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Located close to the Swiss border in north-eastern France, Besancon is known as one of the greenest cities in the country. Historic ruins and monuments nestled among luscious greenery make it a picturesque city, and there is much in the way of heritage and culture to be explored. The city is home to numerous sites and museums, all of which offer a sense of Besancon's rich past.
St Jean Cathedral, dating back to the 12th century, features intricate design work and is among the top sites to see in Besancon. The citadel, built along the banks of the river, is another striking structure with a romantic setting well worth the visit.
The city's Museum of Fine Arts is widely considered one of the best museums of its kind outside of Paris with a collection dating back as far back as the late 1600s. Works from artists such as Titian, Rubens, Constable, Matisse and Picasso feature in the impressive collection housed here.
Parks and squares provide the perfect locations for quiet respite and a picnic. Besancon is home to a number of fine green areas, including Micaud Park, the Promenade Granvelle and the Place de la Revolution. Performing arts play a leading role in the cultural offerings of the town with up to five theatres to choose from and an impressive opera house.
For travel around the Besancon, both walking and cycling are two excellent options. Most of the town's main sites are located within close proximity to each other making it easy to get from place to place.
Car hire is the best option for trips into the spectacular countryside that surrounds the town. There are car hire outlets in Besancon, but they can be expensive. Book your rental car before you travel and take advantage of great savings.