Dijon is a treasure for those who love the history, art, and architecture of France. But its center is relatively small and easy to maneuver. The opulent Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne, which was the palace to the dukes of Burgundy during the 14th and 15th centuries, now contains a great art museum. For a fetching view of the city, climb the palace’s tower.
Right across the street is the Place de la Liberation, where visitors can linger at a cafe and observe the passersby and fountains which light up at night. Sample a pain d'épice (the local form of gingerbread), which dates to the 14th century.
Dijon is also an ideal place to pick up mustard in every variety, including chocolate mustard. The ship’s guide brings guests to the most authentic mustard shop. Skip the historic 18th Century Grey Poupon shop (now renamed Maille, after the company purchased the brand). It’s best known to Americans, but the most touristy of the bunch.
The city is also well known for its crème de cassis or black-currant liqueur used in the kir. (The aperitif is named after former Dijon mayor canon Felix Kir.)
A thriving university town, Dijon’s shopping street rue de la Liberté is always bustling with pedestrians. And best yet, the guide will make sure that guests have an opportunity to stop at Comptoir des Colonies Café for hot chocolate or coffee with cream.