In early 2022, CNN listed Dijon as one of the best destinations in the world before Naples and Petra. Here is your ultimate guide to this golden city.
Cut Dijon and it bleeds classic French. Birthplace of the famous Dijon mustard and home to superb wines, Dijon has a rich gastronomy that resonates throughout France. Yet the Burgundian city has much more to offer than being France’s ingredient bedrock. Between museums, landmarks, and architecture; Dijon is France’s best-kept secret due to its secluded nature and lack of tourism. Located 2 hours from the capital, Dijon is a rather accessible city making it the ideal destination for a serene weekend in the East of France.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Paris Gare de Lyon to Dijon-Ville, it is approximately a 2-hour train ride and costs between 50-80 euros. By car, it is less than a 3-hour ride and you’re able too discover beautiful little towns, unknown to most.
SEE / DO
Le Parcours de La Chouette
11 Rue de la Chouette, 21000 Dijon, France
Le Parcours de La Chouette or The Owl Trail, is one of Dijon’s most innovative ideas as it permits every tourist to visit the city’s landmarks rather easily. Much like Dorothy, all you have to do is follow the yellow brick road, or bronze arrows placed on the ground. While it won’t lead you to the Emerald City, it will enable you to discover the Burgundian city’s main monuments in just 22 steps. This 3-kilometer walk approximately takes no more than 2 hours, however, most people freely spread out the circuit over two days. Why the owl? This nocturnal creature is actually Dijon’s emblem and can be seen all over the city (especially on the Notre-Dame Church.) Legend has it that if you rub the owl’s head with your left hand and make a wish at the same time, it will come true. For additional information about The Owl Trail, we recommend stopping at the tourism office in Dijon.
The Beaux-Arts Museum
1 Rue Rameau, 21000 Dijon, France
After many years of renovations and expansion, The Beaux-Arts Museum was finally reopened in 2019 to the public. Considered to be one of the oldest museums in France, it is set in the neoclassical palace of the Burgundy Dukes. The museum houses more than 1,500 works of art and is home to the finest collections in France, spaced out across 50 rooms. From Claude Monet to Diego Dayer by way of Michelangelo, the institution attracts more than 150,000 visitors every year. Do not exit the establishment, without paying a visit to the impressive tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy. Listed as a historical monument since 1926, The Beaux-Arts Museum is one of Dijon’s landmarks and nationally renowned.
31 Rue du Faubourg Bretonnière, 21200 Beaune, France
You can’t possibly visit Dijon without a mustard tasting! The easiest way to do it is stroll through the boutique Moutarderie Fallot where traditional tools and equipment for milling mustard with which you can taste the iconic condiment from pots. There are various flavors you can try. Or, you can opt for a guided tour to learn more about the rich history behind the city’s signature Brassica seed. Make sure to book in advance for this!
18 Rue Sainte-Anne, 21000 Dijon, France
La Closerie offers a delicious and refined cuisine, in the historically vibrant center of Dijon. Chef Antony Denis revisits traditional Burgundian dishes by adding his signature twist, ie: coq au vin, beef bourguignon. The products are local, fresh, and the menu is rhythmed by the seasons. Enjoy culinary delights, such as: pheasant with Chinese artichoke garnish and sunflower cream of cranberries and veal cooked with port wine and vegetables garnish. The dishes are beautifully displayed, the price points are very reasonable, and the personnel is simply wonderful. To sublimate the whole experience, a great selection of Burgundy wines concocted by a sommelier is available to enhance your dish. Either with friends or family, this place is perfect to enjoy a picture-perfect meal either on the restaurant’s terrace or in the cosy inside.
Le Château Bourgogne
22 Bd de la Marne, 21000 Dijon, France
This gastronomical restaurant greets you in an elegant atmosphere infused with ultra-modern details. The whole restaurant revolves around harmony and luxury. Every dish is uniquely prepared by Chef Gonzalo Pineiro and combines both innovation and culinary genius, while honoring the traditional French cuisine. Solely based on fresh and local produce, Le Chateau Bourgogne attracts culinary connoisseurs with rustic plates, including: pan-fried sea bass with virgin citrus and tomato, or roasted duck breast imbued in sweet and sour sauce. Every Sunday, partake in the restaurant’s weekly brunch, highlighting the pastry chefs and their signature desserts. To emphasize the tastes, a sommelier is more than happy to share his knowledge and recommend one of the 250 wines offered. In the summer, enjoy these courses on the restaurant’s terrace for a serene lunch or dinner.
14 Av. Maréchal Foch, 21000 Dijon, France
Situated at the epicenter of the town, near the museum and main landmarks; Hotel Oceania has 73 rooms that are contemporary, spacious, vibrant, and come with Italian bathrooms and a view of the historic center. As opposed to Wilson Hotel, Oceania provides a modern stay for travelers who prioritize luxury over history. With its heated pool, fitness room, hammam, and massage service; these amenities are the perfect way to enjoy a wellness weekend. For a moment of peace, enjoy the leafy garden – which provides a perfect escape from the city noise – with a glass of local wine from their impressive collection.
1 Rue de Longvic, 21000 Dijon, France
This quaint and charming hotel is the ideal base to visit Dijon as it is within a 10-minute walk from The Beaux-Arts Museum and the train station. Located in a tranquil neighborhood, Wilson Hotel revolves around two key words: peacefulness and tradition. Established in a 17th century half-timbered edifice, the alluring hotel is decorated with period furniture and vintage trinkets, perfectly combining both modern amenities and old-fashioned décor. The 27 rooms have a cosy ambiance, featuring exposed stone walls and wooden beams. For a relaxed afternoon, enjoy the massage treatments offered by the hotel or a drink in the well-lit courtyard. In the morning, the hotel provides a generous and fresh buffet breakfast, serving yogurt, eggs, gingerbread, and locally produced honey.