DIJON: It’s not only about mustard

Dijon is a French city between Paris and Lyon. It’s the capital of Burgundy region with 152.071 inhabitants. This city is famous for the mustard. Maybe you know the «moustarde de Dijon». But forget that, there is so much cooler thing you need to know

It’s very often cold in Dijon, more than the towns around. There is fresh wind and rain during all the winter (from November to March most of the time). But when I think about this city, I imagine it in a sunny day. Maybe because I was living in Dijon for three years and I really liked my time there!

jardin de l'arquebuse

My apartment was just in front of the botanical garden, and this is one of my favorite place. I remember that I passed there every day to go at the university and it made me happy every morning! There are always people walking around, groups of young people drinking beer on the grass and children playing. It’s a really peaceful place with a lot of flowers, trees, grass, fountains, stream… a perfect green place to disconnect from the city.

There is a lot of other places I want to tell you about. So let’s move to the city center! There is a big pedestrian street in the center. There, you can find a lot of shops, restaurants, fast food… There are always a lot of people walking. I like this lively street! Going down this street there is one of my other favorite place: square of Liberation (La place de la Libération). It’s the main square in the historical center of Dijon. The Palace of Dukes of Burgundy is there and the whole square is paved, beautiful. I love even more this place during night because there are a lot of lights on the Palace and all around the square. So you can enjoy the place, drinking a beer with your friends in one of the bars around!

place de la libération 2

After this drink in the square of Liberation, maybe you would like to go out with your friend? Don’t worry, there are a lot of things to do in Dijon. This is a really cultural city. If you like music, concerts, theater, festival, cinema… this is perfect for you. I could talk about a lot of places, but I will choose my favorites.

First, there is a concert hall on a boat called « Péniche Cancale » (Yes, on a boat, you read well!). There you can eat (the food is really good), drink, and see a lot of different concerts: international music, reggae, dub, rap, rock… everyone can enjoy! This place is so nice and the waiters super friendly, but do not go too late if you want to enter because it is quite small and intimate! So, if you want a bigger place for concerts (but not so big, because small one are so cool), you can go to “La Vapeur”. There are a lot of kind of music also. It’s so nice because most of the time I went there with one friend and come back with 12 others, because all young people meet there!

Also there are small festivals in Dijon. I worked as a volunteer in some of them. “Les Houblonnade” is a beer festival in summer. During two days there is concerts, and breweries from France who present their beer. You can taste a lot of different beers, it’s so good, great and interesting (but be careful, you can be drunk easily!). But if you’re not a beer addict, maybe you could prefer the “Tribu festival”. It’s a festival about international music. During one week in September, there are concerts in the whole city. Sometimes in bars, in small hall concerts, and outside. Most of the time there are just a few famous band, so you can discover new ones. Some musicians come from other countries for this festival. It’s a beautiful week full of dance, music, meeting and multiculturalism.

carousel dijon

These festivals are just during a few weeks in the year, but of course you can find nice places all the time. First, to know Dijon, you have to know the “Republic square”. I think it’s less beautiful than the “Liberation square”, but it’s famous and everybody know it. There are a lot of bars and night clubs, you should try all of them to find your favorite! And the most important: it’s the perfect place to join your friends, because all the public transports are there and it’s really near to the city center!

After meeting your friends in this square, you can go wherever you want! I will finish this walk in Dijon, talking to you about my favorite place. Let’s go to the “Vieux Léon”. I think it’s the place where I spent most of my time (after the university maybe…) during my three years in Dijon. It’s a really nice bar. Its name is in tribute to a song from a famous old French singer: George Brassens. In this bar, there are a lot of posters, pictures and tags everywhere. It’s pretty dark, but there is a lot of candles and small lights. You can smoke inside, it’s a bit old and dirty, but no one cares because it’s the atmosphere that counts. In this place you can find people of all age. Everybody is so cool. You can sing, dance, play cards… I always met new people when I went there. It’s the best place to relax for me!

Chloe Dumeusois


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