Honfleur is an absolutely charming town located in Normandy, in northern France. The town’s history dates back over 1,000 years, to medieval times. Those of you that love medieval architecture are in for a treat! The town center is lined with typical half-timbered houses that are particularly well preserved.
The city was an important transit point for goods starting in the 12th century. It was a crucial stop for items transiting from the sea and then on to England. The lovely port attests to the city’s seafaring past. The port and harbor are now home to numerous restaurants and shops, making it the ideal spot to grab lunch and do some relaxing afternoon shopping.
Though it’s a rather small town, it’s bustling and there are many things to see. From the cobbled alleys of downtown to the picturesque harbor. We’ve put together a list of our favorite attractions, restaurants and hotels so that you can fully enjoy your time in Honfleur!
Plan your visit to Honfleur
When to visit Honfleur
Honfleur is especially lovely in the spring and summer months. Your best chances of nice weather are definitely from July to early September. You can of course visit during the fall and winter but it can get quite cold and windy.
How long is needed to visit Honfleur
Honfleur is an ideal city for a day trip. This will give you enough time to check out the main attractions and stroll along the old port. If you’re short on time, it can be squeezed into a half-day. It’s also a great base to spend the night and discover other towns and sites around Normandy, like Deauville and the Étretat cliffs for example. They’re just a short drive away.
What should I wear to visit Honfleur
There is no specific dress code required when visiting Honfleur. Make sure to dress for the season. Since it’s on the coast, it can get chilly in the morning and evening so we do recommend bringing a jacket, even when visiting in the summer.
What is there to see in Honfleur
Le Vieux Bassin
“Le Vieux Bassin” is the name given to the port of Honfleur. A typical Norman port, it was built in 1681. It’s the city’s top must-see attraction. The picturesque buildings that line the port, with their narrow facades and slate roofs, are listed as historical monuments. The port is particularly lovely after nightfall, when the houses are reflected in the water.
Saint Catherine’s Church
This church is one of the city’s major monuments. Built in the 15th century, the church is made entirely of wood. The impressive structure is the largest wooden church in France. This was possible thanks to the town’s shipbuilding know-how and skilled woodworkers. The bell tower, which is separate from the church, is made of oak and also a must-see!
- Address: Place Sainte-Catherine, 14600 Honfleur
- Open daily
- Entry is free
Musée Eugène Boudin
Eugène Boudin is perhaps Honfleur’s most famous local painter. The museum named after him is definitely worth a visit. The museum is home to a large number of local painters including Boudin, Courbet, Dubourg and Dufy.
Each of the seven exhibition rooms has a different theme with one dedicated to regional history that features traditional Norman clothing and furniture.
- Address: Rue Homme de Bois, 14600 Honfleur
- Open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; closed on Tuesdays
- Season tickets (from July 1st – October 16th): €8 full rate, €6.50 reduced rate, free for under 16 years old
- Off-season tickets: €6 full rate, reduced rate €4.50
- Visit the official website for more info.
Honfleur Normandy Outlet
Going shopping is not exactly what you’d expect in a small town like Honfleur, but that can change! This outlet mall in Honfleur had just opened very recently which explains its interesting architecture–a mix of the contemporary and traditions of Normandy. The outlet mall carries 90 brands like Nike, Levis, and even a Galeries Lafayette outlet. The outlet promises 30% off of all items all year round. On top of that, non-EU residents can also claim a VAT refund of up to 12%. Make sure you bring your passport with you!
- Address: Avenue de Normandie 14600 Honfleur
- Open daily from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, until 8:00 pm on Saturdays
- Visit their website for more info.
If you’re already in Honfleur and don’t have a car, you can still get to the outlet mall by taking the HO Bus service which leaves from the town center. There are as many as 16 transfers a day from Monday to Saturday.
Paris to Honfleur
Paris to Honfleur by car
Just like our recommendations for traveling to other towns in Normandy like Deauville and Bayeux, getting to Honfleur is easiest by car. Honfleur is a beautiful town but it is small and can be explored in a day and so having a car with you would be convenient for traveling to other nearby towns in the area.
Travel time from Paris: anywhere from 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours
Paris to Honfleur by train
Unfortunately, there isn’t a train from Paris that stops in Honfleur. To get to Honfleur by train, you first have to take a train from Paris Saint-Lazare station to Trouville-Deauville station. Once you arrive at the station, you can then take the Bus Verts du Calvados service that’ll bring you to Honfleur.
- Travel time: 2 hour train ride + 40 min bus ride
- Price: from €20 one-way
- Book your train ticket to Deauville here.
- Book your bus ticket to Honfleur here.
Paris to Honfleur by bus
This is a good option for when your only intended destination is Honfleur. As of this writing, FlixBus is the only bus company that runs services between Paris and Honfleur. It is also important to know that the service is only available from Fridays to Sundays. They have 2 bus services: one leaves from Paris-Bercy, the other from Paris Pont de Levallois.
- Travel time from Paris: 3 hours
- Price: from €9 one-way (only from Fridays – Sundays)
- You can book your bus ticket here.