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Honfleur

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Honfleur - The Vieux Bassin

Honfleur is a town surrounding a beautiful little 17th-century harbor in Calvados, Lower Normandy. It is still active as a fishing port and marina. The town has preserved many historic and traditional buildings and houses some interesting museums, churches and monuments.

Orientation[edit]

From west to east, here are the areas of Honfleur:

  • Saint-Léonard with the eponymous church behind the tourist office and the open-air wash house.
  • L’Enclos with the old port (Vieux Bassin), the Lieutenance, the church of Saint-Etienne (now a marine museum) and the salt halls (Greniers à Sel).
  • Sainte-Catherine : around the largest wooden church with a separate belltower in France are narrow streets with the best restaurants and art galleries.
  • The sea wall, bordered with well-kept parks, makes a pleasant walk along the mouth of the Seine.
  • Côte de Grâce is a hill at about 1.5 km from the town that offers beautiful views on Honfleur, the Seine, the Pont de Normandie and Le Havre

Get in[edit]

  • 23 km south of Le Havre via the Pont de Normandie
  • 64 km north-east of Caen
  • 184 km north of Le Mans
  • 194 km west of Paris via the A13

Train[edit]

Honfleur has no train station of its own; the closest train stations are those in Le Havre and Trouville-Deauville. Both have several daily direct trains to and from Paris Saint-Lazare station.

Airport[edit]

Deauville-Saint-Gatien Airport [1] is served by Cityjet flights from London City Airport and Régional flights from Montpellier.

Bus 20 operated by Bus Verts [2] runs between Deauville-St Gatien Airport and Honfleur town centre. A one-way ticket costs 2,30€ (adults) and 1,95€ (youth under 26).

Get around[edit]

  • Allo Taxi Honfleurais +33 2 31 98 87 59
  • Taxi Morin +33 2 31 98 77 81
  • Alain Taxi +33 2 31 87 35 00

See[edit][add listing]

Sainte-Catherine church
  • Le Vieux Bassin et la Lieutenance. Old harbor and port authority buildings. Charming but monopolized by restaurant terraces.
  • Sainte-Catherine church. This church was built in wood by ships' carpenters around 1500. The two parallel vaults take the shape of an upturned hull.  edit
The wooden bell tower
  • Clocher Sainte-Catherine (bell tower). Open in summer (and winter week-ends) 10am-12am and 2pm-6pm, in winter weekdays 2.30pm-17pm, closed on Tuesday. This wooden bell tower is separated from the main church.  edit
  • Musée Eugène Boudin (Eugène Boudin Museum), rue de l’Homme de Bois, +33 2 31 89 54 00. Open in summer (and winter week-ends) 10am-12am and 2pm-6pm, in winter weekdays 2.30pm-17pm, closed on Tuesday. Eugene Boudin is one of the forerunners of the Impressionist movement. The museum houses some 92 of the painter's works.  edit
  • Maisons Satie (Satie museum), 67 boulevard Charles V (by foot from Sainte-Catherine church take the rue de l’Homme de Bois and turn right at the sign), +33 2 31 89 11 11 (, fax: +33 2 31 89 09 99). Summer 10am-7pm, winter 11am-6pm; closed on Tuesday. A surrealist walk into Satie’s music and wit. The composer Erik Satie was born in this house in Honfleur in 1866. His life is told (over free audio phones - in French by Michel Lonsdale, English version also available) from room to room, with many anecdotes and music samples. You’ll even see his ghost playing his music on a white piano. Allow one hour to make the tour. €4.00.  edit
  • Le Jardin des Personnalités (the Garden of Personalities). A nice well-kept garden down by the mouth of the Seine filled with busts of some of the famous inhabitants of Honfleur. At the rear of the garden, a small path leads to the center of a marsh, where you can enjoy the quiet and look for birds.  edit
  • Le Jardin Retrouvé (public garden). 8am till sunset. Along the bank of the Seine, a nice garden with swings for the children.  edit
  • Naturospace (live butterflies garden), +33 2 31 81 77 00 (fax: +33 2 31 81 77 01). An indoor tropical garden with hundreds of butterflies; charming, ideal on a rainy day. €7.40.  edit
  • Musée de la Marine (Marine Museum), quai Saint-Etienne (on the Vieux Bassin), +33 2 31 89 14 12. Closed on Monday. In the unconsecrated Saint-Etienne church (14th century), an exhibit of model boats and other souvenirs of the sailor's life.  edit
  • Normandy Culture & Ethnography Museum (installed in the former prison), rue de la Prison (behind Saint-Etienne church), +33 2 31 89 14 12. The museum recreates life in old Normandy.  edit
  • Pont de Normandie, (out of town, direction Le Havre). Impressive bridge over the Seine (toll €5.10).  edit
  • Notre Dame de Grâce chapel, (on the hill Côte de Grâce, south-west of Honfleur). An old chapel built by Richard II and rebuilt in 1615 on the hill with beautiful views over the town and the Seine.  edit

