Visit Dinan (Brittany, France)
Dinan is in the eastern part of Brittany, south of St Malo and Dinard and north of Rennes. A highlight of a visit to Brittany, Dinan is a very impressive walled town set on a hillside overlooking the river Rance. It is one of our favourite towns in Brittany and definitely not to be missed.
The ramparts surrounding the town are more or less intact, and cover almost three kilometres. Although there is only one small section where you can walk on the ramparts themselves, you can often follow next to the ramparts enjoying the views - through the Promenade des Grand Fosses or along the promenade de la Duchesse Anne for example.
The extensive historical centre of Dinan, radiating out around Place des Merciers and Place Saint Sauveur, is a very nice place just to wander around, stopping off for the occasional traditional crepe (pancake) of course.
As you amble through the medieval heart of the town admiring the ancient half-timbered houses you will come across various places of interest:
- Dinan Chateau is part of the ramparts that surround the town. In the 'donjon' ('keep' or 'dungeon'), built in 1384, you can visit the town museum and in the basement there are some medieval tombs. The castle is to the south of Dinan centre.
- The Saint Malo church, in a mix of renaissance and gothic styles, has some interesting modern stained glass windows
- the basilica of Saint-Sauveur is an interesting mix of roman and gothic styles, worth a visit. The heart of Bertrand Du Guesclin - saviour of the town in a battle against the English - is buried here.
- the Tour de l'horloge - a 15th century clock tower with great views across the town
- The Maison du Gouverner - one of the oldest houses in Dinan and which is open to the public so you can visit the inside
- The Jardin Anglais is a pretty garden with excellent views of the surrounding countryside.
Be sure to follow rue du Jerzual (and also continue into Rue du Petit-Fort) down the hill from the north-east of Dinan towards the port for more attractive houses and quayside buildings. In the port area you should cross over the bridge for a good view as you turn and look back at the town.
The port is also an excellent spot for lunch with a good selection of restaurants.
As reward for these many historic monuments Dinan is listed as a 'ville et pays d'art et d'histoire', a classification reserved for towns and regions that demonstrate they are trying to make the most of their setting, attractiveness and architecture.
Go to the tourist office when you arrive in Dinan as they have leaflets with colour-coded walks to ensure you see everything Dinan has to offer.
There is a great deal to discover near Dinan, either heading along the rance to the north to the Normandy coast or exploring the other towns and villages in the surrounding countryside. among our favourite destination near Dinan we recommend you visit the coast town at Dinard and the small town of Dol-de-Bretagne, which has an impressive historical centre.
Photos of Dinan
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Dinan
Dinan has received the following tourist classifications: recommended detour town (plus beau detour); historical protected town centre' (secteur sauvegardé); listed town of Art and History
Address: Dinan, Cotes-d'Armor, Brittany, 22100 || GPS: latitude 48.453, longitude -2.045
Map of Dinan & places nearby
Highlights close by
Emerald Coast 22km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Dinan, France
- Saint-Juvat - ville fleurie 4* (11km)
- Jardins du château de la Bourbansais - remarkable garden (12km)
- Jardins de Montmarin - remarkable garden (14km)
- Parc du château de Caradeuc - remarkable garden (19km)
- Dinard - town of art and history (20km)
- Saint-Malo - ville fleurie 4* (22km)
- Bedee - village d'etape (31km)
- Pointe du Grouin - site of natural beauty (32km)
- Cap Frehel - site of natural beauty (32km)
- Cap d'Erquy / Cap Frehel - grand site of france (37km)
Market days in Dinan: Regular market(s) are held in Dinan each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Dinan (Francais)