What to do in Dinan


What to do in DINAN

What to do in Dinan ? The upper town

We start to visit Dinan from the upper town, where we parked. Impossible to miss the superb castle of Dinan. Of this medieval past, only the Tower of the Duchess Anne and the ramparts that border the city remain. The castle is now a museum which we recommend you visit if the theme interests you. Otherwise, do not miss the walk on the ramparts which offers you a magnificent view of the Rance and the Dinan viaduct.

From the castle, the town of Dinan is very accessible on foot and the walk is particularly pleasant. One of the city’s must-sees is the clock tower. It is possible to climb to the top to enjoy a beautiful view of Dinan and the surroundings.

From this tower you can sneak through the streets of the old town, admire the dozens of half-timbered houses. Dinan is all we love : cobbled streets, colourful facades, typical houses, pointed gables… There are often a lot of people but you will always find a small isolated alley or a shop that smells like Brittany.

We really like Place des Cordeliers or Place Mercier, the most famous.

The alleys lead you naturally to the basilic Saint-Sauveur. I love this basilic because it has multiple architectural influences. Little information : this is where the heart of Bertrand Du Guesclin, hero of the Hundred Years War. Touching his heart helps make a wish come true and I’m sure you have plenty of them in stock.

Don’t hesitate to stroll through the hall of lost steps at the train station. Listed as historical monuments, two large and magnificent mosaics represent the plan of the city and the plan of

railway lines. A detour to the railway museum is essential. I participated in ‘my youth’ in

the realization of the main model. It is located in one of the wings of the station.


What to do in Dinan ? The lower town

We continue to visit Dinan which has the particularity of being located on 2 levels. To reach the lower town

from Dinan, you can of course take your car back but the best way is to get off by

the Jerzual, the legendary craggy street. This steep street of about 500 meters (1640,42feet)and with a drop of

75 meters(246,063 feet) connects the upper town to the port. If you feel like it, there is the famous «Jerzual challenge», it’s a running race in this street.


In any case, we can only adore the Jerzual and it’s splendid flowered houses and all the workshops. There are a lot of people but it’s a must !


 When you arrive at the port of Dinan, at the edge of the rance you can  rent a boat to explore from the river but you can also quite simply stroll along the small marina. You will fall in love with this street and these granite houses, aligned and flowered.


And then what a pleasure to walk along the Rance !


You will find below some ideas for visits, do not hesitate to ask us questions.


The unmissible


  • The ramparts (13th century) with its 14 towers and 4 monumental gates
  • Half-timbered houses (15th – 17th centuries)
  • The castle of Dinan (14th century)
  • The Clock Tower (15th century belfry)
  • The Basilica of Saint-Sauveur (12th – 15th – 18th centuries), with different styles of architecture (Romanesque,
  • gothic, classical and baroque)
  • Saint-Malo church (15th – 19th centuries)
  • The Cordeliers convent (13th century)
  • The famous «Rue du Jerzual» which connects the port to the city 
  • The library esplanade and the bronze busts of Vène

DINAN, THE CASTLE : Castle of the Duchess Anne

Centerpiece of the medieval wall which encloses the city, the Castle is at the heart of a ambitious project highlighting the remarkable architecture of this princely residence.

The building brings together three elements brought together in the 16th century: The ducal keep built in the decade 1380 and which rivals the royal castle of Vincennes, the Coëtquen tower built at the end of the 15th century and the gate of the wicket (13th century). If the Coëtquen tower offers a fine example of defensive works characterizing the end of the Middle Ages, the ducal keep invites you to dive into everyday life and

the art of living at the court of the Dukes of Brittany. Not to be missed, the impressive kitchens, the exceptional banquet hall lit by beautiful mullioned windows, the rampart walkway and the panoramic view  from the terrace.


Ker Brunat vieux Dinan

DINAN, THE OLD TOWN : A journey through time

 The size of the city and its small details to observe make you take the time to walk around without a sustained rhythm that we naturally adopt in big cities: here, we can easily feel on vacation all year round, so many come to visit the city, but without nevertheless feels “oppressed” by the crowd.

 DINAN, THE CLOCK TOWER : Belfries of the city

Erected at the end of the 15th century by the rich bourgeoisie of Dinan, the Clock Tower dominates, high of its 47 meters (154,199 feet) , the old medieval city offers an exceptional panorama on the the monuments. His visit is an opportunity to take another look at the city of Dinan, in particular thanks to to the film “Dinan in 1750”, made from synthetic images and offered as part of the visit of the tower. A visit to the Clock Tower is also an opportunity to discover a clock mechanism with a long history: in 1501, the Duchess Anne granted the people from Dinan the privilege of owning a clock in their communal tower; the year, we bring a mechanism to Dinan watchmaking made in Nantes in 1498 by the German Hamzer. Still located in the Tower, the Clock is one of the oldest clock mechanisms in Europe today.


Ker Brunat Tour de l'horloge

DINAN, THE JERZUAL : The Jerzual, the street that can be deserved between city and port

Leaving the half-timbered houses on Place des Merciers and Rue de l’Horloge, the medieval atmosphere continues in the rue du Jerzual. In 1500, it was still called the Jarjual.

This old access road, which connects the upper town to the steeply sloping way to the port, was originally full of shops of weavers, tanners … The dirt road was dreadful to climb, with the circulation of horses, donkeys, carts… And it was noisy with people.

