Private Tour Rouen

The BEST 15 things to do in Rouen

things to do in Rouen

You will visit Rouen soon and you want to prepare for your trip.

I’m going to give you the 15 best things to do in Rouen that you have ever heard of before.

I know what I’m talking about because I have known the city for more than 20 years.

Let’s see your future adventures in my city.


Discover now the 15 best things to do in Rouen

  1. Be like a monk during 5 minutes

    Today, spending a few minutes in the skin of a monk is not the most trendy.
    But I suggest you discover a very small street where the monks, to be more precise, I should say “canon”.

    They passed through this discreet street to get to Rouen Cathedral.

    The street is narrow and the light has little chance of finding space to slip into this street.

    By visiting this street, you will be able to know the route used by the “canons” for the time of mass.


  2. Feel like Jeanne d’Arc

    No, I reassure you, I simply suggest that you discover the places where Joan of Arc was until her last day.
    The one where she was burnt by the English and the French.

    This is quite rare in history and it should be noted that the two countries were in agreement.


  3. Strong like a Viking…

    The image we have of the Vikings is strong, muscular men, very agile in combat and excellent navigators.
    Even if the image is a bit caricature because we have an image of the Vikings through the stories, the Vikings left an important mark in Rouen. As proof, the most famous Viking leader is called Rollo and has a statue in his effigy and also a street in his name.


  4. Be a Romain and build Rouen

    You must understand that the Romans built the city. The city of Rouen leans on a Roman cross and the square of the Cathedral of Rouen is the starting point of the city.

    There are other traces of the Romans in the city such as a Gallo-Roman fountain.

    When you walk around the city, you walk in the footsteps of the Romans.
    Rouen romains

  5. You don’t need your watch anymore

    I’m sure you don’t use a watch anymore to tell what time it is. You must be using your cell phone today.

    If you ever want to know the time in Rouen, you can go to rue du Gros-Horloge and go to the Gros-Horloge to know the exact time.

  6. Discover the first pedestrian street

    Not moving. You have just discovered a clock in Rouen, which is also one of the largest in Europe, but know that you are also in the first pedestrian street in France.

    Yes with those cobblestones and half-timbered houses.

  7. Taste the specialties of Rouen

    Rouen is in France and like all French cities it has its share of specialties like its region, Normandy. Rouen is not left out with the tears of Joan of Arc for example, cocoa bean coated in a chocolate ganache. Lightweight with character, perfect for indulging in a cup of coffee or as a gift to friends.

    Otherwise, you can go and see Christophe Cressent’s bakery and its white chocolate brioche, a delight to share with family or friends with an Earl Gray tea or coffee.

    Looking for other specialties from Rouen, discover our dedicated article.
    Christophe Cressent's bakery

  8. Live like a “Rouennais”

    When I travel, I love to imitate the locals. Find the restaurants where they go, the places where they hang out, the bars they frequent, in short, to have a real experience and not to limit myself to tourist places.

    Here are 3 ideas for living like a Rouen for a few hours:

    • Go to a market in the morning to buy some fruit and vegetables, we have listed the best markets in Rouen here.
    • Go along the banks of the Seine, to have a drink if the weather permits.
    • Stroll through the streets of Rouen between rue du Gros Horloge, towards the Place du Palais de Justice and go to the Place du Vieux Marché to meet Rouen residents and stroll through the streets.


  9. Say hello to Napoleon

    In the history of France, Napoleon is an important figure, perhaps even the most important.

    If your heart tells you, you can admire Napoleon on his horse in front of the Rouen City Hall which is slightly outside the historic city center but worth a look.

    Besides, there is a defect on the statue, indeed the hat is not a little too big for the emperor?


  10. Walk along the Seine

    What could be nicer in Rouen than walking along the Quays to admire the silence and the beauty of the city of Rouen.


  11. Viewpoints to take pictures

    Do you want to have photographic memories of your stay in Rouen?

    Except you don’t know where to go to take great photos.

    Here are the 5 best spots to take a photo: 

    1- The Belfry du Gros-Horloge. 

    2- The square Saint-Amand. 

    3- The street Eau-de-Robec. 

    4- The docks Left Bank. 

