Things to Do in Dijon France – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Welcome to Dijon, a charming city in the heart of Burgundy, France, known for its rich history, exquisite cuisine, and vibrant culture. If you’re looking for a destination that seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern sophistication, Dijon is the place to be. From exploring historic sites to savoring delicious local wines and must-try mustard, Dijon offers a plethora of activities to suit every traveler’s taste. Join me as we uncover the top things to do in Dijon and immerse ourselves in all this captivating city has to offer.

Can’t-Miss Attractions

When visiting Dijon, France, there are five must-see attractions that encapsulate the essence of this charming city.

1. Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy: This grand palace was once the residence of the Dukes of Burgundy and now houses the Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors can admire the stunning architecture of the palace and explore the extensive art collection inside, including works by renowned artists such as Veronese and Monet. The palace’s historical significance and remarkable art make it a top attraction in Dijon.

2. Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne: This magnificent cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and a symbol of faith in Dijon. Visitors can marvel at its intricate carvings, beautiful stained glass windows, and impressive bell tower. The cathedral’s historical and cultural significance, as well as its stunning beauty, make it a must-visit for travelers.

3. Jardin Darcy: A peaceful oasis in the heart of Dijon, Jardin Darcy is a beautifully landscaped park that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Visitors can stroll along tree-lined paths, admire colorful flower beds, and relax by the fountain. The park’s natural beauty and serene atmosphere make it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

4. Musée de la Moutarde: Dijon is famous for its mustard, and this museum celebrates the city’s culinary heritage. Visitors can learn about the history of mustard production, see vintage mustard pots and advertisements, and even sample different varieties of this beloved condiment. The museum’s unique focus on mustard and its interactive exhibits make it a fun and educational attraction for visitors of all ages.

5. Les Halles Market: A feast for the senses, Les Halles Market is a bustling indoor market where visitors can discover the best of Burgundian cuisine. From fresh produce and local cheeses to gourmet delicacies and fine wines, the market offers a true taste of Dijon. The vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, and authentic local products make it a must-visit destination for food lovers and culture enthusiasts alike.

These top five attractions in Dijon, France, offer a diverse range of experiences that showcase the city’s rich history, cultural heritage, natural beauty, and culinary delights. Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, nature, or gastronomy, Dijon has something to offer every traveler.

One-day trip

Looking for exciting day trips within a 2-hour drive from Dijon, France? Here are five fantastic destinations to explore:

1. Beaune: Known as the wine capital of Burgundy, Beaune is a charming town located just a 45-minute drive from Dijon. Visitors can explore the famous Hospices de Beaune, a stunning 15th-century hospital turned museum, and enjoy wine tastings at local vineyards.

2. Dole: Situated about an hour away from Dijon, Dole is a picturesque town with a rich history. Highlights include the birthplace of Louis Pasteur, beautiful canals perfect for a leisurely stroll, and the impressive Collégiale Notre-Dame de Dole.

3. Châteauneuf-en-Auxois: This medieval village is perched on a hill overlooking the Burgundy Canal, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can wander the cobblestone streets, visit the 12th-century castle, and enjoy a meal at a traditional French bistro.

4. Vézelay: Just under a 2-hour drive from Dijon, Vézelay is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning basilica and well-preserved medieval architecture. The town is a popular pilgrimage site and offers a peaceful atmosphere for visitors to explore.

5. Fontenay Abbey: Located less than 2 hours from Dijon, Fontenay Abbey is a beautifully preserved Cistercian monastery dating back to the 12th century. Visitors can tour the abbey, stroll through the peaceful gardens, and learn about the history of this remarkable site.

Each of these destinations offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making them ideal choices for day-trippers looking to experience the best of Burgundy within a short drive from Dijon.

Restaurants and bars

When exploring Dijon, France, make sure to visit these five exceptional restaurants that offer a culinary experience like no other:

1. La Moutarde Magique – This charming restaurant is known for its creative use of Dijon mustard in every dish. Don’t miss their signature dish, Mustard Glazed Chicken, which perfectly showcases the local flavors.

2. Le Château de Bourgogne – Located in a historic castle, this restaurant offers a fine dining experience with a modern twist. Indulge in their Beef Bourguignon, a classic French dish elevated to perfection.

3. Le Petit Gascon – A cozy bistro serving traditional Gascon cuisine with a touch of Burgundian influence. Try their Cassoulet, a hearty stew that will warm your soul on a chilly evening.

4. L’Escargotière – Specializing in escargot, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience for adventurous foodies. Their Escargot à la Bourguignonne is a must-try for a true taste of Burgundy.

5. Le Palais des Saveurs – A hidden gem known for its fusion of French and Asian flavors. Sample their Duck Confit Spring Rolls for a delightful culinary surprise.

For a taste of local cafe culture, be sure to visit these top two cafes in Dijon:

1. Café des Arts – This artsy cafe is a favorite among locals for its cozy ambiance and exceptional coffee. Enjoy a cup of their house blend while admiring the local artwork on display.

2. Le Jardin Secret – Tucked away in a picturesque garden, this cafe offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Savor a slice of their homemade Tarte Tatin while surrounded by lush greenery.

Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local flavors, these restaurants, cafes, and bars in Dijon are sure to leave a lasting impression on your culinary journey.

Interesting Facts

Dijon, France, a city known for its mustard and historic architecture, has much more to offer than meets the eye. Here are three surprising and interesting facts about Dijon that will enrich your visit:

1. Owl’s Trail: One of the unique attractions in Dijon is the Owl’s Trail, a self-guided tour marked by brass owl plaques on the ground. These plaques lead visitors through the city’s medieval streets, showcasing its rich history and architectural wonders. The owl is a symbol of wisdom and has become an emblem of Dijon, making this trail a fun and educational way to explore the city.

2. Mustard Making: While Dijon is famous for its mustard, many may not know that traditional Dijon mustard is made from black mustard seeds, white wine, unfermented grape juice, and spices. Visitors can delve into the world of mustard-making at the Maille boutique, where they can sample a variety of mustard flavors and even create their custom blend to take home as a unique souvenir.

3. Les Halles Market: A visit to Dijon would not be complete without exploring Les Halles, the city’s bustling indoor market. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant colors and aromas of local produce, cheeses, meats, and wines. The market is a paradise for food enthusiasts, offering a taste of Burgundian gastronomy and a chance to mingle with locals as they shop for fresh ingredients.

These three facts offer just a glimpse of the hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Dijon, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs, foodies, and curious travelers alike.

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