Known as “the daughter of Cluny,” the Collégiale Notre-Dame, place du Général Leclerc, is a Romanesque church dating from 1120. Some remarkable 15th-century tapestries illustrating scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary are on display in the sanctuary and you can view them from Easter to mid-November (days and times vary). Admission is 3€ for adults, 2€ for children 11 to 18, and free for children 10 years and under.
Opened in 2011, Dalinéum, at 26 place Monge ([tel] 03-80-22-63-13; daily 11am–7pm; 7€ adults, 5€ ages 12–18; free for under 12s), is a permanent private collection of works by Salvador Dalí.
The best shopping streets are rue de Lorraine, rue d’Alsace, rue Maufoux, and place de la Madeleine. For smaller boutiques, stroll down the pedestrian rue Carnot and rue Monge. You’ll encounter plenty of designer labels, vintners, and antiques dealers.
Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, the streets around place de la Halle and place de Fleury are chock-a-block with Burgundy’s liveliest market. The most serious meat and cheese producers have their stalls in Les Halles. Consider taking a tour with American expat chef Marjorie Taylor of The Cook’s Atelier (www.thecooksatelier.com; [tel] 06-84-83-16-18), then making your own lunch under her supervision. And be sure to visit Edmond Fallot at 31 rue du Faubourg (www.fallot.com; [tel] 03-80-22-10-10) on the southwestern outskirts of town to buy mustard and have a look around the factory.
Burgundy by Bike
The best way to see this golden land is by bike. Near the Beaune Rail Station, Bourgogne Randonnées, 7 av. du 8 Septembre (tel. 03-80-22-06-03; www.bourgogne-randonnees.com), rents bikes for 17€ per day.
Beaune is the epicenter of Burgundian winemaking with many of the world’s most coveted and expensive wine appellations within an hour’s drive. To the north lies the Côte de Nuits, famed for its red Pinot Noir vineyards with mythical appellations such as La Romanée and Richebourg. To the south lies Côte de Beaune, home to the great names of white chardonnay wines such as Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet. At the time of writing, the area was waiting to hear if its unique land and climate had been granted UNESCO World Heritage status. You may want to start your wine tour in Beaune where many of Burgundy’s négociants (wine merchants who process and bottle the produce of smaller winemakers and then sell under their own name) have their bases. As well as being able to simply turn up with no appointment, you’ll often be able to taste a wider variety of appellations than at an individual vineyard. Patriarche Père et Fils (www.patriarche.com; [tel] 03-80-24-53-78) offers 1-hour visits to its fabulous 13th- to 14th-century vaulted tasting cellars where millions of bottles are held along 5km (3 miles) of underground cellars; it’s open daily from 9:30 to 11:30am and 2 to 5pm, and admission is 16€. Bouchard Père et Fils, 15 rue du Château, (www.bouchard-pereetfils.com; [tel] 03-80-24-80-45) has cellars in the 15th-century Castle of Beaune, a former royal fortress. A guided tour in English and tasting of six wines takes place at 10am (and at 4pm Apr–Nov) from Monday to Saturday and costs 19€. Just opposite the celebrated Hôtel-Dieu, the Marché aux Vins (www.marcheauxvins.com; [tel] 03-80-25-08-20) is housed in a former Cordeliers church. With over 100 hectares (247 acres) of vineyards, this wine négociant offers a wide range of appellations to taste. Tastings of 7 wines cost 11€ and 10 wines cost 15€. It’s open daily Apr to Oct from 10am to 6:30pm; Nov to Mar from 10am to noon and 2 to 6pm. On the northern outskirts of town on the D18, American-owned Maison Louis Jadot (www.louisjadot.com; [tel] 03-80-26-31-98), is open for free tastings Mon to Fri from 3 to 7pm and Saturday from 11am to 5:30pm. You can also pre-book a tasting and a visit to its modern cellars at 3pm Mon to Fri and 10am on Saturdays, which costs 20€.
If you fancy visiting vineyards outside Beaune, head south along D974 to Pommard. Château de Pommard, 15 rue Marey Monge (www.chateaudepommard.com; [tel] 03-80-22-12-59). Built for Messire Vivant de Micault equerry and secretary of Louis XVI in 1726, this castle was bought in 2003 by Maurice Giraud. Visits to the cellars that hold 300,000 bottles, the castle museum with its collection of antique vintners’ tools, the gardens, and the art gallery cost 21€. It’s open daily from 9:30am to 6:30pm. Next, you can head farther along the D974 to the Château de Meursault (www.meursault.com; [tel] 03-80-26-22-75). This domaine owns over 60 hectares (148 acres) of vineyards covering appellations including Aloxe Corton, Pommard, Puligny-Montrachet, and of course Meursault. You can turn up without prior reservation for a visit to the cellars of this fabulous 19th-century castle, followed by a tasting of five wines in the old castle kitchens for 18€. It is open daily 9:30am to noon and 2 to 6pm (no lunchtime closure May to September). You may like to stop for a wine-tasting lunch along the way at La Table d’Olivier Leflaive (www.Olivier-leflaive.com; [tel] 03-80-21-37-65), 10 place du Monument in Puligny-Montrachet, which costs 25€ plus 25€–45€ for accompanying wine.
For those who’d like to visit independent, family winegrowers but don’t know where to start, Burgundy by Request (www.burgundybyrequest.com; [tel] 06-85-65-83-83), run by English expat Tracy Thurling, should be your first port of call. Cristina Otel of Taste Burgundy Wine School (www.tasteburgundywineschool.org; [tel] 06-68-84-24-28), is a highly qualified winemaker whose courses and tours offer a more in-depth knowledge of the local AOCs. A good introduction to grape varieties is also offered by Vin Sensation at 1 rue d’Enfer in Beaune (www.sensation-vin.com; [tel] 03-80-22-17-57) during their “Essential Burgundy” session that lasts 1[bf]1/2 hours and costs 35€.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.