Things to do in Honfleur, in France

Hi there! What are the things to do in Honfleur in France? Here is a funny question that my friend Lucie asked me. She is Norman so I couldn’t have guessed that she had never set foot there. Especially since the town is a must in the region! Anyway, we took advantage of a beautiful weather in Normandy to spend a day in Honfleur and I’m sharing with you the things to do during a day trip!

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Things you can do in Honfleur in France for a day trip?

I’m not going to lie to you, visiting Honfleur for a day only may seem a little short if you want to do it properly and not rushing everywhere. Firstly because there are many places to discover, but also because the town is a bit a victim of its success. So my first advice to you is that if you have the opportunity to extend your stay to an entire weekend honestly do it.
 
I also recommend you to visit Honfleur if possible outside tourist peaks, in autumn and winter for example. Unfortunately we could not spend the entire weekend with Lucie, but we tried to make the most of it!
 
As we organised our trip last minute, we only visited the town on our own. Otherwise I would have suggest to take a guided tours organised by a local. I think it’s very good way to find out more about the city’s history, and especially its everyday atmosphere. A nice way to meet locals and know their tips too!
 

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Honfleur port: a one-of-kind place full of romance

The port of Honfleur is the most impressive place in town, so it’s perfect to start the visit. Its boats, paved streets and colorful houses were in fact a privileged place for Impressionist painters. Imagine strolling hand-in-hand, enjoying the sun on the terrace of a café, tasting some food at one of the many seafood restaurants, or savoring a waffle sitting next to the boats. I’m sure you can picture why Honfleur is indeed a perfect place for romantic break in Normandy. Lucie didn’t stop to make me notice this and I even had to apologize for not being her man!

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Honfleur: its museum, art galleries and shops

Behind the port of Honfleur you can wander for hours on the cobbled streets. I’m sure your artistic soul will be as fulfilled. Indeed, Honfleur was Eugene Boudin’s town, and the famous impressionist has a museum devoted to his work and to the various Impressionist painters (Courbet, Monet …) in the cente of town. Unfortunately the museum is closed on Tuesday, the day I visited, so I cannot tell you more! However, I explored many art galleries in Honfleur and discovered new trends and artists. A feast for the eyes! Such as the many small designer shops elsewhere in town which are pure joy for shopping fans! We had a big crush for Agent Paper, a shop that makes beautiful animal heads with recycled paper, but also many other trinkets (diaries, lampshades, tables’sets, etc).

Please, also don’t miss Sainte Catherine church during your visit as it’s the tallest wooden church built in France with a separate belfry.

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Where to eat? My list of restaurant and coffee shops

During this day trip, I tried a seafood restaurant and tea room in Honfleur: Les Deux Ponts and La Petite Chine. As I was pleased with both experiences I recommend these addresses that I think a good value for money. I must admit I had a preference for La Petite Chine thanks to its beautiful view over the port, its homemade pastries and its so charming English cups.

You also have loads of places to get a sweet snack such as waffles and crêpes all around town, if you like me you have a little space left in your belly.

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Hotels in Honfleur in France

I am sure you will find your happy place as there are any hotels in Honfleur! I have prepared below a list to help you in your search:
  • Hotel L’Ecrin: if I had to choose I would take this one! The hotel i simply superb with its old-fashioned decor and four-poster beds;
  • Maisons de Léa: this hotel is full of charm as well with its unique atmosphere in the bedrooms. And it’s located right in the town center;
  • La Lirencine: a pretty bed and breakfast with a relaxing and refined decoration which is located in the town center;
  • Les Songes d’Héléna: a beautiful house built in the 18th century with exposed beams in the rooms;
  • Ma maison de poupée: in english ‘my dollhouse’, for those looking for something a bit more unusual, you’ll love this pretty little house and garden;
  • Best Western Le Cheval Blanc: a classic near the harbour;
  • La Ferme Saint Simeon Spa – Relais & Chateaux: a 5-star hotel with a splendid garden and sea view;
  • The duplex: if you’d rather have an apartment for your self, it looks ideal for a couple;
  • If you visit the city with your family, there are also some cottages, like la Maison Blanche;
 
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How to get to Honfleur in France?

If you come by car, I imagine you will put a GPS ?! To park, there are many parking all around the city. But there is one convenient where you can park easily and cheaper than others all day. It is located near the motorhome area.
 
You can also reach Honfleur by train from Paris, from Saint-Lazare train station. You’ll have to take a bus to Honfleur from Deauville / Trouville, Lisieux or Pont-l’Eveque with the Bus Vert (Green Buses) lines 20 and 50.
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Things to do nearby?

To discover another village full of charm, I recommend visiting Beuvron en Auge, which is only 45 minutes by car. This village has been elected one of the most beautiful villages in France.
 
At 30 minutes by car you can easily go to Deauville, Houlgate or Cabourg and discover the seaside resorts of the Côte Fleurie.
 
You can also go outside the department of Calvados, take the bridge of Normandy to either visit Le Havre or Etretat and its famous cliffs.
 
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Any questions about Honfleur? Please let me know in the comments section, I’ll be happy to help you!

Boujou (the Norman way to say XOXO)


Infos :

Parking: 5 minutes walk from the port

Restaurant Les Deux Ponts: €€

La Petite Chine: €€

 Click here to localise on the Normandy map

 

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