Nestled in the heart of Burgundy, France, Dijon stands as a city renowned for its rich historical tapestry, exquisite architecture, delectable cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene. The city’s captivating blend of medieval, Renaissance, and modern elements allures travelers from around the world. Here are the top 10 tourist attractions in Dijon that showcase its historical significance, cultural wealth, and gastronomic delights.
1. Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne
The Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy is a remarkable architectural assemblage in Dijon, France. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important historical monuments in the city.
The oldest part of the palace is the 14th and 15th century Gothic ducal palace, which was the seat of the Dukes of Burgundy. This part of the palace is characterized by its elaborate architecture, including the Tour Philippe le Bon, a 46-meter-tall tower that offers stunning views of the city.
In the 17th century, the ducal palace was joined to the palace of the Estates of Burgundy, which was built in a classical style. The palace of the Estates of Burgundy was the seat of the provincial assembly of Burgundy.
Today, the palace houses a museum, an art gallery, and the city’s archives. The museum exhibits art and artifacts from the Dukes of Burgundy, as well as from other periods in the city’s history.
Here is a more detailed description of the palace:
- The Gothic ducal palace is located on the eastern side of the palace complex. It is made up of a logis, or main building, and two wings. The logis is characterized by its ornate façade, which is decorated with gargoyles, statues, and other decorative elements. The wings are home to the ducal kitchens, the ducal chapel, and other rooms.
- The Tour Philippe le Bon is located in the center of the Gothic ducal palace. It is a 46-meter-tall tower that offers stunning views of the city. The tower can be visited by the public.
- The palace of the Estates of Burgundy is located on the western side of the palace complex. It is made up of a central block and two wings. The central block is home to the Salle des États, a large hall that was used for meetings of the provincial assembly. The wings are home to offices and other rooms.
The Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy is a must-see for anyone visiting Dijon. It is a fascinating place to learn about the history and culture of the city.
2. Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne de Dijon
The Cathedral of Saint-Bénigne in Dijon, France, is a Gothic cathedral that was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in France, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The cathedral is located in the center of Dijon, and is surrounded by a large park. The exterior of the cathedral is made of limestone, and is characterized by its tall Gothic towers and its pointed arches. The interior of the cathedral is also decorated in the Gothic style, with stained glass windows, sculptures, and paintings.
The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Bénigne, the first bishop of Dijon. The cathedral was built on the site of a former Roman basilica, which was dedicated to Saint Bénigne. The construction of the cathedral began in the 12th century, and was completed in the 13th century.
The cathedral is a significant example of Gothic architecture. It is a large and impressive building, and is a popular tourist destination.
Here are some of the key features of the cathedral:
- The cathedral is 120 meters long and 50 meters wide.
- The cathedral has two towers, which are 60 meters tall.
- The cathedral has a pointed arch nave, which is 40 meters long.
- The cathedral has stained glass windows from the 13th century.
- The cathedral has a crypt, which is home to the tomb of Saint Bénigne.
The cathedral is a must-see for anyone visiting Dijon. It is a beautiful and historic building that is a testament to the skill and artistry of medieval builders.
3. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon is one of the most important and oldest museums in France. It is located in the heart of the city of Dijon, and is housed in the former ducal palace, which was the seat of the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century.
The museum’s collection spans a wide range of periods and styles, from ancient Egypt to the 21st century. The highlights include:
- A collection of medieval art, including the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy, which are considered to be some of the finest examples of late Gothic sculpture in Europe.
- A large collection of paintings from the Renaissance to the 19th century, including works by Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Delacroix.
- A collection of French art from the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by Courbet, Monet, and Picasso.
The museum also houses a number of other collections, including a collection of decorative arts, a collection of prints and drawings, and a library.
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon is a must-see for anyone interested in art and history. It is a beautiful and informative museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of France.
Here are some additional details about the museum:
- The museum is open every day except Tuesday from 9:30 am to 18:00 pm.
- Admission is free for all visitors.
- The museum is located at 2 Place de la Sainte-Chapelle, Dijon, France.
Here are some tips for visiting the museum:
- Allow at least two hours to see the museum.
- Start your visit with the medieval art collection, which is located on the ground floor.
