Few events in France can rival the local Saturday market, and Beaune is no exception! The Saturday market is the social event of the week, as much as a place to meet and greet friends as it is to buy the freshest meats and produce. If you want an opportunity to really experience French life and escape from being just a tourist, this is the place to come. Come early to watch the vendors set up. This is a perfect time to take pictures as the crowds have not yet arrived. By 10:00 the streets will be full of people and activity, crowds of friends talking and laughing and catching up on the week's activities.
The market has existed in some form in Beaune since the early 13th century. The covered market called Les Halles is open during the week, but it is much too small for the Saturday market, which overflows into the pedestrian streets surrounding the famous Hospice de Beaune. From the freshest vegetables and fruits, to local and regional cheeses like Epoisses and Florentin, to organic meat, eggs and chicken, there is nothing you won't find at the Saturday market in Beaune. There are breads and pastries that will make your heart weak, and jams and honey for every taste. Be sure that you bring your market basket or bag, as it will be perfect to collect supplies for a picnic lunch, another one of my favorite activities in France. If you are lucky enough to be in Beaune in late November, the annual wine auction is held in this very location on the 3rd Sunday of November.
The Saturday market in Beaune is definitely an event that should be at the top of your list of things to do in Burgundy. It's free and all your money can go towards buying the supplies for a perfect picnic lunch!