Welcome to the charming city of Dijon nestled in the heart of Burgundy, France! As the capital of the Burgundy region, Dijon is the perfect starting point for exploring what this beautiful part of the country has to offer. In this comprehensive Dijon travel guide, get ready to explore the cobbled streets of this medieval city, discover its architectural wonders, and indulge in its world-famous mustards and wines. From must-visit attractions to where to stay and exciting day trips that promise adventure, I’ve got you covered. During my month living in Burgundy I visited Dijon several times and loved it very much. So pack your bags and join me on this unforgettable journey to uncover the best that Dijon has to offer!
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The Complete Dijon France Travel Guide
Why Visit Dijon?
Dijon isn’t just a culinary hotspot; it’s a city steeped in history. With architectural marvels and a vibrant cultural scene, Dijon has something for everyone. Visitors are treated to a journey through time as they wander through the medieval and Renaissance streets.
The city’s impressive array of museums and galleries, like the Musée des Beaux-Arts, offer a deep dive into the rich artistic heritage of the region. And of course, no trip to Dijon is complete without indulging in its world famous mustard. As the capital of Burgundy, Dijon is the perfect place to start your journey throughout this gorgeous region of France.
Best Things to Do in Dijon Travel Guide
Dijon is a place teeming with historical sites, culinary delights, and unique cultural experiences. Here are some of the best things to do when visiting Dijon:
1. Discover the Owl’s Trail
Discover Dijon’s enchanting Owl Trail! This self-guided walking tour takes you on a journey through the heart of the city and all the top sights. Follow the bronze owl sculptures that dot the streets, leading you to all the sights and historical landmarks. It’s a delightful way to explore Dijon’s rich heritage and unique charm, making your visit truly memorable. You can purchase a map at the tourist office.
2. Taste the Local Mustard
Indulge in Dijon’s famous mustard tasting experience. Sample a variety of flavors at local shops. From classic Dijon to exotic blends, it’s a flavorful adventure. Don’t leave without a jar of Dijon’s finest to savor at home. There are several places in Dijon to taste mustard. I visited the famous La Moutarderie Fallot just downtown and it was a lovely experience. You can sample many different flavors of mustard and purchase some to take home. Highly recommend.
3. Stroll Through the Old Town
Wander through Dijon’s captivating old town. Cobbled streets beckon with centuries of history. It’s a very pretty, picturesque town with high end retail shops and some cafes. Admire colorful half-timbered houses and ornate Gothic architecture. The old town is quite small and centered around the church. Explore charming boutiques and soak in the city’s medieval ambiance. Dijon’s old town is a captivating journey through time and should not be missed.
4. Visit the Notre-Dame of Dijon
Visit the Notre-Dame of Dijon, a Gothic masterpiece. Its intricate facade is a work of art. Step inside to admire stunning stained glass windows. The tranquility within offers a peaceful escape. A must-see gem in the heart of Dijon’s historic center.
5. Visit the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne
Explore the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne in Dijon. It’s a captivating window into Burgundian life. Admire folk art, costumes, and traditional crafts. Wander through recreated historic interiors. It’s a cultural journey through the region’s rich heritage. Don’t miss this enriching experience in Dijon.
6. Enjoy Local Wines
Savor the essence of Dijon with local Burgundy wines. Explore charming vineyards nearby. Sample world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Burgundy is known world wide as having some of the best wines in the entire world. Visit wineries for tastings and scenic views. It’s a wine lover’s paradise in the heart of Burgundy. Cheers to the flavors of Dijon!
7. Explore the Les Halles Market
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Les Halles Market in Dijon. Discover fresh, local produce and gourmet delights. Stroll through stalls filled with cheese, charcuterie, and artisanal goods. Indulge in a culinary adventure, tasting Burgundy’s finest flavors. Les Halles is a food lover’s paradise that shouldn’t be missed in Dijon.
8. Take a Day Trip
Escape Dijon’s charm for a day trip. Explore the nearby Burgundy countryside. Visit picturesque vineyards, taste world-class wines. Head to historic Beaune for its Hospices de Beaune. Or venture to the charming village of Vézelay with its stunning basilica. Dijon’s central location makes for unforgettable day adventures in Burgundy.
