Heighten your senses and boost your neurones! You have 1 hour to solve the "Affair of the Poisons", a scandalous mix of conspiracy, adultery, betrayal and poisoning that happened during the reign of Louis XIV!
A weekend for two in Besançon, a little time out to take a deep breath, explore by bike or on foot, feast your eyes and improve your knowledge... The historic town of Besançon has an outstanding wealth of heritage, but will also surprise you with panoramic views over its ancient heart, Vesontio. Nestling below the outermost foothills of Jura, Besançon makes the ideal playground for a whole host of outdoor activities!
Tour of the Besançon Citadel
Listed as UNESCO World Heritage along with the Vauban fortifications, the citadel towers 115 metres above the town's historic heart. The wall walk offers magical views of the town and the surrounding hills.
Besides being a historic monument, the citadel has 7 hectares for visitors to explore, including three museums listed as "Musées de France":
- a Museum with a rich animal collection and a zoo,
- but also the Franche-Comté Museum, which provides insight into the crossing of cultures from here and elsewhere
- and the Resistance and Deportation Museum, currently closed for a complete renovation.
When you spend a day in the citadel, you explore time itself, discover the living world and admire the town.
"Affair of the Poisons" escape game
Fine Arts Museum tour
The Fine Arts & Archaeology Museum is an outstanding architectural showcase for one of the most beautiful collections existing outside of Paris. Masterpieces of European art from the Middle Ages to the modern day are presented throughout a highly original tour layout, ranging from Cranach, Bronzino, Bellini, Le Titien, Fragonnard, Hubert Robert, Courbet and Goya, to Bonnard and Picasso.
Not to be missed: the remarkable archaeology collection illustrating the town's prestigious past, not forgetting the amazing Egyptian section.
An opportunity to appreciate the soothing atmosphere as you stroll through the bright halls and galleries.
Exploring the town on foot
The historic town has a number of vestiges of its illustrious past, starting with the Porte Noire, a Gallo-Roman triumphal arch, dating from the 2nd century, which leads to the episcopal district.
To be sure to see all of the town's gems, follow the urban trails! These 4 itineraries can be explored on foot at your own pace. Each has a start and an end point with, between the two, monuments, gardens and wonders galore!
- Another tip for exploring the town at your own pace: visiter.besancon.fr a digital platform accessible to all.
Time Museum tour and bike ride along the Eurovélo 6
The Time Museum retraces the entire human adventure of time measurement, from the first basic instruments to the most sophisticated watches. Certain pieces were made in the workshops of Besançon more than 200 years ago. This museum occupies the prestigious Granvelle Palace which was bulit in the Renaissance era for one of Charles Quint's main advisors. An absolute must-see!
Next, you'll go cycling along the EuroVélo 6 cycle path which crosses Besançon and continues into the nearby countryside. Perfectly safe, this cycle path takes you along a river and the bucolic Doubs valley, all on the outskirts of the town!
- Need to rent a bike? Head for Proxy-Cycle in the town centre, just a stone's throw from the Time Museum
Fresh air and beautiful Franche-Comté farmhouses at the Ecomuseum of Nancray
Located on the first Jura plateau, the Musée des Maisons Comtoises in Nancray occupies a bucolic setting that blends into the natural surroundings. This open-air museum invites you to discover the region's typical housing, and gain a better understanding of humans' relationship to nature.
A leap back to our roots but also a source of inspiration for modern-day living!
Still have a little time to spare?
With some 1,500km of hiking trails and cycle paths, Besançon and the surrounding region promise some pleasant exploring and wonderful discoveries! There's no shortage of other activities either. Climbing, gliding, canoeing, kayaking, horse riding and potholing can be enjoyed virtually all year round in the Greater Besançon area.