Today, the Jerzual has a real identity in the city, the houses have been invested, mostly by painters, sculptors, artisans … But also by restaurants, creperies, small decoration and souvenir shops.

PORT DE DINAN, Stroll along the port

Nothing like a nice walk by the Rance to fully enjoy the port of the Marina of Dinan.

Here, we walk along the small port, take the time to sit on the benches and contemplate the boaters mooring … In the shade of palm trees, relaxation is guaranteed!

Do not hesitate to take the Jaman V to discover the Rance. Rental of canoes, kayaks, bicycles, Segway, boats without a license, pedal boats …

Sculptures by Roger VENE on the library esplanade.

 Let your imagination wander face to face with Camus, Mauriac, Barbara, Colette, Pär Lagerkvist and Dina Vierny. The Man ends this visit which leaves no one indifferent.

This visit is free and accessible at any time.


On the edge of the Rance, a pretty footpath leads from the port to the Abbey of Léhon.

 A one hour round trip that can be extended for the more athletic.

 Lets meet at the port of Dinan to start this walk by the Rance. Cross the old bridge to find you on the Lanvallay side. Take an immediate right and you are on a footpath. Pass in front of the nautical center and after a few minutes of walking you will arrive at the towpath.

 This walk offers another point of view of Dinan. You see the ramparts below with the overhanging viaduct. In the water, or on the edge, you will inevitably see grey herons who like to come and fish there.

 For a few kilometers, you will find yourself in the heart of nature, surrounded by hundred-year-old trees, and lulled by the song of birds. Relaxing.

 Then you will come to a lock. In the background, you can see the fortress of the castle of Léhon and its abbey, which is revealed on the opposite shore.

Majestic, this monument usually open to the public also hosts many art exhibitions. You can cross the bridge to reach the village of Léhon. This ancient commune is a real small city of character.

 After strolling for a few moments between these old stones, turn back to return to the port of Dinan. This walk can be done by walk but also by bike. This route is approximately 5 km (3,107 miles) round trip but it can be much longer if you continue on the towpath, past the abbey and the bridge leading to Léhon.

 Back in the port, after this walk you will surely crave for food, so take a little break at the bakery located at the corner of rue du Port and rue du Petit-Fort. You can taste the specialty of Gat & vous : the kouign amann. This bakery is located down the famous steep street of the Jerzual. So to eliminate these delicacies, the bravest can have fun climbing to the top and take a walk through the pretty historic center of Dinan.

PORT DE DINAN, Towpath, family walks

 The other Sunday walk for the family is the towpath that leads to the lock of La Hisse. (At the port on the right path towards Léhon – Rennes, on the left towards La Hisse – St Malo).

This walk invites us to discover varied landscapes and we meet many hikers by walk, other on bicycles and even on horseback! A life-size change of scenery! I appreciate everything particularly the light and the colours of this morning walk along the towpath.

A walk along the water

 Don’t hesitate to go aboard the Jaman V commented by Lionel. Let’s go for an hour of cruise on the Ile et Rance canal. In addition to the entertainment on board, this cruise makes us discover amazing landscapes including the majestic Saint-Magloire Abbey and the ruins of the castle feudal Léhon then the passage of the lock.

DINAN, MAISON DE LA RANCE : A fun and attractive museography

 In total, 300 m² (3,229.2 ft sq) of museography to explore the Rance valley through models interactive, reconstitutions of environments with sounds and smells, simulation of the tide, picture opera.

An original permanent exhibition to discover, while having fun, the heritage of a river “Maritime”. Ideal family visit!

 Temporary exhibitions and lots of Nature and Heritage events related to the natural environment of the Rance are offered throughout the year, and conferences as well.


DINAN, MUSEUM OF RAIL : A history of rail!

 The Dinan Rail Museum has been open to the public since 1989 and annually hosts nearly 5,000 visitors.

The museum is spread over 4 large rooms, video projections, static and dynamic collections of scale models will immerse you in the heart of railway history.

For almost 15 years I participated in the realization of the large model. If you want you please, do not hesitate to walk through the door. The station concourse is also a marvel to discover.


DINAN, MUSEUM 39-45 : A visit is recommended!

Come and discover the history of the Second World War thanks to the military museum 39-45 located at Léhon near Dinan in the Côtes d´Armor. With family or friends, you will be immersed in the past thanks to the old artefacts and the many reconstructions of the museum.

If you take a look, you will find my grandfather’s service records in the french resistance.


PLEUDIHEN-SUR-RANCE, CIDER MUSEUM : the cider museum unveils tools from the yesterday and today

Visit an exhibition based on the apple: its links with health, painting, poetry, history, advertising, beauty, etc …

Relive the actions of the past years: those of the cerclier, the cooper, and the making of their cider.


LA VICONTE SUR RANCE,MOULIN DU PRAT : One of the oldest tide mills in the region

On the edge of the Rance, the Prat the tidal mill bears witness to the maritime and agricultural past of the estuary. A nice excuse for a family walk in the great outdoors.

 Until the French Revolution, people used to come here to grind their cereals. In the 19th century, its two paddle wheels turned three pairs of grindstones. Abandoned from 1920, the mill was completely restored ten years ago. Accessible by a pleasant path in the woods (600m/1968.5ft), the Moulin du Prat now hosts a small exhibition, a film and some beautiful pieces of heritage that shed light on its former activities and its original functioning linked to the energy of the tides. Passionate volunteers provide the tour every day of the summer.



 Information on accommodation, advice on nearby visits, we are here to help you.

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