As you stroll through the charming streets of Dijon in the winter, you’ll be transported to a wonderland of French culture, architecture and gastronomy.
This picturesque city in eastern France offers a unique experience during the winter months, with fewer crowds and the chance to explore its historic landmarks without the summer heat.
And what better way to get into the festive spirit than by visiting the Dijon Christmas Market?
In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to this beautiful city, including dates for 2023, opening times and local specialties.
During the Christmas season in Dijon, you’ll find the city beautifully decorated with fairy lights and festive wreaths.
Place de la Libération is home to an 18-metre tall Christmas tree and historic carousel, while the Ferris wheel and ice skating are located at Place de la République.
As you explore the cobblestone streets, you’ll discover vendors in pine chalets selling locally produced mulled wine, hot chocolate, handmade crafts, decorations and gifts.
Dijon Christmas Market 2023
Be sure to try specialties from the Burgundy region, such as pain d’épices (gingerbread), mustard, epoisses cheese and Bœuf bourguignon for a true taste of Dijon. The full range of specialties is listed below.
Dates and Location
Dijon Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 1st to the 31st of December 2023.
Location: Place de la Libération, Place Darcy, Place de la République and rue de la Liberté.
Opening times: 10am to 8pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: Yes, in the main squares and Porte Guillaume, Notre-Dame Church, rue Verrerie, Place du Bareuzai and Square des Ducs.
Santa: Yes. The Père Noël descends onto the Place de la Libération on the 24th December at 6:30pm.
Ice skating: Yes, at Place de la République.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, but limited.
Gluten-free: Yes, but limited.
Accessible: Yes, if you can manage cobblestones.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Reason to visit: The giant Christmas tree, light trail and the food in this city of gastronomy.
Recommended tour: Cheese and wine pairing session.
Specialities: Burgundy mulled wine, pain d’épices (gingerbread), mustard, epoisses cheese.
Where to stay: Hostellerie Du Chapeau Rouge is a stylish hotel, 5 minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Dijon Christmas Market
The historic city centre is the place to be for any visit to Dijon. I recommend Hostellerie Du Chapeau Rouge as it’s a calm and comfortable hotel with the added bonus of a Michelin-star restaurant. This hotel is only a short walk to the Christmas markets.
Location of Dijon Christmas Market
Christmas in Dijon
In this video, you’ll get a glimpse of what the Christmas markets in Dijon are like. You’ll see festive decorations, traditional French street food and unique pine Christmas chalets.
Christmas Specialties in Dijon
- Coq au Vin: This classic Burgundy dish deserves a spot on any traditional Christmas table. Coq au Vin is a slow-cooked chicken dish, braised with luscious Burgundy wine, garlic, and a bouquet garni. Mushrooms and pearl onions are often added towards the end of cooking to enhance the richness of the dish.
- Boeuf Bourguignon: Another iconic dish from the region, Boeuf Bourguignon is a testament to the expertise of the Burgundy cookery. It consists of tender beef slowly simmered in a hearty, full-bodied red Burgundy wine. The addition of mushrooms, onions, and carrots brings a certain rustic charm to the dish, transforming it into a rich, meaty stew perfect for a Christmas feast.
- Gougère: Often served as an appetiser, Gougère is a delicate cheese puff made with a savoury choux pastry mixed with cheese. Typically, the cheese of choice is the nutty and delicious Comté. The light and airy puffs are a great way to kick off your Christmas meal and set the tone for the festive delicacies that follow.
- Escargots de Bourgogne: If you’re after an authentic Burgundy experience, Escargots de Bourgogne are not to be missed. These succulent snails are prepared in a rich, buttery garlic sauce full of parsley and shallots. While not the typical Christmas dish, they add an adventurous touch to the holiday spread.
- Oeufs en Meurette: A traditional Burgundy dish with a twist, Oeufs en Meurette are poached eggs served in a sumptuous red wine sauce. Traditionally, this sauce contains bacon, onions and mushrooms, creating a beautifully balanced dish with delicate poached eggs. Though it’s usually served as a main course, it could also work as a hearty starter for your Christmas meal.
