Dijon, the tour of the Grand Dukes

Dijon is the capital of the Dukes, of mustard and gingerbread. But it is also a city that plays the contemporary card in its streets and museums. Dijon welcomes the 270th member of the Design-Hôtels chain and sees itself, as the capital of Burgundy, ranked in the top 15 destinations of the year by the New York Times! At the gates of world-famous vineyards, Dijon offers an unusual stroll through time, before going green, but also by the glass ...

Dijon of the Dukes

Well done Dijon! Last month,  the historic center of Dijon and the climates of Burgundy have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a “cultural landscape”. A consecration for wine-growing Burgundy!

Dijon had a taste for order for a long time. TheHôtel de Ville, noble symmetrical building, a little too pretentious, is saved from boredom thanks to its Philippe the Good Tower. This is all that remains truly visible, from the royal square, from the Dijon of the Dukes, and that's enough to create the panache.

You will need to take a walk in the Museum of Fine Arts to discover, in a new museum, the former palace of the Dukes, completely renovated. Dukes better known in Flanders, Austria, the Netherlands or Spain than in Burgundy: Philippe le Hardi (1363-1404), Jean sans Peur (1404-1419), Philippe le Bon (1419-1467), Charles the Bold (1467-1477).

Walking through the city, from their tombs to the well of Moses, along the green belt leading to Lake Kir, passing by a medieval quarter remained in its own juice, you will go back in time by taking the time to read their lives, which have all the ingredients of historical soap operas.

On the menu: rich marriages calculated to the nearest gram of gold, sons who save their fathers, a duke who has the king's brother assassinated before being himself executed under the orders of the dauphin, future Charles VII ... The "good" Philippe who will ally himself with the English, to take revenge. All this to end up under the fangs of wolves, like poor Bold, a freezing winter, near Nancy.

Stroll through time

Stop for a drink on the terrace, François Rude square, facing the Bareuzai, a small character recalling the activities of the grape pickers of the past through the rosy stockings of those who had to tread the grapes, at the time when people were still treading!

It was at the request of the bourgeoisie of the city that Philippe le Bold banned in 1395 the "very nasty and disloyal plant named gamay" for the benefit of the pinot noir, which has since made the fortune of the winegrowers of the coast, which starts at the southern exit of Dijon.

Weighted down with one of the “pavés de santé” (gingerbread) whose recipe the dukes have pricked in the north, stop to caress, in the shade of Notre-Dame church, the little stone owl that makes every wish come true if you stroke it with your left hand.

At the apse of the church, two beautiful half-timbered houses, of which the house Millière, built in 1483, in front of which were filmed some scenes of Cyrano de Bergerac, Depardieu version. On its roof, at the start of the 20th century, a cat and an owl were perched which will make you roll your nose to the sky.

A great opportunity to discover these multicolored Burgundy roofs, intended to be noticed by God more than by passers-by, to be forgiven for the nasty actions committed on Earth, they say here.

To go green and drink

- Walk along the Ouche from the city center :

Passing through rue Monge, we arrive at the old general hospital, now closed and called to house, in 2019, the city of gastronomy and wine.

From there a green flow, 2,2 km long, towards the Kir lake, which owes its name to a canon little worn on the water (bus no 12 to return to town). Take advantage of your visit to drink a real blanc-cassis à la Dijon (1/3 crème de cassis, 2/3 aligoté).

Stop to visit the Well of Moses (inquire at the tourist office). Magnificent and pathetic vestige of the Charterhouse of Champmol, the necropolis of the Dukes of Valois, today locked up in the psychiatric hospital.

- A winery at the gates of the city, in Chenôve

A winery built in 1404! Its two monumental presses give an idea of ​​the important wine estate that the dukes owned there. Accessible by tram now. The opportunity to discover, in the old village, an old-style bistro, where you can still eat at low prices.

- A little glass with that?

For a long time, Dijon left Beaune, the (small) rival town, the title of capital of Burgundy, but with the future city ​​of gastronomy and wine, and the multiplicity of wine bars, the situation changes. Many nice wine merchants to taste wines that are certainly not cheap, but now is the time to learn how to choose.

