Know more and discover a beautiful country
Now you are totally settled. Your children are enrolled in school. Your life card has arrived. You like your accommodation and the move has gone well … It’s time to discover your host country … And you will see, the beautiful surprises are not lacking.
We are limited below to briefly expose all the ideas of outings, walks, discoveries, … But we can not too much advise you to go to the Tourist Office of Rouen. Not only the building that houses it is exceptionally beautiful, but also their teams are charming, multilingual and infinite availability.
Rouen offers a large number of activities related to art and culture. Its many museums, historical monuments and theaters make the cultural offer of Rouen one of the most developed in France
The museums of Rouen and its territory present exceptional and unique collections. You can admire magnificent paintings by Monet at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen or very old ceramics dating from the Gallo-Roman period to the Antiquities Museum. Rouen has also had unusual caskets to house its museums. Thus, a wing of the Archbishopric of Rouen has been transformed into a museum dedicated to Joan of Arc, or an old harbor hangar, the 107, houses on the ground floor a contemporary art gallery. museum Secq Tournelle Ferronnerie, the Museum of Antiquities, the Museum, the Museum of Education, the Museum of Medicine Gustave Flaubert … or the amazing panorama XXL. In Elbeuf, the Fabrique des Savoirs will unveil the rich past of this old cloth-making city, just like the Louviers museum.
Rouen has many cultural facilities that can accommodate all kinds of shows. The Zénith de Rouen, with its 8,000 seats, offers large-scale shows, the 106 with a sharp program highlights the so-called “current” music, while the Opéra de Rouen is the place dedicated to classical music, lyric singing, contemporary dance, and of course opera. Many unusual places such as the magnificent Corneille Chapel, the Cirque Théâtre d’Elbeuf or the Saint-Louis Chapel host performances of high standards, not to mention the CDN Center, the Charles-Dullin Theater, the Theater Rive Gauche, the Arsenal Val-de-Reuil, … The Tangram includes several theaters located in the communes of Evreux and Louviers (Cadran, Kubb, Grand Forum, …) and offers dance, theater, jazz, …
Rouen is full of historical monuments witnessing a rich and sometimes violent history. Rouen, the city of the hundred bell towers, is aptly named … a multitude of churches, as beautiful as the others, are spread throughout the city, including the amazing abbey Saint Ouen, or the beautiful cathedral Notre Madame de Rouen, who was so well painted by Claude Monet.
Among the main historical monuments in Rouen include:
– Aitre Saint-Maclou
– Jewish Monument
– St. Mary’s Fountain
– Justice court
– The Penitents’ Convent
– The Bourgtheroulde Hotel,…
The movie theater
You like movies ? The many cinemas offer a wide choice of French and foreign films, in VF or VOSTFR. The Pathé Docks 76 has recently been equipped with a Dolby Cinema room, recliners, redesigned sound and ultra-high definition screen for optimal comfort. Kinepolis, left bank, has been totally renovated. And for film buffs, the Omnia, the city’s last cinema, is characterized by arthouse programming, and hosts various festivals throughout the year (such as This is England, British Short Film Festival – ?? “Maintained in 2018 ???).
In the periphery there are also other cinemas, such as the Ariel at Mont-Saint-Aignan, the Gaumont at Grand-Quevilly, not to mention the punctual programming of the François Mitterrand space in Canteleu. Elbeuf also has its cinema, the Grand Mercure. In Louviers, moviegoers will meet at the Grand Forum, and the big-screen fans will visit the Gaumont-Pathé.
Libraries and bookshops
There are excellent bookshops in Rouen: Armitière, Rollon, Funambules, Procure, …
In addition, many libraries offer books on loan:
Capuchin Library, Châtelet Library, Grand’Mare Library, Villon Heritage Library, Parment Library, Saint-Sever Library, Simone-de-Beauvoir Library … all of equal interest but with complementary documentary specificities.