The beautiful Lieutenance building - backdrop to a million photographs and charmingly unchanged for so many years. http://honfleurthenandnow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/ancient-building-and-my-ankles-in-peril.html

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Post Office : 7 cours Albert-Manuel (500m south-west from the quai Sainte-Catherine), weekdays 8.30am-12am & 1.30pm-6pm Saturday 8.30am-12am
  • Open markets
    • Bio Market, place Sainte-Catherine, each Wednesday 8.30am to 1pm
    • Traditional Market, Sainte-Catherine area, each Saturday 8.30am to 1pm
    • Fish Market, harbor, each Saturday 8.30am to 1pm
  • Compagnie des Calvados, 19 rue de la Ville, +33 2 31 89 57 56. Calvados tasting, for the serious connoisseur. You’ll find here all vintages over the last sixty years. €50 - €300.  edit
  • Goutte de pluie (contemporary steel jewelry), rue de l’Homme de Bois. €50 - €100.  edit
  • Art galleries : Looking for an expensive work of art ? Honfleur is the place to be, with dozens of art galleries. Some of the most interesting ones are in the rue du Dauphin. [3]

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are more than 100 restaurants in Honfleur.

  • La Commanderie, place Sainte-Catherine, +33 2 31 89 14 92. Pancakes and pizzas  edit
  • L’Homme de Bois, 30-32 rue de l’Homme de Bois (near Sainte-Catherine church), +33 2 31 89 75 27. Brasserie, in an old fisherman house; timbered ceiling with exposed beams; oysters, skate wing, floating island. Menu €19 & €25; three-course meal with wine €35.  edit
  • La Tortue, 36 rue de l'Homme de Bois (near Sainte-Catherine church), +33 2 31 89 04 93.  edit
  • Entre Terre et Mer, 12-14 place Hamelin (near the Lieutenance), +33 2 31 89 70 60 (, fax: +33 2 31 89 40 55), [4]. Classic restaurant with terrace on the street; excellent preparations of live blue lobster. Menu €26, €35 & €51; two-course meal with blue lobster and wine €65.  edit
  • La Fleur de Sel, 17 rue Haute (the rue Haute is below and parallel to the rue de l’Homme de Bois), +33 2 31 89 01 92 (fax: +33 2 31 89 01 92). Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and in January. Classic restaurant with fine cooking: cold soup with tuna and tomatoes, calf’s liver with vegetables duxelle, strawberry soup. Reservation is essential. Menus €26 & €36.  edit
  • Le Bréard, 7 rue du Puits (near Sainte-Catherine church), +33 2 31 89 53 40 (, fax: +33 2 31 88 60 37). Closed on Tuesday lunchtime, Wednesday, Thursday lunchtime. Trendy gastronomic restaurant in the artists area of Honfleur; fine and innovative cooking; very fresh fish (turbot €25, sea bass €20). Reservation is essential.i Two-course meal with wine €80.  edit


  • L'escale (0m), Place Arthur Boudin, 3 rue de la Ville, 14600 Honfleur (Behind the Hotel de Ville), +33 2 31 89 32 22, [5]. Pleasant sevice and good food. In central Honfleur but a bit quieter than restaurants on the Vieux Bassin. It serves the seafood that is most in place in Honfleur as well as other choices and has a pleasant covered area on the side of a pedestrian street along one side of the square. Menus at €18, €28, €35.  edit
  • La Chaloupe (0m), Vieux Bassin, 14600 Honfleur (At the southwest corner of the Vieux Bassin). One of many similar places along the vieux bassin. A pleasant meal while you people watch is the main attraction. Prices are reasonable for this location and for France and the service fairly quick. There are tables by the waterside with shady umbrellas or you can eat inside. Menus at €18, €28.  edit
  • Le Hamelin (2m), 16, place Hamelin, 14600 Honfleur (50m to the West of the crossroads near the Lieutenance), +33 2 31 89 16 25, [6]. Good for a tasty imaginative meal at a reasonable price in a charming well decorated small restaurant right in the centre of Honfleur (but not on the Vieux Bassin). The service is attentive and prompt. Try the Calvados Fermier with the Apple dessert, they work well together. Menus at €16.50, €26.  edit

In Saint-Gatien-des-Bois (10 km south, on the road to Deauville)[edit]

  • Auberge Le Cheval Blanc, 33 rue des Brioleurs, Saint-Gatien-des-Bois (on the main street in the center of the village), +33 2 31 65 16 67 (, fax: +33 2 31 64 33 26). Little country restaurant renovated in 2007. Fine regional cooking (whelk salad, duck pâté with pistachio, plaice fillet with cream, roasted guinea fowl fillet). The chef has worked in starry restaurants. Charming welcome by the owner. They also have eight little rooms. Reservation expected. Menu €15 (a must!), €19 & €28; three-course meal with wine and coffee €35.  edit

