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!
Prepare 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 July – early September. You can of course visit during the fall and winter but it can get quite cold!
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, including 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 if you’re visiting in the summer.
What is there to see in Honfleur
“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 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!
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.