18 Hours in Dijon, France

Living in Geneva is perfect for long weekend trips as it is centrally located whether you want to hop in a rental car or fly.

This weekend we traveled through the Burgundy region of France with our friends who are visiting from Cincinnati. We’ve spent at least a weekend traveling together each year for the past 4 years as couples though Amy and I have traveled together for more than 8 years at this point. Traveling with good friends makes everything easier as you don’t have to know their travel preferences. Our group loves exploring cities together and savoring the fine food and wine just as much as the historic sites.

We spent just over 18 hours in Dijon on Saturday, the first stop on our tour.


After checking in at our hotel, The Grand Hotel La Cloche-Dijon, we headed out for a long walk through the small city. The front desk suggested we follow the golden owl triangles which lead visitors through a 2 mile path around the city’s primary sights.

IMG_0547Two hours walking around the city before dinner was the perfect amount of time to wander the streets, stopping in shops and sights at our leisure. The city was bustling yesterday due to the beautiful, cool end of Summer weather and final tourist weekends of the holiday season.


Instead of sitting down for a late lunch we chose to wander in shops, picking up provisions along the way and settling for a picnic lunch near a fountain in the city center.

IMG_1169 IMG_1173 IMG_1176 IMG_1181 IMG_1183A baguette, two cans of pate and a bottle of local pinot noir was the perfect afternoon snack! We kept it classy by passing the bottle and sharing the baguette and pate while sitting on the fountain steps.

IMG_1175We wandered into multiple mustard shops, including the most famous, Boutique Maille. Here Ryan and Amy were able to buy mustards not available anywhere else in the world in addition to watching the salespeople fill containers from the “mustard tap.”  IMG_1186IMG_1185IMG_1161From there we meandered through the streets to the 3 well known churches in Dijon.

  • Notre Dame – 13th century Gothic church
  • St–Benigne – Great example of Romanesque art in Burgundy.
  • Saint Michelle- lower facade is a great example of Renaissance architecture

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Unfortunately, we were not able to visit Les Halles, Dijon’s historic market which is filled with food vendors, tapestries and local antiques! Otherwise, 18 hours was the perfect amount of time to enjoy most of the city’s prominent sites, a delicious dinner and good night’s sleep before heading into wine country for two days of wine tasting.

Are you a quick tourist or do you like to have a leisurely trip in cities, meandering your way through the sights and allowing plenty of time for relaxation?

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  1. Katie @ Live Half Full September 3, 2013 / 9:30 pm

    We’re usually quick tourists, but right now we’re in Paris for 8 days so we’ve been doing a ton of meandering. It’s been a blast so far!

  2. Cathryn September 3, 2013 / 10:20 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Dijon, primarily because I love the tiled roof on the cathedral! It looks beautiful.

    Normally, we only get a few days in a city but last year we had 3 weeks in Tokyo and discovered the joys of easy, lazy days wandering round, working our way through the entire Rough Guide. SO much fun, but a real luxury!

  3. Ashley September 4, 2013 / 2:31 am

    Umm . . . that picnic sounds like perfection!

  4. Dana September 4, 2013 / 12:32 pm

    Sounds like a fun trip. If you’re looking for other fun trips I would recommend Annecy, France, Grenoble, France, and the Interlaken, Switzerland area including (Gimmelwald and Murren are two of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen – especially in winter). Have fun!!

  5. kristi@runkwrun.blogspot.com September 4, 2013 / 1:06 pm

    Most of the time, I like to meander and take in the sites and culture at a leisure pace. However, because my boyfriend is in England (and I’m in America), we have mini vacations when we see eachother. This results in 1-3 days in a new place doing a quick tourist thing. We did Normandy in 24 hours…which was a miracle, but we didn’t get to Utah Beach. We will head to San Francisco for three days in a couple of weekends.

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