Dijon is a quiet French city in Burgundy with just over 150,000 residents. It is a city with a rich tradition and culture that is well ingrained in those who live there. Tradition and heritage are taken seriously in Dijon and that is why it is one of the most intriguing travel destinations in France. You won’t find the same hustle and bustle of Paris or Marseille, and outside influences are less apparent.
One of Dijon’s impacts on the world came in cuisine as it was an epicenter for mustard making in the 13th century. The condiment commonly found on hotdogs and hamburgers can be purchased from artisan shops around Dijon. Yet, those local sellers are just some of the producers selling exceptional artisan fares such as cheese and wine.
Dijon has been well-preserved over the years and it offers a wonderful opportunity for tourists to see a traditional French town.
Local Favorite: Boeuf BourguignonYou will find Dijon in France's Burgundy region, an area well-known for its food and wine. Yes, Dijon is a foodie's dream, and travelers descend on the town to eat at restaurants and cafes thanks to the region's cuisine. Boeuf bourguignon is one of the town's most famous dishes. It is a stew made with beef braised in Burgundy red wine. Red wine from the Burgundy region is the chief ingredient in many dishes found around Dijon. Boeuf bourguignon has been eaten since the Middle Ages and was a typical fare of the peasant class. Like many foods from around the world that were eaten by workers of old, today Boeuf bourguignon is popular with people from all walks of life. The melt in your mouth beef is combined with onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs. Boeuf bourguignon is often served with boiled potatoes or noodles to compliment the meat.
Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy
Museum of Fine Arts Dijon
Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne de Dijon
Top Tourist Attractions
The Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne
The Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne is a true must-see on a trip to Dijon. The building is located in the UNESCO-listed historic center of the city and showcases Neoclassical architecture. A trip to the palace offers you the chance to explore the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
The museum displays more than 13,000 pieces of art and artifacts from Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and more. The tour de Philippe Le Bon (or Philip the Good Tower) is attached to the palace and is accessible via tour providing breath-taking views of Dijon.
You will find the Eglise Notre-Dame a short walk from the palace and both can easily be seen on the same day. The cathedral exhibits a fine Burgundian Gothic exterior. The church is the most magnificent in the city and it is a destination for tourists who descend on Dijon.
Cité de l’Automobile
If you are interested in day-tripping around Dijon, then you cannot miss the Cité de l’Automobile. Located just over two hours from Dijon in Mulhouse, the car museum has been open since 1978 and houses the private collection of cars from Hans and Fritz Schlumpf.
The brothers were car addicts and collected them whenever possible. Today, the museum showcases 500 cars from 98 manufacturers, making it the largest displayed collection in the world. Its Bugatti collection is considered the most comprehensive available to see.
Food and Wine
Dijon, and the entire Burgundy region as a whole, is well-known for its food and wine. The city is a foodie paradise with chefs creating meals from locally sourced products. The dishes are authentic to the region at many of the sit-down restaurants. You shouldn’t miss the chance to sit down and dine at a true French restaurant when in town.
The wines produced in the Burgundy region are exported all over the world. While those bottles are sold for significant sums, you can score bottles of out of this world red wine in Dijon for very little. There are plenty of wine tours to join at vineyards around the region.
LRS-Formula Driving Experience
The Dijon-Prenois racetrack is home to the LRS-Formula Driving Experience, an absolutely intensive driving program that gets you in the cockpit of a single-seater race car. Yes, you will be on your own for this high-speed driving experience and unlike other experiences, you won’t have an instructor sitting shotgun telling you what to do.
The LRS-Formula Driving Experience will take you around the 3.8-kilometer Dijon-Prenois racetrack inside a Formula Renault 2.0 car. If you’re feeling brave, you can also take on a real Formula 1 car. For those who may think open wheel experiences are a little too much, you could opt for one of the supercars also available at the race track.
Rue des Forges
If you want to explore Dijon’s gorgeous architecture, then wandering the Rue des Forges will take you up close to its gorgeous well-preserved buildings. You will find elaborate mansions along the Rue des Forges where the city’s well-to-do residents reside. The area is also a shopping hub with unique stores.
Edmond Fallot La Moutarderie
If you’re in Dijon, you have to indulge in mustard tasting. The Edmond Fallot La Moutarderie is a great place to do that. It has its own museum on the condiment's history, as well as a full-on sensory experience. The mill has been passed down three generations and is currently in the hands of Fallot's grandson. Should you need more than mustard, the onsite restaurant will give you a gastronomic experience to delight your tastebuds with everything on offer in the Burgundy region.
Zenith de Dijon
With its selection of pop and rock concerts, stand-up comedy, musicals, shows, and conventions, Zenith in Dijon is bound to have something to offer you when you visit. Opened in 2005, the venue creates a state-of-the-art space for locals and tourists to enjoy the French entertainment industry.
Located in the stunning countryside of the Curley Forest on the outskirts of Dijon, Parc Evasion brings together a whole host of activities for a day of fun and adventure. Suitable for families too, enjoy plenty of thrilling activities including archery, soccer, climbing and laser tag. If you'd prefer to explore nature, see more in one day by exploring the park on the many available rental bikes, electric and standard.
Dijon’s heritage is on display throughout a vacation to the eastern French town. Often overlooked by travelers, the capital of Burgundy is a beautiful base for a trip to France.