3 things you cannot miss in Honfleur

Cobbled stone streets
Cobbled stone streets

A small seaside town in France, the charming port of Honfleur (pronounced on-flur) is a popular weekend destination among Parisians and artists. Several cute little shops selling unique kinds of artwork, gifts, homemade products, souvenirs, chocolates and sprawling restaurants (over 100 of them) serving some of the best French food are sprinkled in this small town. Honfleur comes to life in the evenings and dies down around 9 pm. 

We drove through the narrow stone-cobbled studded roads freaked out and surprised two cars could actually fit in what seemed like a lot exactly for a single car. After a nerve wrecking drive and settling in our room, we took stroll around this hilly town, through the windy narrow roads while tasting some of the best wines and traditional French food this town has to offer.

And that's just me
And that’s just me

Here is our list of the top 3 things you must see in Honfleur:

1. Visit the St. Catherine Church

This huge, wooden church is situated right in the heart of this dainty town. It was built in the 15th century by shipwrights evident by  several models of ships that are placed all over the church, including the altar (don’t forget to check out Jesus on boat). Also, just look up as you enter the church, the roof actually resembles an upturned boat. The pipe organ inside the church is still functional and used during concerts. The church’s bell tower, which is separate from the church, but is right by its side.

The wooden Saint Catherine Church built in the 15th century by shipwrights to thank God after British left their country after a long war
The wooden Saint Catherine Church built in the 15th century by shipwrights to thank God after British left their country after a long war
The church's bell tower; separate from the church
The church’s bell tower; separate from the church

The story has it that the citizens of Honfleur built this church to thank God after the British left their country after a long war.

Roof of Saint Catherine Church - Notice how it looks like an upturned boat
Roof of Saint Catherine Church – Notice how it looks like an upturned boat
Models of ships inside the church
Models of ships inside the church
Jesus in a boat
Jesus in a boat
A closer view
A closer view

2. Do the Cote de Grace walk for panoramic views of the city

It’s a 20 minutes steep walk up from St. Catherine’s Church; actually not too bad at all after a delicious dinner. Don’t expect to burn off the calories though!

Views from atop (Normandy bridge seen at a distance)
Views from atop (Normandy bridge seen at a distance)

If you are not in a mood for the walk, you can drive up there. From atop, panoramic views of the city, Normandy Bridge and Siene River await you. And while you are there, check out the Notre Dame de Grace Church and the huge bells right beside it (I am not sure if they are still in use).

Notre Dame de Grace
Notre Dame de Grace
Huge bells next to the Notre Dame de Grace church
Huge bells next to the Notre Dame de Grace church

 

3. Stroll around the Vieux Basin

Situated a stone’s throw away from Saint Catherine’s Church, the Le Vieux Basin has a slew of bars, restaurants and cafes with romantic outdoor seating facing the lovely port. It is nice strolling around the Vieux Basin both during the day and at night (we preferred the night, less crowded with good views). The dim lights at night and the sleek sailboats docked at the harbor make it a peaceful and romantic walk. During the day, you might also get to see artists painting away this picturesque port.

Beautiful Vieux Basin.. Lovely to stroll by at night
Beautiful Vieux Basin.. Lovely to stroll by at night
Another view
Another view
Restaurants along the Vieux Basin... Wouldn't you love to dine here?
Restaurants along the Vieux Basin… Wouldn’t you love to dine here?
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