By Marine Proudhon
Because we know that your time is precious, we propose you to immerse yourself in the heart of the city of time and art, in 48h. Besançon is one of the most atypical cities in France. Located in the east of France, it is the cradle of luxury watchmaking and art. Here is what a weekend in Besançon has in store for you.
The weekend in Besançon starts with a stroll along the water
What could be better than to start this weekend with a discovery of Besançon along the Doubs, the French and Swiss river that encircles the city like a loop. To reconcile history and technology, the “Balade Vauban” application, for IOS and Android, allows you to plunge into the history of this city at the time of Vauban King Louis XIV’s architect. In this way, you will discover the very special architecture of Besançon, built essentially with a bi-coloured stone, called “pierre de Chailluz”, and its sumptuous 19th century synagogue. At the end of this walk, the centre of Besançon and its blue loop awaits you.
Journey to the time of Ancient Egypt
In the oldest museum in France, Besançon is full of many treasures. You will be able to travel to Ancient Egypt and discover very old sarcophagi and sublime paintings. Besançon is very famous for art, especially for the paintings of Gustave Courbet, the famous French painter. After this wonderful time in Ancient Egypt, it will be enough to walk a few minutes to discover the local cuisine, at the restaurant La Grange. A vast choice of local dishes will await you for the greatest pleasure of your taste buds.
Prestigious visit to the Palais Granvelle
Go back to the 16th century to visit the Granvelle Palace inspired by Italian palaces. Its sublime courtyard of honour will lead you to the Time Museum, the city’s must-see place, which retraces Besançon’s watchmaking know-how. Watchmaking is indeed the heart of the city, where you will find the most complex watch in the world! What could be better than to continue our watchmaking journey with a visit to the Ultinam shop, where watchmakers create sublime luxury watches, perpetuating the city’s watchmaking tradition. As you leave this sublime boutique, you will then be able to pay attention to the different dials that decorate the facades of the old town.
The place of great men
What do Gustave Courbet, Charles Nodier, the Brothers of Light, and Victor Hugo have in common? They all lived in Besançon, and they all lived in the same street. This is why we can continue our journey by visiting the birthplace of Victor Hugo, a famous French writer.
The time of gastronomy
After this first day of travel in the city of time, what could be better than a refined dinner in an atypical place? Rendezvous at the “Bains Douches“, a gastronomic restaurant that modernizes and revisits local products and the traditional cuisine of the city. After dinner, it will be time to go to the hotel “Le Sauvage“, a 3 star hotel located in an old monastery in the heart of the city.
Breakfast in a very private hotel
After a night at the hotel Le Sauvage nestled in the heart of the old town, it is time to take a little stroll in the heart of the old town and admire the very special architecture of Besançon. Here you can admire the small passages, the museums of the Middle Ages, the gargoyles, and the characteristic decorations of the Renaissance. After that, you could stroll in the Micaud park to admire the green nature of the city, as if time had stopped.
The treasures of Saint-Jean’s Cathedral
Beautiful from every angle, you will be able to admire the Black Door, an obligatory passage to get to the Saint-Jean Cathedral. This door is one of the only triumphal arches period preserved in France that is dating back to the Roman time. Through the door, we enter the cathedral, which contains a sublime astronomical clock of 30,000 pieces from the Italian Renaissance.
Ascension out of time
On leaving the cathedral, it is ideal to eat at the restaurant Le Manège. To reach the restaurant, you will have to climb the steps of the city centre. After having climbed all the steps, this revisited bistro in the heart of a former military arsenal will convince you with market cuisine.
Ascent to the Citadel
A few years ago, it was essential for cities to defend themselves from attacks. Thus, the architect Vauban, fortified Besançon, created the citadel under the orders of Louis XIV. Today, this citadel is a must see when visiting the city, and reconciles history and entertainment (museum, zoo, restaurants …), and offers you a breathtaking view over the entire city.
The end of one weekend in Besançon: Relaxation at the Cité des arts
After this beautiful visit of the Citadel of Besançon, we could go down to the City of Arts. The Cité des arts is a place not to be missed for artists, with the conservatory and a large green roof. You will be able to admire many exhibitions, and settle down on the outside terrace while taking a coffee break. The end of this weekend in Besançon is approaching, and your plane will be waiting for you.
How to spend a weekend in Besançon?
Besançon is a small town located in the east of France, close to Switzerland. Its geographical position, which makes it so beautiful and mysterious, is far from commercial airports.
Fly Aeolus can help you to make this weekend in Besançon unforgettable and bring you directly to Besançon, without the need of any other transport. It is the simplest and fastest solution for these 48 hours.
To get an idea how much a flight to Besançon would cost, have a look at our price calculator.
If you are not sure if Besancon is the right place for your next holidays, read our blog about the coolest destinations in France and let us inspire you with our tips.
Fly Aeolus is looking forward to hearing from you soon!