The 10 Most Beautiful Parks and Gardens in Dijon

Segway in Square Darcy Dijon ©Fanny Bonnard/Côte d'Or Tourisme
Segway in Square Darcy Dijon ©Fanny Bonnard/Côte d'Or Tourisme
Photo of Sylvia Edwards Davis
Writer5 March 2017

While known for its show-stopping medieval architecture and opulent 18th-century mansions, Dijon also reveals its life story through its parks and gardens. If you know where to look, there are traces of the city’s long and illustrious history at every step. From the most minimal zen to elaborate curlicue, these idyllic spots frame the perfect tableau for a sporty or relaxing break far away from the cares of the world.

Jardin Darcy

This lovely landscaped garden was set up to decorate the town’s drinking water supply. It is the first public park created in Dijon. Jardin Darcy’s main feature is the grand water fountain and gazebo. This is the location of the well-known ‘Pompon’ polar bear sculpture, an homage to French sculptor Françoise Pompon, a one-time studio assistant to Rodin.

Jardin Darcy, Place Darcy, Dijon

Square Darcy ©Champmol/Flickr

Square Darcy | ©Champmol/Flickr

Jardin de l’Arquebuse

Home to the Natural History Museum, this park includes a botanical garden and arboretum. It’s not only a relaxing and stunning place to go for a walk, or take a break from sightseeing, but it is also a fascinating learning experience. In the 16th century, this was the residence of the musketeers regiment, and after the Revolution it became national property until a scientist turned a part of the grounds into a botanical garden. Today the vast green space holds great scientific interest, particularly the medicinal garden, a living biodiversity repository nurturing over 2500 varieties that are the subject of the yearly academic catalogue of medicinal plant varieties.

Jardin de l’Arquebuse, 1 avenue Albert 1er, Dijon, France

Dijon Botanical Garden ©Arnaud25/WikiCommons

Dijon Botanical Garden | ©Arnaud25/WikiCommons

Port du Canal

Following a long life as an important commercial dock on the Burgundy waterways, the Port du Canal is now a leisure marina surrounded by a gorgeous garden all along the former port basin. It is a dreamscape of gently gliding swans, lazy peniches bobbing at their moorings and a shady promenade lined with established trees.

Port du Canal, Rue François Mitterrand, Dijon, France

Port du Canal, Dijon ©Christophe Finot/WikiCommons

Port du Canal, Dijon | ©Christophe Finot/WikiCommons

Parc du Suzon, Japanese Gardens

This haven of peace in the northern quadrant of the city is the result of a collaboration with the twinned city of Koshigaya, Japan. It has the elements of a traditional Japanese garden: a water feature, two islands – one shaped as a turtle and the other as a crane for earth and sky – and a great variety of trees and plants native to Japan. It also features a Torii gate and delightful tea pavillion.

Parc du Suzon – Jardin japonais, Rue Robert Delaunay, Dijon, France

Parc de Suzon Japanese Garden, Dijon ©Christophe.Finot/WikiCommons

Parc de Suzon Japanese Garden, Dijon | ©Christophe.Finot/WikiCommons

Parc de la Colombière

Nothing but the best for the design of this beautiful garden. None other than Le Nôtre, landscaper of Versailles, dispatched his best disciple to create a special slice of green heaven. The park was created in the 16th century by the Great Condé, Governor of Burgundy, and kept on being developed over the years. This included the taming of the river Castel into a straight line, to comply with the formal principles of perspective that were Le Nôtre’s signature. The manicured park is impeccably maintained and includes the remains of the Roman Via Agrippa.

Parc de la Colombière, Dijon, France

Parc de la Colombiere, Dijon ©Fanny Bonnard/Côte d'Or Tourisme

Parc de la Colombiere, Dijon | ©Fanny Bonnard/Côte d’Or Tourisme

Cours du Parc

This elongated park was created in 1671 in the form of a wide boulevard. It stretches over 1.5 km starting from Place Wilson, is flanked by elegant mansions, and was touted as one of the most stunning promenades in the times of Louix XIV. This is no small compliment seeing that the court was used to Le Nôtre’s landscaped grandeur in Versailles.

Cours du Parc, Dijon, France

Lac Kir

Among the lasting legacy of the post-war mayor of Dijon, two memorials stand out. One is the iconic Kir cocktail, made with a splash of cassis liqueur and a generous glug of aligoté wine, the other is this man-made lake in the western end of the city. Félix Kir was mayor until 1968, and the 37-hectare lake that bears his name has successfully become a focal point for picnics, walks, casual camping and water sports, with over 30 hectares of green space surrounding it.

Lac Kir, Dijon, France

Lac Kir, Dijon ©Côte d'Or Tourisme/Rozenn Krebbel

Lac Kir, Dijon | ©Côte d’Or Tourisme/Rozenn Krebbel

Square des Ducs

A little hidden square behind the Palais des Ducs that is home to the sensational Musée des Beaux Arts, the Square des Ducs features the statue of Philip the Good. This little place is what remains from a rather large garden created for the wife of Philip the Bold, and is today a favourite spot for locals to relax on a bench near the fountain in the shade of the beautiful silver lime and purple-beech trees.

Square des Ducs, Place des Ducs de Bourgogne, Dijon, France

Parc de la Combe Persil

This huge park on the west side of the city covers over 30 hectares of green natural spaces, including cycling and walking paths that will take you by a few little stone huts called cadoles that used to be typical of vineyards in Burgundy. They were erected by winegrowers in the corners of their plots as a shelter to get out of the rain. They look prehistoric but in fact they are ‘just’ over two centuries old.

Parc de la Combe Persil, Chemin de la Rente Giron, Dijon, France