The capital of the Beaujolais wine area is Villefranche-sur-Saône, which is to the north of Lyon. The community loves Beaujolais, and particular bistros provide food with menus centered around this smooth wine.
You don’t have to be an expert to learn more about Beaujolais; in only a few days, you can become an expert thanks to the region’s caves, vineyards, and wine tour operators! Rue Nationale, the town’s main thoroughfare, with charming Renaissance homes and narrow alleys that lead to lovely gardens. There are charming golden stone villages nearby, and Lyon, which is approximately 25 minutes south, should never be disregarded.
- Best Things to Do in Villefranche-sur-Saône (France)
- 1. Explore the Old Town
- 2. Visit the Musée Paul Dini
- 3. Take a Stroll along the Saône River
- 4. Explore the Parc des Marais
- 5. Discover the Château de Montmelas
- 6. Sample Local Wines
- 7. Attend a Concert at the Théâtre de Villefranche
- 8. Visit the Musée Claude Bernard
- 9. Explore the Beaujolais Villages
- 10. Enjoy a Boat Ride on the Saône River
- 11. Discover the Musée Municipal
- 12. Visit the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe
- 13. Go Shopping at the Market
- 14. Taste Regional Delicacies
- 15. Explore the Church of Saint-Vincent
- 16. Take a Day Trip to Lyon
- 17. Attend the Beaujolais Nouveau Festival
- 18. Visit the Jardin Public
- 19. Explore the Hameau Duboeuf
- 20. Attend a Wine Tasting Workshop
- 21. Visit the Château de Lachassagne
- 22. Explore the Village of Oingt
- 23. Attend a Wine Festival
- 24. Visit the Château de Fléchères
- 25. Discover the Village of Pérouges
- 26. Attend a Concert at the Auditorium de Villefranche
- 27. Take a Cooking Class
- 28. Visit the Village of Jarnioux
- 29. Attend the Festival des Conscrits
- 30. Relax at a Local Spa
Best Things to Do in Villefranche-sur-Saône (France)
1. Explore the Old Town
Start your journey in Villefranche-sur-Saône by exploring its charming Old Town. Wander through the narrow streets lined with colorful buildings and admire the well-preserved architecture. Don’t forget to visit the Notre-Dame-des-Marais Church, a beautiful example of Gothic architecture.
2. Visit the Musée Paul Dini
Art enthusiasts should not miss the Musée Paul Dini. This museum showcases a diverse collection of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local art scene.
Read More : Best Things to Do in Thionville (France)
3. Take a Stroll along the Saône River
The Saône River offers a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely stroll. Enjoy the tranquility and take in the beautiful views of the river and the surrounding countryside. There are also several cafes and restaurants along the riverbank where you can relax and enjoy a meal.
4. Explore the Parc des Marais
For nature lovers, a visit to the Parc des Marais is a must. This park is a haven for wildlife and offers several walking trails where you can observe birds and other animals in their natural habitat. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
5. Discover the Château de Montmelas
Located just a short drive from Villefranche-sur-Saône, the Château de Montmelas is a magnificent castle dating back to the 13th century. Take a guided tour to learn about its history and explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the castle.
6. Sample Local Wines
Villefranche-sur-Saône is situated in the heart of the Beaujolais wine region, known for its delicious red wines. Take a wine tour and visit local vineyards to taste some of the finest wines the region has to offer. Don’t forget to try the famous Beaujolais Nouveau!
7. Attend a Concert at the Théâtre de Villefranche
The Théâtre de Villefranche is a cultural hub in the city, hosting a variety of performances throughout the year. Check the schedule and catch a concert, play, or dance performance to experience the vibrant arts scene in Villefranche-sur-Saône.
8. Visit the Musée Claude Bernard
Learn about the life and work of the famous scientist Claude Bernard at the Musée Claude Bernard. This museum houses a collection of his personal belongings, scientific instruments, and documents, providing insight into his groundbreaking research.
9. Explore the Beaujolais Villages
Take a scenic drive through the Beaujolais Villages and discover charming villages nestled among vineyards. Each village has its own unique character and offers opportunities to taste local wines and indulge in regional cuisine.
10. Enjoy a Boat Ride on the Saône River
Experience Villefranche-sur-Saône from a different perspective by taking a boat ride on the Saône River. Enjoy the gentle breeze and admire the picturesque landscapes as you cruise along the river.