- Be sure to see the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy, which are located in the Great Hall.
- If you have time, visit the other collections, including the collection of French art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
4. Place de la Libération
Place de la Libération is a large square in the center of Dijon, France. It is the largest square in the city and is surrounded by many important buildings, including the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, the Dijon Cathedral, and the City Hall.
The square is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. It is also home to a number of restaurants and cafes, as well as a weekly farmers market.
In the center of the square is a large fountain, which is a popular spot for children to play in. There is also a war memorial, which commemorates the French soldiers who died in World War I and World War II.
Place de la Libération is a beautiful and historic square, and it is a must-see for any visitor to Dijon.
Here are some tips for visiting Place de la Libération:
- Be prepared for crowds. Place de la Libération is a popular tourist destination, so it can get crowded, especially during the summer months.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Place de la Libération is a popular spot for pickpockets, so be sure to keep your belongings close to you.
- Enjoy the atmosphere. Place de la Libération is a lively and vibrant square, so be sure to take some time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Visit the farmers market. The farmers market is held every Saturday morning on Place de la Libération. It is a great place to buy fresh produce and other local products.
- Take a walk through the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. The Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy is a beautiful medieval palace that is located next to Place de la Libération. It is a must-see for any visitor to Dijon.
5. Rue des Forges
Rue des Forges is a street in the historic center of Dijon, France. It is a pedestrian-only street and is one of the most popular shopping streets in the city. The street is lined with shops selling everything from clothes and shoes to souvenirs and food.
Rue des Forges is also home to a number of historic buildings, including the Maison Millière, a Renaissance-era mansion, and the Maison Milsand, a Gothic-era house. The street is also home to the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rue des Forges is a great place to visit if you are looking for a shopping experience in Dijon. The street is also a great place to visit if you are interested in history and architecture.
Here is a possible itinerary for a visit to Rue des Forges:
- Start your visit at the Place de la Libération, the main square in Dijon. From here, walk south on Rue Verrerie until you reach Rue des Forges.
- Turn left onto Rue des Forges and start browsing the shops. Be sure to stop at the Maison Millière and the Maison Milsand to admire their architecture.
- If you are interested in history, visit the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy.
- For lunch, stop at one of the many restaurants on Rue des Forges. There are restaurants serving everything from traditional French cuisine to international fare.
- After lunch, continue browsing the shops. Be sure to stop at the Boissellerie de l’Olivier, a bookstore that specializes in books about Burgundy.
- If you have time, take a detour to the Rue de la Chouette, a small street that is lined with half-timbered houses.
- At the end of the day, return to the Place de la Libération and enjoy a drink at one of the many cafes.
6. Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne
The Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne is an ethnographic museum located in Dijon, France. It is housed in the former monastery of the Bernardines, which was built in the 17th century. The museum’s collection covers the history and culture of Burgundy from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
The museum is divided into two main sections:
- The ground floor is dedicated to everyday life in Burgundy. It features recreated shops, homes, and workshops, as well as exhibits on agriculture, industry, and education.
- The upper floor is dedicated to the arts and crafts of Burgundy. It features exhibits on pottery, weaving, woodworking, and other traditional crafts.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and activities, including workshops, lectures, and guided tours.
Here are some of the highlights of the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne:
- The recreated shops are a great way to learn about the different businesses that were once common in Burgundy. Visitors can see a pharmacy, a grocery store, a tailor’s shop, and more.
- The exhibits on agriculture show how farmers in Burgundy lived and worked. Visitors can learn about the different crops that were grown in the region, as well as the tools and techniques that were used.
- The exhibits on industry show how industry developed in Burgundy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors can learn about the different industries that were important to the region, such as winemaking, pottery, and textiles.
- The exhibits on the arts and crafts of Burgundy showcase the region’s rich artistic heritage. Visitors can see examples of pottery, weaving, woodworking, and other traditional crafts.
The Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Burgundy. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in French history or culture.
Here are some tips for visiting the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne:
- The museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Tuesday through Sunday.
- Admission is free.
- The museum is located at 12 rue de la Chouette, Dijon, France.