- Potée Bourguignonne: Now, let’s move to something vegetarians would enjoy. Potée Bourguignonne is a traditional vegetable stew from Burgundy. It’s brimming with cabbage, carrots, potatoes and leeks; all simmered together until they’re perfectly tender. A vegetable stock and a generous assortment of herbs infuse the stew with a depth of flavour that’s incredibly satisfying, making this a perfect vegetarian main course.
- Poireaux en Vinaigrette: A lovely light starter, Poireaux en Vinaigrette consists of tender leeks served with a tangy vinaigrette. The leeks are cooked until they’re soft and sweet, then dressed with the vinaigrette, creating a vibrant dish that’s packed with flavour. It’s a delightful way to begin a Christmas meal, especially for those who prefer a vegetarian option.
- Tarte à la Frangipane: One might find delight in dessert in Tarte à la Frangipane. This rich, almond-filled tart is a favourite dessert in the region. The sweet, nutty flavour of the almond cream filling is wonderfully complemented by a flaky, buttery pastry crust.
At the Christmas market in Dijon, you’ll find a variety of typical French street foods and festive treats. Some popular options include:
- Pain d’épices: I’ll let you in on a little secret. The air at the Dijon Christmas Market is filled with the irresistible aroma of pain d’épices, a local gingerbread specialty. Stalls around the market serve this sweet treat adorned with almond slivers or candied fruits.
- Vin Chaud: There’s no more iconic Christmas market drink than Vin Chaud. The Dijon market serves this spiced mulled wine that will warm your hands and spirit. Heated up with cloves, cinnamon and sometimes even a dash of brandy, it’s a classic festive beverage that you’ll find yourself reaching for time and again as you wander the market.
- Crêpes: A festive market in France would be incomplete without a stall serving delicious, piping hot crêpes. With various fillings, from simple sugar to more indulgent Nutella or chestnut cream, crêpes are a versatile and satisfying snack as you browse the market’s wares.
- Cheese Fondue: You’ll find pots of cheese fondue simmering away at various stalls throughout the market. This communal dish is a favourite winter warmer, made from a blend of local cheeses melted with wine. Served with chunks of crusty bread for dipping, it’s a delightful snack that brings people together.
- Bourgogne Truffles: Some stalls in the Dijon Christmas Market specialise in local truffles, a delicacy in the region. Often served shaved over hot dishes or incorporated into various food products, they’re a unique treat that you should try.
- Pretzels: While Pretzels may not be native to the region, they’ve become a staple of European Christmas markets. At Dijon, you’ll find these twisted knots of baked dough in their traditional salty form and sweet variations coated in sugar or chocolate.
- Roasted Chestnuts: Cooked over an open fire and served in paper cones, these delicious nuts are the perfect snack to munch on while enjoying the festive atmosphere.
- Saucisson Chaude: Saucisson Chaude is a hearty street food option. This hot sausage is often served in a baguette with mustard. It’s a popular snack that is both filling and delicious.
- Epoisses Cheese: Don’t miss the opportunity to sample the locally produced Epoisses cheese at the Dijon Christmas Market. It’s a soft, creamy cheese with a distinctive strong flavour that’s a true representation of the region’s dairy heritage.
- Bratwurst: Last but not least, even though Bratwurst is not a local specialty, it’s a common sight at European Christmas markets. Served hot in a bun with mustard and sauerkraut, it’s a hearty snack that’s sure to keep you satisfied as you explore the vibrant stalls of the market.
What to Buy in Dijon
Dijon Gingerbread: One of the nicest treats you’ll find at Dijon Christmas Market is their world-renowned gingerbread, known as pain d’épices. Made from honey, flour and a mix of spices, this iconic holiday treat holds a special place in the heart of the Dijon region.
Burgundy Wines: As you wander around the markets, you’ll come across a range of Burgundy wines. Known for their delicate flavours and rich, complex aromas, this wine from the surrounding vineyards is an excellent gift.
