Visiting Burgundy


The very first thing you should know about visiting Burgundy is that in France, it’s not called Burgundy; it’s called Bourgogne (pronounced bore-GONE, more or less). The second thing you should know is that it’s a region, so you can’t buy a train ticket “to Burgundy” per se; but we’ll have more on the beautiful towns in this region below, so read on!

How do you get to Burgundy?

Burgundy starts just below Île-de-France (the region where Paris is) and extends south-southeast. You can get to Dijon, its capital, from Paris in about an hour and a half by TGV train (day trip alert!). You can read more about how to get to Burgundy from Paris here, including directly from the airport in Paris by car.

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What are some places to visit in Burgundy?

  • Dijon—Yes, home of the mustard. Dijon is one of France’s gastronomic capitals (along with Lyon), and has a wide variety of sights from pretty much every era starting from about a thousand years ago.
  • Autun—If you thought a thousand years was a long time ago, then get ready for your mind to be blown in Autun, home to its original Roman gates and other Roman sights.
  • Auxuerre—This is where you’ll see the half-timbered homes from all the travel brochures.
  • Beaune—Wine, wine and more wine. All the wine.
  • Mâcon–Mâcon on the River Saône is the gateway to the south, Lyon and the Mediterranean, so it’s a must-see on any road trip.
  • Vézelay—This town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries – namely to visit the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, which is built, as so many things are, on Roman ruins.

What is there to do in Burgundy?

Burgundy is the perfect region for a road trip, for several reasons:

  1. It’s beautiful. There is literally not a bad view in the entire region. So instead of whipping past it on a 200-mph train, you can enjoy it the way it was meant to be – slowly, with lots of pit stops for photo ops.
  2. It has many tiny adorable villages, and they’re not all accessible by mass transit. Take Chablis, for example – it’s nestled between a few small hills, and you’d miss it (and its wine) completely if you couldn’t get there by car.
  3. Wine country. Need I say more? Go and tour your favorite vineyards, and taste your favorite wines at their source.

You can also take cooking classes in Burgundy, or sign up for a wine tasting tour (or entire vacation!).

What’s the weather like in Burgundy?

Burgundy looks a lot like two other world-famous wine regions – Tuscany and the Napa Valley – and shares roughly the same weather. Check here to learn more about the weather in France, as well as what to wear in France in the summer and winter (and for spring and fall, a combination of the two).

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