Where to Stay in Dijon
Finding the perfect place to stay in Dijon is a breeze with its array of charming accommodations to suit every preference. Opt for a cozy boutique hotel nestled in the heart of the city for easy access to major attractions and delightful cafes.
The area around the Palace of the Dukes and the Old Town is ideal, brimming with historical charm and bustling energy. For those on a budget, there are numerous guesthouses and B&Bs that offer comfort without breaking the bank.
Luxury seekers will find exquisite hotels with top-notch amenities and elegant rooms, ensuring a lavish stay. No matter where you choose to stay, you’re bound to be swept off your feet by Dijon’s undeniable charm and warmth.
Tips for Visiting Dijon
Embarking on a journey to Dijon, the vibrant heart of Burgundy, promises a feast for the senses and a trip filled with historical exploration, culinary delights, and charming city strolls. To make the most out of your visit, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Best Time to Visit: Aim to visit during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to October) when the weather is mild, and the city is less crowded, allowing for a more enjoyable experience.
- Where to Park in Dijon: Utilize the well-maintained underground car parks, such as Parking Dauphine or Parking Grangier, which are centrally located and provide easy access to the main attractions.
- Local Foods to Try: Don’t leave without trying the region’s specialties, including escargot, beef bourguignon, and of course, the world-famous Dijon mustard. For a sweet treat, grab a pain d’épices, a delicious local gingerbread.
- Take Advantage of the Owl’s Trail: Follow the owl plaques embedded in the sidewalks for a self-guided tour that takes you through the most significant historical and cultural sites of the city.
- Explore the Local Markets: Visit Les Halles, Dijon’s famous covered market, to immerse yourself in the local food scene and perhaps pick up some gourmet souvenirs.
- Invest in a City Pass: If you plan on visiting multiple museums and attractions, consider purchasing a Dijon City Pass for discounted rates and easy access.
With these tips in hand, you’re all set to navigate Dijon like a pro, ensuring a trip filled with memorable experiences and delightful discoveries.
Best Daytrips from Dijon
Dijon is not just a fantastic place to visit itself, but it also makes for a great home base for exploring much of the Burgundy region of France. Here are some of the best day trip ideas for when staying in Dijon!
- Beaune: Just a quick train journey from Dijon, Beaune is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. Explore the famous Hospices de Beaune, and indulge in wine tasting sessions to experience the best of Burgundy’s wine culture.
- Chateauneuf: Explore the medieval village of Chateauneuf, dominated by its impressive castle. Stroll through the cobbled streets and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
- Chamonix: For the adventure seekers, a day trip to Chamonix in the French Alps is an exhilarating experience. Whether you’re looking to hit the ski slopes or hike through stunning mountain scenery, Chamonix offers outdoor activities year-round.
- Annecy: Known as the “Venice of the Alps”, Annecy captivates with its beautiful lake, charming canals, and vibrant old town. Spend the day exploring the historic sites, relaxing by the lake, or taking a scenic boat ride.
- Arnay Le Duc: Experience the charm of rural France in Arnay Le Duc, a quaint village with picturesque streets and traditional old houses. It’s a perfect spot for those looking to unwind and soak in the serene atmosphere.
- Autun: Dive into history with a visit to Autun, known for its well-preserved Roman ruins and rich medieval past. The Saint-Lazare Cathedral and the ancient Roman theater are highlights not to be missed.
Each of these destinations offers a unique experience, allowing you to explore beyond Dijon and delve deeper into the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of the region.
Dijon Travel Guide Conclusion
As our exploration of Dijon comes to a close, it’s clear that this captivating city is brimming with delights waiting to be discovered at every corner. From strolling through the picturesque lanes, sampling the delectable mustards and wines, to uncovering the historical treasures housed within its ancient walls, Dijon has proven to be a destination that truly has it all.
Whether you’re looking for a cozy nook to stay, eager to embark on scenic day trips, or simply wishing to immerse yourself in the local culture, this guide has aimed to equip you with all you need to make the most of your journey. So, until your next adventure, au revoir and carry with you the memories of the enchanting times spent in the heart of Burgundy’s most precious jewel, Dijon.