A Paris to Dijon day trip is a fantastic opportunity to discover another facet of France in a very short time. It’s the best destination to visit Burgundy in only one day. It can be straightforward to organise if you follow these tips.
How to get from Paris to Dijon for a day trip
Dijon is about 300 km southeast of Paris. So if you want to visit Dijon in one day from Paris, it’s much better to take the train. It’s actually one of the best destinations for a day trip by train from Paris.
With the high-speed train (TGV), you’ll reach the heart of Dijon in less than two hours. It would take at least three hours by car if you’re lucky with the traffic. Every morning during the week, traffic is bad in Paris, so you’re likely to be delayed and stressed.
The high-speed train in France is very comfortable. Most of them have a double deck, so I always book a seat on the upper level to enjoy the best views and relax. But if you’re prone to travel sickness, the bottom level may be a safer option. There’s free Wi-Fi and a restaurant carriage if you want to purchase coffee or snacks. When we take an early train, we often buy croissants at a bakery on the way to the station and have breakfast on the train.
You can book your ticket in advance on the SNCF website. They rarely sell out, even in the high season. However, you’re likely to get the best price, best times and best seats if you book early. Make sure to check the cost of upgrading to First Class as it’s sometimes only a few pounds extra for extra space and more comfort.
Things to do in Dijon on a day trip
When you visit Dijon on a day trip from Paris, you’ll need to decide if you want to stick to the city or spend time in wineries out of town. A trip to Dijon can be an opportunity to see a bit more of Burgundy.
Walk around Dijon town centre
The Owl Trail is the best way to discover Dijon’s historic town centre. It starts at Darcy Square, only a five-minute walk from the station. It takes about two hours to follow the arrows on the pavement that lead you to the best buildings of different eras in the heart of the city. You’ll need to allow more time if you want to enter the buildings.
Visit the International Cité of Gastronomy and Wine
You could spend hours at the International Cité of Gastronomie and Wine. It’s easy to get there from the town centre with the free Divia City shuttle. Shops don’t open before 9.30 am, so it’s better to start with a walk around town.
In a couple of hours, we could learn more about the Climats, recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage list and try local products, including premium wines. You will also find a choice of mustard, creme de cassis, cheeses, and other famous local specialties and fresh products. If you have more time, you can develop your taste or gastronomy knowledge at one of the exhibitions or by joining a workshop.
Learn more about Burgundy wines
We liked our experience at the International Cité of Gastronomy and Wine, but it’s not very authentic. It’s like a museum, and the wine-tasting experience is in a big, busy room with bottles from all around the world. We learnt a lot from the very knowledgeable oenologist organising our tasting, but we still preferred our experience at a winery.
If you would like to stay in town but desire a more authentic experience, you may prefer to visit a cellar such as La Cave du Palais*.
I would recommend considering a half-day tour (or longer) to the south of Dijon to visit a winery and see beautiful villages along the way if you can make it fit into your day trip. Book a late train back to Paris and make sure the tour guide is aware of your departure time.
We went cycling in the wineries, and it was a lot of fun. Our tour departed from Beaune, but there are cycling tours from Dijon* that are open to people with different levels of fitness, thanks to the e-bikes.
Have you visited Dijon on a day trip from Paris? Share your experience in the comments below!
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