In Trouville-sur-Mer (15 km south)[edit]

  • Crèperie du Port, 30 quai F. Moureaux, Trouville (on the quay). Above average creperie, in front of the harbor and serving excellent home-made pancakes. Salted pancake €8, sweet pancake €5, bowl of cider €3.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • La Petite Chine (for the best scones, crumble and brownies in town; extensive list of teas from India, Taiwan and other countries), 14-16 rue du Dauphin, +33 2 31 89 36 52. full brunch or tea €25.  edit
  • Vintage cafe (live jazz music, cocktails, salads), 8 quai des Passagers (between the old harbor and Sainte-Catherine church), +33 2 31 89 05 28 (fax: +33 2 31 89 21 95).  edit

Lodging[edit]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • BeeHome, rue verte 14600 Honfleur, 06 07 10 59 17/ 06 64 81 12 08/ 02 31 88 51 87 (), [7]. A delightful, peaceful country house located on the environmentally protected Côte de Grâce, just 2km from Honfleur.This large and recently built architect-designed home – constructed with traditional Normand materials of brick, red cedar and slate and rests on 4 ac of quiet park grounds.The house plan gives each of the 4 rooms its own wing permitting privacy while maintaining an intimate setting.The spacious interior is comfortable and bright. The double living room with panoramic bay windows looks out onto the terraced garden and the grounds beyond. 80 -120 Euros.  edit
  • La Maison de Lucie, 44 rue des Capucins. charming little hotel in the historical center  edit
  • Le Cheval Blanc, 2 quai des Passagers, 14600 Honfleur (Take the turning off the main road into town following Centre Ville. Next to the Lieutenance.), +33 2 31 81 65 00, [8]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Right in the centre next to the waterside, this very old hotel is in the thick of the action with views over the harbour, portside parks and the Lieutenance. It is in an old building, some parts with exposed wooden beams and plasterwork, others more recent and probably dating from the 19th century parts. The rooms are embedded in this old building as best as possible but fitting in the modern amenities has sometimes been difficult. Recently redecorated and renovated (probably in 2009) it is well appointed but the quality of the fittings is variable. Considering the price, the rooms are pleasant but not large. The picture shows an evening shot of the hotel on the right, with the Lieutenance on the left seen over the Fishermen's harbour. There are few amenities other than the rooms and the breakfast room. There is free wireless broadband. The breakfast arrangements are a little eccentric with wobbly tables supporting a vat of boiling water in which you can freshly boil your own eggs or on which you can squeeeze your own fresh orange juice using a (noisy) electric juicing machine as you prepare to enjoy the boiled eggs, continental breakfast or cereals. 145-170 Euros.  edit
  • La Vie de Cocagne, Chemin de la Maladrerie, Bonnebosq, Calvados, 14340, france (20 minutes from Honfleur), [9]. checkin: 16.00; checkout: 10.00. Luxury gîte with three double beds and an outdoor spa. Book by the week or weekend. 1200.  edit

Bed & Breakfast[edit]

  • Villa Ariane, 29-31 route Emile Renouf (at the entrance of the city, coming from the pont de Normandie), +33 6 70 30 87 86 (), [10]. Five big and clear rooms in a 19th-century villa, in a big garden. A little bit worrying when you arrive, because the exterior of the villa are not yet restored (the proprietors plan to rebuild the veranda this winter (2007). The interior is great and clear, everything has been renovated as it was one hundred years ago. Good location as the house has a private parking and the center of Honfleur is at a fifteen minutes walk. OK but welcome and cleanliness to improve. €110 - €125, continental breakfast included.  edit
  • Villa Haute Rive, rue Adolphe Marais, +33 2 31 14 97 55 (), [11]. €105-€145, including breakfast.  edit
  • La Cour Sainte-Catherine, 74 rue du Puits (near Sainte-Catherine church), +33 2 31 89 42 40 (), [12]. Very central situation. Warm welcome. €65-€90.  edit

Other[edit]

  • Villa des Jardins - vacation rental, 14 rue des Jardins in Trouville sur Mer (15 km south), +33 6 84 05 77 44 (), [13]. 5mn from the beach and in the center. from 150 € for a week-end/ from 300 € for one week.  edit

Contact[edit]

  • Tourism Office : quai Lepaulmier (on the D580 passing through Honfleur from west to east) +33 2 31 89 23 30, open every day from 10am to 5pm (closed for lunch 12.30 to 2pm on weekdays)
  • Cyber Pub (internet cafe), 55 rue de la République (the rue de la République leads to the quai Sainte-Catherine), +33 2 31 89 95 83 (), [14]. Closed on Thursday.  edit

Get out[edit]



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