If you’re planning a trip to Dijon, France in December, you’re in for a treat. This charming city has plenty to offer, even in the colder months. So, let’s dive into what to expect during your December visit.
One must-visit event in Dijon in December is the city’s famous Christmas Market. This festive, bustling market is the perfect place to shop for unique handmade gifts, sample delicious local foods, and soak in the magical holiday atmosphere. Don’t forget to take a Christmas lights tour – Les nocturnes de Noël à la lanterne – around the city, marveling at the beautiful, twinkling decorations and more that bring Dijon to life.
While you’re there, be sure to visit the Dijon Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne de Dijon)for an awe-inspiring look at French Gothic architecture and rich history. This magnificent cathedral is a must-see, especially when you’re seeking some warmth from the frosty weather outside.
Another noteworthy spot in Dijon is the Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne, a 14th century Gothic-style palace dominating the city’s center that dresses for the winter holidays. This historic and architectural gem is a must-visit any time year, but especially when beautified for winter.
So, go ahead and make your way to this enchanting French city in December. Bundle up, embrace the winter chill, and discover the unique charms of Dijon.
Enjoy the Christmas Market
Dijon’s Christmas Market is a must-see during December. You’ll find a wide variety of stalls offering delicious food, festive drinks, and unique gifts for your loved ones. Don’t forget to try some traditional French treats like mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread. The market is set up at Place de la Libération and Place de la République, so bring your family and friends, and experience the magical atmosphere together.
Admire Christmas Decorations
As you explore Dijon in December, you’ll notice the city’s dazzling Christmas decorations. The streets and buildings come alive with twinkling lights, festive displays, and charming ornaments. A Christmas lights tour of Dijon lets you admire the beautiful decorations while learning about the city’s history and architecture.
Dijon showcases a specialty walk come winter – Les nocturnes de Noël à la lanterne – that takes you on a lantern-guided tour through the city’s seasonal attractions.
A visit to the Dijon Cathedral is another opportunity to get into the holiday spirit – just imagine the beautiful stained glass windows showcasing the nativity scene with the cathedral adorned in festive decorations.
Dijon has some fantastic places to visit, and December adds a touch of magic to them. Here are three must-see landmarks during your trip.
Palais des Ducs
You can’t miss the Palais des Ducs, the heart of Dijon’s historical center. This former residence of the Dukes of Burgundy is home to Dijon’s Museum of Fine Arts and City Hall. The museum is a must-visit, showcasing a diverse collection from ancient Egypt to contemporary art. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the palace’s courtyard, and don’t forget to take some memorable photos. December’s festive decorations add a charming atmosphere.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Next, head to the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. This stunning Gothic masterpiece, built in the 13th century, is one of Dijon’s top attractions. Marvel at the intricate exterior carvings, including the famous spitting gargoyles. Inside, you’ll find beautiful stained-glass windows and an ornate clock tower. And, like most Dijon churches, you can count on signs of the nativity at this time of year.
The Dijon Christmas Market is just a short walk from the cathedral. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit and pick up some unique gifts.
Make your way to the Porte Guillaume, a triumphal arch and one of Dijon’s notable landmarks. Named after its founder, Duke William, this historical monument sits in the city’s central square, Place Darcy. It’s a fantastic photo opportunity, and the nearby Christmas lights make it even more magical.
These iconic landmarks are just a few of the incredible sights and experiences Dijon offers in December. Snap some pictures, soak up the festive ambiance, and create unforgettable memories during your visit.
Museums Worth Visiting in December
Musée des Beaux Arts
If you’re in Dijon during December, you definitely don’t want to miss the Musée des Beaux Arts. It’s one of the city’s top attractions and for good reason. The museum is located in the beautiful Palace of the Dukes, which adds to the overall appeal. It’s gonna be a bit chilly outside during December, so visiting a museum indoors is the perfect way to stay warm and explore the local culture.
The Musée des Beaux Arts boasts an amazing collection of art ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary pieces. You’ll find yourself immersed in the history of Dijon and the surrounding Burgundy region. The museum often has special exhibitions, so there will likely be a unique show going on during your December visit.
While exploring the museum, make sure you stop by the Tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy. These elaborate tombs are a must-see, showcasing stunning medieval craftsmanship.
Another cool feature of the Musée des Beaux Arts is that it’s part of the Parcours de la Chouette, a walking tour that follows brass owls embedded in the sidewalks, taking you to Dijon’s major tourist attractions. Although it might be cold outside, it’s a fun way to discover more of what this charming city has to offer.
