Rouen Attractions: The 10 Best Tourist Attractions In Rouen

Ah, Rouen! Nestled in the heart of Normandy, this French city is a tapestry of history and charm that beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. It’s like stepping into a medieval storybook, with its half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets. I remember my first stroll down Rue du Gros-Horloge, feeling as though I had time-traveled to an era of knights and poets. But enough reminiscing; let’s dive into the crème de la crème of Rouen’s attractions that you simply can’t miss.


First up, the Gros-Horloge, an iconic astronomical clock, is a marvel that has been keeping time since the 14th century. Its intricate mechanics and golden face are a testament to the ingenuity of the past. Walking beneath its arch, you can’t help but feel the weight of history and the countless footsteps that have passed here before you.

Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen

No visit to Rouen would be complete without basking in the splendor of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Its spires reach for the heavens, and if you’re lucky enough to catch the light show at night, you’ll see the façade come alive with vibrant colors. Inside, the stained glass and soaring arches speak of devotion and artistry that has stood the test of time.

Historical Joan of Arc Sites

For history buffs, the tale of Joan of Arc is deeply woven into the fabric of Rouen. The Joan of Arc Tower, part of the castle where she was held, and the modern Church of Saint Joan of Arc, mark her trial and martyrdom. The church’s unique design and stained-glass windows from the 16th century are a poignant tribute to the Maid of Orléans.

Museum of Fine Arts

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The Museum of Fine Arts is a treasure trove with masterpieces by Monet, Sisley, and Modigliani, to name a few. The collection spans several centuries, offering a visual feast that’s sure to inspire. I could spend hours here, lost in the brushstrokes of genius.

Old Market Square (Place du Vieux-Marché)

The Old Market Square is the vibrant heart of Rouen, where past and present collide. It’s a bustling hub where you can savor local delicacies or pick up unique souvenirs. The square also holds a special significance as the site where Joan of Arc was executed, marked by an unassuming cross.

Aître Saint-Maclou

Aître Saint-Maclou is an eerie yet fascinating site. Once a plague cemetery, its courtyard is surrounded by half-timbered buildings with macabre carvings. It’s a stark reminder of the city’s resilience through dark times. Nowadays, it’s a place of quiet reflection and extraordinary architecture.

Jardin des Plantes

If you’re seeking a tranquil escape, the Jardin des Plantes is a lush oasis. With its beautifully manicured gardens and greenhouses, it’s a breath of fresh air. I love wandering through the different sections, each with its own theme and array of plants.

Palais de Justice

The Palais de Justice, with its flamboyant Gothic façade, is a sight to behold. It’s still in use today, which adds a layer of living history to its already impressive resume. The intricate details and grandeur of the building are a photographer’s dream.

Church of Saint-Maclou

Another gem is the Church of Saint-Maclou, a masterpiece of the flamboyant Gothic style. Its ornate doorways and spire are simply breathtaking. Inside, the peaceful ambiance and light filtering through the stained glass create a serene environment.

Rouen-Rive-Droite Railway Station

Lastly, even the Rouen-Rive-Droite Railway Station is a destination in itself. Its Art Nouveau architecture stands out in a city known for its medieval roots. It’s a bustling gateway for travelers, and a perfect example of how Rouen embraces both the old and the new.


  • What is the best time of year to visit Rouen?

    Spring and fall offer mild weather and fewer crowds, making them ideal for exploring Rouen’s attractions. Summer is also lovely but expect more tourists.

  • Is Rouen suitable for family trips?

    Absolutely! Rouen has attractions that appeal to all ages, from historical sites to beautiful gardens. Plus, the city is walkable, which is always a bonus for families.

  • How many days should I spend in Rouen?

    I’d recommend at least two days to soak in the main sights without rushing. If you have more time, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover at a leisurely pace.


Rouen is a city that captures the imagination and tugs at the heartstrings. Its blend of history, art, and culture creates an experience that’s both enriching and enchanting. From the timeless watch of the Gros-Horloge to the poignant legacy of Joan of Arc, each attraction tells a story that’s uniquely Rouen. Whether you’re marveling at the grandeur of the Notre-Dame Cathedral or finding peace in the Jardin des Plantes, you’re sure to leave with memories that last a lifetime. So pack your bags, and set your sights on Rouen – a treasure trove of wonders awaits.

Kurby Team

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