The hospital is home to some important artworks, foremost among them this triptych by Flemish master Jan Van Eyck. You should expect to spend 2–3 hours touring the Hôtel-Dieu.
When you’re ready to move on, you have a number of sights you can take in. Foremost among them is its Romanesque Notre-Dame, which holds important 15th-century tapestries of the life of Mary.
If you’re all arted out, visit some of the town’s cellars to taste of Burgundy’s best. Beaune is also near the famous Côte de Beaune, which grows the world’s most coveted and pricey Chardonnays (see the fascinating documentary Sour Grapes about wine fraud to learn more about the cost of these vintages) so you’ll find some good white wines here.
I suggest you start at the Marché aux Vins, which is set in the 12th-century Church of Cordeliers. It is a bit touristy, but it has a staff that’s fluent in English. Other top cellars in town that host tastings and might be appropriate for intermediate oenophiles include Le Cellier de la Cabiote, or Oenothèque Joseph Drouhin. If you require English-language explanations, book in advance (those are only offered at certain hours).
Mustard tastings are also a big thing here, so if you haven’t done one in Dijon, head to La Moutarderie Edmond Fallot, which bills itself as the last family-owned mustard mill in Burgundy. In business since 1840, it now offers factory tours with tastings, including of the brand’s limited editions.
Or you can just make like a flâneur and simply wander the streets and 12th to 14th century ramparts of this charming town. There’s more than enough to explore for a few hours.
When you’re ready, hop the train back to Dijon, or wherever you’re going next.