No need to go and get lost on the wine route, where some people only receive reservations, and if you show a white footing. We give you some addresses below, so that you do not leave Dijon without the best mustard, the best gingerbread, and a few good bottles.

Practical sheet and good addresses

Prepare your stay with our Burgundy online guide

Dijon Tourist Office

Burgundy Tourism

Find out more about Dijon museums

How to get there ?

Dijon is served several times a day by the TGV from Paris-Gare de Lyon and other French cities.

Useful addresses

- Tourist offices : 11, rue des Forges. Phone. : 0892 700 558 (0,34 € / min). Apr-Sep, Mon-Sat 9:30 a.m.-18: 30 p.m., Sun & J. holidays 10 am-18pm. Another office at the station. Same hours. Offers many city tours, a variety of themed tours and Segway tours.

Markets : Tue, Thu and Sat mat, around the halls. The Saturday morning one is one of the city's great attractions. All the terraces are taken by storm.

- Tram : 2 lines leaving from the station.

Or sleep ?

Where to eat ?

- La Causerie des Mondes: 16, rue Vauban. Phone. : 03 80 49 96 59. Daily except Sun-Mon and d. holidays. Closed in the evening. Formula € 14. This beautiful corner house has a living room in Dijon where you can chat, drink, eat organic and good at the same time. All day long, delicious savory or sweet dishes. Very welcoming terrace too.

- The Maison des Cariatides: 28, rue Chaudronnerie. Phone. : 03 80 45 59 25. Daily except Sun-Mon. Formula € 26; evening menu 56 €. The young chef at the house offers the Caryatids instant and instinctive cuisine that gives pride of place to the market as much as to inventiveness. One of the best in town. Very pleasant hidden terrace.

- B9: 9, pl. of the Liberation. Phone. : 03 80 38 32 02. Daily except Mon 23 pm. Dish of the day 12 € 30 €. A pocket-sized brasserie which is annexed to Pré aux Clercs. We go there for the large terrace with a view of the Palais des Ducs and for the daily specials, which come from the kitchen of “Chez Billoux”, the neighboring gastro-starred restaurant.

- D Z'Envies: 12, rue Odebert. Phone. : 03 80 50 09 26. Daily except Sun and Thursday. holidays. Lunch formulas € 16-19,90 € 36. A bistro in the style of the time, opened near Les Halles by David Zuddas, one of the best Dijon chefs, quite simply.

Wine bars

- Chez Bruno: 80, rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau. Phone. : 03 80 66 12 33. Daily except Sun-Mon, from 18 p.m. Wine bar and ham bar run by Bruno Crouzat, himself a head of bacon famous for his rants and his discoveries of producer wines that he accompanies with plates in his own way.

- L'Âge de Raisin: 67, rue Berbisey. Phone. : 03 80 23 24 82. Every evening except Sun Banter on the plate and in the glass. That good, the house, the authentic! Well-selected wines, dishes carefully simmered by Madame, platters of cold meats that make you thirsty.


- In the halls : Tue, Thu (indoors), Fri and Sat mat. If you want to bring back parsley ham, gougères, cheeses from Dijon, take a trip to the Saturday market, under the old-fashioned halls.

- Mulot et Petitjean gingerbread: 13, pl. Bossuet. Phone. : 03 80 30 07 10. Daily except Sun and Mon, 10 am-19pm. A strange house that has kept the medieval spirit within its walls, while bringing its gingerbread recipes up to date.

- Fallot Mustard Shop-Workshop: 16A, rue de la Chouette. Phone. : 09 54 04 12 62. Daily non-stop. The only “authentic Dijon mustard”, produced the old-fashioned way ... in Beaune, of course, but in an artisanal way, by the millstone.  

- Wine merchants: The Wine Route: 1, rue Musette. Phone. : 03 80 30 45 01. Close to the Halles. Two passionate and fascinating specialists. Au Vieux Millésime (80, rue Monge in Dijon. Tel.: 03 80 41 28 79. A meeting place for good people, for all tastes and all budgets) and Dingovino (29, rue Jeannin, tel.: 03 80 28 50 88. Two wine lovers, we can say that).

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