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Burgundy on a Budget: Visit The Famed French Region Without Breaking the Bank

Burgundy on a Budget: Visit The Famed French Region Without Breaking the Bank

Millions of people visit France each year to be close to some of the world’s most treasured vineyards. One of the most coveted stops is Burgundy (Bourgogne in French), a region about a three-hour drive southeast of Paris known for its Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and more than 80 appellations to explore. While this area is home to some of the country’s most elevated vineyards and historic chateaux, this doesn’t mean that a trip is out of the question for budget-minded travelers.  Here’s how to do it right.  

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Chablis and Surrounds

Located in the northwest portion of Burgundy is the appellation and village of Chablis. Here, look for wines made from the region’s signature white grape, Chardonnay. However, what makes this spot unique is its cooler climate and iconic Kimmeridgian soil composed of limestone, clay and fossilized oyster shells, which produces a sip that is lean, mineral-driven and bright. 

Where to Drink in and Around Chablis 

For less than seven euros per person, visitors to La Chablisienne, a cooperative winery, can enjoy a tasting of four wines, including Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. Épineuil, located northeast of Chablis, is another unique appellation where offers hospitable tasting experiences. There, check out Domaine Dominique Gruhier for top-notch hospitable tasting experiences. Make sure to try his outstanding Crémant de Bourgogne, made with the same technique as Champagne but with local grapes (and a smaller price tag). Other suggestions include Domaine Ferrari in Irancy, where historic vintage bottles are available for under 20 euros and Domaine du Clos du Roi in Coulanges-la-Vineuse, which offers tastes of Burgundian food products such as cheese, sausages, gherkins and more. 

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Where to Eat in Chablis 

There’s one place everyone visits in the village of Chablis and that’s Au Fil du Zinc, which chef Mathieu Sagardoytho has led since the summer of 2020. He’s known for being meticulous with his ingredients such as local Crisenon Farm trout and lamb from nearby Clavisy Farm. To explore the wine list—which includes Chablis legends such as Vincent Dauvissat and Domaine François Raveneau—consider popping in for lunch, which starts at 34 euros for three courses. Wine pairings start at three glasses for 33 euros. Le Bistrot des Grands Crus features around 400 Chablis wines selected by Sommelier Thomas Charlut, recognized by the Revue des Vins de France for creating one of the “100 most beautiful wine lists” in the country. Some of these wines are a splurge, but the weekday menu for 30 euros and wines by the glass starting at five euros are affordable hacks that will let you experience the same local flavors on the plate and in the glass. 

Where to Stay in Chablis 

Get a room at Hostellerie des Clos, right in the heart of the village of Chablis. This hotel has amenities including a spa and gym, but room rates are reasonable, between 90 and 120 euros per night. Book during a weekday in the quiet season for the best price. Another savvy option is Appartements Domaine Gueguen Chablis, a modernized guest house run by one of the region’s most respected family-owned winery estates. It offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom accommodations, starting at less than 100 euros. Wine tastings can be had for 5 euros. 

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France, Burgundy, Côte-d'Or, Dijon, Unesco world heritage site, cityscape with Sainte Benigne cathedral
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The historic center of Dijon is part of The Climats, Terroirs of Burgundy UNESCO World Heritage Site, so expect to find great local wines paired with exceptional architecture, including a 15th-century Gothic palace and a medieval historic core filled with pedestrian-friendly winding cobblestone streets. (If you come across owl-shaped emblems, you know you’ve stumbled upon a notable location.) Dijon is also a fantastic eating city, with classic culinary delights like Dijon mustard, pungent époisses cheese and escargot on many menus. Plus, there are loads of free museums—standouts include Musée des Beaux-Arts  and Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle—so you don’t have to swipe your card to have a good time. 

Where to Drink in Dijon 

La Cave se Rebiffe is a must-visit. Reservations are essential since a full house at this intimate spot is fewer than 20 people. Jeff Burrows, DipWSET and writer at, suggests exploring the menus on the large chalkboards and sharing a bottle with a friend. Another favorite is L’Arsouille, a natural wine shop that offers tastings and outdoor seating, so guests can enjoy a bottle on the spot. Burrows also recommends Dingovino for its selection of natural wines from the region and around France. 

