Musee du temps, Besançon (© CRT Bourgogne Franche-Comte - Eric Chatelain

10AM – The Kingdom of Clocks

If you want to take the pulse of this town and listen to the tick-tock that marks its heart beat, rendezvous in the courtyard of Palais Granvelle. This Renaissance gem houses a splendid museum of Time that pays tribute to a clock-making tradition and a high-precision passion that goes back a long time (the first clock-making workshop in Besançon dates back to 1793). With Comté clocks and Foucault’s pendulum for company, you wont have time to get bored!

Place Granvelle a Besancon (©Maxime COQUARD et Elisa DETREZ @Bestjobers - CRT Bourgogne Franche Comte)

11.30AM – Stopping at a terrace café

You just need to cross the palace courtyard to arrive at Place Granvelle. Take the time to enjoy a coffee at a pavement café in the midst of the chestnut trees and in the company of the statue of Victor Hugo dressed in a Roman toga. After this little break, go for a stroll where the wind takes you, passing elegant classical façades, bubbling fountains and inner courtyards that are bursting with charm.

Fromages regionaux (© Jura Tourisme Audrey Denegan

12.30PM – Yum !

Without doubt, your feet will guide you to the Marché des Beaux-Arts. This temple to good food has almost everything you could dream of in terms of regional gastronomy: Morteau sausage, Comté and Morbier cheeses, Jura wines…everything you will need to prepare a beautiful picnic for lunch in the outdoors.

Parc Micaud a Besancon - ©CRT Bourogogne-Franche-Comte

1.30PM – A digestive stroll

In Besançon, nature has worked its way into every corner, earning the town its title as No.1 Green City of France. Promenade Micaud, Gare d’Eau, Chamars; you will be spoilt for choice for picnic spots in the fresh air. To fully understand just how omnipresent nature is here, we suggest a trip along the banks of the Doubs. On foot or aboard a river cruise, you quickly realise that the town boasts an exceptional natural setting.

Citadelle de Besancon ©CRT Bourgogne Franche-Comte - Eric Chatelain

3PM – The must-see

It is for good reason that the Citadelle Vauban is the most visited site in the department. This must-see, which is listed by UNESCO, warrants a half-day all on its own. Prepare yourself for a stunning view from up on the ramparts, say hello to the animals at the zoological gardens, shudder at the sight of the Insectarium, touch the multi-coloured carp at the aquarium or feel the emotion at the Museum of the Resistance and of Deportation.

Cité des Arts et de la Culture (David CESBRON - Conseil Regional)

7PM – Aperitif at the water’s edge

As the day draws to a close, you might feel like stopping for a drink at a terrace café in a leafy setting that is not too busy. The perfect solution is the Terrasse du Pixel. Let yourself be soothed by the lapping waters of the river as you admire the façade of glass and wood of the Cité des Arts, designed by architect Kengo Kuma. This is a resolutely contemporary architecture that is in step with the collections of the FRAC (Regional Contemporary Art Fund) that it houses.