Top things to do

Top Choice Citadel in Besançon

Citadelle de Besançon

Dominating the city from Mt St Etienne, 120 vertical metres above the old town, the 17th-century Citadelle de Besançon – designed by Vauban for Louis XIV – commands sweeping views of the city and the serpentine Rive…
Top Choice Museum in Besançon

Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie

France's oldest public museum, founded in 1694, is famous for its stellar collection of local Gallo-Roman archaeology; its Cabinet des Dessins, with some 6000 drawings from the 15th to 20th centuries, including mast…
Top Choice Modern French in Besançon

Le Saint-Pierre

Crisp white tablecloths, exposed stone and subtle lighting are the backdrop for intense flavours, such as lobster lasagne with spinach and lobster bouillon, which are expertly paired with regional wines. At €40 the …
Top Choice Music in Belfort

Les Eurockéennes

A huge, three-day open-air alternative rock festival held on the first weekend in July. Three nights of thoughtfully curated music, plus camping, will set you back only €115.
Top Choice French in Arbois & the Route des Vins du Jura

Bistrot des Claquets

Loved by vignerons (winegrowers) and other locals, this unpretentious, convivial little bistrot serves fantastic French country fare, but only at lunchtime! If you miss the petit salé (lentils with salt pork), blanq…
Wine in Arbois & the Route des Vins du Jura

La Percée du Vin Jaune

The festival of the 'Opening of the Yellow Wine' brings a little sunshine to the Jura wine region in early February, when the vintage produced six years and three months earlier is cracked out. Villages take turns h…
Sports in The Jura Mountains


In February the 76km stretch of the Grand Jura Crossing (GTJ) from Lamoura to Mouthe lures 4000 skiers to the world’s second-largest cross-country ski race.
Park in Besançon

Parc Micaud

For that must-have snapshot of the hilltop citadel with the swiftly flowing Doubs in the foreground, take a stroll along this leafy riverside promenade, a great spot for a picnic with a view. A carousel, a playgroun…
Monument in Besançon

Horloge Astronomique

The base of 18th-century Cathédrale St-Jean's bell tower houses an incredible astronomical clock, powered by 11 weights, that has run the church's bells since its installation in 1860. The ornate gadget has 30,000 m…
Historic Site in Besançon

Porte Noire

Erected in AD 175 in honour of Marcus Aurelius, this Roman triumphal arch stands very near where the columns of a Roman theatre and the vestiges of an aqueduct (all still visible) were discovered in 1870. The site, …