Dijon – A tale of wine and mustard

St Michel Church
Dijon Old Town
Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy
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 fare 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. 

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 Philippe Le Bon (or Philip the Good Tower) is attached to the palace and is accessible via tour providing breath-taking views of Dijon. 

Eglise Notre-Dame

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.

More Destinations

La Porte Guillaume
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.

Dijon’s heritage is on display throughout a vacation to the northeastern French town. Often overlooked by travelers, the capital of Burgundy is a beautiful base for a trip to France.