Rouen is the capital of the French region of Haute-Normandie and situated on the River Seine, approximately 90 minutes drive north-west (135 km) from the centre of Paris. The city has a population of 110,000 and its metropolitan area includes some 520,000 inhabitants.
- From Paris, Rouen is approximately an hour and a half's drive (135 km) north-west from the centre of the French capital, the fastest route including the A13 motorway (note: this a toll road). An alternative route would include the N14 slightly further to the north.
- From the Channel port city of Dieppe, Rouen is approximately an hour's drive (66 km) south along the N27.
- From the French end of the Eurotunnel, Rouen is approximately a 2 hour drive (208 km) using the E402.
- From other major centres in Normandy, Rouen is respectively 90 km (1 hr 10 mins) from Le Havre, 128 km (1 hr 25 mins) from Caen, 156 km (1 hr 45 mins) from Bayeux and 249 km (2 hr 45 mins) from Cherbourg.
Several trains depart from the St Lazare Station in Paris for Rouen on a daily basis. Tickets cost around 20 euros and can be purchased at the station immediately beforehand. For schedules, visit www.voyages-sncf.fr
Note that the train posting in Paris St-Lazare can be confusing to the first time traveler. The train line number ("la voie") is not posted unil 15-20 minutes before the departure, so do not panic if you arrive earlier than that. Look for the train heading to Cherbourg. Caen will not be the listed destination, as it is a stop along the way. Do not forget to punch ("composter") your ticket in one of the yellow machines before boarding. This will validate your ticket.
The city center is compact and all sights can easily be seen by foot. There are city buses as well as a light rail line.
Sightseeing and Activities
- Rouen Cathedral (la cathédrale de Rouen)  – the facade of the cathedral was famously painted by Claude Monet at various times during one day – like his Haystacks series of paintings, capturing the subject in a variety of lights. In the summer after dark the city puts on a light show projecting some of Monet's cathedral paintings onto the facade of the cathedral itself, each showing lasts approximately 10 minutes and runs until about midnight.
- Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in the center of la vieille ville. A simple field of wildflowers marks the spot of her martyrdom. Next to it is the modern Eglise de Jeanne d'Arc.
- The Big Clock (le gros horloge) recently restored, located in the middle of the rue du gros horloge. Climb to the top for a beautiful view of the city.
- The birthplace of writer Gustave Flaubert, best known for his scandalous novel Madame Bovary, has been converted into a museum of his life and of 19th century medicine (his father and brother were doctors). It is located at 1, rue Lecat, off Boulevard des Belges and not far from place Cauchoise. One can also visit the birthplace of playwright Pierre Corneille at 4, rue de la Pie, a moment's walk from Vieux Marche.
- The magnificent Gothic Abbatiale St-Ouen is not to be missed. It is next to the Hotel de Ville at the end of Rue de la Republique.
- Get centered at Tapovan Normandy: Yoga & Ayurvedic Massage Centre. Hameau de Anneville, 76540 Sassetot le Mauconduit. +33 1 45 77 90 59. This ayurvedic centre is set in a peaceful natural setting 60 km nortwest of Rouen. Week-long treatments and training in hatha & nada yoga, reiki, ayurvedic/oil massage, Shirodhara (oil treatments), vegetarian cooking, pre/post-natal massage, etc. International colloquium in May. Closed in winter
- Market on Saturdays and Sundays at Place Saint Marc. Fresh produce, flowers and bria a brac/ antiques. Well worth a visit.
- Fruits, vegetables, cheeses and meats can be bought at the Vieux Marche. A larger selection, as well as used clothing, furniture, and knick-knacks can be found at the Place de Saint Marc.
example : Alive Hotel de Quebec is a clean, comfortable and friendly city centre hotel. It is modestly priced, despite being located just a few minutes walk from the river and Cathedral. This hotel also has arrangements with several local restaurants and can organise "Soirées D'Etape", which include a room, breakfast and evening meal at a restaurant (Note: the hotel has no restaurant itself).
See and check the Hotels in Rouen
- Dieppe, a lovely seaside resort, 45 minutes away.
- An ideal half-day trip would include Les Andelys, a picturesque village with an impressive castle just south of Rouen
- Next stop could be the little 17-th century harbor of Honfleur (90 km west)
- Le Havre and its modern architecture which belongs to the prestigious Unesco World Heritage List (regular trains running from Rouen)Visit Le Havre page on the site to get a better view of western Normandy
- From Rouen station you can reach Bayeux and its impressive tapestry. It is a two-hour train ride and is only 30 minutes from the D-Day beaches. Additionally, busy Lille, chock full of museums and an enormous flea market in October, lies to the North; about two hours on the train, 30€ each way.
- Vernon and Monet's home at Giverny are both about 40 minutes away on the train (direction of Paris, less than 10€).