Top French Cities - Dijon at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Dijon Tourism Office at www.destinationdijon.com.

City region: Burgundy / Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

Population & what they are called: 153,668 municipality inhabitants (2014 census), called Dijonnais

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 3 hours (196 miles) via the A6 Autoroute du Soleil

  • by train: about 1h 35 min by TGV from the Paris Gare de Lyon

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Gustave Eiffel, engineer and architect

  • Jean-Pierre Marielle, actor

  • Yan Pei-Ming, artist

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • The owl is the symbol of Dijon. The small carving of one in the north facade of Notre-Dame is said to bring good luck if you touch it with your left hand and make a wish.

  • Dijon is at the heart of the Burgundy vineyards.

Notable sites:

  • Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne – incredible architectural ensemble that was the residence and seat of government of the Dukes of Burgundy

  • Tour Philippe le Bon – there are 316 steps to its terrace and a 360° view of the city

  • Eglise Notre Dame – a 13th-century church with three tiers of creepy gargoyles

Top annual events:

  • Le Brunch des Halles de Dijon – a delicious a la carte meal at the covered market, available on Sundays from May to September, prepared by talented chefs in a laid-back and festive ambiance (bhd.otdijon.com/le_brunch_des_halles_de_dijon_en.html)

  • Fêtes de la Vigne – biennial international festival of folk music and dance (fetesdelavigne.org)

  • Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon – pays homage to fine local food products (foirededijon.com)

Most notable museums:

  • Musée des Beaux-Arts – an extensive overview of the region's art and history (beaux-arts.dijon.fr)

  • Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne – models and reconstructions of everyday Burgundian life at the end of the 19th century

  • Musée Archéologique – displays of surprising archeological artifacts from the region (archeologie.dijon.fr)

Culinary specialties:

  • mustard – since its creation in Dijon in the 18th century, it has been famous around the world

  • pain d'épices – a spiced bread that has been made in the traditional way – with wheat flour, honey and spices – for over 220 years at Mulot & Petitjean, which has a full museum space at its production site (mulotpetitjean.fr)

  • oeufs en meurette – poached eggs served on toasted garlic bread with a red wine reduction sauce, lardons, onions and shallots

Local wines & spirits:

  • Burgundy wines – the nearby Côte de Nuits includes 16 grand crus (highest quality) vineyards

  • crème de Cassis – a liqueur made from blackcurrants harvested in the Hautes-Côtes-de-Nuits area; when combined with aligoté white wine, it becomes a Kir

Shopping:

  • mustard – the Maille mustard store sells dozens of different mustards from pumps in earthenware pots (us.maille.com), and the Fallot boutique-workshop revisits traditional recipes with unusual twists (fallot.com/en/)

  • La Rose de Vergy – 15th-century boutique for spice bread (a must try: spice bread baguette garnished with chutney or tapenade), fine cookies, jams and both traditional and unique candies

  • Toison d'Or – 10 minutes by tram from the city center, this shopping includes more than 160 boutiques, including a huge Apple Store

Most popular night spots:

  • Péniche Cancale – a wide variety of concerts and DJ sets, plus a restaurant, all set on a barge

  • Le Smart – bar with live music and a downstairs disco

  • Bistrot de la Scène – introduces new artistic creations to an audience spanning generations and social classes

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Lake Kir – jog, bike or walk around this beautiful lake, perhaps going further along the Canal de Bourgogne

  • Les Halles de Dijon – wander the market and learn about the city's incredible gastronomy

  • Greater Dijon trails – follow the signposts into the surrounding region, especially those that head into the vineyards

Local industries:

  • appliances – Groupe SEB (Société d'Emboutissage de Bourgogne) is a large French consortium that produces small appliances

  • technology – adhesive technology company Adhex and navigation systems leader Safran Electronics & Defense both use Dijon as a base of global operations

  • pharmaceuticals – Groupe Urgo is a specialist in the care of wounds, public health and new health technologies

In Pop Culture:

  • Cyrano de Bergerac – the 1990 movie adaptation, with Gérard Depardieu, of the famous novel, filmed in Dijon

  • Love on a Pillow (Le repos du guerrier) – a 1962 French film shot partly in Dijon, starring Brigitte Bardot and directed by Roger Vadim

  • Long Ago In France: The Years In Dijon (Une Jeune mariée à Dijon) by M.F.K. Fisher — candid memoir of the author’s stay in Dijon from 1929-1931 absorbing the essence of French character and

Contact

Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency
New York, 10022
United States
2127450967