Chalon-sur-Saône, the picturesque riverbank town in the center of the Côte Chalonnaise wine region, is located in southern Burgundy. You may pack your vacation with interesting and instructive visits to vineyards and caverns if you have a good palate for quality wine.
Chalon-sur-Saône, however, is most known for producing Vivant Denon, the founder of the modern museum, and Nicéphore Niépce, the man who snapped the first photograph in history, in the 19th century. There are museums dedicated to honoring both guys. The town was formerly a thriving interior river port, but pleasure cruises on the Saône and along the Canal du Centre have taken the place of commerce vessels.
- Best Things to Do in Chalon-sur-Saône (France)
- 1. Stroll along the Quai des Messageries
- 2. Visit the Chalon Cathedral
- 3. Explore the Musée Nicéphore Niépce
- 4. Take a boat tour on the Saône River
- 5. Visit the Maison des Vins de la Côte Chalonnaise
- 6. Explore the Old Town
- 7. Attend the Chalon dans la Rue Festival
- 8. Visit the Denon Museum
- 9. Enjoy a picnic in the Parc Georges Nouelle
- 10. Explore the Saint Vincent Church
- 11. Take a bike ride along the Voie Verte
- 12. Visit the Maison des Canuts
- 13. Explore the Château de Germolles
- 14. Enjoy a meal at a traditional Bouchon
- 15. Visit the Musée Vivant Denon
- 16. Take a day trip to Beaune
- 17. Attend a concert at the Espace des Arts
- 18. Explore the Musée Denon
- 19. Take a leisurely walk in the Jardins de l’Hotel de Ville
- 20. Visit the Maison des Vins et de la Tonnellerie
- 21. Explore the Musée du Souvenir du Combattant
- 22. Take a scenic drive along the Route des Grands Crus
- 23. Visit the Maison des Vins de Bourgogne
- 24. Attend the Chalon-sur-Saône International Street Photography Festival
- 25. Explore the Château de Rully
- 26. Visit the Musée de la Photographie Contemporaine
- 27. Take a cooking class
- 28. Explore the Château de Couches
- 29. Attend the Festival Chalon dans la Rue
- 30. Relax by the Saône River
Best Things to Do in Chalon-sur-Saône (France)
1. Stroll along the Quai des Messageries
Start your exploration of Chalon-sur-Saône by taking a leisurely walk along the Quai des Messageries. Enjoy the stunning views of the Saône River as you soak in the charming atmosphere of this picturesque waterfront.
2. Visit the Chalon Cathedral
No trip to Chalon-sur-Saône is complete without a visit to the Chalon Cathedral. Admire the impressive Gothic architecture and step inside to marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows.
3. Explore the Musée Nicéphore Niépce
If you’re a photography enthusiast, don’t miss the chance to visit the Musée Nicéphore Niépce. Discover the history of photography through a vast collection of cameras, prints, and other photographic artifacts.
4. Take a boat tour on the Saône River
Experience Chalon-sur-Saône from a different perspective by taking a boat tour on the Saône River. Enjoy the scenic views and learn about the city’s history as you cruise along the water.
5. Visit the Maison des Vins de la Côte Chalonnaise
Wine lovers will be delighted to visit the Maison des Vins de la Côte Chalonnaise. Taste a variety of local wines and learn about the winemaking process in this charming wine cellar.
6. Explore the Old Town
Wander through the narrow streets of Chalon-sur-Saône’s Old Town and discover its hidden gems. Admire the well-preserved medieval architecture and stop by the local shops and cafes.
7. Attend the Chalon dans la Rue Festival
If you’re visiting in July, make sure to catch the Chalon dans la Rue Festival. This vibrant street theater festival brings the city to life with performances, music, and art installations.
8. Visit the Denon Museum
Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Denon Museum. Admire the extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts spanning various periods and styles.
9. Enjoy a picnic in the Parc Georges Nouelle
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in the peaceful Parc Georges Nouelle. Pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful green spaces, playgrounds, and walking paths.
10. Explore the Saint Vincent Church
Step inside the Saint Vincent Church and marvel at its stunning architecture and intricate stained glass windows. Take a moment to appreciate the peaceful atmosphere and admire the religious artworks.
