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Trying to decide what the best things to do in Dijon Burgundy are? Look no further!
With culinary delights to entice the senses, Burgundian Pinot Noirs to sip and savor, and beautiful, Medieval architecture to admire, you’ll find yourself utterly enchanted by the smaller French city of Dijon.
After spending a few days in Dijon, I can honestly say it surprised me beyond belief. While famous for its Dijon mustard, you cannot forget that Dijon is the capital of Burgundy, which is a must-visit for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay lovers.
There are also Michelin restaurants, an incredible marketplace, and energy from the city that can only be found in many university towns.
Dijon has a lot to offer and is often overlooked by many travelers. However, I’m here to show you why you should spend at least a weekend in Dijon plus all of the places to visit in Dijon!
To break down your perfect 2 days in Dijon, here is what I’m talking about in this article:
- Top things to do in Dijon
- Perfect 2-day Dijon itinerary
- Best time to visit Dijon
- Where to stay in Dijon
- How to get to Dijon
- Other pro-tips for visiting Dijon
Check out our podcast episode about Dijon too!
12 Best Things to do in Dijon Burgundy
Let’s jump right in with fun things to do in Dijon, France!
1. Les Halles is One of the Top Dijon Attractions
Les Halles is the famous farmers market in Dijon and a must-visit during your stay. It is right in the heart of the old city and has various stands selling anything from meats and cheeses to pastries and fresh fruits and veggies.
Dijon is far more than its mustard- it is one of the top gastronomic cities in France! So pop over to Les Halles to purchase all kinds of local produce for either a picnic or to create a meal!
Be sure to admire the cast-iron building from the 1800s that was designed by famous Dijon-born Gustave Eiffel (yes, of the Eiffel Tower!) before exploring the treasures inside.
Les Halles is open on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, on Thursdays, it is much quieter as the inside stalls are the only thing open. On Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday the market extends to the surrounding streets with various fresh fruits and veggies plus clothing, books, records, and more being sold!
Les Halles is open from 7:30 am-1 pm on those days, with the best products sold off pretty early, so for the best items, be sure to get up early!
2. Eat at Affordable Michelin Restaurants
Want to eat at Michelin-approved restaurants with fancy tasting menus without breaking the bank in France? Opt for Dijon.
And if you want to book a table for a Michelin-guide restaurant instead of a starred restaurant, then you can expect to see tasting menu prices of only €48 for places like Parapluie or €85 for L’Essentiel.
I’ve never eaten so great in my entire life than in Dijon. During my 2 days in Dijon, I ate at both Parapluie and L’Essential and both meals were incredibly delectable.
Parapluie is a modern Asian-French fusion restaurant, and L’Essential is serving up delicious local French cuisine.
Pro-Tip: If you want to book a Michelin-starred restaurant, make reservations early! It fills up fast, which is why I didn’t get to go last time.
3. Discover Pain d’Epices at Mulot et Petitjean- One of the Best Dijon Attractions
Am I finished talking about food when it comes to spending a weekend in Dijon? Absolutely not!
Pain d’epices is essentially French gingerbread. No, not like the cookies, but actual bread. There are tons of spices that go into it, and it honestly tastes like Christmas in your mouth (in a good way!).
Mulot et Petitjean is a factory churning out various kinds of pain d’epices and has a museum all about its history and how they make their delicious confection. As Mulot et Petitjean was created over 220 years ago, there is a lot of history behind the brand.
The best part is that you get to try some pain d’epices at the end! Just a warning, though, you will likely want to purchase all of it! My favorite was the nonnettes filled with orange marmalade.
Seriously, though, this was a random place we found while looking for places to visit in Dijon and I’m so glad my friend and I found it. It was truly interesting and delicious!
Mulot et Petitjean Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-12:30 pm and 2-6:30 pm.
Mulot et Petitjean Museum Admission: €8 for adults, €6 for children ages 12-17, and free for children under 12.
4. Visit Notre Dame During Your 2 Days in Dijon France
Located in the heart of the old city, when it comes to what to do in Dijon, Notre Dame is definitely on the list.
Construction began on this church around 1230 and it contains the Notre-Dame de Bon-Espoir, one of the oldest Virgin statues in France.
It is also famous for the Jacquemart, with 4 statues of people (Jacquemart and Jacqueline plus their two “children”) striking the bell of the clock. This is located on the small south tower of the western facade.
The other iconic thing to see on the church is the owl. This is located on the north side of the church along Rue de la Chouette (Owl Street). It is quite worn down as it is a well-known superstition to stroke the bird with your left hand while making a wish for luck.
You’ll soon realize that the owl is a symbol of Dijon, and while that remains a mystery as to why the owl on the church is there, you’ll actually spot plaques on Rue de la Chouette with owls on them, which leads me to my next thing to do in Dijon.
Notre Dame Hours: 8 am-6 pm. Closed for visitors during mass.