For a unique experience, Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin offers food and wine workshops and experiences, such as a program on the history of salt, a Pinot Noir versus Gamay tasting and a class about snacks of the Roman Gods. 

A short car ride south of Dijon leads to Caveau des Vignerons in Morey-Saint-Denis where 12 local producers offer over one hundred wines in a single convenient location. 

Where to Eat in Dijon 

Dijon is a food-loving city, where finding a good meal is never hard. Burrows recommends Monique for its seasonally sourced veggies and extensive wine list—three-course meals start at 24 euro. Another standout is Restaurant So, which earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand for its quality and value, from less than 30 euro for three courses. For a cozy night out, Caveau de Saulx offers great wine and organic food in this 17th-century cellar with a stony, nocturnal ambiance. 

But the most budget-friendly and flexible option is to gather ingredients from Les Halles of Dijon, a sprawling market housed in a metal and glass Gustave Eiffel (yes, Eiffel tower, Eiffel) building where you’ll be surrounded by merchants offering the region’s bounty including mushrooms, pastries, bread, cheese, pâté and more. 

Where to Stay in Dijon 

Hôtel Wilson invites guests to lodge in a fully renovated 17th-century carriage house. Located in the historic town center, with plenty of walkable experiences nearby, this hotel offers rooms ranging from 89 to 250 euro, with additional supplements for breakfast, parking and pets. Another conveniently located accommodation is Hôtel des Ducs, which boasts stylish rooms and apartments in the historic district. It also has a unique loyalty program, granting a 15% discount to return guests booking within three years of their original visit. 

Saturday Market in Beaune
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Beaune is one of the wine capitals of Europe. It’s the home of the world’s oldest wine auction, held at the Hôtel-Dieu, one of the most famous historical sites in the region. The spectacular Gothic building features a glazed tile roof surrounded by dozens of hectares of Premier and Grand cru terroir. This is one of the most bustling spots for wine lovers in the region, full of immersive experiences into the viticultural history of Burgundy. 

Where to Drink in Beaune 

Beaune offers many places to enjoy wine without breaking the bank. Wenz recommends Le Bout du Monde for a candlelit experience with exposed-stone walls and multi-textured furniture perfect for an after-dinner sip. Many of our experts shout out teensy La Dilettante for exploring Burgundy’s wide variety of wine (which has made it a favorite among local producers) and Arche des Vins for incredible events and collaborations, such as an evening with Joel Dupuch oysters paired with the wines of Domaine Coffinet-Duvernay or Paul Boeuf wines matched with Swiss raclette. Le Soleil, in nearby Savigny-les-Beaune—associated with the multi-generational and highly regarded Domaine Simon Bize et Fils—has excellent small plates and new wines. Two cooperative tasting rooms, Le Caveau d’Auxey (tastings start at 15 euro) and Nuitons-Beaunois (tastings are free), also offer a wide selection of wines from local growers and a welcoming atmosphere. 

Where to Eat in Beaune 

Beaune is a paradise for food enthusiasts, from the rustic menu (think: beef bourguignon and jambon persillé) and exceptional wine list at Les Caves Madeleine to Le Bistrot des Falaises, an artisan bistro in tiny Saint-Romain, where you won’t go wrong with the menu of the day, starting around 23 euro. For modern, market-fresh cuisine, Relais de Saulx is a must-visit, while La Buisonnière serves traditional dishes made from local produce, with daily menus starting at less than 25 euro. At La Table du Square—a Beaune staple with a rich epicurean history, attractive to locals and visitors alike—two-courses meals kick off at 22 euro.  

Where to Stay in Beaune 

Beaune offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Wine writer Kristy Wenz likes Hotel Le Home’s atmosphere with its wallpapered rooms and vine-covered exterior. Le Central Boutique Hotel stands out for its chic, modern decor and convenient central location, starting at 85 euro per night. Burrows suggests four-star La Maison des Courtines, which combines classic French design with modern comforts within the historic walls of Beaune; rates start around 85 euro. For people whose design taste runs contemporary, Ibis Styles Beaune Centre (not to be confused with Ibis Beaune Center) offers amenities like a swimming pool, jacuzzi, rooftop terrace and a prime location in the heart of the city. There, expect to spend at least 115 euro a night. 

