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The ancient stomping ground of the Dukes of Burgundy, Dijon is now best known for its two most famous exports—Dijon mustard and Pinot Noir wines. Gothic spires, half-timbered houses, and gabled rooftops line the streets of the UNESCO-listed historic center, where roaming gastronomes can shop at Dijon's renowned covered market and tuck into local specialties, boeuf Bourguignon and escargots de Bourgogne. A visit to the Dukes' palace is another top thing to do in Dijon, as is a wine-tasting tour of the surrounding Cote de Nuits wine region.
Summer brings the crowds to Dijon, whether partying at the VYV music festival (June), lounging on the beach at Lake Kir, or escaping the city heat for a wine-tasting tour of the surrounding vineyards. The weather cools in fall, which makes the season another popular time to visit, with wine lovers and foodies congregating to celebrate the wine harvest and to enjoy the Dijon International Food Fair.
Dijon’s self-guided Owl Trail will take you on a walking tour of the city center—pick up a map from the tourist office and work your way around the sights on foot. For longer journeys, trams and buses take you just about anywhere you want to go. Alternatively, do as the locals do and sign up for the DiviaVélo or Vélodi bike shares. The city center is mostly flat and largely pedestrianized, making it ideal for cycling.
Foodies take note—these are the must-visit addresses on your Dijon tasting tour. First up is Les Halles food market, where Le Gourmet deli is packed with picnic treats, including the region’s famous escargots (snails). Next, swing by Café Gourmand in Place de la Libération for a hearty boeuf bourguignon (Burgundy beef stew) and the Edmond Fallot Moutarderie for a mustard tasting. Finally, indulge your sweet tooth with homemade gingerbread at Mulot & Petitjean.
Yes, Dijon is worth a visit, and not just for the mustard. Its architecture is a journey through the last 1,000 years, ranging in style from Capetian to Gothic to Renaissance. Look skywards to the eye-catching polychrome roofs—tiled in terracotta, green, black, and yellow in various patterns....More
Dijon mustard is its specialty, having been produced here since the 14th century. It’s also known for intellect. Home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the 11th and 15th centuries, it was a place of learning, particularly in arts and science. Today, roughly a fifth of the population are students....More
Start by walking around the city center to admire the varied architecture styles. A particular highlight is the Church of Notre-Dame of Dijon, a Gothic masterpiece. It dates from the 13th century and has elaborately carved gargoyles, intricate stained glass windows, and a clock tower. Finish with a mustard tasting....More
Mustard, of course. Dijon mustard is sold in shops worldwide and was first made here in 1390. The city (and Burgundy overall) is a foodie paradise. Other famous French dishes such as beef bourguignon and coq au vin also come from here, and the region counts 30 Michelin-starred restaurants....More
Plan for at least three days. Exploring Dijon merits two—don’t miss the Beaux Arts Museum and 13th-century Church of Notre-Dame. The cathedral is unmissable, as is the view you get after climbing the 316 steps up Philippe Le Bon Tower. Discover the Burgundy vineyards on your last day....More
Dijon is good in all seasons, and the medieval architecture looks especially atmospheric when the tiled roofs are slicked with rain and framed against a steely sky. The Christmas market is one of the area’s best. And, if you’re cold, you can always warm up with a wine tasting....More