A town of some 12,000 population, the historic part of the town is built on the side of a steep hill overlooking the river. Much of its medieval nature has been retained with narrow cobbled streets, courtyards full of flowers, and a number of timber-framed 15th and 16th century buildings and churches and the gate of St. Jean, a remnant of the original fortified City Wall (AD 998).
It has its own vineyard and is also on the edge of the Chablis wine growing area. Every October there’s a wine festival in the covered market – a colourful affair, with opportunities to taste and buy. The internationally known Cote St. Jacques restaurant is in Joigny, complete with helipad for Parisian VIPs wishing to try out its three Michelin stars.
The river Yonne is broad and has traditionally been used for transport and pleasure. Disused silos can still be seen, not far from the various boats moored at the bank. Boats are available for hire, and the Yonne is popular for river holidays. It is also spectacular for fireworks at festival time.
There is an active town council to organise the life of the town and to encourage all nature of activities, whether they be commercial, for visitors, or for the general benefit of the inhabitants, known as joviniens.