Honfleur On a Budget
SightsSome of the best sights are the town itself and the picturesque buildings and landscapes. But the most popular sight here is the ravishing wooden church of Ste-Catherine, which dominates a tumbling square. The sanctuary and ramshackle belfry across the way were built by townspeople to show their gratitude for the departure of the English at the end of the Hundred Years' War, in 1453. It is the largest wooden church in France and is popular among tourists.
Another popular sight is the Notre-Dame de Grace chapel, which was built during the 17th century, and is richly adorned with paintings and models of ships offered ex voto by sailors. The esplanade bordering the chapel offers fine panoramic views of the Seine estuary, the port of Le Havre and the Pont de Normandie (Normandy Bridge).
NeighborhoodsThe Le Vieux Bassin (harbor area) is the most popular neighborhood in Honfluer. This port was built in the 17th century and apart from the narrow entrance for boats is surrounded on all sides by beautiful, tall, narrow buildings. You can also pick up your fresh fish in the market here if you want to.
The eastern Enclos, around the church of St-Etienne, is packed with interesting buildings.
The western area slopes up to the splendid wooden church of Ste-Catherine, in a district where you will find the town's main museums dedicated to the arts.
Central Honfleur's southern area is more discreet, but well worth exploring too for its architecture, including St-Leonard church and the restored fountains.
ActivitiesThere are many fun things to do in Honfleur. One of which is a festival of sorts. It is called the Fete des Marins and it is a two day event occurring on Pentecost Sunday and Monday (50 days after Easter). On the first day all the boats in the harbor are decked out in flags and paper roses, and a priest bestows his blessing at high tide. The next day, model boats and local children head a musical procession to the small chapel of Notre-Dame de Grace.
Another exciting festival is the five day Fete du Jazz. It occurs in mid-August, with performances in the streets and venues throughout the town center.
You could also check out some of the great museums the city has to offer, including the Blockhaus de la Gare, which a historic site with many remnants of World War II.
Food and DiningThe cuisine of Honfleur offers fresh seafood, tasty fruits, and delicious meats due to its location on a long coastline of fertile land. Some local specialties include: Canard a la rouennaise, a dish prepared with duck stuffed with a sauce made of its own blood and liver, Tarte aux pommes, which is tart stuffed with apple and topped with whipped cream or ice cream, and to drink, try Calvados, the most famous apple brandy in the province of Normandy.
Honfleur has a great selection of restaurants, especially when it comes to traditional French cuisine. Le Fleur de Sel is one restaurant serving excellent French cuisine. It is a low beamed fisherman's house that serves locally influenced traditional dishes. Another option is SaQuaNa, also with great traditional French cuisine, whose chef has earned two Michelin stars.
TransportationThe best prices for buses and trains in France can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.
The closest airport to Honfleur is the Deauville-Saint-Gatien Airport, which is a local airport and receives flights from local airports such as London or Paris only. There is a bus that runs straight from the airport to the town center, so if you fly into the airport you can easily get to the town with public transit. Honfleur has no train station, but there are some bus services available in the town.