Marvel at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen and the second-largest collection of French Impressionist artworks at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in the Normandy capital of Rouen. These hotels will get you close to the pulse of the medieval city.
Just one hour from Paris and an hour longer to the D-Day landing beaches, Rouen is a great base from which to explore northern France. Inside the medieval capital of Normandy, museums and markets, cathedrals and cocktails bars, Gothic churches and international chain stores share the cobblestoned streets and timbered buildings. Choose a hotel in the historic centre or a quiet apartment across the River Seine – you’ll find them all in our best picks here.
Just steps away from where Saint Joan of Arc tragically burned at the stake almost 600 years ago, this striking French Renaissance mansion invites you to discover the historic heritage of Rouen, with a side of luxury. Aside from boasting the largest indoor pool in Normandy, the spa features a steam bath, sauna, gym and treatment rooms. Continue the serenity in the en-suite bathrooms, where light filters through stained-glass windows into a bath set in marble mosaic.
Vintage parlour sofas and antique armoires in the guest rooms evoke this property’s past life as a 19th-century bourgeois home. A wooden spiral staircase leads down to the salon, where French classics line the bookshelf. Begin the day with a complimentary breakfast of homemade cakes and confitures, served in the walled garden on sunny mornings. The train station is a short walk away, along with the Museums of Natural History, Fine Arts and Pottery.
Courtesy of Appartement Jardin Rouen / Booking.com
The location of this studio apartment on a quiet tree-lined street in Sotteville-lès-Rouen allows you to experience Rouen at your own pace, while being just a quick bus ride to the city centre. The Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens are just up the road, whilst bakeries and supermarkets are conveniently close by so you can prepare al-fresco lunches back at your apartment, with an airy outdoor kitchen area overlooking the rose garden.
Never heard of a literary hotel before? Well, this budget-friendly address near Place du Vieux-Marché, where timber-framed houses lean into the historic square, takes its inspiration from Rouen-born novelist Gustave Flaubert. The walls whisper fragments of the 19th-century writer’s most famous works, and literature lovers will be inspired by the library of over 500 books to browse. Don’t get too stuck into the books, though – the Cathédrale Notre-Dame is just around the corner, along with the eclectic nightlife of Rouen waiting to be discovered.
With all of Rouen’s main attractions on your doorstep, Hôtel Le Vieux Carré gives you a top location at an affordable price. An international shopping scene blends in with historical monuments and museums around Rue du Gros-Horloge, named for the gold-trimmed and intricately carved clock set on a Renaissance arch. Back at the hotel, the bartender waits for your custom cocktail order, to be enjoyed alongside seasonal specials in the laid-back dining room.
Campanile Rouen Mermoz is a budget-friendly option just across the Seine River from the historic centre of Rouen. Cheer on the Rouen rugby team – the pitches are right next door – or cross the Pont Jeanne d’Arc to explore the cobblestoned streets, Gothic churches and market squares of the city. The hotel restaurant is open for dinner every weeknight, where you can taste a Kir Normand, a French classic cocktail with a Normandy twist of local apple cider.
This studio apartment is the perfect little pad for a long weekend in Rouen – and the location could not be more central. Find a moment of peace in the Saint-Ouen Abbey Church, right opposite the apartment, with heaven-high vaulted ceilings and enchanting stained-glass windows, followed by a stroll through the abbey gardens to admire the church in all its Gothic glory. The studio has been tastefully decorated, giving it a home-from-home vibe, and the hosts are always on hand to point you towards local hangouts.
The building that houses the duplex apartments of Le Logis Saint Éloi is an historic monument in itself, with timber beams and slanting slate roofs, floating turrets and sculptured archways. Inside the apartments, oak herringbone flooring, white marble bathrooms and exposed beams are complemented by a modern finish and fully equipped kitchens. The city’s most inspiring architecture is at your fingertips: across the square is the 16th-century Saint-Éloi Church, and beneath the twisting roof of the Saint-Jeanne-d’Arc Church, light filters through towering walls of stained-glass windows.