The capital of a powerful and prestigious duchy during the Middle-Ages, Dijon has inherited a unique cultural and architectural heritage within one of the greatest conserved areas in France. An emblematic city of haute cuisine and lifestyle, Dijon is also the gateway to one of the most prestigious vineyards of France: the Côte de Nuits and its world-class wines.
Arriving here on the road from Troyes, King François I exclaimed at the sight of Dijon: “What a beautiful town, it is the town of a hundred bell towers”. Dijon may have lost many of its belfries since then, but it has preserved its true magnificence. Let yourself be captivated by the capital of Burgundy, and enjoy the beauty and wealth of its heritage and gastronomic delights.
The main sites to visit are the Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne, the Tour Philippe le Bon, the La Chouette and church Notre-Dame, the Cathedral Saint-Bénigne and the other churches as Saint-Philibert, Saint-Jean or Saint-Michel, the Well of Moses and the former Charterhouse of Champmol, the Contemporary Art Center and the 7 museums witnesses to the history of the city of the Dukes.
The Owl’s Trail is a traditional tour that passes 22 sites throughout the historical center, inviting every person to not only savor the charm of Dijon, but also to go back in time. In Dijon, the symbol of the community is based, in the Rue de la Chouette, which is more or less in the center of the city. This side alley, adjacent to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, takes its name from a bas-relief carved in one of the pillars of the side facade, which depicts, in fact, an owl. Today the shapes of the bird can be only guessed, given the high level of erosion of the stone given by the repeated people rubbing, but anyway the legend remains. It is said, indeed, that anyone, stroking the owl with the left hand, that represents the side of its own heart, will see his wish fulfilled as soon as possible.
Famous for mustard and gingerbread, Dijon is also the gateway to the most prestigious Burgundy vineyards. Indeed, the reputation of the route of the Grands Crus has earned it the epithet the Champs Elysées of Burgundy. Discover the magnifient landscapes with vines as far as the eye can see and even a château right at the heart of the Côte de Nuits vineyard.
Begin your evening at one of the cafes or brasseries lining place Zola, rue des Godrans, place du Théâtre, or place Darcy, such as the Concorde, the Jardin Théâtre, or La Comédie. These spots fill up with young people who start the night with a drink and a look around. If you prefer a 30s-to-40s crowd that likes to mingle in the low-key atmosphere of a piano bar, try Hunky Dory, Le Messire, or Le Cintra, which also has a little disco. The opera season in Dijon stretches from the middle of October to May. The city’s premier venue is the Grand Théâtre de Dijon. The city’s second-most visible cultural venue is the Théâtre National Dijon-Bourgogne.