At least once a year after Paris Fashion Week I will stop off in Dijon or nearby. Mostly it is simply to eat and drink good food and wine, whilst recovering from the busy Fashion Week. This visit however both hubby and I decided to get to know Dijon a little better. Wow what a true surprise we were in for!
We only had two days this time and left realising there is still so much more for us to discover. A good excuse not to leave it a whole year before we return again.
Dijon is particularly famous because of how very powerful it was back in the 14th – 15th century. As a former capital of the Dukes of Burgundy, its political and economic influence was amazing, as was the prosperity. Even today you can get a feeling of it’s former glory days from the remaining medieval houses in the centre of town and other majestic pieces of architecture such as the Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy.
If you take the TGV Lyria fast train from either Paris or Zurich you will be there quicker than driving with your own car.
Dijon is also famous for its’ mustard, ginger bread and fine wines. It truly is a place where everyone can relive “Game of Thrones” & drink Grand Cru Wines.
Keep reading to find out more about “Dijon – Where Everyone Can Relive “Game of Thrones” & Drink Grand Cru Wines”.
Everyone Can Relive “Game of Thrones” & Drink Grand Cru Wines
Where to stay:
This time we stayed at Le Vertigo, a chic, charming, design hotel located right in the heart of the city overlooking Place Darcy.
To make the most of your stay in Dijon I really recommend staying right in the centre. From Le Vertigo it is an easy walk into the medieval town and there is also a tram right outside which will take you to other locations such as the City Internationale de la Gastronomie.
The rooms were very cute with all mod cons one could want including a Nespresso coffee machine.
Breakfast was truly superb and there is even a little hidden spa underground
I also loved the live DJ in the evenings and jars of lollies ready for the taking during the day – smile.
Where to Eat in the City Centre:
We like to go into the city centre at least one evening to experience it by night.
This time we tried out Le Café Gourmand, situated right opposite the Palais des Ducs.
Super friendly staff with a lovely mixture of contemporary cuisine and local classics.
Hubby started with the snails – a real local delicacy. Whilst I went for an upside down mushroom tart. As a main we decided to indulge in the special Charolais burgers which were super delicious.
The wine card was fabulous – plenty local wines to choose from. Something for every taste bud!
The best way to experience the “Game of Thrones” feeling in Dijon
The absolute best way to experience that “Game of Thrones” feeling in Dijon is to book one of the tours climbing 316 stairs to the top of the Monte de la Tour Philippe Le Bon from the Dijon Tourist Office – book here
Don’t worry, you don’t have to climb all 316 stairs at once. It is done in stages with lots of stories being told at each stop. During our tour we were really swept into another world hearing about the various Dukes of the past.
Did you know the early Duke’s of Dijon had great plans of segregating Burgundy from France and turning it into a kingdom of their own?
Then there is the story of the evil Duke killing another and then marrying his widow. Just one small snippet of the many adventures we were told about whilst ascending the stairs. You’ll have to take the tour yourself to find out the juicy details – smile.
At the time of writing this article it only costs EUR 5 and is certainly worth it.
We also learnt that each of these corner pieces of art were actually telling a story from the time.
Once at the top the 360° view was spectacular. You can also book to have an aperitif at the top.
Something free – the Owl Walk
As you walk around the centre of Dijon it’s hard to miss the many triangles and squares on the pavements.
These are actually all part of a 22-stage trail. Designed not only to give you an insight to Dijon’s charm, but also taking you back in history.
Pick up the guide book from the Dijon Tourist Office which then explains the meaning of each numbered stage/place of interest.
Number 9 is my favourite as it has the Owl itself, which over time has become a good luck charm for anyone who rubs it with their left hand and makes a wish.
Anyone can taste Grand Cru Wines at the International City of Wine & Gastronomy in Dijon
The International City of Wine & Gastronomy in Dijon is like a one stop spot where you can really enjoy all of the different Unesco recognised, local foods and wines of the region.
Entrance into the International City of Wine & Gastronomy in Dijon itself is free and it has even become a hot spot for locals to gather after work for a bite to eat and something to drink. You do have to pay for some of the exhibitions and seasonal activities available.
One of our favourite parts was the Cave de la Cité where anyone can taste Grand Cru Wines for as little as EUR 10 per tasting. These are bottles which all retail at well over EUR 100 and often very hard to get hold of.
Did you know only 3% of all wine in France is produced in Burgundy and only another 1% of this is Grand Cru.
The permanent exhibitions are also really worth checking out. We loved the one in the “Chapelle des Climates et des Terroirs”, where you can learn all about the different climates of the Burgundy wine region. The impact of the different types of soil, areas and more.
Of course I couldn’t leave without buying some famous Dijon mustard first.
See here for more information about the International City of Wine & Gastronomy in Dijon, opening times and the current exhibitions/things to do.
Wishing You a wonderful visit to Dijon and remember there’s lot’s more to do than mentioned just here – this is what we did in two days as well as spending the morning at Dijon-Prenois Circuit with the Pistenclub.
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