What to do and see in Besancon, France: The Best Places and Tips

January 14, 2018 Giuseppe Pratt

Discover the best top things to do in Besancon, France including La Citadelle de Besancon, Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation, Astronomical Clock of Besancon Cathedral, Parc Micaud, Musee du Temps, Porte Noire, Cathedrale Saint-Jean de Besancon, Librairie L'Intranquille, Quai Vauban, Foret de Chailluz.
Restaurants in Besancon

1. La Citadelle de Besancon

99 rue Fusilles de la Resistance, 25000, Besancon, France +33 3 81 87 83 33
Excellent
53%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

La Citadelle de Besancon

Reviewed By Ursosarctos - London, United Kingdom

This is a must-see attraction.
The fortress itself is stunning, and you can climb up to the top of the curtain wall on either side, for excellent views of the fortress itself, the town, and the river. Start with the high-quality audiovisual presentation in the old chapel, which runs in a loop. Even if you don’t speak French, it is worthwhile, outlining the history behind Vauban’s construction of this Citadel. The buildings have been very well restored, and many of them are in use - very imaginative use.
The Museum of the Resistance and Deportation is first class. We spent two hours in here, and could have spent longer. It is particularly interesting to see the War through French eyes, and there is a wealth both of artefacts and of interpretative material. The horror of the Nazi camps still strikes fresh, and is probably unsuitable for children.
The Vauban exhibit is small, but the list of his constructions is worth seeking out. It is hard to countenance that one man could do so much, given the technology and the travel of the day.
The animal houses - the nocturnal creatures and the insects - are well interpreted, and worth seeking out - especially the insects.
We are not fans of zoos, but must say that the animals appeared healthy, particularly the tigers, which are quite stunning. Don’t like seeing creatures of the forest or the plains penned up in small enclosures, though - especially the apes and monkeys. The tropical birds seemed particularly unhappy.
Practical points:-
If you are fit, walk up - it is a quiet and interesting walk. There is a local bus which makes the journey, too, and there is limited free parking if you are there outside peak periods. For the descent, you can seek out the sally-port, and go down some steep steps, which drop out near the city wall and the river.
There is a smart looking restaurant. If you only want a snack or a drink, take your own - the onsite cafe is expensive, has very limited offerings, lots of flies, and unfriendly staff. Cafe was the low point of otherwise excellent day.


2. Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation

99 rue Fusilles de la Resistance | La Citadelle, 25000, Besancon, France +33 3 81 87 83 33
Excellent
67%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 93 reviews

Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation

Reviewed By Member_France - France

This museum provides an excellent account of the resistance and deportation - highly recommended for anyone who is interested in French and European history.

3. Astronomical Clock of Besancon Cathedral

Rue du Chapitre, 25000, Besancon, France +33 3 81 81 12 76
Excellent
57%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 206 reviews

Astronomical Clock of Besancon Cathedral

Built between 1858 and 1860 by Auguste Lucien Vérité, the astronomical clock has a precise and complex mechanism consisting of over 30,000 parts and 11 movements. Worked by weights, some operate chimes and automata. The 57 faces provide a lot of information: calendars, the tides in 8 ports, eclipses… Visitors can look all around the clock and see its interior mechanisms. Open: > Tours at 9.50 a.m., 10.50 a.m., 11.50 a.m., 2.50 p.m., 3.50 p.m., 4.50 p.m., 5.50 p.m. Closed: > Tuesdays. > Wednesdays form 1st October to 31st March. > January. > 1st January, 1st May, 1st November, 11th November and 25th December. Admission fees: Adults : 3 €; Concessions (18 to 25) = 2,50 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups

Reviewed By CorneCapeTown - Cape Town, South Africa

This piece is an absolute masterpiece, even if you don't find the inner workings of a watch or clock intriguing at all. It is housed in the Besancon Cathedral and was made around 1860. Definitely worth seeing. Take the time and walk around the clock to the back to view the inner workings.

4. Parc Micaud

25000, Besancon, France
Excellent
39%
Good
55%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 148 reviews

Parc Micaud

Reviewed By inspector61 - Maidenhead, United Kingdom

A lovely natural park to walk in beside the river .There are seats to sit on and in one part a small area where children can play

5. Musee du Temps

96 Grande rue | Entrée dans la cour du Palais Granvelle, 25000, Besancon, France +33 3 81 87 81 50
Excellent
38%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 271 reviews

Musee du Temps

Reviewed By Alex A - Canton of Vaud, Switzerland

It is undeniable that the region was one of the leading figures in the innovation and the development of the watch industry. The museum is huge and it presents various stages of the watch manufacturing along with some breath taking masterpieces. It does also contains some very well preserved paintings and prototypes, from a period when knowing the exact time was indeed a luxury and a privilege of the upper class.
The museum takes the visitors in a journey, from the beginning of the complex art of watch manufacturing to the 20th century, when the quartz crystal established a new benchmark for precision and timekeeping.
An entertaining and highly recommend find for everyone interested in the art and the history of watchmaking.

6. Porte Noire

Rue de la Convention, 25000, Besancon, France
Excellent
31%
Good
61%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 134 reviews

Porte Noire

Reviewed By rafaelaanna - Krakow, Poland

The porte noire is a monument just next to the cathedrale saint jean and the house of victor hugo. . It is really a impressive thing as it is so old and big and still in a good condition. It is called potre noire (the black gate) beacouse it used to be all black. But now, after the renovation is rather white;p

7. Cathedrale Saint-Jean de Besancon

10 rue de la Convention, 25000, Besancon, France +33 3 81 83 34 62
Excellent
32%
Good
58%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 101 reviews

Cathedrale Saint-Jean de Besancon

Reviewed By rafaelaanna - Krakow, Poland

Like for a cathedrale, there's nothing worth seeing. The walls are empty, just some paintings sometimes. However the size of the church is impressive and the little chapels inside the cathedrale are realy cute. It is nice to enter passing by on the way to the Citadelle.

8. Librairie L'Intranquille

59 rue des Granges, 25000, Besancon, France +33 3 81 58 76 60
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 71 reviews

Librairie L'Intranquille

Reviewed By Laurel F - Leichhardt, Australia

I love the way the literature is split into continents. I was particularly impressed with the range of Asian and African literature.
I picked up a few French classics to improve my Reading.
Adding a small English language section would be nice, but I loved the shop regardless.

9. Quai Vauban

Quartier de La Boucle, 25000, Besancon, France
Excellent
36%
Good
55%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 52 reviews

Quai Vauban

Reviewed By SusanGH - Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

We walked up and down both sides of the embankment and enjoyed the picturesque views of the old buildings with archways (built in 1690's) and the river in spite of the cool weather and light rain. There didn't seem to be any places to sit and have coffee along the quay itself, but there are a few benches along the river to rest.

10. Foret de Chailluz

Les Grandes Baraques, 25000, Besancon, France +33 3 81 80 92 55
Excellent
50%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 47 reviews

Foret de Chailluz

Reviewed By Herve J - Lyon, France

Jogging, marché, visite des animaux sauvages, parcours sportif sont au programme de cette immense forêt. Les Bisontins y vont souvent en famille. C'est une zone de repos et récupération fort agréable.

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