26 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Burgundy

Written by Lisa Alexander
Updated Dec 28, 2023
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The Burgundy region is a veritable treasure trove of historic monuments and picturesque towns, 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.

Historical medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois, Burgundy, France
Historical medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois, Burgundy, France

Burgundy has its own unique culture. Burgundian buildings feature a distinctive architecture of colorful tiled roofs, and the hearty cuisine is famously delicious.

You 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 of France 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

Dijon
Dijon

Dijon has an air of old-fashioned elegance thanks to its impressive architecture, atmospheric cobblestone streets, and traditional boutiques. In case you're wondering: Yes, you will find shops that sell fancy jars of fine mustard!

At the historic center of town is the Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne. (Dijon was once the capital of the Duchy of Burgundy). This medieval palace allows you to imagine the grandiosity of Ducal life, which included lavish gourmet banquets. Also scattered around the city are the historic residences of the dukes, hôtels particuliers (mansions).

Housed inside a wing of the Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne, is the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, which ranks among the top attractions in Dijon and the best art museums in France. Exhibits cover a range of historic periods and genres, including Egyptian antiquities, medieval religious objects, Renaissance paintings, and Impressionist art.

The Musée Magnin occupies a 17th-century hôtel particulier, considered one of Dijon's most exquisite mansions. Gorgeous rooms, decorated with Louis XV and Louis XVI furnishings, display the works of art. The collection includes école française (French) paintings, as well as masterpieces of European painting and antique furniture of the 16th and 19th centuries.

Eglise Notre-Dame in Dijon
Eglise Notre-Dame in Dijon

The most important church in Dijon is the Burgundian Gothic Eglise Notre-Dame, built in the 13th century. The spectacular exterior, with its profusion of grimacing and expressive gargoyles, provides a contrast to the somber 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. Mass is celebrated here daily, at 6pm during the week, 5pm on Saturdays, and 10am on Sundays.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Dijon

2. Beaune

Beaune
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 altarpiece.

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

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Beaune

Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in France

3. Cluny

Cluny
Cluny

The most important monastic order of the Middle Ages, the Benedictine monks of Cluny founded the Abbaye de Cluny in the early 10th century. The abbey's church was the largest 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 open for visits year-round, daily. Entrance requires an admission fee. 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 Monument Historique. The church has a splendid Gothic sanctuary, remarkable for its bright and harmonious high-vaulted nave, which is illuminated by delicate stained-glass windows.

Forteresse de Berzé
Forteresse de Berzé

Amazing castles are found nearby, including the Forteresse de Berzé, six kilometers from Cluny, (open April until early November) where The Last Duel starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon was filmed; the Château de Saint-Point (open April through July for guided tours), a medieval castle restored by poet Alphonse de Lamartine; and the sumptuous 17th-century Château de Cormatin (open April until mid-November for guided tours), enclosed by a moat and leafy gardens.

Resembling a fairy-tale castle, the Château de Brancion is a medieval fortified castle surrounded by forests and farmland. The castle reveals architectural elements of various historical epochs, from the Carolingian period (10th century) to the Wars of Religion (16th century). The Château de Brancion is open for self-guided visits from April through mid-November.

Amid vine-covered rolling hills, the romantic Château de Pierreclos has been converted into an upscale boutique hotel with modern rooms and an outdoor swimming pool.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Cluny

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

4. Vézelay

Vézelay
Vézelay

Vézelay perches on a hilltop overlooking the Morvan mountain range. Because of its beauty and charm, the town is listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France.

Crowning the village is the UNESCO-listed Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine, a gem of Romanesque architecture. The 12th-century church was a stop on the Chemin de Saint-Jacques medieval pilgrimage 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. The Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine is often filled with inspiring music sung by monks and nuns of the "Fraternités Monastiques de Jerusalem" during Mass and Vespers.

The Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine is open every day year-round. You may take a guided tour, go on a self-guided visit, or attend a religious service (held at least once or twice daily and several times on Sundays).

Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine
Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine

You 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
Abbaye de Fontenay

The 12th-century Abbaye de Fontenay is the world's oldest surviving Cistercian abbey. The Abbaye de Fontenay is a classified Monument Historique, as well as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The property nestles within the 1,200-hectare Vallon de Fontenay, a nature preserve that encompasses forests, ponds, waterfalls, and meadows.

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 exemplifies 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 grounds have been labeled as a Jardin Remarquable.

The Abbey of Fontenay has retained its original bakery, church, and dormitory. Visiting these domestic quarters gives you a realistic impression of the 12th-century monks' daily life.

The site is open daily year-round, for self-guided visits or guided tours (in French). Entrance requires an admission fee. You may also visit the abbey's Lapidary Museum (medieval sculpture collection) and gift shop.

Address: Fontenay Abbey, Montbard 21500

6. Auxerre

Auxerre
Auxerre

This lively riverside town brims with architectural treasures. The historic part of Auxerre 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 breathtaking high vaulting and luminous stained glass. The well-preserved 15th- and 16th-century stained-glass windows are considered some of the most beautiful in France. The cathedral's treasury contains precious reliquaries with Limoges enamel decoration.

