Semur-en-Auxois is a medieval town in the heart of the Côte-d'Or, Burgundy, on the banks of the Armançon. Semur was once a fortified town, and though the castle has now been mostly dismantled, the tall towers and main wall still remain and surround the inner part of the town. Visitors enjoy walking the quaint cobblestone streets, shopping and dining in the pedestrian area, and taking in the magnificent views from the two medieval bridges across the Armançon — the Pont Joly and the Pont des Minimes.
Semur-en-Auxois is not accessible via plane or train.
There is an exit off the A6 Autoroute. When you approach, you will recognize Semur by seeing the cracked tower on the hill.
- Mobigo. Mobigo connects Semur-en-Auxois with Montbard and Dijon which are both located on high speed rail lines, as well as other towns. A one-way ticket for the bus costs €1.50 regardless of the distance.
The town is easily walkable; many of the streets within the medieval walls are open to pedestrians only. There is also a tourism office near one of the historic gates to the city, which now leads to the tourist area.
- Collégiale Notre-Dame (in the centre of the town). This Gothic church, built starting in 1225 and restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century, is well worth a visit.
- 1 Tour de l'Orle d'Or (medieval tower). Afternoons in July and August (closed on Mondays) and some weekends in May, June, and September. Gives tours of the only tower that you can climb in the city in both French and English. Provides excellent views at the top as well as a museum for the Society of Science and Natural History inside. €3.
- 2 Hotel de Chassey (townhouse), 21140 Rue de l'Hopital. Open afternoons in the summer. This 18th-century townhouse is privately owned but the grounds are open at times for tours. The gardens offer beautiful views of the medieval fortifications. Free.
- 3 MuséoParc Alésia, 1 Route des Trois Ormeaux, 21150 Alise-Sainte-Reine (Train: Gare des Laumes-Alésia), ☏ +33 3 80 96 96 23. Daily: Feb 15-Mar 31 10:00–17:00; Apr-Jun Sep Oct 10:00–18:00; Jul Aug 10:00–19:00. An archaeological museum with a multimedia exhibition, reconstructed fortifications, the remains of a Gallo-Roman city, statue of Vercingetorix. €9-11 adults, €7.50-9 concessions, €5.5-7.50 children.
Discover Semur-en-Auxois by following the roadbook called "Sans les armes sur la piste du lion", available at the tourist information office for €1.50). Take good shoes as the path brings you out of the city for a 2- to 3-hour walk.
- There is a little open-air market on each Sunday morning, near the church. Local vegetables, cheese, honey, etc. Everything is fresh and delicious.
- Le coin du Monde (grocery), rue du Vieux Marché (near the church). See the jam "Trinquelette" (maybe the best in the world). Various teas and some fresh vegetables are also sold. If you are staying for an extended period of time, you can order artisanal bread to pick up on Fridays (as the locals do).
- Charcuterie Notre-Dame (near the church), ☏ +33 380970617. Marvellous terrines and cooked ham. Very good free-range chicken.
- Le Mermoz (in the Hostellerie d'Aussois), Route de Saulieu (just out of the town towards Saulieu), ☏ +33 380 97 28 28, firstname.lastname@example.org. The little menu (€25) is disappointing, but à la carte meal is fine. Beautiful wine list. 3-course meal with very good wine €85.
- Les Minimes (near the Pont des Minimes, along the Armançon). A typical auberge.
- Cafe Mont-Drejet, Rue Buffon (In the pedestrian area). Best location in town for a typical, basic cafe. The food is not gourmet but is inexpensive and good. The ice cream is fantastic, and the owners are friendly. Closed Mondays, but on other days, between lunch and dinner as well as the usual times.
- Carpe Diem (wine bar), rue du Vieux-marché (near the church). They serve good Burgundy wine by the glass. Good live jazz music once a week.
- La Maison sur l'Armançon (along the Armançon river). A charming renovated mill along the river. Comfortable living room, nice main sleeping room, good fireplace in the kitchen. Terrace and little garden on the river. Very nice. €950-1275 a week.
- 1 Hotel Des Cymaises, 7 rue du Renaudot, ☏ +33 3 80 97 21 44, fax: +33 3 80 97 18 23, email@example.com. Beautiful two-star hotel down a quiet road right off the tourist area within the old medieval city. It is close to the tourist office, main bus stop, and many restaurants. Comfortable and clean rooms renovated in an 19th century mansion with a lovely private patio area in the rear, breakfast is offered for €9. €63-116 a night.
- Époisses (13 km to the west), a village famous for its eponymous cheese.
- The Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (about 15 km north), listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site