

In the little village of Ancy-le-Franc, the 16th-century château is a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance architecture with a pleasing symmetry of design. The castle was created by Sébastiano Serlio, the court architect of King Francis I.

An expansive park surrounds the Château d'Ancy-le-Franc, giving visitors the impression of an unspoiled paradise. Built alongside the Burgundy Canal, this 50-hectare park features romantic wooded areas with a large pond and many streams traversed by footbridges. There is also a formal French garden with geometric lawns, elegant parterres, fountains, and statues.

The interior is sumptuously decorated with exquisite Renaissance murals, the largest collection of its kind in France. These 16th- and 17th-century murals were created by great masters of the Ecole de Fontainebleau.

The château is open for visits year-round, and hosts music concerts from May through September. Other events include cooking classes and Night Visits by candlelight in July and August.

Address: 18 Place Clermont-Tonnerre, 89160 Ancy-le-Franc

Official site: http://www.chateau-ancy.com

17. Noyers-sur-Serein

Medieval buildings in Noyers-sur-Serein
Medieval buildings in Noyers-sur-Serein

Visiting this medieval town is a delightful step back in time. Tourists will enjoy wandering the winding cobblestone streets, admiring the half-timbered houses, and discovering the ancient ramparts that are topped with 23 towers. Because of its quaint historic ambience, Noyers is listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages of France.

Noyers was an important medieval center of trade, thanks to its location on the meandering Serein River. The Place du Marché-au-Blé (Corn Market) and the Place du Grenier-à-Sel (Salt Storehouse) attest to the village's flourishing past as a market town.

For many tourists, boutique shopping in Noyers is one of their favorite things to do while exploring the village. In quiet corners of the village are inviting little shops selling artisan-crafted items and regional products.

Culture hounds will also appreciate the Musée des Arts Naïfs et Populaires (Museum of Naïve and Popular Arts), which displays a collection mostly created in the 19th century by amateur artists, as well as acclaimed artists from all over the world.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Noyers-sur-Serein

18. Tournus


Tournus is renowned for its well-preserved 11th-century abbey, the Abbaye Saint-Philibert, which is considered a masterpiece of Romanesque art. Visitors are awed by this rare example of an ancient abbey with the monastery buildings, cloister, and church still intact. The abbey church has a surprisingly bright high-vaulted nave, adorned with exquisite frescoes.

Also of interest are two Romanesque churches in the Vieille Ville (Old Town): the Eglise Sainte-Madeleine, and the Eglise Saint-Valérien.

In the former Hôtel-Dieu (hospital), the Musée Greuze has an excellent collection of European paintings from the 14th to 20th centuries.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Tournus

19. Semur-en-Auxois


Standing above the Armançon River on a rocky ridge, Semur-en-Auxois has preserved much of its medieval character with the remains of a grand château, the 15th-century Porte de Sauvigny (town gate), and many historic houses.

At the highest point of the town is the Collégiale Notre-Dame, a refined Burgundian Gothic church built between the 13th and 14th centuries. Visitors are dazzled by the intricately sculpted facade and fantastical 15th-century gargoyles (a monkey, lion, pig, and other whimsical figures). The interior has a grandiose high-vaulted Gothic nave and 14th-century stained-glass windows.

With its collections of fine arts, archaeology, and natural science, the Musée de Semur-en-Auxois (in a 17th-century Jacobin convent) presents a wide range of exhibits. The museum displays a diverse assortment of paintings and sculptures created from the 14th to the 19th century. Not to be missed are the landscape paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

Another must-see sight, the Tour de l'Orle d'Or (open May - September) is a 13th-century watch tower, where guards once surveyed the surroundings.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Semur-en-Auxois

20. Châteauneuf-en-Auxois

The Burgundy Canal and Châteauneuf-en-Auxois
The Burgundy Canal and Châteauneuf-en-Auxois

From its lofty site overlooking the Burgundy canal, Châteauneuf-en-Auxois' imposing ancient fortress enjoyed a strategic advantage in the 12th century. The castle's round towers and imposing walls are visible from far in the distance.

The village is a pleasant place to explore at leisure. Winding medieval streets are lined with splendid 14th- to 16th-century houses that belonged to Burgundy merchants.

Châteauneuf-en-Auxois is listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages of France. Many spots in this picturesque hilltop village offer panoramic views of the countryside.

The village is also known for its cultural events. During summertime, the town welcomes theater productions organized by the Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain. A medieval festival, Les Médiévales de Châteauneuf, enlivens the town (for two days in mid-July) with minstrels, dances, games, and other entertainment.

21. Chatillon-sur-Seine


This picture-perfect village is nestled in a scenic spot on the Seine River. A riverside path invites tourists to take a leisurely stroll while admiring the historic buildings.

The village's oldest quarter, the Quartier Saint Vorles, is particularly charming with its quaint old houses and atmospheric alleyways.

A must-see attraction in the town is the Musée du Pays Châtillonnais, which has an excellent collection of archaeological objects, as well as religious art from local abbeys.

22. Château de Tanlay

Château de Tanlay
Château de Tanlay

Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Château de Tanlay is one of the most majestic Renaissance buildings in Burgundy. All the elements of a fairy-tale castle are found here: a wooded estate, water-filled moat, turreted towers, and grand reception rooms.

Despite its dreamy appearance, the castle played an important role during the Wars of Religion; the château owner Admiral de Coligny often gathered with other Protestant (Hugenot) leaders at his property.

The château has been owned by the family of the Marquis de Tanlay since the late 17th century. The castle still belongs to the same family who continue to reside here.

Visitors may see the interior of the château by taking a 50-minute guided tour. Noteworthy aspects of the interior include a room with a gallery of trompe l'oeil paintings and frescoes in the Ligue Tower.

A highlight of the Château de Tanlay is its park, which is open to visitors for an admission fee. The verdant, densely wooded grounds invite leisurely strolls along the pedestrian paths and alongside the canal.

Address: 2 Grande Rue Basse, 89430 Tanlay

23. Château de Ratilly

Château de Ratilly
Château de Ratilly

Built in 1270, this formidable medieval château has a noble history. The château withstood the Hundred Years' War and has been the residence of Lord Guy de Vallery, the Knight Jean de Chandiou, and Louis de Menou, Governor of the Duchy of Saint-Fargeau.

Cultural events are a main attraction of visiting the château. There are temporary exhibitions of contemporary art throughout the year. On weekend evenings during the summer, the château presents music concerts and film screenings.

One unique aspect of the château is its artisanal pottery atelier where Nathalie Pierlot creates her signature "Grès de Ratilly" ceramic cookware, dinnerware, vases, and decor. The atelier's assortment of handcrafted pottery is available for visitors to purchase.

The Château de Ratilly is open year-round for self-guided visits. Guided tours are available for groups by reservation.

Address: Château de Ratilly, 89520 Treigny

24. Flavigny-sur-Ozerain


Flavigny-sur-Ozerain is listed as one of France's Plus Beaux Villages because of its quaint historic charm. Perched on a hilltop and enclosed within ramparts, this characteristic medieval Burgundian town is a jumble of narrow, winding cobblestone streets and old stone buildings.

The village may look familiar to visitors. It was used as a film set for Chocolat, the movie made in 2000 that stars Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.

The former Benedictine abbey no longer serves religious purposes, but the premises are still used to make traditional anise-seed confectioneries, based on a recipe passed down by the monks. The local factory that produces the candies, Fabrique des Anis de Flavigny, (in the ancient abbey) is open to the public for visits.

Located in the historic village, the Maison des Arts Textiles & du Design is a museum and research center dedicated to the artisanal craft of creating textiles. The Maison des Arts Textiles & du Design also offers workshops on fabric design and has guest rooms.

25. Semur-en-Brionnais

Eglise Saint-Hilaire, Semur-en-Brionnais
Eglise Saint-Hilaire, Semur-en-Brionnais

In southern Burgundy, Semur-en-Brionnais is a tiny hilltop village that has earned a place on France's Plus Beaux Villages list. Visitors will appreciate the photogenic quality of this lovely hamlet, with its handsome old stone buildings, rose-tinted pastel-painted houses, and idyllic views of the countryside.

The town is the former capital of the historic Brionnais region and was a stronghold of Saint Hugues who founded the Abbaye de Cluny in the 10th century. To learn more about the Romanesque period when the Abbaye de Cluny flourished, tourists should visit the Maison du Chapitre, which presents educational exhibits about the region's Romanesque churches.

The village's rich heritage is seen in its 10th-century feudal castle, the Château Saint-Hugues, which features imposing medieval fortifications; and the 12th-century Collégiale Saint-Hilaire, an exquisite Romanesque church with ornately sculpted portals and a graceful arcaded interior.

Also worth visiting is the 11th-century Eglise Saint-Martin-la-Vallée, a simple Romanesque chapel in a tranquil green valley outside the village.

26. Saulieu

Small square in Saulieu
Small square in Saulieu

In the heart of Burgundy, the small village of Saulieu offers the charm of the countryside along with the culture of France. The village is known for its exceptional gastronomy and is a good place to indulge in a gourmet meal.

Saulieu boasts several excellent restaurants. The two-star Michelin establishment, La Côte d'Or at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau, specializes in classic French cuisine prepared with imaginative modern flair. Guests enjoy a refined a gastronomic experience in the elegant dining room of a listed Historic Monument. During summer, the garden terrace provides delightful outdoor seating.

Where to Stay in Burgundy for Sightseeing

We recommend these conveniently located hotels in charming towns like Saulieu, Dijon, Beaune, and Cluny:

  • Le Relais Bernard Loiseau: Stay here in Saulieu to enjoy inviting pools, antique wood beams, gourmet dining, and a decadent spa.
  • Hotel Oceania le Jura: The mid-range Dijon hotel offers stylish room decor, Nespresso machines, an indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi.
  • Hostellerie Le Potin Gourmand: Located in Cluny this property is set in a historic building and has a traditional French restaurant.
  • ibis Styles Beaune Centre: For affordable rates, a convenient location, comfortable beds, and a free breakfast it's hard to beat this accommodation.
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