11. Discover the Musée Municipal
The Musée Municipal is a small but fascinating museum that showcases the history and culture of Villefranche-sur-Saône. Explore the exhibits to learn about the city’s past and its importance as a trading hub.
12. Visit the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe
Located in the nearby village of Anse, the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe is a hidden gem. Admire the stunning stained glass windows and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this beautiful chapel.
13. Go Shopping at the Market
Every Thursday and Sunday, the city comes alive with the bustling market. Browse through stalls selling fresh produce, local delicacies, and artisanal crafts. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and pick up some souvenirs.
14. Taste Regional Delicacies
Villefranche-sur-Saône is known for its delicious cuisine. Indulge in regional specialties such as coq au vin, quenelles, and tarte aux pralines. Visit local restaurants and cafes to savor the flavors of the region.
15. Explore the Church of Saint-Vincent
The Church of Saint-Vincent is a stunning example of Romanesque architecture. Admire the intricate details of the facade and step inside to marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows.
16. Take a Day Trip to Lyon
Villefranche-sur-Saône is located just a short distance from Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Take a day trip to Lyon and explore its historic old town, visit museums, and indulge in world-class cuisine.
17. Attend the Beaujolais Nouveau Festival
If you visit Villefranche-sur-Saône in November, don’t miss the Beaujolais Nouveau Festival. This annual celebration marks the release of the new Beaujolais wine and features live music, street performances, and fireworks.
18. Visit the Jardin Public
The Jardin Public is a peaceful park in the heart of Villefranche-sur-Saône. Take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
19. Explore the Hameau Duboeuf
Located in nearby Romanèche-Thorins, the Hameau Duboeuf is a wine theme park that offers a unique experience for wine enthusiasts. Explore the museum, take a train ride through the vineyards, and enjoy wine tastings.
20. Attend a Wine Tasting Workshop
Expand your wine knowledge by attending a wine tasting workshop in Villefranche-sur-Saône. Learn about different grape varieties, wine production techniques, and how to pair wine with food.
21. Visit the Château de Lachassagne
Located just a short drive from Villefranche-sur-Saône, the Château de Lachassagne is a beautiful castle surrounded by vineyards. Take a guided tour to learn about its history and enjoy panoramic views of the countryside.
22. Explore the Village of Oingt
Discover the medieval village of Oingt, a hidden gem in the Beaujolais region. Stroll through its narrow streets, admire the well-preserved architecture, and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards.
23. Attend a Wine Festival
Villefranche-sur-Saône and the surrounding Beaujolais region host several wine festivals throughout the year. Join the locals in celebrating the region’s rich wine heritage, enjoy live music, and participate in wine tastings.
24. Visit the Château de Fléchères
Located in nearby Fareins, the Château de Fléchères is a magnificent 17th-century castle surrounded by beautiful gardens. Explore the castle’s opulent interiors and take a leisurely stroll through the meticulously landscaped gardens.
25. Discover the Village of Pérouges
Take a day trip to the medieval village of Pérouges, located just a short drive from Villefranche-sur-Saône. Wander through its cobbled streets, visit the ancient church, and sample the local specialty, galette.
26. Attend a Concert at the Auditorium de Villefranche
The Auditorium de Villefranche is a modern concert hall that hosts a variety of musical performances, from classical to contemporary. Check the schedule and enjoy an evening of music in a world-class venue.
27. Take a Cooking Class
Immerse yourself in the local culinary traditions by taking a cooking class in Villefranche-sur-Saône. Learn how to prepare regional dishes and get hands-on experience in the kitchen.
28. Visit the Village of Jarnioux
Explore the charming village of Jarnioux, known for its beautiful vineyards and panoramic views. Take a walk through the vineyards, visit the local wineries, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this picturesque village.
29. Attend the Festival des Conscrits
If you visit Villefranche-sur-Saône in February, don’t miss the Festival des Conscrits. This unique festival celebrates the tradition of young people turning 20 years old and features parades, costumes, and lively celebrations.
Read More : Best Things to Do in Rambouillet (France)
30. Relax at a Local Spa
After a day of exploring Villefranche-sur-Saône, treat yourself to some relaxation at a local spa. Indulge in a massage, unwind in the sauna, or take a dip in the pool to rejuvenate your body and mind.
With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene, Villefranche-sur-Saône offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in art, history, nature, or gastronomy, this charming city has something to offer everyone.