11. Take a bike ride along the Voie Verte
Rent a bike and explore the scenic Voie Verte, a greenway that follows the path of an old railway line. Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful landscapes as you cycle through the countryside.
12. Visit the Maison des Canuts
Learn about the history of silk production in Chalon-sur-Saône at the Maison des Canuts. Discover the intricate techniques used in silk weaving and admire the beautiful silk creations.
13. Explore the Château de Germolles
Take a short drive from Chalon-sur-Saône and visit the Château de Germolles. Explore the well-preserved medieval castle and its beautiful gardens, and imagine what life was like during the Middle Ages.
14. Enjoy a meal at a traditional Bouchon
Indulge in the local cuisine by dining at a traditional Bouchon. These cozy restaurants serve up delicious regional dishes, such as escargots, coq au vin, and tarte tatin.
15. Visit the Musée Vivant Denon
Discover the history of Chalon-sur-Saône at the Musée Vivant Denon. Explore the archaeological and historical exhibits that showcase the city’s rich heritage.
16. Take a day trip to Beaune
Take advantage of Chalon-sur-Saône’s proximity to the charming town of Beaune. Visit the famous Hospices de Beaune and explore the picturesque streets lined with colorful half-timbered houses.
17. Attend a concert at the Espace des Arts
Check the schedule and see if there are any concerts or performances happening at the Espace des Arts. Enjoy a night of music, dance, or theater in this modern cultural venue.
18. Explore the Musée Denon
Discover the art and history of Chalon-sur-Saône at the Musée Denon. Admire the collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that showcase the city’s cultural heritage.
19. Take a leisurely walk in the Jardins de l’Hotel de Ville
Escape the city center and enjoy a peaceful stroll in the Jardins de l’Hotel de Ville. Admire the well-manicured gardens, fountains, and statues as you relax in this tranquil oasis.
20. Visit the Maison des Vins et de la Tonnellerie
Learn about the art of winemaking and cooperage at the Maison des Vins et de la Tonnellerie. Discover the importance of oak barrels in the aging process of wine and taste some of the local vintages.
21. Explore the Musée du Souvenir du Combattant
Pay tribute to the soldiers who fought for France at the Musée du Souvenir du Combattant. Explore the exhibits that showcase the history of military conflicts and the sacrifices made by the armed forces.
22. Take a scenic drive along the Route des Grands Crus
Embark on a scenic drive along the Route des Grands Crus, a famous wine route that passes through the vineyards of Burgundy. Enjoy the breathtaking views and stop at the wineries for tastings.
23. Visit the Maison des Vins de Bourgogne
Expand your wine knowledge at the Maison des Vins de Bourgogne. Learn about the different wine regions of Burgundy and taste a variety of wines from renowned producers.
24. Attend the Chalon-sur-Saône International Street Photography Festival
If you’re a photography enthusiast, don’t miss the Chalon-sur-Saône International Street Photography Festival. Marvel at the captivating street photography exhibitions and participate in workshops and conferences.
25. Explore the Château de Rully
Take a short drive to the nearby Château de Rully and explore its medieval fortress. Admire the well-preserved architecture and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards.
26. Visit the Musée de la Photographie Contemporaine
Discover the world of contemporary photography at the Musée de la Photographie Contemporaine. Admire the thought-provoking exhibitions that showcase the works of both established and emerging photographers.
27. Take a cooking class
Immerse yourself in French gastronomy by taking a cooking class in Chalon-sur-Saône. Learn how to prepare classic dishes and savor the flavors of the region.
28. Explore the Château de Couches
Visit the Château de Couches, also known as the Château de Marguerite de Bourgogne. Explore the medieval fortress and its beautiful gardens, and learn about the castle’s fascinating history.
29. Attend the Festival Chalon dans la Rue
Experience the vibrant street arts scene at the Festival Chalon dans la Rue. Enjoy performances by street artists from around the world and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere.
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30. Relax by the Saône River
After a day of exploring, find a spot by the Saône River and simply relax. Watch the boats go by, enjoy a picnic, or read a book as you soak in the peaceful ambiance of this beautiful river.
Chalon-sur-Saône offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. With these 30 best things to do, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in this charming French city.