Dijon is the Capital of the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region, this once-seat of the Dukes boasts double designation as UNESCO World Heritage sites (for the “International City of Gastronomy and Wine” and for the historically preserved center integrated in the “Climats of the Vineyards of Burgundy”). Abundant in charm and history, Dijon is a destination for amateurs of culture, architectural heritage, fine foods and wine.
- Address: 11 rue des Forges
- Hours: April to September: Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 6:30pm. Sunday and bank holidays from 10am to 6pm. October to March: Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 1pm and from 2pm to 6pm. Sunday and bank holidays from 10am to 4pm.
- Tel: + 33 8 92 700 558 (0.35€/min)
- e-mail: email@example.com
- Website: www.destinationdijon.com
Discover the city center via the Owl’s Trail
Let the Owl be your guide! Equipped with your Owl’s Trail booklet, follow the arrows in the pavements and go back in time! Discover the rich history of Dijon while savoring the charm of the ancient capital of the Dukes of Burgundy! The full itinerary includes 22 points of interest that will introduce you to the essence of our city: Porte Guillaume, the Palace of the Dukes and Estate of Burgundy, Notre Dame, Hôtel de Vogüé, the Cathedral of Saint Bénigne, Saint Philibert… Three loops or 15 additional points of interest will allow you to explore new facets of Dijon: the quarter of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Zola quarter and access to the Chartreuse de Champmol.
Booklet is available at the Tourist Office
The Palace of the Dukes and Estate of Burgundy
The Palace of the Dukes and Estate of Burgundy goes back many centuries in time. Born as a simple fortress backed by the Gallo-Roman “Castrum”, it was reconstructed in 1336 by the first Valois Duke, Philip the Bold. It is for his grandson, Philip the Good, that we owe the major additions to the ducal residence, including the tower, capped with a terrace that bears his name today. In the 17th century a new reconstructing of the palace was largely conducted under the classical design of Jules Hardouin Mansart, architect of Versailles, who recreated the buildings as we know them today, housing the city hall and fine arts museum.
- The tourist Office proposed three guided tours: The Medieval Palace, the rooms of the City, the Dukes.
- Hours: October to March: Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 1pm and 2 to 6pm. Sunday and holidays: from 10am to 6pm.
- Fees: Adults 8€, reduced rate 4€, children free (-12 years)
Philippe le Bon Tower
Duke Philip the Good’s Tower dominates the city with its 46 meters height. Built between 1450 and 1460, at the same time as the new residence of the second Valois duke, it is the symbol of prestige and power of the Dukes of Burgundy. A reward awaits those who brave the 316 steps to the top: a splendid 360° panoramic view of the city of Dijon and surroundings.
- Reservations through the Tourist Office.
- Fees: Adults 3€, reduced rate 1.50€, children free (-12 years)
Noble residence & Hotel de Vogüé
It is said that Dijon boasts over 100 noble residences or townhouses built between the 15th and 18th centuries, graced with richly decorated facades, monumental entrances, superb interior courtyards and characteristic roofs of varnished. Hotel de Vogüé is built around 1614 for Etienne Bouhier, Counsellor at the Parliament of Burgundy, this is one the jewels of the prestigious parliamentary residences set between courtyard and garden that became a fashion in France during the 17th century. The majestic entrance framed with bossed stone invites one into the courtyard with a splendid archway.
- Address: 8 rue de la Chouette
- The courtyard of Hotel de Vogüé is open to the public.
City of a hundred steeples
Although some churches and chapels were destroyed during the French Revolution, the historic center of Dijon still has many churches of exceptional beauty
Saint Bénigne Cathedral
Built between the 13th and 14th centuries, the cathedral of Saint Bénigne, with its flamboyant polychromed roof, constitutes a major monument of the Burgundian gothic period. Of the ancient abbey, reconstructed around the year 1000 under the auspices of Abbot Guillaume de Volpiano, the crypt remains and can still be visited.
- Address: Place Saint Bénigne
- Hours: Monday to Friday from 10am to 12pm and 2 to 5 pm, Saturday from 10am to 4pm, Sunday from 2 to 5pm.
- Fees: free entry – cloister: 2€, reduced rate for groups 1.50€
Church of Notre-Dame
The most renowned of Dijon’s churches, Notre Dame, dating from the 13th century, presents a unique façade of gargoyles alternating with graceful arcades, and shelters 63 stained-glass windows. Since 1383, the belfry containing a mechanical clock, known as the Jacquemart, has been ringing the hour! A tiny owl, sculpted on exterior of the chapel, has become the emblematic lucky charm of Dijon. Rub it with your left hand and make a wish.
- Address: place Notre-Dame
- Hours: open from 8:30am to 7pm
Church of Saint-Michel
Dating from the 16th century, this church of gothic interior and distinctive Renaissance façade with gables framed by two towers is said to be one of the most beautiful of France.
- Address: place Saint-Michel
- Hours: open from 8am to 7pm
Fine Arts Museum
Ensconced in the ancient Palaces of the Dukes and the Estates of Burgundy, the Fine Arts Museum of the city of the Dijon is one of the oldest and richest museums of France. Discover the celebrated tombs of the dukes of Burgundy Philip the Bold and John the Fearless, not to mention the rare, magnificently restored altarpieces of the same period. Also worth mentioning are works by illustrious artists such Claude Monet, Eugène Delacroix’s Orientalist paintings, Juan Gris Cubist paintings or monumental portraits by Yan Pei-Ming. You will have the pleasure of discovering 50 rooms of the entirely transformed museum.
The Rude Museum occupies the transept and choir of the ancient church of Saint-Etienne, part of an ancient abbey loaded with history. It houses casts of numerous monumental works of Dijon’s renowned sculptor François Rude.
Installed in Hôtel Lantin, one of the most beautiful city mansions of 17th century Dijon, this museum exists thanks to two passionate collectors: Jeanne and Maurice Magnin. They assembled a remarkable collection of paintings, drawings and objects, which was bequeathed to the State in 1938. According to their wishes, the museum has been maintained in its original state of an amateur collection in their own residence.
Museum of Natural History
In Dijon, the planetarium and botanical gardens together form a unique site in Europe: a science academy dedicated to the promotion of scientific knowledge. It offers a complete vision of all the natural sciences. Here, one observes, listens, exchanges, understands, speaks about the universe, about life and biodiversity… speak about us humans!
- Address: Parc de l’Arquebuse, 1 avenue Albert 1er & 14 rue Jehan de Marville
- Botanical Gardens – free entry
- Museum – free entry
- Planétarium Hubert Curien – Entry fee: 3€, reduced rate: 1.50€
Markets and Halles, or covered markets, inevitably standing in strategic places are one of the major attractions at the heart of many cities. The Halles of Dijon were completed in 1868. Standing 13m in height, the glass and iron structure covers 4400m2. Its houses 246 boutiques, 14 annexes and 728 benches.
- Market days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning.
The spice bread factory
Founded in 1796, Mulot & Petitjean was born of an alliance between two of the oldest manufactures of spice bread of Dijon, the establishment Boittier and Céry. This new museum is located on the historic site of the company. A fun, pedagogical, visual and interactive exhibit will lead you through the history and production secrets old spice bread, one of Dijon’s emblematic specialties.