CULTURE FRANCIA

Table of Contents

24 Things to Do in Rouen

Up-to-Date 2024  –  By Culture Francia Team

Table of Contents

What to See & Do

Rouen Overall Appeal ★★★☆☆

  Name Appeal Type Visit Cost
01 Rouen Cathedral ★★★★★ Cathedral Self Free
02 St. Ouen Abbey ★★★★☆ Abbey Self Free
03 City Center ★★★☆☆ Walking Around Either Either
04

St. Joan of Arc Church

★★★☆☆ Church Self Free
05 St. Maclou Church ★★★☆☆ Church Self Free
06

Vista Point St. Catherine

★★★☆☆ Panorama Self Free
07 Botanical Garden ★★☆☆☆ Garden Self Free
08 Fine Arts Museum ★★☆☆☆ Museum - Art Self Paid
09 Gros-Horloge ★★☆☆☆ Clock + Panorama Self Free
10 Parlement of Normandy ★★☆☆☆ Palace Outside Free
11 Rouen Markets ★☆☆☆☆ Food Market Self Free
12

Seine River's Quays

★☆☆☆☆ Walking Around Self Free
13 Presqu'ile Rollet Park ★☆☆☆☆ Park Self Free
14 Joan of Arc Museum ★☆☆☆☆ Museum - History Self Paid
15 MUNAE ★☆☆☆☆ Museum - Education Self Paid
16 Maritime & Harbour Museum ★☆☆☆☆ Museum - Maritime Self Paid
17 Secq des Tournelles Museum ★☆☆☆☆ Museum - Ironwork Self Paid
18 Ceramics Museum ★☆☆☆☆ Museum - Ceramics Self Paid
19 Flaubert Museum ★☆☆☆☆ Museum - Medecine Self Paid
20 Antiquities Museum ★☆☆☆☆

Museum - Antiquity

Self Paid
21 Natural History Museum ★☆☆☆☆

Museum - Nat. History

Self Paid
22 St. Maclou Ossuary ★☆☆☆☆ Ossuary + Square Self Free
23 Rouen's Dungeon ★☆☆☆☆

Dungeon

Self Free
24 Rouen Tourist Train ★☆☆☆☆ City Train Tour Tour Paid

01. Rouen Cathedral

The impressive Rouen Cathedral, showcasing its towering Gothic spires and elaborate facade, set against a clear blue sky with surrounding historic buildings.

Appeal ★★★★★
Type Gothic Cathedral

Visit Self
Cost Free

Rouen Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece, is renowned for its stunning Gothic design and towering spires. 

The cathedral’s construction began in the 12th century and spanned several centuries, resulting in a blend of Gothic styles. It was a central location during the Hundred Years’ War, witnessing many key events. The cathedral’s spire was the tallest in the world upon its completion in the 19th century. It also survived significant damage during World War II, undergoing extensive restoration thereafter.

02. St. Ouen Abbey

An aerial view of the majestic Saint-Ouen Abbey in Rouen, with its expansive Gothic architecture, towering spires, and the surrounding cityscape.

Appeal ★★★★☆
Type Gothic Abbey

Visit Self
Cost Free

St. Ouen Abbey is a striking Gothic abbey, once a powerful Benedictine monastery, now stands as a testament to medieval religious architecture.

The abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a significant religious center in Normandy. It was rebuilt in the 14th century, showcasing the height of Gothic architecture. During the French Revolution, the abbey was repurposed and avoided destruction. In the 19th century, it underwent restoration to preserve its historical and architectural integrity.

03. City Center

A lively scene in the city center of Rouen, featuring people dining at outdoor cafes and strolling along the street, lined with colorful, half-timbered buildings housing shops and restaurants.

Appeal ★★★☆☆
Type Walking Around

Visit Self or Tour
Cost Free or Paid

Rouen’s City Center is a charming blend of medieval and modern architecture. Cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and quaint shops create a setting for exploring the city’s heart.

The city center has been a bustling hub since medieval times. It witnessed the execution of Joan of Arc in 1431, a pivotal moment in Rouen’s history. During World War II, parts of the city center were damaged but have since been restored.

