France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Dijon, France Guide
Capital of Burgundy and the Côte d'Or, Dijon has lots to offer the visitor.

 
   

 

Dijon, home of the quasi-royal Dukes of Burgundy and a culinary capital of France, lies on the historic routes between northern France and Paris, and the Côte d'Azur and Marseille (map).

Dijon is the capital of the Côte d'Or Département of France and of the historic region of Burgundy. It has long been associated with fine wine and excellent food, as well as with Dijon mustard. The city is also an educational center, home to the 32,000 student Université de Bourgogne.

Under the Dukes of Burgundy Dijon developed a reputation as a leader in the arts, and it continues to play that role today, with a fine assortment of museums.

Palais des Ducs, Dijon, Burgundy, France
Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne, Dijon.

Orientation

The center of Dijon is the spacious Place de la Libération in front of the huge Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne, the ducal palace, now housing the Museum of Fine Arts and city hall.

Rising behind the palace, the ancient Tour Philippe le Bon is the tallest structure in the historic center and a useful landmark to find your way. You can also climb it, if you're up for the 316 steps (worth it for the views).

The Rue de la Liberté, heading northwest from the Place de la Libération, is Dijon's major pedestrian shopping street. At its northwest end are the Porte Guillaume monumental arch, the Place Darcy with its T-1 tram stop, and the restful Parque Darcy.

Dijon is the home of kir, the famous drink made from crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) and white wine. More...

Dijon's major train station, the Gare de Dijon SNCF, is 1200 meters (3/4 mile, a 14-minute walk) northwest of the place de la Libération (map). More...

Planning Your Time

The center of Dijon is relatively compact and can easily be covered on foot. The major sights are quite close together, and you can get a good sense of Dijon and its offerings in a couple of days. Dijon makes a good weekend excursion from Paris, with fast TGV service covering the distance in less than two hours.

Hint: Virtually all museums are closed on Tuesdays; many restaurants are closed on Sundays and Mondays; and the market (Halles) is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, so plan according to your interests.

Excursions

Dijon can also be a base for exploring the wine country of the Côte d'Or (which translates as Gold Coast, a comment on the golden leaves of the vineyards in the autumn). It's a short trip from Dijon south to Beaune, in the heart of the wine country. Although it's only 46 kilometers (29 miles) from Dijon to Beaune, you'll want to take your time along the way, stopping in some of the villages and admiring the vineyards and the countryside. More...

From Dijon you can follow the Route des Grands Crus, a driving tour that will take you through the main vineyards of the Côte d'Or. En route to Beaune you can stop in the small towns of Nuits St-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin, as well as the lovely Clos de Vougeot.

Other excursions from Dijon might include visits to the Abbey of Fontenay, a 12th century Cistercian Abbey near Montbard (about 82 kilometers/51 miles northwest of Dijon) and the historic town Vézelay (an additional 64 kilometers/40 miles beyond Fontenay).

Full Disclosure

Dijon holds a special place for Jane, one of the authors of this site, as it was the first place she ever went in France, attending summer school there in 1968. More...


Dijon Hotels & Flats/Apts

What to See & Do in Dijon

Dijon Tourist Information

Dijon Restaurants

Dijon Transport

Dijon in 1968

Beaune

About Burgundy

Food & Drink in Burgundy

Lyon

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Rooftops of Dijon, Burgundy, France

Above, Rooftops of Dijon, Burgundy.

Below, The beautiful Halles (market) building in Dijon.

 

Halles Dijon France

St-Benigne Cathedral, Dijon, France
Above, Cathédral St-Benigne, Dijon, seen from the top of the Tour Philippe Le Bon.

 
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