It is a pleasure to walk in Rouen and its surroundings. After having walked along the typical narrow streets of the historic center, you will surely be tempted by a nature …
The banks of the Seine
The banks of the Seine, both Left Bank and Right Bank, have been transformed into a great stroll along the river for more than 2 kilometers. Site reserved for pedestrians, cyclists or rollerbladers, there are playgrounds for children, sports equipment, restaurants, sports halls, artificial beach (in season) boules or other slopes for skateboarders, this walk offers a lively and airy environment in the heart of the city.
Parks and gardens
Rouen has many green spaces in the city center and in the communes located in the Seine valley. These parks and gardens will offer you a moment of relaxation and serenity: the French gardens of St. George’s Abbey of Saint-Martin de Boscherville, the Parc de Clères, a remarkable animal park, and its Renaissance castle, the Jardin des Plants, a veritable botanical garden, the Verdrel Square, recently refitted in a green setting in the city center, or the gardens of the Hôtel de Ville and its shady lawns so popular in hot weather (yes, yes, it happens also in Rouen!) …
The Rouen forest estate, which covers almost 25,000 hectares, one-third of the city’s surface area, occupies a very important place in the life of all Rouennais who love to walk there with their families, play sports, golf or go for a ride on horseback or bicycle. Three Forest Houses have been developed by the Rouen Metropolis to enhance the exceptional forest heritage and to better understand nature to better respect it.
The park of the Rollet Peninsula
In continuation of this walk offered by the quayside left, an amazing park was built on the peninsula Rollet. This vast landscaped space of leisure and relaxation, of nearly 15 hectares, opens on the river. The island has been transformed into a domain delivered to nature for the greatest pleasure of all … Its forest hill, its meadows, its flowery spaces and its walk open a pretty panorama on the city and its port.
Leisure and outdoor bases
In the vicinity of Rouen, there are pleasant leisure centers, such as Jumièges, Bédanne and the beautiful site of Léry-Poses. Aimed at all audiences: family, sports, nature lovers, fishermen, ornithology enthusiasts, … sports offers and entertainment are endlessly available throughout the year. In fine weather it is possible to enjoy their beaches and swim there. Housing of all types (chalets, bungalows, caravans, …) complete their offer.
Market places, shops, restaurants, walks, … Rouen, city on a human scale where everything is at hand, invites you to discover the art of living in the French way ! And to help you in your walks and shopping trips, do not forget to slip in your bag the pretty guide ” a beautiful day” (available at the Tourist Office or distributed by the “beautiful shops” in Rouen).
Shopping is not left aside in Rouen. Its wide choice of shops, its three shopping centers, the Docks 76 (near the docks), the Espace du Palais (downtown) and the Saint-Sever shopping center (left bank) …, its two Department stores, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, make the city famous.
It is especially around its Cathedral that Rouen deploys its commercial offer: in the rue du Gros-Horloge (called the “Gros” street), the Espace du Palais, the rue des Carmes, the rue Saint-Nicolas, the rue Ganterie, …
It would be a shame not to push a little further your curiosity. Many shops are sometimes nestled in more confidential places but quite amazing …
Rouen is also famous for its antique shops. A whole neighborhood (rue Damiette, Saint-Maclou) is dedicated to them. Sales rooms regularly hold high-profile public sales. Twice a year (in January and September) is held the most beautiful flea market in France in the Parc des Expositions, at the exit of the city: Rouen Flea market.
Rouen and the Seine Valley are recognized in Normandy for the quality and diversity of their markets, which offer fresh fruits and vegetables, local produce and treasure of second-hand goods. All week long, food halls and markets come to life thanks to traders and craftsmen of the region. Their specialties and products will sure be tantalising. Markets are held in the center of Rouen several days a week (St. Marc’s Square and Old Market), but there are many small, more local markets all over the city.
And last but not least … gastronomy!
Since 2010, the ” French gastronomic meal” is classified as intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Rouen does not deny this reputation.
