The capital of Burgundy can be considered as the starting point (or on the contrary, the worthy conclusion) of a wonderful journey within this fascinating region; a land of sumptuous wines, splendid landscapes and places to discover. We want to propose a hypothetical itinerary for a Weekend in Dijon; nothing detracts from the fact that you can stay more days, indeed…. The city really deserves a really thorough visit.
Palaces, museums, churches and parks: the city offers beyond what the visitor can imagine. Whether you are returning from the Route Des Grands Crus, or you are about to start this journey, perhaps coming from beautiful Paris, you will probably have half a day to dedicate to the visit in this first part of the Tour. We recommend starting from the historic center, dedicating a visit more exhaustive to the museums and the Palais des Ducs for the following day.
Walking in the wonderful alleys, you can breathe the history, the tradition at every corner. One cannot remain indifferent to the beauty and elegance of all the ancient buildings and palaces that you will pass in review; starting with the elegant Hotel de Vogué in Rue de la Chouette, in Italian Renaissance style. And one cannot remain indifferent to the characteristic Rue des Forges, behind the Palais Des Ducs. It is all flanked by wonderful noble palaces: the Hotel Aubriot, with its thirteenth-century facade; Morel-Sauvegrain with its splendid Renaissance courtyard; or, again, the beautiful Maison Milsand, also in Renaissance style.
Photo ©, FRED
Among the alleys, the tea rooms, the shops and the cafes, you will find yourself in front of the marvelous Église Notre-Dame de Dijon; it is a real Burgundian-Gothic masterpiece with, inside, the wonderful wooden statue of the Virgin from the 11th century. An owl is carved in a buttress of the chapel that the inhabitants have the habit of stroking with their left hand; according to tradition, this gesture will make one’s wish come true!
In this first part of the Weekend in Dijon, don’t miss the famous “Jacquemart”, made up of four figures who strike the hours.
In the Church, built in the 13th century, Holy Masses are held every day at 8am, Saturdays also at 5.30pm and Sundays at 10.30am and 6.30pm. For all other practical info you can consult the official website.
Dijon, as mentioned, should be lived with tranquility, perhaps stopping at one of its splendid gardens or sipping a nice glass of wine in the alleys of the center. Calm, tranquility that you can find at the Le Bora restaurant; we recommend it for your dinner for the excellent quality/price ratio. The property is located at 8 Petite Rue de Pouilly, approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Notre Dame; it can therefore be reached by taking a splendid walk towards Place de la Republique.
Here you will find, alternatively, many Bistros, and clubs, where you can stop for after dinner. The square is very beautiful and, above all, lively; in the center you will find a beautiful fountain with water features and the memorial to President Sadi Carnot, assassinated in 1894. Here, in ancient times, fairs and important markets took place.
Password: tranquility! Let yourself be carried away by the slow passing of time, in these magical places, It is the best way to fully appreciate the Weekend in Dijon. Have breakfast with what suits you best and reach the city center again; from here set off to discover the wonderful Palais Des Ducs and the Museum of Fine Arts housed inside the building.
The Palais Des Ducs et des États de Bourbogne, located in the city center on Place de la Liberatíon, is actually a complex of buildings built over the course of about 500 years, and, consequently, of different styles. The project to make the square and the palace a single, harmonious whole was the work of Hardouin-Mansart, architect of Versailles. Today, the Palais houses the Hotel de Ville (the town hall) which occupies almost three buildings overlooking the square; in addition, the splendid Musée Des Beaux Arts, one of the most important museums in all of France!
The entrance to the Museum is located in the Cour de Bar, it says there are the ancient kitchens of the Palais. It houses rich collections of art and interesting galleries; above all, there are the rooms that house the tombs of some great Burgundian regents, including Giovanni Senza Paura and Filippo il Bello, “housed” in the splendid Salle Des Gardens, with decorations from the 14th and 15th centuries.
The Museum is open every day of the year (except Tuesday, closing day, 01/01, 24/12) from 09:30 to 18 in summer (May – October) and from 10 to 17 in the other months. Admission is ALWAYS FREE!
For more information, please visit the official website.
For lunch we advise you to stop at one of the bistros in the area: you must try the Moutarde de Dijon, renowned throughout Burgundy; it is a type of mustard produced with very strong seeds that give it its unmistakable taste. Do not forget to taste the good things Burgundian gastronomy can offer; and here, you will really find an unparalleled offer!
A little further on, leaving the splendid alleys of the historic center, taking Rue Michelet, you reach the Cathédrale Saint Bénigne de Dijon; it is a Burgundian-Gothic building from the 13th and 14th centuries. built on a previous Roman Basilica of the eleventh century and whose remains are visible in the crypt.
For all the practical info and the schedules of the Holy Masses, we invite you to consult the official website.
Photo ©, Christophe Finot
Dijon is a city with numerous gardens and parks; if you are interested in spending a few hours, not far from the Cathedral are the Jardin de l’Arquebuse. It is a 5.5 hectare park in the city center, with a rose garden of almost 300 square meters, 200 different varieties of roses, and a splendid stream; the varieties of plants are also noteworthy. Inside the gardens, you will also find loggias, statues and a small “temple of love“.
Access to the garden is free and free, as is that to the botanical garden. It is open every day from 07:30 to 17:30 (in summer open until 20).
Whether this is the icing on your trip to Burgundy, or the entrée, it doesn’t matter; you will leave with a smile, for having discovered a city of unique beauty, and a bit of nostalgia … because surely you would like to stay here again!