    5- The Hill Saint Catherine.

    depuis la cathédrale Notre-Dame, à Rouen

  12. Discover the lady of Rouen

    Right in the heart of the city, Notre-Dame Cathedral reflects Gothic art and its evolution. Built in the 12th century, the monument suffered Allied bombardments during the Second World War. Since its creation, the building has been constantly transformed.

    The cathedral will impress you with its spire which rises to more than 150 meters. In addition to having the highest cast iron spire in France, it is one of the only cathedrals to retain an archbishop’s palace and ancillary buildings dating from the Middle Ages.

    Today, Notre-Dame de Rouen is the seat of the city’s archdiocese. Come and visit Rouen and its cathedral and you will discover the tombs of the Dukes of Normandy, such as Rollon or Richard the Lionheart.

    You can also admire a series of 28 paintings by Claude Monet who made Notre-Dame Cathedral in Rouen famous throughout the world.


  13. Talk with the painters

    Impossible to visit Rouen without discovering the city’s Museum of Fine Arts. Created in 1801 under Napoleon Bonaparte, the fine arts museum has continued to evolve over the years. Thus, it is now one of the most comprehensive museums in France.

    Inside, there are more than 8,000 works spread over 60 rooms. They are as varied in terms of the periods covered (from the 16th to the 20th century), as in terms of media (paintings, sculptures, decorative objects, drawings, etc.). The Museum of Fine Arts brings together the greatest artists in Europe, including Caravaggio, Vélasquez, Rubens, Puget, Delacroix, Modigliani, Monet, Renoir, and many others.

    Alongside the permanent collections, the Rouen Museum of Fine Arts regularly organizes temporary exhibitions, some of which have international visibility.


  14. Relax on the grass

    During the 14th and 16th centuries, the abbey church of Saint-Ouen was one of the most powerful Benedictine monasteries in Normandy. The abbey has 80 stained glass windows which provide it with exceptional luminosity. In addition, the building is best known for its great organ which was the last construction of Cavaillé-coll. It is also one of the most recorded instruments on the planet.

    You will be impressed by the dimensions of the abbey: 137 meters high and 33 meters under the vaults. Because of its size, some visitors sometimes confuse it with the cathedral.

    Since the French Revolution, the abbey no longer serves as a place of worship. It’s more of a tourist spot. Attached to this building is the current town hall which once served as a dormitory for the monks.


  15. Take pictures with flowers

    Covering an area of ​​85,000 m², the botanical gardens are the ideal place for a family outing. Place of relaxation during a visit to Rouen, this park is also used for the conservation of plant species. Botanical enthusiasts, you will be able to observe plants from the five continents.

    In the center of the botanical garden, a 170-year-old greenhouse dominates the space. Within it, a variety of plants from arid environments, utility plants from the Mediterranean, and even carnivorous plants.
    Birds are also present in the botanical garden.

    The aviaries are illuminated in a thousand colors with parakeets, parrots, Chinese quail, golden pheasants and many other species.picnic in rouen garden plants

Frequently Asked Questions about Rouen

The top attractions to visit in Rouen are:

  • Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen
  • Vieux Rouen
  • Musee des Beaux-Arts de Rouen
  • Historial Jeanne d’Arc
  • Rue du Gros-Horloge

Book now our Private Tour of Rouen

Are you looking for outdoor activities to take your mind off things and take advantage of the good weather?

  1. Take a walk along the quays
    Quai de Seine right bank of Rouen is a 7.5 km (11,000-step).
  2. Visit the Street Art frescoes
    • Street art, also called urban art, brings together all the artistic practices carried out in the street or in public places.It is most often ephemeral, free and accessible free of charge to a large public.

      Rouen welcomes many artists who dress the streets and alleys of the Normandy metropolis.

      To help you, the types of works that you may come across are:

    • tags (in the form of signatures whose calligraphy is sometimes worked to the extreme, also called lettering),
    • graffiti (a drawing made with a spray, marker or stencil),
    • frescoes (spray, brush, roller, stencil, etc. which can reach a large size).
    • collages (mostly paper works)
    • stencils
    • stickers
    • urban diversions (using the existing like street furniture or wall textures)

    Rouen has seen the growth of many artists such as LKSIR, Dhoa, Méthod Graffic- Artist Cleaner, Padame, Ise, Gaspard Lieb, Liz Ponio, Fklt !, Madcow or even Ecloz. Several collectives bring together local artists such as the Le Chevalet Noir collective.

