312km (194 miles) SE of Paris; 320km (199 miles) NE of Lyon
Located in the north of the region, Dijon is the capital of Burgundy. Founded by the Romans, this city of 152,000 residents has undergone a 400 million-euro facelift since 2010, including a new tramway, an Olympic-size swimming pool, pedestrianized shopping streets, and restored landmark squares.
On the doorstep of the illustrious Côte d’Or wine region, Dijon combines world-class wines with good food, including four restaurants with Michelin stars. As well as being famed for its mustard, the city is also the home of Kir (a mix of white Aligoté wine and Crème de Cassis blackcurrant liqueur, named after former Dijon mayor Canon Félix Kir). After admiring the city’s impressive Gothic churches and the sumptuous Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne, make time to get lost in Dijon’s medieval heart: Here you’ll happen upon extravagant stone-facaded hôtels particuliers (private mansions), some of which have colorful roof tiles, a practice that dates back to the 14th century and is found throughout the region.
The city has some interesting events throughout the year; pick up an agenda from the tourist office. In May, vintage motorbike fans arrive for the Coupes Moto Légende to race their bikes around the Prenois race track. Every June, the Estimate comes to town: a nine-day festival of outdoor dance and music concerts. In November, the city hosts one of France’s largest food fairs, the Foire internationale et gastronomique de Dijon.