Photo of Besançon

About Besançon

Close to the Swiss border and the Jura Mountains in eastern France's Franche-Comté region, beautiful Besançon was once a key trading port. With its roots stretching back to the Roman era, this is a city rich in history, and it’s a brilliant destination for culture buffs or romantics. Set on a horseshoe bend on the banks of the Doubs River, Besançon promises a gorgeous old town and a number of inviting accommodation options. Our pick of the bst places to stay in Besançon includes an intimate, family-run B&B as well as elegant boutique hotels for a range of tastes and budgets.

Besançon’s old town is magical. Admire Roman ruins — such as the Porte Noire — attractive 18th-century buildings and the imposing Cathédrale Saint-Jean de Besançon. Besançon was once the clock-making capital of France, and the cathedral boasts a particularly striking astronomical clock, which is not to be missed! Other highlights include the Maison Natale de Victor Hugo, who was born in the city, as well as the Musée du Temps and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Venture up to the iconic citadel — essential to the city's historic defence — for marvellous views across the landscape, and to visit the powerful Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation in the Espace Vauban.

Restful walks through the lovely Parc Micaud and along the riverbank come highly recommended, as do hikes and bike rides through the Jura Mountains and the Forêt de Chailluz. Evenings are for drinks on the waterfront, accompanied by rich Comté cheese and smoked sausages. The teams at the best places to stay in Besançon will be delighted to point you towards their favourite spots!

The Best Places to Stay in Besançon

For a Tranquil B&B

  • Villa Molina is a charming, family-run B&B set within a lovely garden. With space for up to two guests, this restful hideaway is just 15 minutes from the historic centre of town. A characterful and inviting property for those seeking privacy and tranquility.

For City Style

  • Hôtel de Paris, Besançon is a smart, well-priced spot in the heart of the city. Perfect for couples, friends or families, the hotel offers generous breakfasts, modern communal spaces and pretty rooms with floral wallpapers, sash windows and smart bathrooms. A great city choice.
  • Hotel le Sauvage, housed in a former monastery, is only 500 metres from the wall of the citadel. Elegant interiors feature marble bathrooms, a soothing white-and-cream colour palette and impressive gilded headboards atop big cosy beds. The sumptuous spa wth hammam and the gourmet restaurant complete the picture at this indulgent city pad.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.


  • Fly into Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport or across the border to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg before taking the train across to Besançon.
  • The Franche-Comté region is fantastic to explore by road. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel during the spring or summer for the best weather, with temperatures ranging between 18 and 22°C from June to September. The school summer holidays can be busy; May or September are ideal for quieter trips.



Monthly Weather in Besançon

Best Hotels in Besançon

  • Hotel de Paris, Besançon Besançon 50 rooms from AU$118

    Local exploring  -  Ideally located close to many of the city's main attractions.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Citadel of Besancon, arguably Vauban’s crowning glory.
    Air conditioningPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    A chic hotel in the heart of the historic city of Besançon. Traditionally dressed rooms are light and spacious with chintz wallpaper, sash windows and retro style furniture. Indulgent breakfasts are served and many of the city's cultural sites and restaurants are within walking distance. See More

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  • Hotel le Sauvage Besançon 24 rooms from AU$139

    Local exploring  -  A place rich with sights and adventures, especially the fortifications of Vauban and wide choice of outdoor activities
    Sights nearby  -  Victor Hugo's House
    Kayaking  -  On the river Doubs
    Full of character
    GardenPet friendlyDisabled access
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    An elegant hotel set in a former monastery. Rooms feature wooden floors, plush drapes and marble bathrooms. Charming bar area and balcony terrace. Just 500 metres from citadel walls, with many restaurants and sights close by. A chic choice for a break filled with discovery. See More

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  • Villa Molina Besançon 1 rooms from AU$130

    Local exploring  -  Ideally located within walking distance of the historic centre.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Citadel of Besancon, dating back to the 1660s comprising an 11-hectare fortified complex.
    Full of character
    GardenParkingNo pets

    A charming wisteria covered villa located near the centre of Besançon. Featuring just one classically decorated room with striped wallpaper, soft hues, a luxurious bathroom and private living room. Indulgent breakfasts are served and the city's main attractions are just a stroll away. See More

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