    The presence of these street artists also makes it possible to inspire personalities of the milieu, of national or international renown, to place their works on the walls of the streets of Rouen: Fred le Chevalier, Jef Aerosol or Mister P.


    Street-art has the vocation of being able to be, at the same time everywhere, and very discreet at the same time.

    To admire the urban works of these artists, you have to look up, get lost in the small streets of the city center or go to the most famous “spots” of the Norman capital.

    All the works produced as part of Rouen impressée can now be found on the festival site.

    There are the routes of the 2020 edition, virtual strolls between the Saint-Sever and Grammont districts, as well as some frescoes from the 2016 edition, produced at Les Sapins or on that of Hangar 23.

    The great value of street art lies in the fact that it is very often ephemeral.

    Every day, the streets are dressed in new works and others are fading away leaving nice memories for passers-by.

Best time to visit Rouen

The city of Rouen is located in the northern part of France just 50 km from the coast of the English Channel. Due to its proximity to the Atlantic ocean, the city of Rouen is characterized by an Atlantic oceanic climate, with constant rainfall throughout most of the year.

The winters are cold and humid with average maximum temperatures that do not exceed 7 ° C, while the minimum winter averages are close to zero. The snow falls on average for 19 days a year, while the frost is present for 55 days in a year. Only in the summer months of July and August the average maximum temperatures exceed, even if only slightly, 22 ° C.

The Rouen area is characterized by a climate with constant rainfall throughout most of the year, with fairly cold winters, the city records an average of 133 rainy days per year, for a total annual rainfall of about 850 mm (average values for the years 1981-2010). The city of Rouen has an average of 17 thunderstorm days per year.

The best times to visit Rouen for ideal weather are May 28th to October 7th based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

Normally the temperature of Rouen is about 25°c during summer. In winter season the climate is not too cold and it hardly snows. As it is located near seaside, it regularly rains. It has slight humid climate in summer but not too dry.

  • Winter: The best time to visit this city as the climate will be mild. So you can enjoy in this season if you don’t want crowd around you. Though it is winter but you don’t have to bring heavy coats as the temperature will be about mid -40°c. 
  • Summer: Also a good time to visit. The average temperature during this season would be about 61°c or 64°c.

Average day and night temperature

The mean minimum and maximum temperatures over the year. Show in Fahrenheit.

temperature rouen

Other facts from our historical climate data:

  • Which is the warmest month in Rouen?
    August has an average maximum temperature of 23°C (73°F) and is the warmest month of the year.
  • Which is the coldest month in Rouen?
    The coldest month is January with an average maximum temperature of 6°C (43°F).
  • Which is the wettest month in Rouen?
    December tops the wettest month list with 91mm (3.6in) of rainfall.
  • Which is the driest month in Rouen?
    April is the driest month with 59mm (2.3in) of precipitation.
  • Which is the sunniest month in Rouen?
    June is the sunniest month with an average of 205 hours of sunshine.

Are you looking to get to know Rouen better and why not do some free experiences?

Here are 3 experiments you can do without spending a dime.

  1. Visit the Fine Arts Museum
  2. Visit the Ceramics Museum
  3. Visit Rouen Cathedral

Are you looking to get out of the beaten path to get to know Rouen?

That's good, here is a list of 3 ideas:

  1. Belfry TowerFlanked by a Belfry Tower with the city bells, the Gros-Horloge, a Renaissance arcade spans the street and houses one of the oldest clock mechanisms in Europe. On each side, its single-needle dials are richly decorated.Inside, a contemporary scenography invites you to discover the room of the dials, the old apartments of the governor of the clock…At the top, a vast panorama of the city.


  2. Social PerkSocial Perkis an address to remember. Big fan of the Friends series, I discovered this place by chance.The decor is great with little nods for fans of the series. Smoothies in the summer and chocolates in the winter are awesome. At lunchtime delicious bagels are served. I go there regularly with friends or family. Great atmosphere. social-perk-rouen
  3. Take a drink on a boat
    You can make a reservation here if you want to take a drink on the Seine.

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