Honfleur Travel Guide

by Natalie Becci
Photography by René Mattes - Text by Alice White Walker

Petite but impressive, Honfleur creates an everlasting memory for all who visit it.
Discover this little Normandy fishing village that captured both the hearts and paintbrushes of many Impressionists.

A picturesque harbor with rows of colorful buildings and boats reflected in its still waters; behind it, a maze of leafy, cobbled streets and authentic timber-framed houses — it is no wonder that the fishing village of Honfleur was one of the first places to inspire the French Impressionists.

While the neighboring Le Havre is a much larger city, people flock to Honfleur for its quaint charm. Here, there is more than enough for a day of casual sightseeing and dining, but consider adding on an evening to see the harbor lights come alive.

Spend the morning exploring the small boutiques that offer independent fashion and gourmand delights (La Maison du Caramel is always a favorite), or — if you encounter some typical Norman showers — the Musée Eugène Boudin makes for an ideal artistic refuge.

Around lunchtime, head to the Vieux Bassin. The restaurants that surround the harbor are largely touristy, but it is a beautiful canvas for a simple midday snack or a sunset apèritif. Order a crêpe and a bolée de cidre, and soak up the jolly ambiance. 

Fueled and ready to go, walk a little way out of town — passing by the iconic Église Sainte-Catherine, up to Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Mont Joli — for a wonderful panoramic view over Honfleur, the Seine estuary and the Pont de Normandie.

The rest of the afternoon can be spent hopping from one tea salon to the next, visiting the botanical garden and the Jardin des Personnalités, a pretty tribute to the town. Honfleur is also a great base for discovering the nearby Étretat and Deauville. 

It is easy to see exactly why the Impressionists fell in love with this part of France. And we guarantee, you will too.

Things To Do

Musée Eugène Boudin

Rue de l’Homme de Bois

Born in Honfleur, artist Eugène Boudin is considered one of the forerunners of Impressionism. This museum is dedicated to his work and that of other artists who were inspired by the arresting Normandy coastline. While it often features exciting temporary exhibitions, the permanent collection of works that Boudin bequeathed to his hometown are themselves well worth a visit.

Église Sainte-Catherine

Place Sainte-Catherine

Classified as a Historic Monument in 1879, this is France’s largest wooden church with a separate bell tower. Its oldest part dates back to the 15th century, built just after the Hundred Years’ War. To see it at its finest, head to the Place Sainte-Catherine on a Saturday morning; while you’re there, you can also take in the weekly market, which is full of local ambiance.

Greniers à Sel

9B rue de la Ville

The town built these large fortifications to defend against the English invasion in the 14th century. Miraculously, two out of the three edifices survived and today are salt granaries, storing 10,000 tons of salt destined for cod fishing on the Newfoundland coast. The unique buildings also house numerous cultural events: exhibitions, theatrical performances, concerts and more.

Jardin des Personnalités

Inaugurated in 2004 by Mayor Michel Lamarre, this 25-acre garden offers a walking tour featuring busts of the historical and cultural personalities who have made the town what it is today. These figures include famous names like Claude Monet and Charles Baudelaire, as well as prominent residents who have impacted Honfleur over the years. Jardin des Personnalités is lovingly planted and kept, so each season is as beautiful as the next.


Boulevard Charles V

Enter the tropics at Naturospace — an equatorial zoo where rare plants, trees and flowers thrive in a warm, mist-filled environment (between 77 and 83°F), punctuated by colorful birds and butterflies to admire. It is a botanical garden unlike any other!

Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

14600 Équemauville

With a superb panorama on the Pont de Normandie, the Seine estuary, and Le Havre, this little 17th-century chapel is filled with nautical paintings and plaques, and models of ships, offered by grateful sailors. Time your visit for the fête des marins at the end of May, where children dressed as little sailors form a procession from Sainte Catherine up to Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

Where To Stay

ferme st simeon

20 Route Adolphe Marais

La Ferme Saint Siméon is a magnificent 17th-century inn where famous painters used to come to be spoiled by Mère Toutain. This unique place accommodates you so that you in turn can enjoy the wonderful light of the Seine.  The hotel is very well located, being a 10 minutes walk away from Honfleur center.

les maisons de lea

Place Sainte-Catherine, 14600 Honfleur     

Situated right in the center — you can practically touch the Église Sainte-Catherine from the rooftop — this hotel is a deluxe place to stay in Honfleur. Four-star comforts with cottage charm, you’ll feel instantly chez toi. And if you need some extra relaxation, the Nuxe Spa is waiting downstairs.

