Best Things to do in Dijon Burgundy for the Perfect Weekend in Dijon

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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.

Cobblestone streets of Dijon

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!

Entrance to the old part of 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 Epic Things to do in Dijon France
Top Things to do in Dijon, France
How to Spend a Weekend in Dijon

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 de Dijon entrance

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!

Fresh lemons in Dijon's Les Halles

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!

Emmental cheese at the Les Halles in Dijon

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

Fois Gras in Dijon - Best Things to do in Dijon Burgundy

Want to eat at Michelin-approved restaurants with fancy tasting menus without breaking the bank in France? Opt for Dijon.

Look, I’m not saying it’s dirt cheap, but when Michelin-starred places like L’Asperule at Loiseau des Ducs have tasting menus that cost around €120, you can’t beat that!

Duck at L'essential

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.

Dessert at L'essential in Dijon

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

Pain d'epices Mulot et Petitjean in Dijon

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.

Pain d'epices museum in Dijon
Pain d'epices

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

Notre Dame de Dijon - Best things to do in Dijon in a weekend

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.

Notre Dame de Dijon rose window

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

Rue de la Chouette in Dijon

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.

Polar bear at Jardin Darcy

6. Try Dijon Mustard

Edmond Fallot 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.

Moutarde Maille shop in Dijon

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 in Dijon

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.

Various portraits at the Ducal Palace

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.

Modern art at Musee des Beaux Arts in Dijon
Musee des Beaux Arts in Dijon

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

Rude Museum 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.

Ruins in the Musee Rude in Dijon - Top Things to do in Dijon

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.

Statue of a boy at Musee Rude in Dijon

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

Creme de Cassis at a shop in Dijon

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

Mercury Premier Cru in Burgundy

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!

Wine and fries at Le Mably in Dijon

12. Take a Day Trip into the Vineyards of Burgundy

Hilly country town in 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).

Wine cellar at a winery in Burgundy
Old wine barrels in the cellar in Pommard, Burgundy

Then, you end at a smaller vineyard in Pommard for another tasting before biking through vineyards back to Beaune.

Wine bike path in Burgundy

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.

Book it here!

Person pouring wine for a tasting in Burgundy
3 Cows in the Burgundian countryside
Ivy turning red in Burgundy

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!

And if you don’t want to bike, but want to sip wine in Burgundy all day, opt for this full-day wine tour that includes time to explore the charming town of Beaune!

Back of the cathedral in Beaune

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
Dijon Burgundy travel guide - Found with frogs and children in Dijon

Day 2: Wine Day Trip

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.

Book it here!

Room at our hotel in Dijon with balcony entrance

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.

Book it here!

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.

Book it here!

Back of Notre Dame de Dijon

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:

Old Rue de la chouette in Dijon
  • 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!
Medieval building with a pharmacy at the bottom in Dijon

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!

Jardin Darcy fountain

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!

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