Dijon is a city in eastern France, most famous worldwide from Dijon mustard. As a former Roman settlement, the region contains preserved ruins from the empire. In the Middle Ages, the city became a hub of culture and art. Enjoy varied and intriguing architecture built by several ruling dynasties over the centuries.
Local chef Jean Naigeon created Dijon mustard in 1856 by replacing vinegar, typically used in other mustards, with verjuice, an acidic juice from unripe grapes.
See the Church of Notre Dame, perhaps the most recognizable icon in the Dijon skyline. The 13th-century church’s gothic design features towering spires, intricate windows and arches. Marvel at 51 grotesque gargoyles, some functioning as water fountains. Make a wish at the Owl of Notre Dame. It is sculpted into a wall, but has lost its shape over time from the tradition of stroking it with your left hand while wishing.
Visit the Dijon Cathedral, dating back to 1016, to inspect its gothic architecture and castle-like design. Enjoy the calm atmosphere inside the majestic structure. An impressive organ instrument is mounted above the entrance and stained-glass windows fill the walls. Explore the Romanesque Crypt and its sculptures from a millennium ago.
Stroll around Liberation Square in the middle of the city’s historic center. Shaped as a semi-circle, it contains a statue of Louis XIV on horseback. Enjoy the oasis of calm and splendor in the city center which dates back to 1686.
The plaza contains the Palace of the Dukes, a 14th-century structure of gothic design. It is now used as the City Hall of Dijon. Take a guided tour in English of the palace. Climb the Philippe le Bon Tower for an unobstructed view of the city, the Saone River and the surrounding vineyards.
Attend the Gastronomic Fair, which takes place in autumn every year. Dijon is a popular attraction on the route from Paris to Lyon, two of the largest cities in France.