A boat moored in the river alongside stone houses and cobbled streets
Photo by David Martín Castillo  –  Link



The unbelievably quaint town of Dinan in France's Brittany region is almost too pretty to believe. Cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses are surrounded by old medieval ramparts like something out of a fairytale. Attached to the ramparts is the 14th-century Chateau de Dinan, also known as Donjon de la duchesse Anne, which offers a glimpse into the town's military past.  And the 15th-century Tour l'Horloge (clocktower) stands guard over the town from its vantage point on Rue d'Horloge in Vieux Dinan (the old quarter).

Thanks to the sheer number of historic monuments in Dinan, it's listed as a "ville et pays d'art et d'histoire", a designation reserved for French towns with a rich historic and artistic culture.

Restaurants in Dinan

A lovely port on the River Rance provides the scenic backdrop for waterfront restaurants and charming arts and crafts shops. Check out Chez Bongrain for French classics like escargots and steak tartare, or head to Bords de Rance for delicious sweet and savoury crepes in a cosy and casual setting.

To sample some more local delicacies and get a feel for Dinan's character, visit Place du-Guesclin on Thursday mornings, when the square opens up into a food market. Here you'll find vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers as well as local cheeses and meats.

Getting there

Dinan is located in Brittany between St Malo to the north and Rennes to the south. It's about a four-hour drive west of Paris, or you can take the TGV from Gare Montparnasse in Paris, which takes about two and a half hours.