What to visit in Dijon? To help you discover the capital of Bourgogne, you will find in this city guide all the information you need to prepare your stay. Good addresses and must-see visits are waiting for you in this article!
Prepare your stay in Dijon
- When to go? All year round to enjoy the historical center, monuments and museums. Rather from spring to early autumn to enrich your visit with a little tour in the surrounding vineyards.
- How long will I stay there? For Parisians, the round trip can be done in a busy day to get a first glimpse of the city. Ideally at least a weekend or even three days to take your time.
- How to get there? By train, especially from Paris or Lyon.
- For whom? Solo, in couple or in family by adapting the activities.
How to come to Dijon?
The city of Dijon is located on the TGV Lyria axis which connects Paris to Switzerland. It is therefore very easy and fast to get there from Paris (about 1h15), Lyon (1h30) or Lille (3h).
Moving around Dijon
The city is on a human scale and your legs will be able to take you to the main places of interest.
If walking is difficult for you, two streetcar lines cross the city every 5 to 15 minutes. The 1 hour pass is €1.70; €4.5 for a day. A shuttle called “City” is also at your disposal in the heart of the city, it is free and passes every 10 minutes from 8am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.
5 things to do in Dijon
Stroll through the city and follow the owl’s route
This is the advice I always give in my city guides, even if it seems obvious: it is of course on foot that you can best discover a city and let yourself be carried away by the atmosphere of its streets. In Dijon, the historical center has been spared by wars and it is therefore a little jewel to discover, which allows you to travel back in time.
You will probably notice in the cobblestones of the streets bronze arrows with the effigy of an owl. Follow them to make a route that will take you through all the must-see sites of the city. Why an owl? It is a sculpture located on the Notre-Dame church which has become one of the symbols of the city.
Some must-sees: the Darcy garden, the Porte Guillaume, the Saint-Michel church, the Place de la Libération and the central halls.
Visit the Fine Arts museum
The Dijon Fine Arts museum is without a doubt one of the most beautiful museums I have ever visited. It is very large, rich of a vast collection and was renovated last year. So it is a brand new museum that you will be able to discover and which, moreover, is free!
But be careful, it’s a real labyrinth! It is difficult not to get lost in all its corridors and different levels, so it is better to have a map before entering. Also take a few hours to visit it properly because it is very big. Its collections are very varied, ranging from antiquity to the 21st century. So there is something for everyone.
Not to be missed: the impressive tombs of the Dukes of Bourgogne as well as the room dedicated to the sculptor François Pompon, born in the region, and whose museum has several works.
Visit the François Rude museum
The sculptor François Rude to whom we owe the impressive sculpture “The departure of the volunteers” located on the Arc de Triomphe” is a native of Dijon. To pay tribute to him, the city has dedicated a museum to him and just like the Fine Arts museum, it is entirely free so go and have a look!
Attend an Opera
Did you know that the Dijon Opera is one of the halls in Europe with the best acoustics? So it would be a shame to come to the city and not enjoy it! This hall of more than 1600 seats built in 1998 hosts performances all year round. You can consult its program online: https://www.opera-dijon.fr/en/
Good surprise on the price side! The Dijon Opera twists the idea that operas are expensive: tickets are offered from €17 for the full price and only €5,5 for the reduced price.
It’s hard not to associate Dijon with mustard, a true institution! Unfortunately most of the artisanal mustard factories have closed their doors over the years. The most authentic today is the Edmond Fallot mustard factory.
Other specialties to be discovered in the city include gingerbread and blackcurrant products.
Good addresses in Dijon
Hotel: the Mercure Dijon Centre
There is no shortage of hotels in Dijon, for all prices. The ideal is to choose an accommodation close to the historical center. I particularly recommend the Mercure Dijon Centre hotel, a very quiet 4-star establishment which is located 5 minutes walk from the city center and right next to the Opera, a great location if you want to take advantage of your stay to go and see a show.
For lunch: the Beaux Arts brewery
We fell in love with this restaurant located next to the Museum of Fine Arts. It offers simple but tasty and elegant market cuisine. The formula of the day is proposed at 17 € for starter + main course or main course + dessert; 21 € for starter + main course + dessert.
The aperitif on the Tower Philippe le Bon
In the heart of the city, the Philippe le Bon Tower offers a superb panorama of Dijon. On Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30 pm and 8 pm, the tourist office organizes a visit – aperitif, enough to combine a visit of the city and convivial moment – 20 € per person – More information
If you wish to discover the surroundings of Dijon, I highly recommend the route of the great vintages of Burgundy. These passages in the vineyards are a pleasure for the eyes as well as for the taste buds.
If you wish to be accompanied in this visit, several turnkey tours are proposed, some of them by bike, for ½ day or a day with tastings – More information
I particularly recommend the fascinating visit of the Clos de Vougeot, a superb building built from the 12th century by the monks of the Cîteaux Abbey, in the heart of the vineyards. Today it is the Head of Order of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.
You can complete this visit with a tasting-lunch at the Table de Léonce where you will be served a typical Burgundian meal accompanied by 4 or 6 wines, depending on the formula.
Useful: the map!
Find all the good addresses and points of interest mentioned in this article on this map :
Looking for more getaway ideas? Find all the cityguides of Culturez-vous, in France and in Europe, in the Travel section.
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