Located just outside the city, and connected to it by a regular shuttle from the city station of Besançon Viotte, the 1 Besançon TGV station has about ten direct high speed services a day to and from Paris, plus direct high-speed trains from Strasbourg, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Zurich, Luxembourg, Frankfurt and other cities.
Autoroute A36 from Paris.
The easiest way to get around this small city, called La boucle, is by foot. Besançon’s old town, encircled by water, is where you can find all the most important buildings in the city. Thanks to its flourishing past, this district has the richest and most complete architectural heritage of the city, with a hundred remarkable buildings, dozens of statues as well as several bridges, squares and streets exceptional for their beauty. This district is also one of the most touristy in the city and in the region, notably thanks to the citadel, one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city, welcoming more than 250,000 visitors annually.
It’s a really nice city to visit on foot, and the tourist office can advise you on several urban walks. You can also visit the city by boat, either by renting your own, or as part of a guided tour through the heart of the city, with passages through two locks and the tunnel under La Citadelle.
Ginko operates public transit including buses and two tram lines. Tickets can be purchased from bus operators or vending machines at tram stops. Tickets: €1.40 for one hour, €4.50 for a day (December 2019).
There is a good bike rental system, which is combined with the public transit network.
Besançon is a well-preserved Renaissance city and the historic part in the "Boucle" of the river is beautiful, with the remains of a Roman theatre in Castan Square, its eight Roman Corinthian columns among the most ancient of the town's attractions.
- 1 The Citadel (Citadelle de Besançon). Built by the famous architect Vauban in the 17th century is the major attraction in this town, comprising both a museum and a zoo with lions, baboons and fish, archeological history museum, an insectarium, an aquarium, vivariums, a noctarium, a climatorium, a pedagogical exhibit on evolution, botanical gardens, a museum of the Resistance and deportation, a museum focusing on traditional life in Franche-Comté, a children's farm and different outdoor attractions like outdoor movie theater and rooftop bar. There are impressive views of the countryside and the town on a walk around its fortifications.
- 2 Granvelle Palace (Palais Granvelle). The museum of time, with Tuscan, Ionic and Corinthian columns along three Gothic windows.
- 3 Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology. renowned as one of France's oldest and richest museums has collections from Primitive and Renaissance painters.
- 4 Besançon Cathedral.
There are many guided tours to satisfy all interests including around various museums and the town.
There is certainly no shortage of sport and leisure activities with canoe trips and other water sports, boat trips around the city, self-service bicycles, climbing, pony rides all being available.
As one has come to expect of a French town, Besançon has a plethora of cycle tracks which allow exploration further into its beautiful scenery - and they certainly do not disappoint. Velocity Besançon is 200 bikes spread over 30 stations - one every 300 meters in the heart of town! This system, successfully adopted in other major cities like Paris, Lyon and Aix-en-Provence, is really a form of "individual transportation". The first 30 minutes are free.
- Cinéma Marché Beaux-Arts
- Le Plazza Victor Hugo Ciméma art et essai.
- Cinéma Mégarama
- 1 Societé Nautique de Besançon, 2 Avenue de Chardonnet, email@example.com. Rental of Canoe, Kayak, SUP.
- 2 Besançon Le Vauban boat. Train rides, and cruises of 1 to 2h around the city.
- 3 Happy's Experience, 32 Rue de la Gare, 25620 Mamirolle, firstname.lastname@example.org. Bike and ebike rental.
Other shops include Promod, Pimkie, and various book, gadget and sports shops.
A tribute to the famous cuisine française, the flavours of Besançon can be enjoyed throughout the town in various restaurants. Besançon, part of the Franche-Comté region, allows you to discover the wonderful culinary specialities that this region offers, like the escalope de veau (veal escalope), one of the most traditional meals. Of course, you will have the chance to taste wonderful cheese - French baguettes filled with savoury delights at reasonable prices and the city's famous cheese - comté, make the impressive gastronomy often associated with the French commonplace throughout Besançon. More than that, you will find more unknown cheeses like morbier, vacherin Mont d’Or, cancoillote, and bleu de Gex.
One traditional pastry of Besançon is called the galette de Goumeau, which is traditionally eaten during Epiphany, instead of the galette des rois you'll find elsewhere in France.
Besançon offers practically every type of accommodation imaginable, regardless of your budget.