Dinan France: Medieval Brittany


The walled city of Dinan France, in northern Brittany, is charming, with half-timbered homes, medieval ramparts and a ruined castle.


Medieval Centre of Dinan

Dinan is close to many popular sights in Brittany including Mont St Michel, and within reasonable driving distance from Bayeux in Normandy.

The coast, Dinard (beach resort) and St-Malo are also nearby.

Dinan isn’t really the kind of city that’s packed with museums and attractions.

It’s more a place to wander the streets of the old town, and have a leisurely lunch of moules frites (mussels and fries), with a glass of cidre (breton cider!).


Enjoying lunch in Dinan

The city has a really lovely atmosphere – busy enough but not overrun with tourists; and if you stick to the medieval centre (the most interesting part) it doesn’t feel like a city at all, more like a town.


Street in Dinan

The old town is centred around Place Des Merciers and Place Des Cordeliers, and the little lanes that spiral out from these; you’ll find plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops to keep you busy.

Dinan has attracted artists and craftspeople who have opened up galleries and studios here.

The best place to look for these is Rue du Jerzual, Rue du Petit-Fort and Rue de L’Apport, as well as down the hill to the Port du Dinan.


Sloping Street in Dinan

If you’d like to walk and explore the ramparts, visit the tourist office for their “Discovery Tours” leaflet, which will plan out a walking route. The Tourist Office is on 9 rue du Château (www.dinan-tourisme.com).

The city museum is now housed in the keep of the 14th century castle and is open to visitors.

Dinan France: Getting Here

Getting to Dinan is best done by car (and parking is surprisingly easy, we found car parks right near the old town). If you are catching public transport, you’ll need to take a train to St-Malo, Dinard or Rennes and then catch a bus (so not that convenient).

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