Burgundy Mustard: Dijon isn’t just known for its wines and gingerbread – it’s also the birthplace of the famous Dijon mustard. Characterised by its smooth texture and distinctive tangy taste, it’s a gourmet gift that embodies the flavours of the region. You can find beautifully packed jars ready to be gifted to friends and family back home.
Christmas Decorations: Many artisans sell handmade Christmas decorations ranging from classic baubles to more unique items. I suggest you look out for decorations crafted from local materials.
Handmade Soaps and Candles: Handmade soaps and candles are a great choice for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Infused with traditional French scents like lavender, rose, and honey, they bring a touch of tranquillity to everyday routines.
French Cheeses: No trip to Dijon would be complete without indulging in some of the region’s delicious cheese. You can find a variety of French cheeses at the market, including local favourites like Epoisses, which is a creamy, full-bodied cheese that pairs exceptionally well with a glass of Burgundy wine.
Pottery and Ceramics: Dijon has a long tradition of pottery and ceramics; you can find plenty of these handcrafted items at the Christmas market. From ornate dinnerware to quaint decorative pieces, each item encapsulates the artistry and craftsmanship of the region’s talented potters.
Escargots de Bourgogne: I know it may sound exotic, but snails – or escargots – are a delicacy in this region. Packaged in fancy boxes, they can be an interesting and unique gift for the adventurous foodie in your life.
French Chocolates and Confectionery: Your Christmas shopping in Dijon won’t be complete without some French chocolates and confectionery. With the rich, luxurious flavours that French chocolates are renowned for, it’s an indulgence that’s difficult to resist. In addition, you’ll find other delightful sweet treats such as ‘Nonnettes’, a traditional gingerbread filled with marmalade, adding a sweet finish to your market exploration.
This guide to the best Christmas markets in France is a great resource for is you’re looking to experience more winter destinations in the region.
Destination Dijon is a useful resource for planning your trip. It provides information on things to do, transport options and the latest events.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are some ideas on how you can be more sustainable this Christmas in Dijon:
- Stay in Eco-friendly Accommodations: These establishments prioritise practices such as energy and water conservation, waste reduction, and sourcing locally produced goods. Most importantly, they use renewable energy for their electricity.
- Travel Responsibly: As a responsible tourist, consider how you navigate the city. Dijon is well connected by trams and buses, which make it easy for you to explore the city while reducing your carbon footprint. Alternatively, the city’s bicycle rental scheme, DiviaVélodi, is an excellent way to enjoy the sights while keeping your environmental impact minimal.
- Support Local Producers: You can contribute to Dijon’s local economy and reduce carbon emissions associated with transporting goods by shopping at local farmers’ markets. Marché des Grésilles and Marché de la Fontaine d’Ouche are vibrant markets where you can buy locally grown produce, artisanal goods, and regional specialties.
- Eat Sustainably: Be mindful of your food choices while dining in Dijon. Opting for vegetarian meals or dishes made with locally sourced ingredients can help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Conserve Water and Energy: Even small actions can have a significant impact. You can save water by taking shorter showers and reusing towels in your hotel. Similarly, turning off lights and unplugging electronics when not in use helps conserve energy.
- Respect Local Traditions and Environment: To enjoy the beauty of Dijon responsibly, it’s crucial to respect local customs, traditions, and the environment. When visiting local attractions, such as the magnificent Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy or the historic Dijon Cathedral, follow the guidelines to preserve these heritage sites.
- Avoid Food Waste: As you indulge in the culinary delights of Dijon, be mindful of portion sizes to avoid wasting food. Many traditional dishes in Dijon are quite hearty, so consider sharing a dish if you’re not a big eater. Moreover, don’t hesitate to ask for a takeaway box in restaurants to prevent unnecessary waste.
Dijon Christmas Market dates are from the 1st to the 31st of December 2023.
The Dijon Christmas markets are held at Place de la Libération, Place Darcy, Place de la République and rue de la Liberté.
Dijon Christmas Market opens from 10am to 8pm.
If you would like to leave a review of Dijon Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Dijon, France. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.