Squares
– Place Général de Gaulle
– Place du Vieux Marché
– Aitre St. Maclou

Streets
– Rue du Gros Horloge
– Rue St. Romain
– Rue Damiette
– Rue Martainville
– Rue Eau de Robec

📍 Google Maps List

04. St. Joan of Arc Church

The interior of the modern Joan of Arc Church in Rouen, showcasing its stunning stained glass windows depicting colorful biblical scenes and the simple wooden pews and altar.

Appeal ★★★☆☆
Type Modern Church

Visit Self
Cost Free

St. Joan of Arc Church is a modern architectural structure, commemorating the site where Joan of Arc was martyred. Its unique design contrasts with Rouen’s traditional Gothic structures, featuring sweeping lines and contemporary aesthetics.

The church was consecrated in 1979 to honor Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake in Rouen in 1431. 

05. St. Maclou Church

The Gothic-style Saint-Maclou Church in Rouen, featuring a grand entrance with detailed stone carvings, flanked by half-timbered medieval buildings.

Appeal ★★★☆☆
Type Gothic Church

Visit Self or Guided
Cost Free or Paid

St. Maclou Church is an example of Flamboyant Gothic architecture.

The construction of the church began in the 15th century and took nearly a century to complete. It played a significant role during the French Wars of Religion, suffering damage and looting. Restoration efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries preserved its Gothic architecture. 

06. Vista Point St. Catherine

A panoramic view of Rouen from the Côte Sainte-Catherine viewpoint, showing the cityscape, including the Rouen Cathedral and the winding Seine River, under a dramatic sky with scattered clouds.

Appeal ★★★☆☆
Type Panorama

Visit Self
Cost Free

Vista Point St. Catherine offers panoramic views of Rouen and the Seine River. It’s a popular spot for both tourists and locals to take in the city’s skyline.

07. Botanical Garden

A well-manicured garden in the Botanical Garden of Rouen, with neatly trimmed hedges forming a maze-like pattern, vibrant flowers, and a large, decorative urn at the center.

Appeal ★★☆☆☆
Type Garden

Visit Self
Cost Free

Rouen’s Botanical Garden features a diverse collection of plants and beautifully landscaped areas.

The garden includes themed sections such as a rose garden and a medicinal plant area. The greenhouses contain exotic plants from various climates. Sculptures and water features add to the garden’s aesthetic appeal.

08. Fine Arts Museum

The historic Donjon of Rouen, a cylindrical stone tower set against a mix of modern and classical buildings, illustrating the blend of old and new architecture in the city.

Appeal ★★★☆☆
Type Art Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Fine Arts Museum in Rouen houses an extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. It’s a cultural hub showcasing works from the Renaissance to the modern era.

09. Gros-Horloge

The iconic Gros-Horloge in Rouen, a large and ornate astronomical clock set within a beautifully decorated archway, surrounded by historic half-timbered buildings.

Appeal ★★☆☆☆
Type Clock + Panorama

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Gros-Horloge is an iconic astronomical clock in Rouen, notable for its intricate design and historical significance. It also offers panoramic views of the city from its tower.

The clock dates back to the 14th century, serving as a symbol of Rouen’s medieval prosperity.

10. Parlement of Normandy

The ornate facade of the Normandy Parliament building in Rouen, featuring intricate Gothic architecture, spires, and detailed stone carvings under a partly cloudy sky.

Appeal ★★☆☆☆
Type Gothic Palace

Visit Outside only
Cost Free

The Parlement of Normandy is a historical building constructed in the late 15th century, once serving as the seat of the regional government. Its impressive architecture and rich history make it a notable landmark in Rouen.

11. Rouen Markets

A bustling food market in Rouen, with stalls selling a variety of fresh produce, including oranges and other fruits, and people browsing and shopping under red and white awnings.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Food Markets

Visit Self
Cost Free

Rouen has several food markets, with the two main ones being the smaller one at Place du Vieux Marché quare and the larger one at Place Saint-Marc square.

Opening days and hours for the markets (French)

12. Seine River's Quays

An aerial view of the quays along the Seine River in Rouen, with modern buildings, green spaces, and industrial areas lining the waterfront, and boats docked along the river.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Walking Around

Visit Self
Cost Free

The Seine River (the one that flows to Paris) also passes through the city of Rouen.

The banks on both sides of the river are developed as quays: right and left.

The right bank is dedicated to strolling, lounging, shopping, and nightlife.

The left bank is even more dedicated to strolling and lounging, especially at the Presqu’île Rollet Park described below.

