Rouen is the historic capital of Normandy and one of the oldest cities of France. A roman city originally, the present layout owes its existence to Rollo, the first duke of Normandy. An attractive place with plenty to see, it’s particularly famous for Claude Monet who painted the cathedral 28 times over two years. Apart from the cathedral, which is one of the great Gothic cathedrals of France, make sure you see the Ceramics Museum and take a stroll through the old part of the city.
It was also the city where Joan of Arc was tried in 1431 then burnt at the stake, right in the centre of town. Rouen's latest attraction is the Historial Jeanne d'Arc which takes you through the life of the Maid of Orleans. It's a multi-media work of art, with plenty of projections that bring her to life. In the former Archbishop's Palace, now restored, it's a top place for families.
Rouen was much in the news with the 950th anniversary in 2016 of the Battle of Hastings of 1066 and William the Conqueror.
Rouen has some good hotels and restaurants, many in historic buildings. Check out La Couronne; it's the oldest restaurant in France and looks it, with wooden floors and panelling and a wonderful collection of photographs of past diners (many of them world famous) on its walls. The restaurant was here when Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.
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Rouen is one of France's 20 most popular cities for international visitors.
Rouen Tourist Office
25 place de la Cathedrale
Tel.: 00 33 (0)2 32 08 32 40
Train Travel: Paris to Rouen by Train
Trains to Rouen leave from Paris Gare Saint Lazare (13 rue Amsterdam, Paris 8) all through the day.
Metro lines to and from Gare Saint Lazare
- Ligne 3: Porte de Levallois-Becon to Gallieni
- Ligne 12: Porte de la Chapelle to Mairie d’Issy
- Ligne 13: Saint-Denis–Universite to Chatillon–Montrouge
- Ligne 14: Saint Lazare to Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand
High-speed TER and Intercite trains to Rouen train station
Direct trains include
- Paris to Rouen station from 1hr 11 mins
- Dieppe to Rouen station from 46 mins
- Le Havre to Rouen station from 53mins
- Rouen to Vernon station from 36 mins
- Charles de Gaulle Airport to Rouen station in 3 hrs 56 mins with changes at Lille Europe, Paris Nord to Paris St. Lazare for the train to Rouen.
See the major TER services on the TER website
Rouen Rive Droite train station is at the north end of rue Jeanne d’Arc.
Book your Train Ticket
- For the UK book with voyages-sncf (Rail Europe)
- For the US book with Rail Europe
Getting to Rouen by car
Paris to Rouen is 131 kms (81 miles) taking around 1 hr 32 mins depending on your speed. There are tolls on the autoroutes.
Getting to Rouen by bus
Eurolines leaves from Paris Gallieni Porte Bagnolet three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The journey to Rouen takes 2 hrs 15 mins.
For information on hiring a car under the lease-back scheme which is the most economical way of hiring a car if you’re in France for more than 17 days, try Renault Eurodrive Buy Back Lease.
Getting from London to Paris
- By train (Eurostar)
Eurostar between London, Paris and Lille
By bus/coach Eurolines offers a cheap service from London, Gillingham, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Gallieni. Six coaches a day; 2 overnight; journey time is 7 hours. The Eurolines stop is at the Paris Gallieni Coach Station, 28 ave du General de Gaulle, just by the Gallieni metro station near the Porte de Bagnolet (Metro line 3, final stop). Eurolines is a cheap and reliabale alternative to train travel though the journey takes much longer.
Eurolines website for French travel
IDBus also operates between London and Lille and London and Paris. IDBus also goes from Lille to Amsterdam and Brussels.