You May Also Like: Aligoté, Burgundy’s Other Great White, Steps Into the Spotlight

View of the city of Mâcon with Saône river in Burgundy, France
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Southern Bourgogne: Côte Chalonaise and Mâcon

The southern regions of Côte Chalonaise and Mâcon boast stunning vineyards and offer a delightful exploration of urban and rural beauty. Though these areas are not home to Grand Cru vineyards, they have a similar geography and the same varieties and vineyards to the north, making this a fine spot to discover excellent values. The picturesque landscapes, historical sites and farm-to-table vibe further enrich the experience, ensuring that these areas are worth the trip.  

Where to Drink in Southern Bourgogne 

Visit Millesime Cave & Bar A Vins in Mâcon, where Wenz suggests exploring the craft beer and spirits selection alongside the hundreds of French wines on offer. Another promising spot in Mâcon is the SKYBAR “Le 360” at Hotel le Panorama, which offers unmatched city views perfect for apéro. Stevie Bobés, a Burgundy resident and proprietor of the boutique travel agency Wine Ambassadeur, suggests a visit to L’Atrium, in Solutré-Pouilly, for its well-curated wine selection and tastings with respected winemakers. In Mercurey, go to Le Caveau Divin for its warm and welcoming ambiance. Lastly, don’t miss Cave de Lugny, a wine cooperative in Lugny that offers a wide selection of local wines representing over 400 grower members. Vignerons des Terres Secrètes is another essential co-op, with wines (many priced under 15 euro, or even, 10 euro) displayed alongside the soil from where they were grown. Plus, its prime location along the Green Way cycling route can’t be beat. 

Where to Eat in Southern Bourgogne 

Similar to its northern neighbors, southern Bourgogne is famous for its wines, meats, produce and cheeses. Try them at Restaurant Le Cassis by Célie and Aymeric Buiron, who have Michelin-kitchen roots. Moving to Chevagny-les-Chevrières, Wenz suggests Restaurant L’Impala des Vignes, where chef Sandra Huguenin ensures everything on the menu—from slow-cooked pork shank and chicken curry to seasonal fruit macarons—is fresh and flavorful. In Viré, check out Restaurant la Virée Gourmande for an inexpensive and typical French bistro with classic dishes; three-course menus start at 20 euro. In Givry, try Maison Minori, tucked into a refurbished wine cellar with a Japanese-inspired menu. And there’s a bonus: Minori also offers rooms for rent starting at 105 euro, with an optional breakfast.  

Where to Stay in Southern Bourgogne 

It might seem impossible to stay in a refurbished château at a reasonable price, but rural Château de la Barge offers exquisite, individually decorated rooms with outstanding views and elegant décor at approachable rates, which start around 75 euro. For an in-town option, Wenz recommends Hotel le Panorama in Mâcon, which offers comfortable accommodations with a spectacular view of town, making it an ideal choice for strolling and exploring. 

  • Look for the Vignobles & Découvertes label, a national indicator of wine and vineyard tourism. These places are welcoming and approachable. 
  • The Burgundy region introduced Cité des Climats centers in Chablis, Mâcon and Beaune. Each offers introductory to advanced tasting options and is a resource for wine estate suggestions. 
  • Burgundy restaurants are small and fill up fast, so reservations are a must, even for lunch. Avoid overspending due to lack of planning. 
  • Look for the board! As elsewhere around France, ordering from the set menu—an entrée (starter), plat (main course) and dessert or cheese—will generally get you a reasonable price on a full meal with the freshest flavors. 
  • For value, Burrows suggests having your three-course restaurant meal at lunchtime rather than a pricier dinner service. 
  • Many restaurants will offer a set of wines by the glass at prices that overdeliver. Remember when drinking in Burgundy, the regional wines are often a steal and still come from some incredible sites.  
  • Substitute expensive dinners out with an evening picnic or casual homemade meal with ingredients from the market. 
  • Cooperative wineries bring together the harvest of multiple vineyards and growers within their appellation. Bobés says these places offer good value wines. They manage prices more easily due to pooled resources among member growers. 
  • Bobés also suggests visiting boutique, up-and-coming and family-owned producers. Many of these offer incredible value for exploring unique expressions of Burgundy wines. 

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