5. Follow the Owls for the Best Dijon Tourist Attractions
Honestly, if you only have 1 day in Dijon or are here on a Dijon day trip, just follow the owls.
I’ll admit when I first saw these guys, I was very confused. It wasn’t until I popped over to the tourist office for a map that I learned all about how the owl is the symbol for Dijon and the Parcours de la Chouette, or Owl’s Journey, is the best way to see Dijon quickly.
There are 22 stops on the journey and all you have to do is follow the owl plaques. You can download the self-guided tour here for only $3.99. Plus, it only takes about 1 hour to complete!
This will lead you through the top sights in Dijon including the Ducal Palace, Notre Dame, Darcy Garden, and many other places, and give you great insights into their history.
6. Try Dijon Mustard
Okay, we all know that Dijon mustard is the best mustard. The spicy, creamy delicious mustard goes well with anything from sandwiches and salads to galettes and meat dishes.
This versatile mustard is named after Dijon, of course! And there is no shortage of mustard shops, or moutarderies, in the city.
My favorites to check out include Moutarde Maille and Edmond Fallot. Both shops have their standard Dijon mustard for purchase as well as grainy mustard.
They also have mustard in various flavors including tarragon, cassis, basil, and green peppercorn. Moutarde Maille also has mayo for purchase too.
Buy some jars of mustard to try or take home the flavor of Dijon!
7. Visit One of Dijon’s Best Tourist Attractions: Ducal Palace and Musee des Beaux-Arts
Ducal Palace is the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. The Duchy of Burgundy was founded around 880 and this palace was built around the 14th and 15th centuries, with most of what you see today being built in the 17th and 18th centuries.
While once a royal residence, it now houses the City Hall and Musee des Beaux-Arts, or the Museum of Fine Arts.
Here you can find art from antiquity to Burgundian artists and more. There are even more modern art pieces on display as well as artwork from famous French artists like Monet.
It is quite a large museum and well worth the visit!
Musee des Beaux-Arts Hours: Open daily except on Tuesdays. Hours from October 1-May 31: 9:30 am-6 pm. Hours from June 1-September 30: 10 am-6:30 pm.
Musee des Beaux-Arts Admission: Free for the permanent collection and €6 for a guided tour.
8. Visiting the Musee Rude is One of the Top Things to See in Dijon
I’ll be honest that my friend and I sort of stumbled into this one. From the outside, it looks like an old church.
I’m a sucker for old European churches because most are art museums on their own. However, this place is an actual art museum.
Built into the Saint-Etienne Church, you can see the church’s ancient past including its 11th-century choir area.
In 1947, plans were made to make this decommissioned church the Rude Museum, which houses many casts from the famous Dijon sculptor Francois Rude.
This small museum is a lovely place to pop into and check out the casts from the local-born artist.
Musee Rude Hours: Open daily except on Tuesdays. Hours from October 1-May 31: 9:30 am-6 pm. Hours from June 1-September 30: 10 am-6:30 pm.
Musee Rude Admission: Free
9. Stop in to L’Héritier-Guyot
Want to try another Dijon product? Head over to L’Héritier-Guyot for boozy fruit creams including the famous Creme de Cassis.
If you love cocktails, this shop has everything from various boozy fruit creams to add to a beverage to house-made liquor.
They also have other famous Dijon products including mustard and pain d’epices.
10. Visit Musee de la Vie Bourguignonne
This museum, known as the Museum of Burgundian Life, is located in a Monastery from 1787 and is full of reconstructed old shops and exhibits depicting daily life in Burgundy through the years.
It doesn’t take long to visit, though, so if you have an extra hour or so to spare, then why not learn about Burgundy back in the day?
Museum of Burgundian Life Hours: Open daily except on Tuesday from 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 2-6 pm.
Museum of Burgundian Life Admission: Free.
11. Drinking Wine is One of the Best Things to do in Dijon
Dijon is the capital of Burgundy and, in a way, the gateway to Burgundian wine. In just a 30-minute train ride away, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the vineyards of Burgundy.
So you can definitely expect to find some incredible wine in the city of Dijon! There are plenty of wine bars and shops around the city too!
A fabulous wine bar to check out is Dr. Wine.
This place has both a wine shop and restaurant, but I highly recommend having dinner here one night. The food is excellent and served in small portions to pair with a glass of wine. So you could order several small plates to enjoy with various glasses!
They also have over 500 wines from Burgundy and beyond, making it a wine lover’s dream place to visit!
For a more chill happy hour place, then opt for Le Mably for glasses of wine and free fries during happy hour!
12. Take a Day Trip into the Vineyards of Burgundy
While spending 2 days in Dijon on its own is a lot of fun, I highly recommend getting out into Burgundy and visiting a couple of vineyards!
My friend and I ended up booking this incredible full-day bike tour of Burgundy. It starts in Beaune, which again is a quick 30-minute train ride from Dijon, and lasts all day.
