What to do in Honfleur? Discover the activity guide to visit Honfleur
Wondering what to do in Honfleur?
Here is a guide to help you plan your stay in Honfleur. Activities, visits to monuments, museums and natural sites will soon have no secrets for you. You can also plan your discovery visits with the Honfleur Tourist Office.
Honfleur’s monuments and historical sites: the sea at the heart of architecture
The city is located at the level of the Seine estuary opposite Le Havre, a city to which it is connected by the Normandy bridge. The city has often been immortalized by impressionist painters such as Monet, with its Old Basin in which the facades of the slate-covered houses are reflected. If you are going to discover Honfleur, we recommend you here some monuments and places to visit.
The Notre-Dame-de-Grâce chapel, classified as a historic monument, overlooks the city of Honfleur and thus offers a breathtaking view of the Normandy Bridge, the city of Le Havre and the Seine estuary. It was built in place of a small chapel that a Duke of Normandy had promised to build if he escaped a shipwreck. It has therefore become a very symbolic place for sailors. Inside, magnificent stained glass windows in shimmering colours are displayed alongside paintings and ship models. Children also bring model boats to the chapel during the Sailors’ Day.
Église Sainte Catherine
L’église Saint Catherine d’Honfleur est également classée aux monuments historiques. Sa particularité architecturale réside dans le fait qu’elle a été bâtie dans plusieurs styles différents : gothique tout d’abord, puis néo-classique, néo-normand et enfin renaissance. Faites d’abord une halte au clocher qui est contre toute attente est séparé de la nef. Entrez ensuite à l’intérieur de la nef et admirez sa structure inspirée des halles de marché, les vitraux qui ornent les fenêtres du chœur et son orgue classique.
If you are going to the beach or the Naturospace, take a short detour to admire for a few moments the Honfleur lighthouse, a square tower made of white stones made of pieces from the former Hospital Lighthouse.
Salt granaries of Honfleur
The salt granaries are 2 buildings that are part of the cultural heritage of the city of Honfleur and which have also been classified as historic monuments. Erected to store salt for the payment of the gabelle, there were three of them. Today only two attics have survived the ravages of time and the city regularly uses them as exhibition halls, concert halls or for conferences. Take advantage of an exhibition to admire the site, with its wooden vaults and impressive ceiling height that can store several thousand tons of salt.
Museums and exhibitions in Honfleur
Although it is a small town in Calvados, Honfleur is full of listed buildings, but also museums and cultural and artistic exhibitions worth a visit.
Museum of the Navy
The Honfleur Marine Museum is housed in the former Saint-Étienne church, on the edge of the Old Basin. You will be able to admire many model boats offered by the honfleurais, but also maritime souvenirs of the city such as engravings, watercolours and paintings representing the port and its history.
Discover through a scenographic journey, a vibrant musical tribute to Erik Satie, composer and pianist from Honfleur. This museum consists of three houses, classified as historical monuments, which offer you whimsical settings with plays of sound and light as well as an exhibition of the works of Satie and artists with whom he has worked (Picasso, Cocteau…).
Museum of Ethnography
The Honfleur Museum of Ethnography has 12 rooms, like the Salle du Marin, in which you can admire reconstructions of Norman interiors (furniture, objects, headdresses and costumes). You will also learn more about the old prisons and discover collections of folk art objects in the various rooms.
Eugène Boudin Museum
The Eugène Boudin Museum in Honfleur offers you the opportunity to discover more than 2500 paintings, sculptures, engravings, 1000 objects (headdresses, costumes and furniture), 700 photographs on glass plates in early 1900, antique toys and tourist posters on Normandy. The whole is structured around seven themes: ethnography, pre-impressionist movement… Go to the chapel to admire the temporary exhibitions or to the drawing room to discover works on paper classified by theme. Finally, by visiting the museum’s annex, the bell tower, you will appreciate many religious works.
Nature lovers or simply looking for a family outing in Honfleur, you will love the Naturospace. This huge greenhouse of 1000m² offers you the opportunity to discover the tropical fauna and flora in a fun way. In the heart of a lush vegetation you can admire tropical butterflies and exotic birds that cross in total freedom.
Parks and natural sites near Honfleur
Near Honfleur, you can find the famous cliffs of Etretat, often immortalized in photos or on postcards. This atypical landscape has in a way become the symbol of Normandy, which also has a large number of parks and gardens.
Cliffs of Etretat
A MUST HAVE! The Cliffs of Etretat are composed of several cliffs damaged by natural elements such as the surf. The cliff of Aval, with its famous arch and needle, is one of the most famous landscapes of the cliffs of Normandy, immortalized by Monet.
You can also admire the Manneporte located just behind. You will also discover the cliff of Amont at the top of which is the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde chapel, which protects fishermen.
Cities to visit near Honfleur
Take advantage of your stay in Honfleur to visit this magnificent region of Normandy. Many cities deserve a stopover, but we have chosen to present you here Beuvron-en Auge and Lisieux.
If you wish to discover Normandy, we advise you to go a few kilometres from Honfleur, to Beuvron-en-Auge more precisely. You can admire a typical Norman village, with its half-timbered houses, its restored halls but also several listed manor houses, including the 15th century manor house.
To begin your visit, we can only advise you to visit the sumptuous Basilica of Sainte-Thérèse in Lisieux. It overlooks the city from the hill and offers a superb panorama. Inside, stained glass windows, brightly coloured mosaics and sculptures will not leave you with marble. The Château de Saint-Germain-de-Livet and its garden are also worth a visit, as are the Buissonnets and the Château de Boutemont.