13. Presqu'ile Rollet Park

A lush, green park area in Rouen, known as Rollet Park, with people enjoying the open space, trees lining the pathways, and a large ship docked along the Seine River.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Park

Visit Self
Cost Free

Presqu’ile Rollet Park is located on the Seine River. It was developed as part of an urban renewal project to transform a former industrial area into a public recreational space.

The park features walking paths, relaxation spots, and picnic areas.

14. Joan of Arc Museum

A display at the Historial Jeanne d’Arc in Rouen, featuring posters of Joan of Arc films and various memorabilia, including plates and statues dedicated to her legacy.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type History Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Joan of Arc Museum offers an immersive experience into the life and legacy of France’s national heroine. Interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations bring her story to life.

15. MUNAE

An old-fashioned classroom exhibit at the MUNAE in Rouen, with wooden desks, a chalkboard, and vintage educational posters and materials.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Education Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

MUNAE is dedicated to the history and evolution of education in France. The museum’s exhibits showcase educational materials, classrooms, and teaching methods from different eras.

16. Maritime & Harbour Museum

A collection of model ships and maritime artifacts at the Maritime Museum in Rouen, displayed in glass cases against the backdrop of historical maritime paintings and maps.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Maritime Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Maritime & Harbour Museum explores Rouen’s rich maritime history and its role as a significant port city. Exhibits include ship models, navigation instruments, and maritime artifacts.

17. Secq des Tournelles Museum

An exhibit in the Le Secq des Tournelles Museum, displaying intricate wrought ironwork, including gates and various tools, within a long, narrow gallery.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Ironwork Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Secq des Tournelles Museum is dedicated to the art of ironwork, showcasing a unique collection of iron artifacts. It’s a specialized museum that highlights the craftsmanship and artistic value of metalwork.

Its located in a 16th-century church.

18. Ceramics Museum

An elegant dining room display at the Ceramics Museum in Rouen, with a round table set with fine china and crystalware, surrounded by ornate blue and white ceramic pieces and wall plates.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Ceramics Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Ceramics Museum in Rouen showcases a vast collection of ceramic art, from ancient pottery to contemporary works.

19. Flaubert Museum

A historical room display at the History of Medicine Museum in Rouen, featuring an old-fashioned bed, religious artifacts, and various medical instruments and uniforms.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Medecine History Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Flaubert Museum, also known as the Museum of Medicine, is dedicated to the history of medicine. It offers a look into medical practices of the past.

20. Antiquities Museum

The interior of the Antiquities Museum in Rouen, featuring a grand display of ancient Roman artifacts, including columns, statues, and a detailed mosaic wall, with a visitor seated in the background.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Antiquity Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Antiquities Museum in Rouen displays artifacts from ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

21. Natural History Museum

A hallway in the Natural History Museum in Rouen, lined with glass cases displaying various animal skeletons and specimens, including a prominent elephant skeleton.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Natural History Museum

Visit Self
Cost Paid

The Natural History Museum in Rouen offers exhibits on natural sciences, including zoology, paleontology, and geology. It’s a family-friendly museu

22. St. Maclou Ossuary

A picturesque view of the medieval courtyard of Aître Saint-Maclou, showcasing its timber-framed architecture with large windows and wooden beams, leading to an open square with more half-timbered buildings and lush greenery.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Ossuary + Square + Art Gallery

Visit Self
Cost Free

The St. Maclou Ossuary is a unique historical site, featuring a courtyard surrounded by timber-framed buildings. It served as a burial ground during the plague in the 16th century 

The place has also an art gallery.

23. Rouen's Dungeon

The historic Donjon of Rouen, a cylindrical stone tower set against a mix of modern and classical buildings, illustrating the blend of old and new architecture in the city.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type Dungeon

Visit Self
Cost Free

Rouen’s Dungeon, also known as the Joan of Arc Tower, is a medieval fortress where Joan of Arc was imprisoned.

The inside host a small WWII exhibition.

24. Rouen Tourist Train

A small, tourist train in Rouen, designed to resemble a vintage locomotive, with open carriages for passengers, parked near a historical stone wall with tourists nearby.

Appeal ★☆☆☆☆
Type City Train Tour

Visit Tour
Cost Paid

The Rouen Tourist Train offers a convenient audioguided way to explore the city’s main attractions.

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