7. Tour Philippe le Bon
The Tour Philippe le Bon is a 15th-century tower located at the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon, France. It was built by Duke Philip the Good in the 1440s and 1450s, and was designed by the architect Jean de Waveren. The tower is 46 meters tall and has a hexagonal base. It is made of limestone and has a variety of decorative elements, including gargoyles, pinnacles, and a crenelated roof.
The tower originally served as a watchtower and a prison, but it is now open to the public. Visitors can climb the 316 steps to the top of the tower for panoramic views of Dijon and the surrounding countryside. The tower also houses a museum dedicated to the history of the Dukes of Burgundy.
The Tour Philippe le Bon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dijon. It is a significant example of medieval architecture and offers visitors a chance to learn more about the history of the city and the Dukes of Burgundy.
Here are some additional details about the tower:
- The tower is named after Duke Philip the Good, who was the Duke of Burgundy from 1419 to 1467.
- The tower was built in two phases. The first phase, which was completed in the 1440s, consisted of the lower three stories of the tower. The second phase, which was completed in the 1450s, consisted of the upper two stories and the roof.
- The tower is hexagonal in shape, with six sides. This was a common design for medieval towers, as it provided better structural support than a square or rectangular tower.
- The tower is made of limestone, which is a type of sedimentary rock. Limestone is a durable material that is well-suited for building construction.
- The tower has a variety of decorative elements, including gargoyles, pinnacles, and a crenelated roof. Gargoyles are grotesque figures that were often placed on the roofs of medieval buildings to drain rainwater. Pinnacles are small spires that were often used to decorate the roofs of medieval buildings. Crenelated roofs are roofs that have a series of notches or gaps in them. These gaps were used to allow archers and crossbowmen to fire arrows and bolts at attackers.
The Tour Philippe le Bon is a fascinating and well-preserved example of medieval architecture. It is a must-see for anyone visiting Dijon.
8. Route des Grands Crus
The Route des Grands Crus is a 60-kilometer wine route that winds through the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune in Burgundy, France. It is one of the oldest and most celebrated wine routes in the world, and is home to some of the most prestigious vineyards in Burgundy.
The route is marked by brown signs with a white bunch of grapes, and passes through 37 villages and two major towns: Dijon and Beaune. Along the way, you can visit world-famous wine châteaux, sample some of the best wines in the world, and experience the unique culture and landscape of Burgundy.
Here are some of the highlights of the Route des Grands Crus:
- Dijon: The capital of Burgundy, Dijon is a historic city with a charming medieval center. Be sure to visit the Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, which houses a world-renowned collection of art.
- Beaune: Beaune is another charming town on the Route des Grands Crus. It is home to the Hospices de Beaune, a 15th-century hospital that is now a museum, and the Musée du Vin de Bourgogne, which tells the story of winemaking in Burgundy.
- Clos Vougeot: Clos Vougeot is one of the most famous vineyards in the world. It is a Grand Cru vineyard, which means that it is classified as being among the highest quality vineyards in Burgundy.
- Romanée-Conti: Romanée-Conti is another Grand Cru vineyard that is known for producing some of the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world.
- Echezeaux: Échezeaux is a Grand Cru vineyard that is known for producing powerful and elegant wines.
If you are interested in wine, the Route des Grands Crus is a must-visit destination. It is a great way to learn about the history and culture of winemaking in Burgundy, and to sample some of the best wines in the world.
Here are some tips for visiting the Route des Grands Crus:
- Plan your trip in advance: The Route des Grands Crus is a popular tourist destination, so it is important to plan your trip in advance, especially if you are visiting during the peak season (June-September).
- Rent a car: The best way to get around the Route des Grands Crus is by car. This will give you the flexibility to visit the vineyards and villages at your own pace.
- Book tastings in advance: Many of the wine châteaux on the Route des Grands Crus offer tastings, but these can book up quickly, so it is important to book in advance.
- Bring a picnic lunch: There are many beautiful places to stop for a picnic lunch along the Route des Grands Crus. Be sure to pack some of the delicious local food and wine!
- Enjoy the scenery: The Route des Grands Crus is a beautiful drive, so be sure to take your time and enjoy the scenery.