You may visit the cathedral year-round daily.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Auxerre

7. Sens

Saint- Maurice Church in Sens, Burgundy
Saint- Maurice Church in Sens, Burgundy

The early Middle Ages was an eventful time in Sens. The doctrines of Abelard were condemned at a church council held here in 1140, and Louis IX was married in the cathedral in 1234. The grandiose Palais Synodal, a former Episcopal Palace, was also built during this period.

For your sightseeing tour of the town, begin at the 13th-century Palais Synodal which displays contemporary art exhibitions during the summer. 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

Roman Ruins in Autun
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

Avallon
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 12th-century Eglise Saint-Martin-du-Bourg, listed as a Monument Historique.

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

The Musée de l'Avallonnais displays collections of art, archaeology, and ethnography. A highlight of the museum is its collection devoted to the Yao Mien and Mun people of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Exhibits feature Yao costumes, textiles, and jewelry, as well as exhibits about Yao culture and heritage.

In the peaceful Morvan Forest, about 27 kilometers from Avallon, is the Abbaye Sainte-Marie de la Pierre-qui-Vire. Here monks spend a life of prayer and community service. You may visit the abbey to participate in prayer, meditation, or religious services.

If you would like to stay overnight, a hostel (hôtellerie) provides basic accommodations in an ambience of serene silence. You may choose from individual and double rooms. There is also a space that accommodates groups.

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 cows and goats that produce milk 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
Monastère Royal de Brou in Bourg-en-Bresse

Bourg-en-Bresse is a historic market town known for its chickens: Poulets de Bresse, which have an Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) designation. The celebrated French chef Paul Bocuse created a famous recipe for Bresse chicken in a creamy morel sauce.

When it comes to sightseeing, 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 year-round daily (except for January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th) for self-guided visits. Audioguides are available for an additional fee.

The cloisters of the Monastère Royal de Brou à Bourg-en-Bresse house a Musée des Beaux-Arts. 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 museum also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Bourg-en-Bresse

Read More: Top-Rated Day Trips from Lyon

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 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 April through mid-November. You may see the furnished apartments, the chapel, the stables, and park.

Facade of the Château de Saint-Fargeau
Facade of the Château de Saint-Fargeau

On Thursday nights from mid-July through late August, the château hosts Visites de Nuit (Nighttime Visits). During these soirées, you are invited into the candlelit dining room and grand salon by château "residents" wearing authentic costumes.

For a truly unique experience, spend the night on the property. 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

12. Mâcon

Mâcon
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 and abstract 20th-century artworks.

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

Nevers
Nevers

Several exceptional historic monuments make Nevers worth a detour.

Not to be missed is the Renaissance Palais Ducal, where the Counts and Dukes of Nevers once resided. The Palais Ducal hosts exhibitions and is open for visits year-round daily, except Sundays during the low season.

The spectacular Cathédrale Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte dates back to the 11th century. This classified Monument Historique shows a range of architectural styles: a Romanesque west choir, Gothic nave, and Renaissance spiral staircase. The cathedral also boasts over 1,000 square meters of contemporary stained-glass windows created by several artists. You may visit year-round, daily from 9am until 5pm (and until 6:30pm in summer).

In the Porte du Croux medieval gate tower, the Musée Archéologique du Nivernais displays Gallo-Roman archaeological finds and Romanesque sculptures. Highlights include the Gallo-Roman Busts of the Emperor Hadrien; the 12th-century sculpture of the Virgin; and the 16th-century Bas-Relief of Saint-Hubert, classified as a Monument Historique. The museum is open June through October, 2pm until 6pm Thursday through Sunday.

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
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 in Paray-le-Monial are the medieval Chapelle de Romay; a Marian sanctuary; and the Musée du Hiéron, which displays classical-era Christian art and temporary exhibitions of contemporary works. The Musée du Hiéron is open every day in July and August, and from Wednesday through Sunday the rest of the year.

15. Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan

Lac de Saint-Agnan, Parc Naturel Regional 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 referring to the 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 bordered by expanses of lush forest.

The natural park's rivers and streams are great for fishing, canoeing, and rafting. Other things to do outdoors include boating at the lakes, hiking, and rock climbing.

Cascade de Narvau, Morvan Regional Natural Park
Cascade de Narvau, Morvan Regional Natural Park

Amid this unspoiled natural landscape, there is also an interesting cultural heritage. The pastoral landscape is dotted with small villages, magnificent castles, and ancient churches.

Perhaps a luxurious retreat in the countryside interests you? Try the Château du Creuset, which has been converted into an upscale bed-and-breakfast hotel. You'll enjoy a restful night's sleep at this renovated 17th-century French castle, which is surrounded by 14 hectares of parkland.

