Top French Cities - Dijon at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Dijon Tourism Office at

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 (

  • Fêtes de la Vigne – biennial international festival of folk music and dance (

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

Most notable museums:

  • Musée des Beaux-Arts – an extensive overview of the region's art and history (

  • 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 (

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 (

  • 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


  • mustard – the Maille mustard store sells dozens of different mustards from pumps in earthenware pots (, and the Fallot boutique-workshop revisits traditional recipes with unusual twists (

  • 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

About Top French Cities -

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency