Like much of Eastern France, the weather of Dijon is often unpredictable and rain is a fairly common occurrence. Luckily though, there are a plethora of indoor activities to keep you entertained when it comes to the French capital of mustard. This includes several churches, a handful of museums, and all of the foodie opportunities. Here’s your complete guide for how to spend a rainy day in Dijon!
Go Dijon mustard tasting
Come rain or shine, if there’s one thing you should make it your mission to partake in while in Dijon, it’s mustard tasting! While the product has no appellation, meaning that anyone, anywhere in the world can produce the piquant sauce and call it ‘Dijon Mustard’ as long as they follow a recipe, there’s nothing quite like trying a product in the very region that made it so famous in the first place.
The consumption of mustard in Europe dates back millennia, with evidence of mustard seeds being found in the ruins of Pompeii. However, what made moutarde truly famous in the Bourgogne region is its addition to many a recipe book during the Middle Ages.
Visit Dijon today and you’ll soon find that there are two places where you can go mustard tasting for free; Maison Maille and La Moutarderie Edmond Fallot. While Maille offers more traditional flavours, Fallot offers truly unique offerings such as a Cassis mustard! Also worth noting is that Fallot produces small plane-sized-friendly bottles of the hot stuff you can purchase for as a little as a euro- the perfect souvenir!
Visit one of the Dijon’s many churches
When it rains in Dijon, no doubt you’ll be a little disappointed. After all, you envisioned wandering around the cobbled lanes at leisure rather than ducking under every porch Luckily, throughout Dijon, you’ll soon discover that there are plenty of churches hiding among the city’s many timber-framed façades.
From the church that’s since been transformed into a theatre to the cathedral crypt which now contains the remains of Saint Benignus, there’s no shortage of ecclesiastical buildings to duck in to during a rainy day in Dijon.
Of particular note is the impressive tapestry hanging below the organ of the Église Notre-Dame. Elsewhere in the city, pay the 2 euro entry fee to Dijon’s Crypt and you’ll be transported back in time, straight into the 6th-century.
Head to one of Dijon’s many museums
There’s a handful of museums scattered around Dijon’s historic city centre in which to while away the time when the weather is miserable. While the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Art) is one of the oldest such institutions in France, if you want to get to know a little bit more about the history of the Burgundy region, then you simply must head to the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne.
Elsewhere in the city, the Musée de l’Art Sacré (Museum of Religious Art) is free to visit, housed within a former church, and is a true gem of a museum. And for those who are looking to explore the interior of a well-restored 17th-century Dijon mansion? Well, the Musée Magnin is an absolute must-see!
Shop in the Market Hall (Halles de Dijon)
Designed by iconic architect Gustave Eiffel before he became famous (for those who are interested, Eiffel was actually born in Dijon!), the Halles de Dijon can be found steps away from Église Notre-Dame de Dijon.
Constructed between 1873 and 1875 in the centre of the city, this sprawling mass of iron and glass is where you’ll find some of the freshest food in the region, including plenty of seasonal foodstuffs to buy depending on the time of the year that you visit.
Selling all manner of local produce and traditional products from Burgundy and beyond, the market operates as follows; mornings on Tuesday, Thursday (inside stalls only) and Friday, plus all-day Saturday.
While you’re in the area, be sure to head to the nearby Rue de la Chouette where you can use your left hand to stroke the ancient owl sculpture on the side of Notre Dame. And, who knows? If you’re lucky enough, it may even stop raining in Dijon long enough for you to explore all of the outdoor attractions!