City Guide: Rouen

Rouen is a French city located North of Paris. The harbor town has a high historic significance and is a lovely destination for tourists. In this city guide, we’ll explain what you need to know about visiting Rouen!

If you are looking for a destination of the beaten track, Rouen surely is a good option. Why? Because the city isn’t far from the most important tourist destination in France, Paris. At the same time, Rouen has a different, yet special historic charm, lots of interesting sights and less crowds. Enjoy this guide to get an idea on what to see in the city!

Gare de Rouen & Fine Arts Museum

When arriving in Rouen, you’ll most likely find yourself at the Gare, which is an interesting historic building.

Gare de Rouen

Just a few steps away is another monument of Rouen, the Donjon de Rouen.


After having a look at the tower, I’d walk over to the lovely Square de Verdel with its nice little park.

Square Verdel Rouen

Just behind, there’s the Fine Art Museum Rouen, one of the nicest buildings in the city, in my opinion.

Fine Arts Museum Rouen

The Saint Godard Church is right behind the Fine Arts Museum, too.

Saint Godard Church Rouen 2

In this area, you can also find a couple of more historic buildings, giving you a good impression of Rouen.

Old Town, Cour of Appeal and Place du Vieux Marche Rouen

The next stop of your tour through Rouen should definitely be the old town, which has many nice areas with several historic buildings.


One of the obvious highlights is the Grand Horlorge, which is located in one of the many tiny streets in the city center.

Le Gros Horloge Rouen

These are very interesting in general, when we visited there was a nice little market going on, for example.

Streets Rouen

Another building, which is very nice, is the Cour of Appeal, which is part of a larger justice complex and has a lovely historic touch.


From here, it’s only a few minutes by foot to the Place du Vieux Marche, which I think is one of the nicest areas in town.


Here, you can find several lovely historic buildings alongside very nice cafés and restaurants. What’s interesting about this spot is that it has a long history.

Church of Jean Arc Rouen

Here, Jean d’Arc was supposed to be burnt. That’s also the reason why you can find a special church here.

Church of Jean Arc Rouen

The Jean d’Arc church has a very particular design, which didn’t remind me of any church I’ve seen before.

Church of Jean Arc Rouen

When in the area, you may also want to go to the Academie de Rouen, which isn’t far away.

Academie de Rouen

In general, I’d say that walking around this part of Rouen is really amazing and a must-do when in town. Definitely take some time to just stroll through the streets and enjoy.

Cathedral, Saint Ouen Church & Hotel de Ville Rouen

While Rouen is located at the Seine River, it’s not actually nice to walk along the waterfront, which I think is a little sad.

Seine River Rouen

More nicely to visit definitely are the various churches in Rouen. First of all, there’s the fascinating cathedral, which is not only massive, but also has a lovely design.


You can also enter and have a look at the impressive interior.

Cathedral Rouen

Another church worth having a look at is the Saint Ouen Church, which is located a good five minutes away from the cathedral.


The church is located at the Place du General de Gaulle, where you can find a monument and more.

Place du General de Gaulle Rouen

For example, that’s also where the City Hall is located and while it was under construction when we visited, it’s also worth checking out.

Hotel de Ville Rouen

Last but not least, the Champs de Mars and the buildings around are quite nice, but maybe not a must-see.

Champs de Mars Rouen

I’d definitely focus on the churches as those are really nice and a highlight in Rouen.

Overall impressions of Rouen

Rouen might not have impressed me as much as some other cities in France, but I actually like the city more in the aftermath than when visiting. Sounds odd? Well, the weather was really bad, making it tough to enjoy the city, but looking at the pictures in the aftermath, especially the various different historic buildings and the nice little streets make me think of the city more positively. So, in case you are planning on doing a day trip from Paris, Rouen is definitely a good choice!

Do you have any questions about Rouen? Feel free to ask or share your impressions in the comments!

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