Belfort is a charming city located in northeastern France, known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and picturesque landscapes. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Belfort:
1. Belfort Citadel
The Belfort Citadel is a symbol of the city and a must-visit attraction. Built in the 17th century, this well-preserved fortress offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Explore the ramparts, visit the Lion of Belfort monument, and learn about the history of the citadel through its museums and exhibitions.
2. The Lion of Belfort
One of the most iconic landmarks in Belfort is the Lion of Belfort, a colossal sculpture carved out of red sandstone. Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty, this majestic lion represents the city’s resistance during the Franco-Prussian War. It’s an impressive sight and a great spot for taking memorable photos.
3. Saint-Christophe Cathedral
Visit the Saint-Christophe Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic-style cathedral located in the heart of Belfort. Admire the intricate architecture, stained glass windows, and the serene atmosphere of this historic religious site. Don’t miss the panoramic view from the top of the cathedral’s tower.
4. Museum of Art and History
Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Belfort at the Museum of Art and History. The museum houses a diverse collection of artworks, artifacts, and historical objects, providing insights into the city’s past. From fine art to archaeology, there’s something to captivate every visitor.
5. La Maison d’Elise
Step back in time and visit La Maison d’Elise, a restored 18th-century house that showcases the daily life of the period. Wander through the furnished rooms, discover the traditional decor, and learn about the historical significance of this charming dwelling.
6. Ballon d’Alsace
Image Source: https://www.komoot.com/fr-fr/highlight/148121
Nature lovers should head to Ballon d’Alsace, a mountain peak located just outside Belfort. Explore the hiking trails that crisscross the lush forests and enjoy breathtaking views from the summit. During the winter, the Ballon d’Alsace is also a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding.
7. FIMU – International Music Festival of Belfort
If you’re visiting Belfort in late May or early June, don’t miss the FIMU, a renowned music festival that brings together a diverse range of genres and international artists. The festival takes place in various locations across the city and offers a vibrant atmosphere filled with music and entertainment.
8. Shopping and Dining
Take a stroll through the city center and explore the charming streets of Belfort. Discover boutiques, local shops, and lively markets where you can find unique souvenirs and regional delicacies. Indulge in the local cuisine by trying traditional dishes like tarte flambée and Alsatian sauerkraut.
9. The Old Town (Vieille Ville)
Take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town, also known as the Vieille Ville. Admire the well-preserved medieval architecture, browse through quaint shops, and relax at one of the cozy cafes or restaurants. The Old Town offers a unique atmosphere that transports you back in time.
10. The Glacis Park
Located just outside the Belfort Citadel, the Glacis Park is a beautiful green space perfect for a peaceful walk or a picnic. The park features lush lawns, shady trees, and picturesque views of the citadel. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of Belfort.
11. Boat Ride on the Savoureuse River
Explore Belfort from a different perspective by taking a boat ride on the Savoureuse River. Enjoy a leisurely cruise through the city, passing under charming bridges and admiring the riverside scenery. It’s a relaxing and scenic way to discover Belfort.
12. The Belfort Christmas Market
If you visit Belfort during the holiday season, make sure to visit the Belfort Christmas Market. The market offers a festive atmosphere with beautifully decorated stalls selling crafts, gifts, and delicious seasonal treats. Enjoy the warm glow of the lights, sip on mulled wine, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.
13. Maison du Tourisme du Territoire de Belfort
Drop by the Maison du Tourisme du Territoire de Belfort to gather information about the city and its surroundings. The helpful staff can provide you with maps, brochures, and recommendations tailored to your interests. It’s a great starting point to plan your explorations in and around Belfort.
14. Festivals and Events
Belfort hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to experience the vibrant local culture. From music festivals like Eurockéennes, one of the largest rock music festivals in France, to the Belfort International Circus Festival, there’s always something exciting happening in the city.
15. Day Trips
Belfort is a gateway to the beautiful region of Franche-Comté and offers easy access to nearby attractions. Consider taking a day trip to explore the picturesque villages of Alsace, visit the vineyards of the Alsace Wine Route, or discover the charming city of Montbéliard with its splendid château.
16. Le Parc de la Douce
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in the peaceful surroundings of Le Parc de la Douce. This lovely park offers lush green spaces, walking paths, and a tranquil lake. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing picnic or a leisurely stroll.
17. Château de Belfort
Image Source: https://sbe-asso.com/sbe_zoomAccueilPhoto1.html
Explore the Château de Belfort, a beautiful mansion built in the 16th century. This architectural gem features Renaissance-style elements and houses the Belfort Natural History Museum. Discover the region’s flora and fauna, including fossils and taxidermy displays, and learn about the local biodiversity.
18. La Maison des Canons
Visit La Maison des Canons, a historical building that served as a gunpowder storage facility during the 17th century. It now houses a museum that provides insight into the military history of Belfort and displays a collection of cannons, weapons, and armor. Guided tours are available to delve deeper into the fascinating stories behind these artifacts.
19. Les Jardins du Salbert
Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to Les Jardins du Salbert, a beautiful botanical garden located on the slopes of Mont Salbert. Discover a variety of plant species, including aromatic herbs, flowers, and medicinal plants. The garden offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscapes, making it a serene and picturesque escape.
20. Canal du Rhône au Rhin
Image Source: https://mapcarta.com/fr/18313174
Take a peaceful walk or bike ride along the scenic Canal du Rhône au Rhin, which passes through Belfort. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and admire the picturesque landscapes along the canal. It’s a great way to relax, exercise, and appreciate the beauty of the region.
21. Belfort Jazz Festival
If you’re a fan of jazz music, plan your visit to Belfort during the Belfort Jazz Festival. This annual event attracts renowned jazz musicians from around the world and offers a fantastic lineup of concerts, workshops, and jam sessions. Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies and vibrant rhythms of this captivating music genre.
22. The Theatre Granit
Image Source: https://90.agendaculturel.fr/granit-scene-nationale
Catch a performance at the Theatre Granit, a cultural hub that showcases a variety of theatrical productions, dance performances, concerts, and other artistic events. This contemporary venue offers a diverse program that caters to different artistic tastes and provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local arts scene.
23. Les Eurockéennes de Belfort
If you’re a music lover, plan your visit to Belfort around the renowned Les Eurockéennes de Belfort music festival. Held annually in early July, this three-day festival brings together top international and French artists across various music genres. Join the energetic crowds and enjoy live performances in a lively and vibrant atmosphere.
24. Tour de la Miotte
Climb up to the Tour de la Miotte, a historic tower perched on a hill overlooking Belfort. From the top, you can admire panoramic views of the city, the surrounding countryside, and the Vosges Mountains. It’s a great spot for photography enthusiasts and those seeking a stunning vista.
25. Les Forges de Babel
Experience the vibrant local arts and cultural scene at Les Forges de Babel. This multidisciplinary cultural center hosts exhibitions, workshops, performances, and events related to visual arts, music, theater, and more. Engage with the local creative community and discover unique artistic expressions.
26. Parc de la Butte
Take a relaxing stroll in Parc de la Butte, a charming park with beautifully landscaped gardens, a lake, and walking trails. This green oasis offers a peaceful environment to enjoy nature, have a picnic, or simply unwind amidst the serene surroundings.
27. Maison du Peuple
Explore the historic Maison du Peuple, a significant architectural landmark in Belfort. Designed by renowned architect Le Corbusier, this iconic building reflects the modernist architectural style and is considered a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture. Admire its distinctive design and learn about its historical and cultural significance.
28. Belfort Flea Market
If you enjoy browsing for unique treasures and antiques, don’t miss the Belfort Flea Market. Held on Sundays along the Avenue Jean Jaurès, this market offers a wide array of stalls selling vintage clothing, furniture, collectibles, and more. It’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind items and bargain for a good deal.
29. Le Parc de la Roseraie
Discover the beauty of Le Parc de la Roseraie, a charming park dedicated to roses. Stroll through the well-maintained rose gardens, admire the vibrant colors and fragrances, and enjoy the serene atmosphere. It’s a lovely spot to relax, read a book, or have a picnic surrounded by the blossoming flowers.
30. Tourist Train Ride
Embark on a scenic tourist train ride through the city of Belfort. Hop aboard the train, sit back, and enjoy a leisurely journey as you pass by the city’s landmarks, historical sites, and beautiful landscapes. It’s a fun and convenient way to explore Belfort and learn about its history and culture.
31. Les Etangs du Malsaucy
Venture out to Les Etangs du Malsaucy, a nature reserve located near Belfort. This picturesque area is known for its tranquil lakes, wooded trails, and diverse wildlife. It’s an ideal destination for hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying a peaceful day surrounded by nature.
32. Belfort Street Art
Belfort has embraced street art, and you can find captivating murals and urban art throughout the city. Take a walk around town and discover these colorful and thought-provoking artworks adorning the walls. It’s a unique way to experience art in an open-air gallery.
33. Musée de l’Aventure Peugeot
If you have an interest in automobiles and industrial history, consider visiting the Musée de l’Aventure Peugeot. Located in Sochaux, near Belfort, this museum showcases the rich heritage of the Peugeot brand through a vast collection of cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and more. Discover the evolution of transportation and the innovative spirit of the Peugeot family.
34. Les Trois Vallées
Belfort is nestled within the region of Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys), offering opportunities for outdoor activities. Explore the rolling hills, forests, and meandering rivers through hiking or cycling trails. You can also indulge in water sports such as canoeing or fishing in the nearby rivers.
35. Golf de Rougemont-le-Château
Golf enthusiasts can tee off at Golf de Rougemont-le-Château, located a short drive from Belfort. This picturesque golf course offers a challenging and scenic experience amidst the rolling hills and lush greenery of the region. Enjoy a round of golf while surrounded by the natural beauty of the landscape.
36. Lac du Malsaucy
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac_de_Malsaucy
Situated just a short distance from Belfort, Lac du Malsaucy is a beautiful lake that offers a beach area where visitors can relax and enjoy the sun. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery, providing a serene and picturesque setting. You can swim in the lake, sunbathe on the sandy beach, or partake in various water activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing.
37. Lac de la Vingeanne
Located approximately 1.5 hours west of Belfort, Lac de la Vingeanne is another great option for a beach getaway. This large lake boasts sandy beaches and clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The surrounding area also offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, and picnicking, making it a wonderful spot for a day trip from Belfort.
38. Lake Gerardmer
Although a bit further away, Lake Gerardmer is worth the journey. Located approximately 2 hours southeast of Belfort, this stunning lake is nestled in the heart of the Vosges Mountains. The lake boasts several sandy beaches where you can relax, swim, and soak up the sun. Additionally, Lake Gerardmer offers a range of water sports, including canoeing, paddleboarding, and sailing.
39. Lake Geneva
If you’re willing to travel a bit farther, Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) is a fantastic option. Situated approximately 2.5 hours west of Belfort, Lake Geneva is a large freshwater lake that spans both France and Switzerland. It offers numerous beaches along its shores, including popular spots like Plage d’Amphion, Plage de Promenthoux, and Plage de Préverenges. With its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain backdrop, Lake Geneva provides a picturesque setting for beach activities and water sports.
Places and Things To Do