A Speedy Guide to the Very best Issues to do in Auxerre


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Situated in Northern Burgundy, about an hour and a half from the French capital city of Paris, Auxerre is a amazing city characterised by its quite a few churches, winding riverbed, and a plethora of cobbled lanes. Here’s your guide to the extremely very best points to do in Auxerre, France!

Best for a secret French getaway or escape, highlights of this Burgundian town incorporate an abbey founded by St Germain and a wonderful clock tower dating back to the Middle Ages… Other causes to check out incorporate a lot of conventional Burgundian architecture, as nicely as a number of museums and conventional eateries.

Auxerre cathedral façade with daffodils in the springTour de l'Horloge d'Auxerre (Auxerre Clock Tower)

Introducing Auxerre, a hidden gem of Northern Burgundy, as nicely as a short history of the city

Situated alongside the glittering River Yonne, the history of Auxerre dates back to at least Gallo-Roman instances when the city was recognized as Autissiodorum. At this time, the settlement was a flourishing neighborhood and was even a provincial capital of the Roman Empire.

Various centuries later, St Germain of Auxerre was born right here. Formerly a higher-ranking government official, he left his job to pursue a profession in the church. The Abbey of the town is now named for him, holds his tomb, and is also exactly where you can nevertheless spy some of the oldest 9th-century complete-sized frescoes in France.

By the 5th-century, a different cathedral had been constructed in Auxerre, with city walls added in the following centuries. In time, even Joan of Arc passed by way of the city twice, although the second time she was denied entry into the city walls till she presented the citizens of the city (who are recognized as Auxerrois) cash. Right now, the city is very best-recognized for its production of Burgundy wine, especially that of Chablis.

A Quick Guide to the Best Things to do in Auxerre, Burgundy, France

#1 Tour de l’Horloge

There is probably no structure additional emblematic of Auxerre than the central clock tower. Dating all the way back to the 15th-century, the clock can be identified in the heart of the Quartier de l’Horloge along a cobbled lane. Best for snapping images of, the light is very best about sunrise or sunset.

Tour de l'Horloge d'Auxerre (Auxerre Clock Tower)

#two Église Saint-Eusèbe d’Auxerre

Methods away from the historic city centre, the church of Saint Eusèbe dates back to the 7th-century and was founded by Saint Pallade, a bishop of the city. The present church you can admire (and enter for cost-free) currently was constructed in between the 12th and 13th-centuries in the Burgundian Romanesque style.

Église Saint-Eusèbe d'Auxerre

#three Église Saint-Pierre d’Auxerre &amp Portail rue Joubert

Imposing and situated close to the banks of the River Yonne, Église Saint-Pierre d’Auxerre is 1 of the 3 key ecclesiastical buildings in the city. There has been a location of worship on web page because at least the 6th-century, although the present creating largely dates back to the Middle Ages.

The west façade is a especially wonderful instance of Gothic architecture and the ecclesiastical creating itself is constructed in the old winegrowers’ quarter. Whilst in the region, be certain to verify out the Portail rue Joubert, a Renaissance gate which was inspired by the Castelnuevo de Naples gateway and as soon as signalled the entryway to an abbey which was identified on web page.

Église Saint-Pierre d'Auxerre Portail rue Joubert

#four Quai de la Republique 

Truth be told, 1 of the very best points to do in Auxerre is to meander along the banks of the River Yonne and snap images. From right here, it is attainable to spy the abbey, cathedral, and Church of Saint Pierre that make the city so renowned. Head to the Pont Paul Bert (bridge) for the very best view of Auxerre. If you are especially fortunate and there is tiny wind, then the amazing façades of the city will generate a mirror-like impact on the Yonne.

Quai de la Republique in Auxerre

#five Abbaye de Saint-Germain d’Auxerre 

If you make it your mission to see just 1 tourist attraction throughout your time in Auxerre, make certain it is a check out to the historic Saint Germanus Abbey. Immediately after all, the permanent exhibitions are extremely high-priced and totally cost-free to check out!

If you speak French and are hunting for a additional immersive practical experience, then for beneath €10 you can book a location on the 1.five hours guided tour of the abbey. This consists of a check out to the Merovingian crypt, a detailed history of the abbey, the opportunity to see the tomb of Saint-Germain, and the chance to admire the 9th-century Christian frescoes that are the oldest of their sort in France.

Abbey of Saint Germanus, A Quick Guide to the Best Things to do in Auxerre, Burgundy, France

#six Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d’Auxerre

Although not pretty as vital as the Abbey, the Cathedral sits in pride of location atop 1 of the highest points in the region and is someplace in between the Marin district of the city and the clock tower region. With its amazing asymmetrical façade and a dedication to Saint Stephen, the Cathedral dates back to the 13th-century, with the crypt dating back to the 11th-century.

Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d'Auxerre exterior

#7 Hôtel de Ville

Methods away from the Tour de l’Horloge, the Auxerre town hall (also recognized as ‘Mairie’ in French) can be identified at 14 Spot de l’Hôtel de Ville and is common architecture from the 19th-century. The surrounding square is pedestrianised and is populated by a lot of bars and cafés.

Hôtel de Ville Auxerre

#eight Muséum, 5 Boulevard Vauban

On the fringes of town, the Muséum homes a collection of some 160,000 specimens, featuring a choice of all-natural history and biodiversity, especially that which comes from Burgundy. Open from Sunday by way of to Friday, this museum also has a amazing garden you can discover.

#9 Museum Leblanc-Duvernoy

For these interested in residence museums and antique collection, the Museum Leblanc-Duvernoy is open from Wednesday by way of to Sunday and has a robust concentrate on earthenware. Some of the rarer things housed inside the collection incorporate pieces of Revolutionary pottery.

#10 Antique purchasing

1 of the very best antique shops can be identified close to the Cathedral, someplace in between the city’s central auto park and the cobbled lane that leads to the clock tower. Named A Antiquites de la Cathedrale, step inside this tardis of antiques and trinkets at any provided moment and you can count on to learn a entire host of treasures you will want to take residence with you…

antique shop in auxerre city centre

#11 Wander about Quartier de l’Horloge

Rather than seek out crucial Auxerre attractions, be certain to comply with your feet and permit them to take you exactly where they will. Immediately after all, 1 of the very best methods to get pleasure from Auxerre’s timber-framed buildings, cobbled lanes, and storybook really feel is merely to get a tiny lost. En route, you will probably learn tiny-recognized chapels and a lot of boutique shops.

Tour de l'Horloge d'Auxerre (Auxerre Clock Tower)

#12 Delight in breakfast at Boulangerie Pâtisserie Eric ROY

For a laid back and lazy morning, you merely have to head to the very best bakery in town (or ‘Patisserie’ as it is so-known as in French). Situated close to the River Yonne, head right here for the very best baguettes and sweets in town. Through the week and at weekends, the Pâtisserie also has a side tearoom providing every little thing from afternoon teas to light breakfasts. I personally had a coffee with pastry and identified the atmosphere charming!

Boulangerie Pâtisserie Eric ROY exterior on a sunny day

Exactly where to remain in Auxerre

I personally stayed in Auxerre for two nights and very propose a longer than in the city than a basic 1-evening stopover. As such, a lengthy weekend is the best quantity of time to gradually uncover the quite a few layers of Auxerre, as nicely as the city’s 3 key historic districts. Right here are the very best areas to remain in Auxerre (primarily based on internet testimonials and place):

Hôtel Le Maxime: Effectively-reviewed and situated alongside the River Yonne, this 3-star hotel is situated just a couple of minutes stroll from Auxerre Abbey. Amenities incorporate a bar in a vaulted cellar and breakfast for an additional charge. Verify rates and availability right here.

Hôtel Les Maréchaux: Situated in a creating dating back to 1854, this Auxerre accommodation can be identified on the fringes of the historic city centre. As a 3-star hotel, this accommodation has cost-free Wi-Fi and a bar onsite. Verify rates and availability right here.

ibis price range Auxerre Centre: If you are hunting for a price range location to remain in Auxerre, then the ibis is situated close to the River Yonne, just across the water from the historic city centre. Facilities at this hotel incorporate cost-free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Verify rates and availability right here.

Auxerre city centre on a sunny day: cathedral and houses

Issues to know just before going to Auxerre

As Auxerre is a tiny off the beaten path in comparison with other French destinations in Burgundy, you might nicely locate that English is not as broadly spoken right here. As such, I very propose bringing along a basic French phrasebook like this 1.

Head to the Auxerre tourist workplace (two Quai de la République) to choose up a guide to the town. There are a number of versions accessible. Whilst there is a cost-free map, if you want the self-guided walking tour version which follows floor markers across the city, then this will expense you a number of euro.

A Quick Guide to the Best Things to do in Auxerre, Burgundy, France

The very best vegetarian meals in Auxerre is to be identified at the Pizzéria des Cordeliers (26 Spot des Cordeliers). Reasonably priced and serving ever-so-scrumptious pizzas, you can even order a glass of kir to go with your meal. For the very best fine-dining meals in Auxerre, Le Jardin Gourmand is nicely-reviewed and can be identified on the fringes of the historic city centre.

Ultimately, the very best way to get pleasure from Auxerre is by merely wandering about the city and acquiring a tiny lost. Best to check out as element of a longer Burgundian excursion, the city is divided into 3 parts Le Quartier Saint Pierre, Le Quartier de la Marine, and Quartier de l’Horloge. Every single region has its personal distinctive vibe and history and all are worth exploring.

Auxerre quay on a sunny day

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A Quick Guide to the Best Things to do in Auxerre, Burgundy (Bourgogne), France. Looking for Auxerre attractions, what to do, and where to stay? Here's your complete guide!


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