9. Musée Rude
The Musée Rude is a museum in Dijon, France, dedicated to the work of François Rude, a French sculptor who lived from 1784 to 1855. Rude is best known for his monumental sculptures, such as the Departure of the Volunteers (1792) and the Triumph of Napoleon (1811).
The Musée Rude is housed in the former Château de Morveau, an 18th-century mansion. The museum’s collection includes over 1,000 works by Rude, including sculptures, drawings, and paintings. The museum also features a library with over 10,000 books and articles about Rude and his work.
The Musée Rude is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is free for children under 18 years old.
Here are some of the things you can see at the Musée Rude:
- The Departure of the Volunteers (1792): This monumental sculpture depicts the departure of French volunteers during the French Revolution. It is one of Rude’s most famous works.
- The Triumph of Napoleon (1811): This sculpture depicts Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. It is another of Rude’s most famous works.
- The Death of Marceau (1836): This sculpture depicts the death of General François Séverin Marceau, a French general who was killed during the French Revolutionary Wars.
- The Hebe (1827): This sculpture depicts Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth.
- The Neapolitan Fisher Boy (1832): This sculpture depicts a young Neapolitan fisherman. It is one of Rude’s most popular works.
The Musée Rude is a great place to learn about the work of François Rude, one of the most important sculptors of the 19th century.
10. Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
The Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Dijon is a natural history museum located in Dijon, France. It is located in the Parc de l’Arquebuse, along with the Planetarium Hubert Curien and the Jardin botanique des saveurs et des cépages, des origines à demain.
The museum was founded in 1836 by the naturalist Léonard Nodot. It has a collection of over 1 million specimens, including fossils, minerals, animals, and plants. The museum’s exhibits are organized into five sections:
- Prehistory: This section explores the evolution of life on Earth, from the earliest fossils to the first humans.
- Paleontology: This section focuses on dinosaurs and other extinct animals.
- Mineralogy: This section displays a variety of minerals and rocks from around the world.
- Zoology: This section features animals from all over the world, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
- Botany: This section showcases plants from around the world, including trees, flowers, and grasses.
The museum is open to the public for free. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Here are some additional details about the museum:
- The museum’s permanent exhibits are all in French. However, there are some English-language labels available.
- The museum offers a variety of educational programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and family activities.
- The museum is located within walking distance of the city center of Dijon.
If you are interested in learning more about the natural world, the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Dijon is a great place to visit. It is a comprehensive museum with a wide variety of exhibits to explore.
In conclusion, Dijon, a city steeped in history and culinary excellence, offers an enriching experience to travelers seeking a blend of heritage, culture, and gastronomy. Its captivating attractions and vibrant atmosphere make it a destination that appeals to a wide array of interests, from history buffs and art enthusiasts to food connoisseurs and nature lovers. With its historical landmarks, delectable cuisine, and stunning surroundings, Dijon stands as a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the wonders of France.
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Dijon-Bourgogne Airport (DIJ), also known as Bourgogne Airport, is the only airport in Dijon, France. It is located 8 kilometers (5 miles) southwest of the city of Dijon and is the main gateway to the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.
DIJ is a small airport with one runway and a single terminal. It serves over 1.5 million passengers annually and is operated by the Aéroport de Dijon-Bourgogne company. The airport offers a variety of services and amenities, including shops, restaurants, a business lounge, and free Wi-Fi.
DIJ is a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers. It is well-connected to major cities in France and Europe, and offers a variety of direct flights to popular tourist destinations in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.
Here are some additional facts about Dijon-Bourgogne Airport:
- IATA code: DIJ
- ICAO code: LFGJ
- Elevation: 220 meters (722 feet)
- Owner: Public
- Operator: Aéroport de Dijon-Bourgogne
- Runways: 1
- Terminals: 1
- Passenger traffic: 1.5 million (2022)
DIJ is a modern and efficient airport that offers a convenient and comfortable travel experience for passengers.
Here are some of the airlines that operate at Dijon-Bourgogne Airport:
- Air France
DIJ offers a variety of direct flights to destinations in France, Europe, and North Africa. Some of the popular destinations include:
DIJ is a great option for travelers who are looking for a convenient and affordable way to get to the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.