Dijon, founded by the Romans as Divio, was the capital of the Duchy of Burgundy between the ninth and fifteenth century. At the time it was a wealthy city and a center for art and science. The old center still recalls the power and wealth of the House of Burgundy.
The city itself has over 150,000 inhabitants, but including the suburbs, over 250,000 people live in Dijon and surroundings.
Dijon is the capital of the Côte-d'Or department in the east of France. The city is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Suzon and the Ouche. Dijon is part of the Côte des Vins de Bourgogne, also known as ‘Route des Grands Crus’, between Dijon and Beaune. The city lies 310 kilometers southeast of Paris and 190 kilometers north of Lyon.
Dijon's economy is diverse. Although less important than before, the metallurgical industry (including railroad equipment and construction) are still present in town. Dijon is also known for food processing (mainly mustard, but also cookies, chocolate and blackcurrant jam). On the plains near Dijon wheat, barley, rape and sugar beet are grown.
The small airport Dijon Bourgogne Airport is situated 6 kilometers southeast of town. There are only flights to and from some domestic destinations like Bordeaux, Toulouse and Nantes and to and from Southampton in Great Britain. The airport can be reached by rental car via the A39 (l'Autoroute Verte).
Dijon has excellent public bus transport. There's also a free circle line (Diviaciti) in the city center along the main places of interest. So-called Velodi bicycles are also free: there are about 40 cycle sheds where you can collect and return these bicycles. There are plans to construct a streetcar network in Dijon.
Traffic and Parking
We advise against driving in the historical center. It's better to explore the center by foot or to use the free Diviaciti bus which not only passes along places of interest, but also stops at some parking garages around the city center. It's convenient to leave your car in one of the garages and visit the attractions by bus.
If you plan on visiting Dijon during the Gastronomic Fair (in autumn), accomodation can be hard to find. The rest of the year there is a wide choice of excellent hotels you can choose from.
For more information about Dijon, we recommend Google and the following sources: