Only 30 minutes from Saint-Malo, Dinan will charm you for a day. Small town surrounded by portions of ramparts, Dinan and its castle dating from the fourteenth century dominate the Rance. Whether you are more interested in the old stones or in its craftsmen’s houses, visiting Dinan will not leave you indifferent, that’s for sure!
Dinan is a small fortified Breton town. In its heart, there is even a castle dating from the 14th century. The whole dominates the Rance river and offers a clear view on the Breton lands. The city benefits indeed from one of the richest architectural heritage of Brittany.
The medieval city allows you to escape to another time, where the testimonies of great Breton names such as Bertrand du Guesclin or Anne of Brittany are multiplying. It is moreover Anne de Bretagne who made the city famous by settling there after the death of Charles VIII, her husband.
First advice to visit the medieval streets of Dinan: leave the car at the entrance of the city. You won’t enjoy Dinan better than walking in the cobbled streets. The heart of Dinan is not very big and you can stroll around there quietly. You will be charmed by the large half-timbered buildings. The place des Merciers and Cordeliers is probably one of the most pleasant places in the city.
If you have time, we advise you to come on a market day to enjoy the excitement of the “halles de Dinan”.
This mythical street of Dinan alone deserves a paragraph. Indeed, it is one of the most beautiful streets of Dinan and by far the best known. Slightly sloping and completely paved, it is in this street that you will find most of the craftsmen of the city.
For a long time, the Rue du Jerzual was the only access to the upper town. In the 19th century, the Viaduct of the Rance was built, which relieved the congestion in the city, but the Jerzual Street has kept its old-fashioned charm.
Dinan is a medieval city and therefore has a castle! This one dominates the city and is visible from far away. The castle was built in the 14th century to protect the city during the wars of Brittany. At the time of its construction, the Castle is mainly composed of 3 elements: the Ducal Tower, the Coëtquen Tower and the “Porte Guichet”.
For a long time, it hosted a museum that told its history, but the building became too wet and the works had to be moved. It is possible to visit it to learn more about the history of the Dukes of Brittany, or simply to put yourself in the shoes of medieval knights!
Contrary to Saint-Malo, it is not possible to walk around the ramparts. On the other hand, a small portion is accessible and offers an unobstructed view of the Rance River. You will appreciate this magnificent panorama over the valley
If you want to know more, nothing prevents you from booking a guided tour at the tourist office which gives access to the rest of the ramparts.
You cannot visit Dinan without taking the time to observe the Clock Tower. At the time of its construction in the 15th century, the Clock Tower was intended to watch over Dinan and the surrounding area. Moreover, the clock mechanism that is located there dates from the fifteenth century, making it one of the oldest in Europe.
Today, it is possible to climb to the top to have a 360 ° panorama of the city thanks to its 45 meters high.
Dinan is not at the seaside, but is bordered by the Rance river. It is quite possible to reach Dinan by river! If you don’t have the sea legs, you can still enjoy the welcoming atmosphere that you will find on the port of Dinan.
Cafés and restaurants are ready to welcome you for a well deserved break.