Le Manoir de la Plage

Route du Littoral Vasouy, 14600 Honfleur

Set right on the sea, Le Manoir de la Plage is a haven of peace. With a tennis court, gym, and a hydro-jet wellness center as well as a terrace for sunning yourself and a pool (that can be privatized), you can be as active or as chilled as you like. An ideal location for exploring Honfleur and around.

le paquebot

3 rue des Bains, 14113 Villerville

Situated between Honfleur and Deauville, Le Paquebot is an altogether different place to stay. Built almost in the sea, this hotel has boat-like cabins rather than rooms. And as you would on a real ship, the only view is endless stretches of ocean.

maison plume

1 rue Ernest Binet Villequier, 76490 Rives en Seine

Maison Plume is a home-away-from-home in the idyllic setting on the River Seine as it trickles out through Normandy, towards Honfleur. Set up by a couple of ex-Parisians, Jeanne and Simon, this guest house is an ode to simple pleasures. The five rooms and a studio (which are impeccably decorated) ensure a cozy and intimate stay.

Where To Eat

Maison Blondel - Cakes et Gourmandises

4 rue des Logettes

Tucked behind the Église Sainte Catherine, Maison Blondel is a place to treat yourself. This salon du thé is best-known for its delicious cakes and desserts, and you’ll find everything from cookies to apple strudel to lemon meringue pie. They also specialize in molten hot chocolate served in giant floral teapots — the perfect decadent treat after a day’s walk. It even serves light bites and menu formulas for savory options.

Le Capucine aux Jardins de Coppélia

478 route du Bois du Breuil

Set in a 17th-century Norman manoir, Le Capucine is a gastronomic eatery in the Jardins de Coppélia hotel. In a wonderfully bucolic environment, choose a table inside the luminous restaurant or outside on the terrace or lush garden. For a multi-sensory experience, make a selection between a 3, 4, or 5-course menu, all designed by renowned chef Damien Fremont. There is also an adjacent tapas bar for fast and flavorful dining.

Vieux Honfleur

10 rue de la Prison

The oldest dining establishment in town, Vieux Honfleur is an institution. The specialty here is seafood: from fruits de mer to lobster to sole meunière, dishes are cooked according to French tradition, with fine, local ingredients. Its picturesque setting near the harbor ensures that every meal is a memorable one, and the heated, covered terrasse means you can enjoy the same views in winter, too.

Hotel Chaumière

Route Du Littoral

With a stunning panorama over the Baie de Seine, the restaurant of the Hotel Chaumière boasts an unbeatable environment for lunch or dinner. The kitchen is run eco-responsibly using regional vendors, organic produce and homemade recipes. During the summer season, Chaumière pitches up a UKOO® tent — the ideal way to sample a cocktail or nibbles from the Airstream food truck or outdoor barbeque.

la cidrerie

26 place Hamelin

Normandy and crêpes go hand in hand, and La Cidrerie is one of the best places to try this delicious gourmandise. Hidden just off the main street after the Lieutenance, it serves up both sweet and savory crêpes from an open kitchen, where you can watch them being made. Plus, the extensive drink menu – that includes cider, calvados, pear, apple and pear liqueurs and more – offers a great introduction to local tipple!

Around Honfleur


These white cliffs need no introduction and offer all you need for a breathtaking vista. Visit early in the morning or at dusk for fewer crowds and gorgeous light. This area has recently enjoyed extra attention, due to the French Netflix series Lupin, as author Maurice Leblanc’s hometown. You can visit his house, Le Clos Arsène Lupin, which is found in the center of the town. And, of course, garden lovers cannot miss Les Jardins d’Étretat, with its iconic sculpted cloud topiary interlaced with sculptures.


Possibly the chicest seaside town in France, Deauville is home to the American film festival, a prestigious horse racing track, and luxury shopping. Known as “the Parisian Riviera” during the 1900s, Deauville continues to be a place for the crème de la crème. Don’t miss visiting Vieux Deauville and Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy, Les Planche, and the wide, sandy beaches to see the thoroughbreds train. The perfect place to indulge in a little fantasy!


Joined to Deauville by the Pont des Belges, Trouville is equally worth a visit. More laid-back than its big sister, this small port town has a lovely stretch of beach for walks, quirky shops, and plenty of restaurants for hungry bellies. Head to Le Centrale for fresh fish in a lively atmosphere; Les Étiquettes, an elegant wine bar that does great food, too; and Pipelettes & Co – the go-to spot for brunch, lunch or tea time in a cozy setting.

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