Explore historic Dijon, before heading to Burgundy’s vineyards

Explore historic Dijon, before heading to Burgundy’s vineyards

Dijon is one of France’s most appealing cities. Filled with elegant medieval and renaissance buildings, the lively centre is car free and wonderful for strolling, enjoying excellent food, fine wine and shopping.

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Enjoying Dijon.
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Car free Dijon makes it a delightful town to walk around.

It’s the capital city of the Burgundy region, one of the country’s principal wine-producing areas but more on that later.

To explore the city buy a little booklet called the ‘The Owl’s Trail’ (for about 2 euros) at the information centre. This tour will take you on foot through the town, with a map and information on 22 medieval buildings and places of note. There is also a great covered market on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (so we are told) – we were so busy and forgot to go!

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The covered market is ablaze with smells and colour four days a week.
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The 13th century Notre Dame facade is covered in impressive false gargoyles.

The trail is well-marked with multiple bronze owl’s embedded in the footpath indicating the tour path.

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Follow the owls in the footpath for the city tour.

Over the centuries the owl has become the ‘good luck’ charm for traveller and an owl is carved in rock on the tour. It should be rubbed with the left hand (the hand closest to the heart). The whole trail can be covered on foot in about an hour however, we took much longer.

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The carved owl in the rock needs to be rubbed for good luck.

One other thing well worth doing is walking the 316 steps up ‘Tour Philippe Le Bon’ to get a magnificent view of the city. It dominates the town at 46 metres and was built-in the 15th century to symbolize the prestige and power of the Dukes of Burgundy. There are many tours a day up the tower but it is necessary book at the information centre.

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View of Dijon from the tower.

How to get there

Trains travel frequently from Paris to Dijon taking baout 2-3 hours depending on the speed of the train.

Jane Jeffries

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