There are a lot of things to do in Burgundy, so you may only have one day in Dijon. Dijon also makes a good day trip from Paris by train for those who want a different experience than the capital.
I have described below what we did in one day in Dijon and also suggested alternatives that may work better according to your areas of interest.
Must-do in the city of Dijon
The Owl Trail
Duration: 2-3 hours
We discovered Dijon on foot by following the self-guided Owl Trail. And I highly recommend it.
You’ll see all the best monuments in Dijon’s old town by simply following the arrows with the little owl and stopping at the plaques with a number. It’s a lot more interesting with explanations, but the guide costs €3.50. If you don’t have an Android phone with Google Pay to download the app, you’ll have to go to the Tourist Office (Rue des Forges) to get the paper version.
Check out this article to learn more about the highlights of this circuit.
If you’re not keen on a self-guided tour, you’ll find guided tours to explore Dijon, such as this cheap one * or this private one*. It’s a great way to ensure you don’t get lost and allow enough time to see all the highlights.
Palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy
Duration: 1 hour
The Palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy (Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne) is arguably the most iconic monument in Dijon and even in the Burgundy region. A visit to Liberation Square (Place de la Libération) to admire the spectacular palace is a must-see when visiting Dijon in one day.
Its mix of architectural styles testifies to its historical importance. It’s been listed as a historical monument since 1862. To go inside, you’ll have to visit the Fine Arts Museum (Musée des Beaux-Arts). It’s free and open daily, except on Tuesdays.
Philippe Le Bon Tower
Duration: 45 minutes
The remarkable 46-metre-high tower from the 15th century offers splendid views of the city. It’s located at the stunning palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy. You can book your ticket online and select the best time that suits you. Tours in English are limited, so you may have to build your itinerary in Dijon around your booking time.
Wine tasting and gastronomy in Dijon
International Cité of Gastronomy and Wine (including wine tasting)
Duration: 2-3 hours
The Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin is open every day. It’s a great place to learn more about wines and even do tastings. Not only do they have excellent bottles from Burgundy, but they also have remarkable wine from all over the world.
You could spend hours visiting all the galleries and enjoying the experiences and masterclasses the museum offers. So with only one day in Dijon, you’ll only get an overview of what’s available at Dijon’s International Cité of Gastronomy and Wine. Even if we couldn’t do everything, we really enjoyed our visit.
We packed a lot in the couple of hours we spent there. We opted for a degustation of very expensive wines at La Cité du Vin cellar and a visit to the Chapel that hosts an interesting museum to learn more about Burgundy and the climats (on the UNESCO World Heritage list). Then, we browsed a few shops, including the mustard shop, to taste surprising mustard creations (a specialty from Dijon). We ended our visit with a quick tour of an interactive gallery to educate our smell.
Wine tasting in a cellar
Duration: 1 hour
If you’re only interested in tasting local wines in a more traditional and authentic environment, then La Cité du Vin cellar may not be the best choice for you. You could easily visit a winery just outside Dijon (see below), but if your time is limited, you may want to stay in the city. You’ll find a few cellars with wine-tasting opportunities. La Cave du Palais is one of the most famous options downtown for international visitors.
Duration: 30 minutes
Burgundy is very famous for its wines, but you’ll also find delicious cheeses in this region. My favourite ones are Comté and Epoisses. You can buy them in any supermarket in France, but a trip to Dijon is an opportunity to find excellent quality.
If you’re visiting on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday morning, don’t miss the cheese stalls at the indoor market (Les Halles).
Duration: 30-75 minutes
The Dijon Mustard is famous worldwide. So a visit to Dijon can be the opportunity to learn more about it and try new flavours.
The famous producer Fallot isn’t in Dijon; you’ll have to go to Beaune to visit the museum and learn more about how mustard is made (make sure you book in advance in high season). It will be hard to fit in if you’re in Dijon for only one day. However, you’ll find downtown a few shops specialising in mustard.
As mentioned earlier, we could do tastings of Dijon Mustard at the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin. Even closer to the heart of the old town, on your way as you follow the Owl Trail, you’ll find a beautiful shop next to the Cathedral. Make sure you ask to try our favourite: mustard with Burgundy truffle.
And if tasting isn’t a good enough experience for you, you can join a 1h15 workshop to make your own mustard!
Explore more of Burgundy
Duration: half-day or full day
If you have one day in Dijon, you may be interested in focusing on just one of the activities previously listed and spending the rest of the day exploring the wineries near Dijon. It may be a good idea if you’re really passionate about wine. But Dijon is a city worth visiting, so it wouldn’t be my recommendation for a first visit.
We had extra time in the region and chose to cycle around wineries in Burgundy (near Beaune). It was a lot of fun. With the option to hire e-bikes, all the family could be part of the adventure. You can find e-bike tours* from Dijon.
What do you recommend doing for one day in Dijon? Share your experience in the comments below!
Where is Dijon?
Dijon is the capital city of the Burgundy region in eastern France, located approximately 350km away from Paris. It takes 1hr35 to go from Dijon to Paris on the high-speed train or 3.5 hours by car. It’s feasible to visit Dijon on a day trip from Paris by train. However, it would be worth it to stay overnight as there are a lot of things to do in Dijon.
Did you like this article about what to do in one day in Dijon? Add it to your Pinterest board: