Besançon is located in the Franche-Comté region. The city boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage, in addition to a unique architecture, that granted Besançon a “label Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (“City of Art and History label”). Furthermore, Besançon’s fortifications built by famous military architect Vauban are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besançon lies in a bend of the river Doubs and thus enjoys an outstanding natural setting which offers an ideal living environment to its population of 120,000. Besançon is a 2-hour train ride from Paris and a 2h30 from Lyon or Basel.

Come to Besançon

By plane

From Paris (Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly Airports):

A TGV (high-speed train) leaves Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport every night at 7:58 PM and reaches Gare de Besançon-Viotte (train station) at 10:55 PM, after a change at Gare de Besançon Franche-Comté TGV. From the Airport, you can also:

  • take the RER Line B (commuter train), get off at “Châtelet – Les Halles” station, and then change to RER Line A, up to the Gare de Lyon
  • take a taxi up to the Gare de Lyon
  • take the Navette Air France (shuttle bus) up to the Gare de Lyon

    From the Gare de Lyon, TGVs to Besançon leave several times a day.

    From the Orly Airport, take the Orlyval (subway) and get off at “Antony”. Then take the RER Line B, get off at “Châtelet – les Halles”, and change to RER Line A up to the Gare de Lyon. There, take a TGV to Besançon.

    For more information, visit Aéroports de Paris and SNCF.

    From Lyon (Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport):

    From the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport, take the Rhône Express (shuttle tram) up to the Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu. There, take a train to Besançon.

    From the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg:

    From the EuroAirport, take the Distribus (shuttle bus) up to the Gare de Saint-Louis. There, take a train to Besançon.

    For more information on airport shuttles, visit this page.

By train

Besançon has 2 train stations: Besançon-Viotte and Besançon Franche-Comté TGV (about 7 miles away from the city centre) – both are connected by shuttle trains. The most convenient option for you is to take a direct train (from anywhere you are in France) to Besançon Viotte. Visit the SNCF website for more information.

By car

Besançon is a 4-hour drive from Paris, a 2h15 from Lyon, Strasbourg, and Geneva, a 1h40 from Lausanne, a 1h30 from Basel, and a 1-hour from Dijon. When you reach the highway A36 called “La Comtoise”, look for the exit no.4 “Besançon – Saint-Claude” and take it, then follow the signs “Centre-Ville” and “CLA”.

Find the CLA

The CLA verges Besançon’s downtown area and is based at 6 rue Gabriel Plançon.

translation of the map above:

Take the bus/TRAM to the CLA:

From the Gare Besançon-Viotte (tram stations are close to the way to the main entrance):
- Take bus no.5 (towards “Bregille”), get off at “Oudet”, 5-minute walk to the CLA
- Take tram no.2 (towards “Hauts du Chazal”) and get off at “Canot”

From the Campus de La Bouloie (‘Arago, Gymnase, U-Sports, ENSMM, and Crous Université’ stations):
- Take bus no.15 (towards “Centre-Ville”), get off at “Chamars”, 5-minute walk to the CLA
- Take bus no.3 (towards “Temis”), get off at “Temis”, from “Temis” take bus no.11 (towards “Orchamps”), get off at “Oudet”, 3-minute walk to the CLA

From the Foyer de Jeunes Travailleurs de La Cassotte (‘Liberté, Fontaine-Argent, and Flore’ stations):
- Take bus no.4 (towards “Châteaufarine”) at “Liberté” and get off at “8 Mai”
- Take tram no.1 (towards “Hauts du Chazal”) at “Fontaine-Argent” and get off at “Canot”
- Take tram no.2 (towards “Hauts du Chazal”) at “Flore” and get off at “Canot”

From the Logements Étudiants Francs-Comtois (‘Micropolis’ station):
- 5-minute walk to “Micropolis”, take tram no.1 (towards “Chalezeule”) or no.2 (towards “Gare Viotte”) and get off at “Canot”

From the Centre International de Séjour (‘Pôle Sportif’ station):
- Take bus no.11 (towards ‘Orchamps’) at “Pôle Sportif”, get off at “Oudet”, 3-minute walk to the CLA

If you are driving to the CLA, follow the direction “Centre-Ville”, then follow the signs “CLA”. You can leave your car at the Chamars paid parking lot, not far away (facing the CLA across the Doubs).

If you are coming by train, you will find tram stations just beneath the entrance way to the Gare Besançon-Viotte, along the Avenue de la Paix. Take the tram no.2 towards “Hauts du Chazal” and get off at “Canot” (10-minute ride). Then walk along the Cité Universitaire (the residence which faces the station) and cross the street straight ahead at the traffic junction: the CLA is the leftmost building of the glass complex called “La City”, facing the quay and the Pont Canot (the bridge).

For more information, visit the Ginko Bus Company and the Besançon Tourist Office websites.