Between foodie excursions and historical experiences, there’s no shortage of wonderful items to see in Eastern France. For instance, did you know that Victor Hugo was created in the region? Or that the best Burgundy wine can be found with an easy excursion from Dijon? Here’s your best guide to the best day trips from Dijon you’ll wish to take on the next trip to in france they capital of mustard.
The ‘wine capital of France’ is simple to go to over the course of a day and features an array of wine tasting opportunities and plenty of local Burgundy architecture. Even when you’re ‘not really a wine drinker,’ popular features of Beaune include going to the Middle Ages hospital turned museum, exploring the bookshop dedicated solely to wine, and wandering the well-preserved medieval ramparts which still surround the city even today.
Located within the East of France, near to the border with Switzerland, Besancon is definitely probably the most underrated cities in France. Often dubbed the ‘greenest city in France,’ it’s here where you’ll soon find a plethora of beautiful green spaces, riverside walkways, and veggie cafés.
It’s and in this rather unknown French destination where UNESCO Vauban fortifications are to be visited today, not to mention that Besancon also been the birthplace of Victor Hugo. Elsewhere in the Eastern French city, you’ll soon discover attractions such as a Fine Arts Museum and something of the finest astronomical clocks to be enjoyed any place in Europe.
The beautiful and sleepy town of Dole can be found in the Jura region of France, just a half-hour train ride away from city centre to city centre. Even when you’ve never heard about Dole before, without doubt you’ll have heard of its most well-known resident: Louis Pasteur. The biologist and microbiologist was the discoverer of the ‘pasteurisation process’ as well as discovered plenty concerning the prevention of infectious diseases.
Visit Dole today and you’re certain to find a rather sleepy town using the kind of attractions which are so symbolic of a largely underrated destination in rural France: fortifications, a medieval church, a fine arts museum, and more boulangerie than you could hope to enjoy during the period of a week.
What I particularly enjoyed during my visit to Dole was it's easy to borrow the secrets of the church’s Belfry from the tourism office (after completing a fairly extensive form). After that, I was permitted to take keys to the top church’s tower (free of charge), from which I enjoyed a sensational bird’s eye look at Dole.
Best-known because of its location encompassed by wine-producing vineyards, Nuits-Saint-Georges is just a half-hour train ride away from Dijon. Close to Vosne-Romanée (i.e. the village in which the priciest wine on the planet is produced), Nuits-Saint-Georges is home to the quintessential architecture that is so symbolic of the region.
If you want to visit Vosne-Romanée for yourself, then you should realize that the little French village is under a half-hour walk-through the vineyards from Nuits-St-Georges. Though it was during the springtime when I partook around the walk (and the vines were bare), I still enjoyed my stroll through the French vines!
Though there is little change by way of attractions when it comes to this French settlement, the city is still worth visiting, particularly throughout the summertime when it’s easy to benefit from the surrounding vineyards at their best. Otherwise, make sure to visit ‘Le Casssissium,’ which is a factory producing every liquid related to blackcurrants, including ‘Cassis,’ a popular blackcurrant liqueur.
Situated within the very heart of Burgundy, the town of Chalon-Sur-Sa^one is set over mainland France in addition to a tiny island which sits in the heart of the River Sa^one. Much of the historic town is charming and characterised by its many timber-framed houses and historic city centre.
Otherwise, you should know that highlights of Chalon incorporate a museum focused on Nicéphore Niépce (among the pioneers of early cinema) and also the Gothic-style Chalon Cathedral. Because of the proven fact that this is among the lesser-known excursions from Dijon, Chalon-sur-Sa^one has much fewer visitors than many nearby towns and is a really hidden gem from the Bourgogne (Burgundy in English) region.
Truth be told, of all the Burgundy towns, Macon is one of my favourites! And not simply because of the wealth of history housed inside the historic town limits. Instead, there’s an abundance of things you can do, including several museums (one of which is housed within a former convent), the opportunity to see lots of beautiful architectural features, as well as remain in a hotel which offers stunning views within the rest of the city.
Though just a little further away from a few of the other Dijon excursions in this article (and most meriting an excursion in its own right), it’s worth noting that Paris is simply over an hour or so . 5 from Dijon from Paris via high-speed train. As a result, if you wish to admire the Eiffel Tower or ascend the Arc de Triomphe, an excursion from Dijon to the French capital couldn’t be easier!
Though just a little beyond some of the other day trips from Dijon, it’s still quite possible to see Lyon like a excursion from Dijon. On the train, the journey takes just over an hour or so . 5 each way. Once in Lyon, there’s an abundance of products to see and do!
Of course, as well as tracing Lyon’s Roman roots, there’s a wealth of experiences available, and not simply in the ‘bouchons’ (traditional Lyonnaise restaurants dotted around the historic part of the city). Instead, there’s several unique museums to visit around the city (including one dedicated solely to miniatures!), as well as plenty of stunning ecclesiastical buildings. I particularly recommend visiting Notre Dame de Fouviere that is characterised by its stunning mosaics and panoramic views!
Though a little further away than some of the other Dijon day trips mentioned here, Lausanne is really a magical destination that’s easily probably the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Home to a Gothic cathedral and providing incredible views of both Lake Geneva and the snow-capped alps beyond, among the best things to do in Lausanne is just to stroll around the city and permit this Swiss location to reveal itself to you. From Dijon to Lausanne by car, the train takes roughly 2 hours each way, based on which route you take!
Semur en Auxois
For those who are in search of a medieval experience like a day trip from Dijon, Semur-en-Auxois is really a must-visit. Though a little harder to go to than a few of the other Dijon day trips (requiring your own car or perhaps a mix of buses and trains), this beautiful town is perched atop a French hillside as well as features the remains of a medieval castle!
If you can get a car, you might well consider planning a trip to the town of Troyes. Renowned for its position with the Champagne region of France, a few of the top things to do in the French city include Troyes Cathedral, which is easily probably the most beautiful cathedrals in France, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Troyes, and the many Champagne excursions obtainable in the wider region.