Besancon

Travel Guide

Hidden away from the country’s busy tourist hubs, the capital of the district of Franche-Comté has an enthralling citadel and one of the oldest museums in France.

Originally a Roman settlement named Vesontio, the old town of Besançon lies almost totally surrounded by the River Doubs. The new town holds a plethora of fine restaurants and hotels. You will find real cultural and historical gems in old Besançon.

You can’t come to Besançon without making a trip to the grand Citadelle de Besançon. This 17th-century citadel was designed by military engineer Vauban for King Louis XIV and stands 328 feet (100 meters) above the town. Stroll along the outer ramparts and marvel at panoramic views of the river as it snakes its way through the lush foothills of the Jura Mountains.

Within the walls of the citadel you will find the Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation. This is one of the country’s most comprehensive World War II museums and features a vast array of artifacts, documents and photos that vividly depict the role of Besançon during the war. For something to suit younger audiences, check out the Besançon Zoo directly behind the museum. See lions and tigers or head to the insectarium to get close to tarantulas, stick insects and scorpions.

Walk down the hill back to the town or take the frequent bus service that runs between the citadel and the center of Besançon. Here you’ll find the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie. This opened in 1694, making it one of the oldest museums in France. Browse the exhibits to discover rare artifacts including ancient Egyptian mummies and Roman mosaics. Explore the museum further to find paintings by acclaimed artists such as Titian, Rubens and Goya.

You won’t go hungry in Besançon, as the town features a superb range of dining options. Traditional French restaurants are abundant while international cuisine is also available. If you don’t need a full meal, sit in a riverside café in the shadow of the citadel and try the region’s distinctive white wines and cheeses.

Where to stay in Besancon

Best Western Citadelle
Best Western Citadelle
3 out of 5
13 Rue General Lecourbe, Besancon, Doubs, 25000
The price is ¥9,053 per night from Jun 12 to Jun 13
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Besancon. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (531 reviews)
well located hotel
"Hotel is well located in the centre, close to Citadelle, there are bars, restaurants and shops nearby. We were not in the main building. Room was little dark for my taste. Bathroom was clean."

Reviewed on Sep 7, 2021

Best Western Citadelle
Hôtel de Paris
Hôtel de Paris
3 out of 5
33 Rue Des Granges, Besancon, 25000
The price is ¥11,429 per night from May 22 to May 23
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Besancon. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and free bicycles on site. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (281 reviews)
A model for others to follow
"I requested a step-through shower and I got it. The room was spacious by European standards. AARP would approve of the room appointments with room to move about, grab bars in the shower and by the raised toilet. A great buffet breakfast which helped me gain a few pounds."

Reviewed on Aug 21, 2021

Hôtel de Paris
Mercure Besancon Parc Micaud
Mercure Besancon Parc Micaud
4 out of 5
3 Avenue Edouard-droz, Besancon, Doubs, 25000
The price is ¥9,662 per night from May 21 to May 22
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Besancon. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the overall value ...
3.7/5 Good! (303 reviews)
"Great staff. Older hotel but very clean"

Reviewed on Dec 31, 2021

Mercure Besancon Parc Micaud
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Zenitude Hôtel - Résidences Les Hauts du Chazal
Zenitude Hôtel - Résidences Les Hauts du Chazal
3 out of 5
26 Rue Professeur Paul Milleret, Besancon, Doubs, 25000
The price is ¥6,902 per night from May 20 to May 21
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly aparthotel in Besancon. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the overall ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (554 reviews)
Visit to Besançon
"The clerc at the front desk was friendly and very forthcoming. She gaves us really good information on what to visit and how to go to city center. the room was perfect. The hotel was well located by the tram. Easy access to city center"

Reviewed on Oct 25, 2021

Zenitude Hôtel - Résidences Les Hauts du Chazal
Zenitude Hôtel - Résidences La City
Zenitude Hôtel - Résidences La City
3 out of 5
11 avenue Louise Michel, Besancon, Doubs, 25000
The price is ¥8,052 per night from May 22 to May 23
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly aparthotel in Besancon. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the comfy beds and the family ...
3.8/5 Good! (280 reviews)
"Staff was friendly. Hotel is easy to find. Comfortable stay."

Reviewed on Dec 10, 2021

Zenitude Hôtel - Résidences La City
Appartment Les Suites Du Parc
Appartment Les Suites Du Parc
2 Avenue du Maréchal Foch, Besancon, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, 25000
Stay at this property in Besancon. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Popular attractions Pelote Tower and Musee des Beaux-Arts are located ...
4/5 Very Good! (8 reviews)
Misleading price
"The room was clean, very cute and contemporary, well stocked with things to cook with, sheets and towels. the view from the window was lovely. I chose this place on HOTELS.COM because of the price with a kitchen. AFTER I committed , the price jumped up by about $40 CAD per night with extra fees, ..."

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2019

Appartment Les Suites Du Parc
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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