Just four hours away from Paris, in northwest France, the delightfully preserved Dinan seems to be from another time. All things considered, little seems to have changed for centuries. The lovely medieval town center features beautiful cobbled streets, artist studios and especially memorable houses. Dinan is undeniably one of Brittany’s most charming towns. The 2 miles of protective stone ramparts formerly kept the town safe from pirates in the 13th century.
Walk through the English Garden to St. Catherine’s Tower for a stunning view of the old port. Continue on to the Place du Guesclin, the sprawling town square. Merchants have filled the square for over 700 years to sell their crafts and produce. Lastly, follow the steep rue du Jerzual back into town to enjoy some local favorites, including cider, traditional galettes or a deliciously fresh seafood lunch. Visit in the spring or summer to enjoy the coast, sandy beaches or even sail to the nearby islands.
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Prepare your visit to Dinan
When to visit Dinan
Dinan is a charming town at any time but especially lovely during the spring and summer months. However, if you plan on visiting in winter, try and go on a clear day to fully enjoy the views over Dinan, the port and the coast.
How long is needed to visit Dinan
Dinan is an ideal day trip destination with its walkable cobblestone streets. Most of the main sights can be seen in just one day. Although, if you want to fully experience the town, the local cuisine and nature, we recommend spending the night for a relaxing weekend in what is often called Brittany’s prettiest town.
What should I wear to visit Dinan
Being a coastal town, Dinan features a relaxed and casual atmosphere. No need to dress up! Certainly do pack for the season and any outdoor activities you plan on (hiking, sailing, etc.). If you want to get into the spirit of Brittany, you can even wear the classic marinière, or striped shirt.
What is there to see in Dinan
St. Catherine’s Tower
St. Catherine’s Tower is an essential step during your visit to Dinan. The stone tower was constructed in the 13th century. From the top enjoy a stunning view of the old port and surrounding nature. Only certain sections of the city ramparts remain intact. Luckily, the tower is located in a relatively well preserved area and even offers a glimpse into the town’s medieval history.
Streets in Dinan
The rue du Jerzual is the most famous, as well as, the most photographed street in Dinan. It links the city to river Rance. The street has a slope of over 75 meters, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes if you plan on walking up it! It begins at the intersection of rue de la Lainerie and rue de la Poissonnerie and continues until the city gate.
Basilique Saint Sauveur
The Basilique Saint Sauveur is a huge cathedral built in the early Gothic style. The charming stained glass windows line the large interior, pocketed with cozy alcoves and small alters. It’s located right in the center of the city, at Place Saint Sauveur. Make sure to stop by and savor the 700 years of history preserved inside the cathedral walls.