Surrounded by medieval ramparts on the banks of the Rance river, Dinan is a hilltop town in Brittany. It is clustered with half-timbered houses and home to a well-preserved castle keep, as well as a 15th-century clock tower that offers panoramic views across the town.
Things to do in Dinan
Stroll through Dinan’s centre to admire its historic buildings, many of which date from the 13th century. Highlights include the Romanesque-style Saint-Sauveur Basilica with its beautifully decorated chapels and the Théâtre Des Jacobins where live performances are held. Along cobblestoned Rue du Jerzual you’ll find artisan stores selling locally made goods.
Not to miss is the Château de Dinan, a 14th-century castle keep that forms part of the 2.6-kilometre-long ramparts surrounding Dinan’s historic core. Also known as the Keep of Duchess Ann, it comprises two circular towers surrounded by a moat and connected via a drawbridge. Climb the spiral staircase that links its interior rooms while learning about the significance of the castle in the evolution of Breton medieval architecture.
Overlooking the Rance south of Dinan is the Abbaye de Lehon, a 9th-century Benedictine monastery that exhibits both Romanesque and Gothic architectural elements. Wander between its peaceful cloister, refectory and medicinal gardens, then admire the stained glass windows crafted by master glazier Gerard Lardeur in the abbey church. A former study room now houses a small museum where centuries-old manuscripts are exhibited.
Getting around Dinan
Dinan is around 30 minutes’ drive from Saint-Malo and 40 minutes from Rennes. Rennes–Saint-Jacques Airport is 45 minutes away and has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Trains connect to the Dinan railway station and buses travel throughout the town.