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Besançon

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Besançon [1] is a city in Franche-Comté of France.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Two international airports, EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and Lyon Saint-Exupéry International Airport, can be reached in about 2 hours, it is also easy to land in Paris Charles de Gaulle and continue by train.

By train[edit]

Since 2011 Besançon gained a high speed station on the TGV network; Besançon Franche Comté TGV, 16km north of the city

Besançon is well connected with the rest of France by train. One can reach major destinations such as Paris, Dijon, Belfort, Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier and Lille directly. The city has some international connections to cities such as Basel and Zürich in Switzerland and Frankfurt am Main in Germany.

In the city centre is the station Besançon Viotte, which has regional and national services, including to Paris. A shuttle train operates between Besançon Viotte and Besançon Franche Comté TGV station.

By bus[edit]

Eurolines from all over Europe.

By car[edit]

Autoroute A36 from Paris.

Get around[edit]

The easiest way to get around this small town is by foot, although there is a cheap and regular bus network [2]. Ticket can be bought from the driver, it costs €1.7 for one our, and €4 for a day (March 2012).

There is a good bike rental system, which is combined with the bus network.

Be very careful if you rent a car from Besançon Viotte train station as even though Hertz and Europcar claim to have offices there, the actually location is a 20 minute, 15 euro taxi drive away from the station. You can arrange by phone in advance to pick up the car keys from Ibis across the street from the train station. Be wary of the Hertz rental office, they added a two charges on to our bill after returning the car, including a lost car fee (they found the car in the Hertz parking lot with the keys in the after hours drop-box, but still charged us)!

See[edit][add listing]

The Citadel, built by the famous architect Vauban in the 17th century is the major attraction in this town, comprising both a museum and a zoo-where lions, baboons and fish you can touch all provide a fantastic experience for the young and old alike. There is the opportunity to see impressive views of the countryside and the town on a walk around its fortifications.

Besançon is a well-preserved Renaissance city and the historic part, located in the "Boucle" of the river is simply breath-taking with the remains of what is perceived to have been a theatre in Castan Square-eight Roman Corinthian columns among the most ancient of the town's attractions.

Granvelle Palace, the museum of time, is yet another must-see in this authentic French town. The Tuscan, Ionic and Corinthian columns along with three gothic windows, once the features the Granvelle Palace, have become part of the impressive museum of time; another riveting place to visit.

The museum of Fine Arts and Archeology, renowned as one of France's oldest and richest museums has collections from Primitive and Renaissance painters, and again provides a place that would be tragic to miss!

Do[edit][add listing]

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, Besancon 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.

Cinemas include:

  • Cinéma Marché Beaux-Arts
  • Le Plazza Victor Hugo Ciméma art et essai.
  • Cinéma Mégarama

Buy[edit][add listing]

Shops in Besancon cater for all needs and tastes with the shops ranging from department stores like Galeries La Fayette [3] to small French boutiques.

Other shops include Promod, Pimkie, and various book, gadget and sports shops.

Eat[edit][add listing]

A tribute to the infamous Cuisine Francaise, the flavours of Besancon can be enjoyed throughout the town in various restaurants. Of course, these days, a city wouldn't be a city without its fair share of fast-food which manifests itself in a Subway and several chicken and pizza places.

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 Besancon.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Besancon offers practically every type of accommodation imaginable, regardless of your budget.

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