When: April 2017
Hotel: Kyriad Prestige Dijon Centre
Why Dijon: I had just gotten a promotion at work, and John said I could pick somewhere for us to go for the weekend to celebrate…but it was the day of, and without a lot of time to prepare, I picked Dijon, France, which is about a 4-hour drive from Stuttgart. It seemed like an easy weekend getaway, I would get to drink Burgundy wine in its originating region and John would get to try Dijon mustard in its birthplace.
The Trip: We left after work on Friday, and didn’t get into Dijon until late – which meant no site-seeing the first night. Which is okay, Dijon is not large and can easily be done in a day. As I didn’t have much, or any, time to plan for our trip to Dijon (the hotel was booked on the way down), it was a nice discovery that Dijon had a walking path already laid out for tourists.
For 3.50E, the Dijon Tourism Office sells “The Owl’s Trail,” which is a detailed guidebook that gives the options to take three different loops and takes you to 22 spots in the town. While the guidebook has a map, the town goes one step further with cute little owl arrows on the ground to point you in the right direction, and then larger markers on the ground outside each stop with the number that it correlates with the guidebook.
The owl is Dijon’s city symbol, and it can be seen throughout the town, most notably by the large cathedral where the “wise old owl” hangs and, for good luck, you give it a rub with your left hand.
There are a lot of nooks and crannies to explore in Dijon, but it’s quite a small town, so if you have time – the city of Beaune is an easy 30-minute train ride from Dijon. It is a walled city in the heart of the Burgundy region, and made the list as one France’s most beautiful villages.
The walk from the train station to the city center, and naturally leads to a walk around the city’s ancient walls. In fact, while I enjoyed the main part of the city, the walk around the walls through the quiet neighborhoods was my favorite part of the afternoon.
We headed home the next day, but not before one more stop. One of John’s favorite movies is Chocolat and one of the main French villages where the movie was shot was on the way home. Flavigny-sur-Ozerain is about 30 miles north of Dijon, and is also on the list of beautiful villages in France. It sits on the top of a rock, and dates back to the 8th century.
Final Impressions: Dijon is great for a little weekend getaway and is an easy drive from Stuttgart. I wouldn’t mind going back some time to enjoy more of the stone building villages, they were absolutely gorgeous.
I guess if you ever go to a mustard tasting it will have to be in Dijon. I don’t think the concept is quite as appealing as a wine tasting, cheese tasting or chocolate tasting.