You get to cycle through the vineyards of the Cote de Beaune, stopping at a Medieval castle. Then, you stop at a Grand Cru vineyard at Puligny-Montrachet before a typical Burgundian lunch (also with wine).
Then, you end at a smaller vineyard in Pommard for another tasting before biking through vineyards back to Beaune.
It was so incredible, and I ended up purchasing a case of wine to take home!
The tour is $205 for the full day and includes wine tastings, lunch, a guided tour, bikes, and helmets. It was so worth it to learn more about the wine-making process in Burgundy and try famous Burgundian Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay.
If you’re short on time, then you can also take a half-day tour that includes stops at a couple of vineyards with many tastings. Book it here!
Ultimate 2 Day Dijon in a Weekend Itinerary
Now that you know the top things to do in Dijon in a weekend, let’s put it all together for the perfect itinerary for Dijon!
Day 1: Explore Dijon By Following the Owls
- Start early and download the Parcours de la Chouette for a tour of the city that includes stops and passes by places like Les Halles, Notre Dame, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Musee Rude, L’Héritier-Guyot, and Edmond Fallot.
- If time, check out Mulot et Petitjean for pain d’epices
- Wine and appetizers at Dr. Wine
- Have a late dinner at L’Essential
Day 2: Wine Day Trip
- Go on the bike and wine tour of Burgundy
- Happy hour at Le Mably
- Dinner at Parapluie
Where to Stay in Dijon
Dijon is a pretty affordable French city, so whether you’re on a budget or want to splurge, here is where to stay:
Budget: Hotel Le Jacquemart
This hotel is pretty basic, but it definitely has everything you need for a great trip to Dijon. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and you are within walking distance to many of Dijon’s attractions. Prices start around $70 per night.
Mid-Range: Hotel Oceania Le Jura Dijon
This is where I stayed on my last visit to Dijon, and it was so nice! For starters, it is a 4-star hotel with a lovely bar and courtyard to hang out in. The service staff was so helpful and nice, and the rooms were large and we even had a balcony! I would stay here again in a heartbeat and it was definitely more affordable than many hotels in Paris.
Prices are around $130 per night.
Luxury: Grand Hotel La Cloche Dijon
Feel like you’re staying in a palace in this hotel. Within walking distance to many attractions, you’ll love this luxury hotel complete with restaurants, a spa, and modern rooms. Prices start around $200 per night.
Best Time to Visit Dijon in a Weekend
There really isn’t a bad time to visit Dijon. However, weather and crowds vary throughout the year, which may alter when you want to go. Check out each season broken down:
- Winter: The coldest and least crowded time of year to visit. Daily temperatures are around 42-46ºF (6-8ºC) and nighttime temperatures are around 30ºF (-1ºC). The Christmas markets are a lovely time to visit though!
- Spring: This time of year is lovely, but a bit rainier than the remainder of the year, with May being the rainiest month. Temeratures are between 54-68ºF (12-20ºC) during the day and 35-47ºF (2-8ºC) at night.
- Summer: This is the warmest and most crowded time of year to visit, with daytime temperatures around 75-80ºF (24-27ºC) and nightime temperatures around 53-57ºF (12-14ºC).
- Fall: Probably the best time to visit, as temperatures go back to 49-71ºF (9-22ºC) during the day and 35-50ºF (2-10ºC) at night. It is also less crowded than summer. Plus, you’ve got the wine harvest season which is lovely for visiting the vineyards!
How to Get to Dijon and Get Around
Getting to Dijon is easy! From Paris, it is only a 1.5-hour train ride. So you could easily fly into Paris and take the train in. It also makes it an easy weekend getaway destination from Paris!
The train, in general, is a great way to get to Dijon and the surrounding towns. However, if you want flexibility and to visit vineyards in Burgundy on your own, I recommend renting a car.
As far as getting around Dijon itself, walking works! It is a smaller city, so if you stay near the city center, you could walk.
However, there is also the option to take the bus and tram around too. Fares start at €1.40. You can also rent a bike!
Other Dijon Travel Guide Tips!
Before your amazing 2 days in Dijon, here are some expert tips to know:
- Always say Bonjour! Just a general rule in France, it is considered rude to not say hello when entering a shop.
- Learn a bit of French. A little goes a long way. Not everyone speaks English so knowing greetings and how to order food always helps.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Cobblestone streets can be hard on feet, so wear comfortable walking shoes. These Stan Smith sneakers are always a hit in France.
- Only have 1 day in Dijon? Just follow the first day of the itinerary above to get the most of Dijon!
- Restaurants (and smaller museums) aren’t always open. Restaurants often close up mid-day between lunch and dinner service. Smaller museums usually close for a lunch break.
- Watch for students. Dijon is a university town, so you’ll definitely spot students out and about. Just be sure not to get in their way to class!
I hope you have an amazing time in this incredible city! Whether it is eating all the Burgundian delights or learning about the city’s history via the owls, a weekend in Dijon is always memorable!
Would you like to visit Dijon?
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