Rouen, the most famous city of Normandy, hosts this year the 6th edition of the Armada, a free sailing boat meeting, featuring 37 of the world’s most beautiful sailing boats. This event, which begins in June, is the perfect appetizer to start exploring the city, which has a lot to offer. With such a major event in sight, why not see the best attractions to visit while in Rouen, so you can extend your stay after the Armada.
After hosting the Tour de France and its numerous bicycles last year, Rouen is now hosting the Armada from June 6 to June 16 and for this very special occasion, 37 of the most beautiful sailing boats of the world will drop anchor on the Rouen harbour. It is completely free and you will be able to visit the boats, meet sailors from all over the world, race on the Seine with your own boat against other competitors, attend one of the eight concerts planned and enjoy the fireworks show every single night of the Armada.
Throughout the years, Rouen has earned the nickname of the “City with the 100 bell towers” and once you’re there, it is easy to understand why: every way you look at, there is one! The most famous is the Notre Dame cathedral which inspired Claude Monet and his impressionist paintings but you can also visit the Saint Maclou church, which is only a stone’s throw away or the Saint Ouen Abbey-Church. They’re all quite impressive and still in use but if you want to see smaller and desecrated churches, have a look at the Chapelle Saint Louis and its plays or the Sainte Croix des Pelletiers church for its concerts or philosophical rendezvous.
Rouen has a great variety of museums which cover different and varied topics. First and foremost, as Rouen being the capital of the impressionism, you can go to the Beaux Arts museum and admire the entire impressionist collection (other artistic movements are featured as well). Right behind the building, in a church listed as a historical monument, is the Le Secq des Tournelles museum; this museum holds a one of a kind collection of ironworks gathering pieces of architecture, coffee grinders, tools, jewels and many more. In one of the most picturesque streets of the city lies the National Museum of the Education which shows the evolution of the teaching system from the Renaissance until the 20th century. There are also the Natural History Museum, an antiquity museum, a ceramics museum and a sea museum just to name a few.
The Gros Horloge Street
It is one of the most visited pedestrian streets of France and is named after the Gros Horloge, the most emblematic monument of the city which offers a fantastic view of the Rouen and cities nearby. The street is full of character making the pavements and the typical half-timbering houses lively and bustling thanks to the shops and little restaurants. It is located between the cathedral and the Place du Vieux Marché (see below) and the feeling you get when walking under the Gros Horloge is really special.
The Place Du Vieux Marché
Joan of Arc made this place famous because it was here that her death sentence was carried out in 1431. A memorial stone has been erected where the stake used to be and the church there is named after her. It’s one of the liveliest places of the city and it has many restaurants, bars and cafés and a covered market.
The Jardin Des Plantes
Situated on the left bank of the city, its 85000m2 span, full of flowers, trees and birds will delight you. Take a look at the orange grove, the rose garden and the greenhouses. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll spot a peacock that will spread his tail feathers for you!
Explore Nearby Cities
Rouen is ideally situated and the road network makes it easy to travel around. Should you want to discover the region, you can either take the bus, the train or drive to Le Havre, Deauville, Honfleur, Etretat, Giverny and last but not least, Paris.
Are you tempted? Why not have a look at the properties available in Upper Normandy so you’ll be able to enjoy to the fullest the treasures this region has to offer.