Normandy gastronomy, by its geographical location, highlights the products from its land and those of the sea so close … Among the Norman specialties we will appreciate especially its cheeses among the most famous in the world, such as Camembert or Neufchâtel , cider, scallops, duck « à la rouennaise », or apple pie.
The city overflows with good tables, even very good tables and some starred in the kitchen for the pleasure of our palate (Rodolphe, Gill, L’Odas). With its 135 restaurants, breweries, bars, tea rooms, markets and gourmet shops, the territory of Rouen puts gastronomy in the spotlight.
If many restaurants offer world food cuisine (Italian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Afghan, etc.), French or typically Norman cuisine is no exception. It is even celebrated every year in October
And if you want to know more and develop your talents, there are several cooking workshops in Rouen and around, offering cooking and pastry classes in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
With family or friends, sportsmen or “night owls”, the opportunities for outings and shared pleasures are numerous …
Sport is part of Rouen. Professional teams of football, handball, ice and grass hockey, basketball, baseball, rugby, table tennis, rowing and athletics, … are present on the territory for you to live high level sports meetings. The Metropolis inaugurated in 2012 its Sports Palace, the Kindarena, with 6,000 seats, which hosts international sporting events such as the Davis Cup or World Handball Championships, but also many events open to the public. zumba, dance, pilates, …) If you want to practice physical activity, the many gyms, swimming pools, ice rinks, golf courses, clubs and parks are at your disposal!
Animations for a young audience (or less young), active or curious, take place throughout the year: Holi Run, Escape Game, Paint Ball, Bowling, Billiards, … There are along the wharfs of the halls fitness, squash and an oriental spa. Futsal and bubble football have many members. Soccer is practiced in old converted sheds. You can also discover your new city in Segway or Scool’bus. Karaoke nights are regularly organized in the discotheques of the city. The list is too long to be repeated here in its entirety. But whatever your age or your affinities, there is always an activity in your ropes in Rouen.
- The Armada
Every 4 or 5 years (depending on the tidal coefficients) at the beginning of the summer, an exceptional event takes place in Rouen: L’Armada. The Armada is an event that brings together on the quays of Rouen the most majestic boats, military ships and sailboats in the world. During this event with global impact, the city of Rouen and surrounding towns live to the rhythm of this great gathering: concerts, fireworks, boat blessings, military parades, … organized throughout this event are all popular friendly moments.
- Normandy Impressionist Festival
The Normandy Impressionist Festival, which celebrates Impressionism in all its forms and in the whole Normandy region, returns every three to four years since its launch in 2010. Each edition, exhibitions in the various museums of the region, live shows, meetings and digital projects make the festival a unique moment. The 2013 edition brought together 1.8 million visitors around 800 events on the theme of water. The third edition, in 2016, which counted 450 events and 1.2 million visitors, was themed Impressionist portraits. The fourth edition of this festival will take place in spring 2020.
- Cathedral of Light
The Rouen Cathedral hosts every summer on its walls a colorful sound and light show. At nightfall, spectators meet in the Cathedral Square to witness this emotion-filled spectacle, during which projections of luminous rays enliven the façade of the building. Every year, for more than 10 years, a new theme is chosen: Impressionism, Joan of Arc, Viking, William the Conqueror … In 2019, in connection with the Armada, the show will present the great maritime epics.
- 24 hours speedboat race
Celebrated every year on May 1st, 24 hours speedboat race have been, since 1964, the largest motorcycle endurance event in the world! The best competitors from more than 20 nations compete in the heart of the city of Rouen around Lacroix Island which becomes the time of 24H, the capital of motor boating.
- Other events and animations
But that’s not all. Other events punctuate the Rouen life : Musical Terraces on Thursdays, Garden Seeds, Youth Books Festival, Belly Festival, Rouen Flea Market, Sell-offs, … It always happens something in Rouen and in his region.