Exploring the Vineyards in December
Wine Tasting in Burgundy
Even though December might be cold and rainy in Dijon, you can still enjoy a wine tasting experience in Burgundy. Many vineyards and wineries are open for visitors during this time, so don’t let the weather hold you back! Bundle up in your warmest clothes, and get ready to sample some of the world-famous Burgundian wines.
Burgundy is known for its unique climate, terroir, and winemaking techniques, which all contribute to the outstanding quality of its wines. While you’re there, you’ll likely taste an assortment of reds (most notably Pinot Noir) and whites (predominantly Chardonnay). Go ahead, sip, savor, and learn about the winemaking process from knowledgeable guides.
Visit Côte de Nuits
If you’re venturing out in December, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the renowned Côte de Nuits wine region. This area is famous for its Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards, and it produces some of the finest red wines in the world, mainly from Pinot Noir grapes. You’ll get the chance to visit charming villages like Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, and Morey-Saint-Denis, where you can stroll through the quiet streets and soak up the rich history and tradition of winemaking.
In addition to cellar tours and tastings, you might even encounter locals truffle hunting or participating in other winter traditions – this region has so much to offer!
Another must-visit spot on your December trip to Dijon is Gevrey-Chambertin, a picturesque village just outside the city known for its grandiose vineyards and impressive Château. Here you’ll find more outstanding Pinot Noir wines, with outstanding aging potential.
When you visit the wineries in Gevrey-Chambertin, you’ll have the chance to chat with local winemakers, who’ll share their passion for crafting world-class wines. Also, don’t forget to take in the beautiful landscapes and stunning views of the vineyards – even in the wintertime, they’re a sight to behold!
Gevrey-Chambertin also has its own Christmas market, adding to your catalog of creating lasting memories of a unique wintry experience in the region.
The Culinary Scene
Sampling at Les Halles
When visiting Dijon in December, you’ve got to hit up Les Halles, the famous food market. It’s the perfect place to get a taste of what the city has to offer. So grab a coffee and peruse the many stalls featuring local delicacies like cheeses, wines, and the much-loved Dijon gingerbread.
Outdoor Experiences in December
Parcours de la Chouette
Venturing outdoors in December in Dijon? The Parcours de la Chouette (Owl’s Trail) is a must-do. As you follow the brass owl medallions scattered along the pavement, you’ll discover the rich history of this city. Wrap up warm and stroll through the streets as you explore Dijon’s UNESCO World Heritage historic district. While it might be a bit chilly, you’ll find that the stunning architecture and historical landmarks still shine brightly.
Visit Jardin Darcy
Another great outdoor experience in Dijon during December is a visit to Jardin Darcy. This lovely public garden is located right at the heart of the city, making it super accessible. Featuring a stunning water mirror and an impressive monument dedicated to the engineer Henry Darcy, visiting Jardin Darcy is a perfect way to spend a crisp winter day. Don’t forget to take a few snaps of the beautiful surroundings, and maybe even snap a selfie with your loved ones, creating memories that you will treasure.
Remember, braving the cold outdoors in December is nothing a cozy jacket and a warm cup of hot chocolate can’t handle. So bundle up, and enjoy these unmissable outdoor experiences in Dijon.
Weather in December
You can expect winter season weather with temperatures ranging from cool to chilly. To give you an idea, the average temperature in December hovers around 3°C (37°F). During the day, you’ll see highs of about 5°C (41°F) and nighttime lows dipping to 1°C (34°F).
In December, Dijon skies are mostly cloudy, but you might catch some sunny or partly cloudy days throughout the month. When it comes to precipitation, you’ll find that Dijon sees an average of 66.6 mm of rainfall in December. Be prepared for some wet days as there’s typically rainfall on about 17 days during the month.
You may feel a bit of a breeze too, as the wind speed can be around 15.3 mph. Don’t forget to pack some warm clothes, as the weather can make it feel colder, with humidity levels typically around 98%. Also, with only around 8.6 hours of daylight length and a sunrise time of 8:17 AM, make sure to plan your outdoor activities accordingly!
To summarize, here’s what to expect for Dijon’s December weather:
- Average temperature: 3°C (37°F)
- High temperature: 5°C (41°F)
- Low temperature: 1°C (34°F)
- Mostly cloudy, with some sunny or partly cloudy days
- Precipitation: 66.6 mm, with rain on about 17 days
- Wind speed: 15.3 mph
- Humidity: 98%
- Daylight length: 8.6 hours
So, pack your winter gear and get ready to explore the beautiful city of Dijon in December! And, as always, make sure to check the local weather forecast before your trip to be prepared for any unexpected changes.