16. Château d'Ancy-le-Franc

Château d'Ancy-le-Franc
Château d'Ancy-le-Franc

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

An expansive park surrounds the château, giving 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, parterres, fountains, and statues.

The interior is sumptuously decorated with 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 self-guided visits from May through mid-September. Private parties and wedding receptions are often held here, as well as special events such as a LEGO exhibition in 2023.

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

17. Noyers-sur-Serein

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

Take a delightful step back in time by visiting Noyers-sur-Serein. Ancient ramparts with 23 towers enclose the medieval village. In this enchanting little world, winding pedestrian streets lead to old churches, Renaissance mansions, and half-timbered houses.

Noyers-sur-Serein is listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. It's also a desirable place to shoot period films thanks to the beautiful riverside setting and quaint historic ambience.

The Place du Marché-au-Blé (Corn Market) and the Place du Grenier-à-Sel (Salt Storehouse) give you a sense of the town's importance during the medieval era.

Take a stroll to admire the town's charming buildings and browse the boutiques. In quiet corners, you will find inviting little shops that sell artisan-crafted items and regional products.

If you appreciate traditional crafts and folk art, visit the Musée des Arts Naïfs et Populaires (Museum of Naïve and Popular Arts) on the Rue de l'Eglise. This museum displays one of the largest collections of naïve art in France.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Noyers-sur-Serein

18. Tournus

Tournus
Tournus

Tournus is renowned for its 11th-century abbey, the Abbaye Saint-Philibert. The abbey's church (Eglise Saint-Philibert) is considered a masterpiece of early Romanesque architecture.

The Eglise Saint-Philibert is open year-round daily, but is closed on Sunday mornings during religious services. Step inside to marvel over the surprisingly bright high-vaulted nave. The airy interior contrasts with the building's somber fortified exterior.

The town of Tournus is known as "La Perle de Bourgogne du Sud" ("The Pearl of Southern Burgundy"), thanks to its lovely buildings with pastel facades and red-tile roofs. 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. The museum is currently closed for renovations.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Tournus

19. Semur-en-Auxois

Semur-en-Auxois
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 from May through 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 de 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

Chatillon-sur-Seine
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. The museum's claim to fame is the enormous bronze Cretère de Vix, dating to 530 BCE, which holds 1,100 liters (the largest ancient vase ever found).

22. Château de Tanlay

Château de Tanlay
Château de Tanlay

Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Château de Tanlay has all the elements of a fairy-tale castle: a wooded estate, water-filled moat, turreted towers, and grand reception rooms. This majestic Renaissance castle is classified as a Monument Historique.

Despite its dreamy appearance, the castle has endured tough times. During the Wars of Religion, the château owner Admiral de Coligny often gathered with other Protestant (Hugenot) leaders at his property.

The Marquis de Tanlay acquired the château in the late 17th century. Since then, the castle has been inherited by his descendants, and the same family continues to reside here. The current owner is the Comte de La Chauvinière, the son of Marguerite de Tanlay and Edouard de La Chauvinière. The count's daughter currently manages the château.

You may see the interior of the château by taking a 50-minute guided tour (in English or French), available from early April through early November every day except Tuesdays. Noteworthy aspects of the interior include a room with a gallery of trompe l'oeil paintings and frescoes in the Ligue Tower.

The guided tour provides access to the Château de Tanlay's park. The verdant, densely wooded grounds invite leisurely strolls along the pedestrian paths and alongside the canal. For a small fee, you may visit the park (open during the same period as the château) without taking a guided tour of the château.

Address: 2 Grande Rue Basse, 89430 Tanlay

Accommodation: Where to Stay in 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

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Treigny

24. Flavigny-sur-Ozerain

Flavigny-sur-Ozerain
Flavigny-sur-Ozerain

This characteristic Burgundian town is listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France because of its historic charm. Perched on a hilltop and enclosed within ramparts, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain 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.

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 the Plus Beaux Villages de France 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 and artworks.

The village's rich heritage is seen in its 10th-century feudal castle, the Château Saint-Hugues, which features imposing medieval fortifications; and the Collégiale Saint-Hilaire, a 12th-century 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 culture and charm.

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 modern French cuisine. If you decide to indulge in a meal here, you will be treated to a refined gastronomic experience. During summer, the garden terrace provides delightful outdoor seating.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Saulieu

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: This five-star Relais & Châteaux property has a Michelin-starred restaurant, a casual bistro, an outdoor swimming pool, and spa. Some guest rooms have exposed beam ceilings and classic decor; suites feature sleek contemporary decor.
  • Hotel Oceania Le Jura Dijon: This four-star hotel offers stylish room decor, Nespresso machines, an indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi.
  • Hostellerie Le Potin Gourmand: Located in Cluny, this three-star property is set in a historic building and has a traditional French restaurant.
  • ibis Styles Beaune Centre: You can't beat this accommodation for affordable rates in a great location. The three-star hotel also offers a complimentary breakfast.

Map of Attractions & Places to Visit in Burgundy

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