Updated on 18 December 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes
You’ll instantly fall in love with Honfleur’s picturesque streets and its old port lined with colourful cafes and restaurants.
Vieux Bassin: This beautiful old harbour in the heart of Honfleur is famous for its distinctive high, narrow, timber-frame houses of all colours which overlook the dock on three sides, and is undoubtedly the most photographed part of the port town!
Lieutenance: Overlooking the Vieux-Bassin, the Lieutenance was the home of the French king’s lieutenant up until the 17th century. One of the two gates to old Honfleur is set into the wall of this building.
Church of Sainte-Catherine: This stunning church is very unusual in that it is built entirely of wood and was made by shipwrights who incorporated many nautical decorative details, including a ceiling that resembled the hull of a ship.
Maritime Museum: Formerly known as the Church of Saint-Étienne, this museum is the place to go to find out about the maritime history of old Honfleur and discover the stories of explorers such as Roberval, who set sail from Honfleur for Canada in 1541.
Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce: This 17th-century chapel sits on a hill above Honfleur in a spot where pilgrims have long come to give thanks to God for rescuing them from natural disasters, including Duke Richard II of Normandy, who narrowly escaped a storm early in the 11th century. Inside, fascinating plaques, paintings and models attest to the gratitude felt by many visitors here, including famous people associated with Normandy. For fabulous views over Honfleur and the Seine estuary, head up to the Mont-Joli hilltop.
The Eugène Boudin Museum: Honfleur’s extensive fine arts museum houses many fine paintings by celebrated 19th- and 20th-century artists asscociated with Honfleur and the Seine estuary, including Boudin, Courbet, Dufy, Jongkind and Monet. Also on display are drawings and paintings bequeathed to the town of his birth by Eugène Boudin in 1898.
Les Maisons Satie: This museum is dedicated to the famous eccentric French composer Erik Satie, who was born in this very building in 1866.
Greniers à Sel: These vast stone salt granaries date back to 1670 and could store up to 10,000 tonnes of salt, a vital commodity. Although no longer used for salt, today the building is used as a venue for exhibitions, concerts and conferences
The Pont de Normandie: This vast bridge spans the Seine between Honfleur and Le Havre, and was designed by Michel Virlogeux. It opened in 1995, when it was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, at just over 7,000 feet. Although built as a toll bridge for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists can cross for free and enjoy incredible panoramic views of the Seine estuary.
Naturospace: Situated between the old port and the Seine estuary, this beautiful tropical butterfly house is the largest in France.
The ever-changing light in Honfleur inspired monet, boudin and renoir