One of the smaller cities in France, Rouen is located in the Normandy region and is an ideal location to explore the beaches, museums and war graves of the region.
Located only a 90 minute drive from Paris, the city has around 110,000 inhabitants. The city is most famous for being the location of the burning at the stake of Joan of Arc. The cathedral in the city is also said to be the inspiration for Monet for over 30 of his paintings.
There is an airport in Rouen, but it’s very small, and many visitors fly into Paris and drive to the city. The city itself has plenty of things to do and see, and the cathedral is top of many people’s lists. It’s also the birthplace of the writer, Gustave Flaubert, and many people visit his former home which is now a museum in his honour.
Things to see when hiring a car in Rouen
Rouen Cathedral dates back to the 4th century and is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. The cathedral has been added to over the years, including its current spire in the 1800s and is a wonderful example of architecture throughout the ages.
Throughout the summer months, the city put on a tribute to Monet in the form of a light show projected onto the side of the cathedral, showing some of his most memorable works, and the many paintings inspired by the cathedral itself.
The Big Clock
In the centre of the city is the big clock, which has only just finished a full restoration project. The clock has steps inside which can be climbed by visitors, who’ll be able to enjoy a wonderful view of the city from the top.
This beautiful seaside village is located around 45 minutes from Rouen and is a wonderful place to explore and eat by the sea.
A bit of a distance from Rouen, but well worth the drive, Les Andelys is a lovely village worth a visit, as is nearby Honfluer with a huge castle from the 17th century.
The Bayeux Tapestry
Only a short drive from Rouen is the town of Bayeux and its world famous tapestry. The tapestry is found in a museum, and headsets with a full description from beginning to end can be hired as you walk along the great piece of work.
Normandy beach landings
All within a good drive of Rouen are the famous beaches of Normandy, where the Allied landings took place at the end of the Second World War.
Visit the beaches of Omaha, Utah and the Cotentin Peninsula and appreciate the hugely difficult job the allied forces had of both landing and taking the beaches under heavy fire.
Utah beach museum
At Utah beach is a wonderful museum about the D-Day landings which can be enjoyed by all the family. The beach also has a war memorial to the American soldiers who lost their lives.
Longues Sur Mer
Visit the British war graves at Longues Sur mer and appreciate the vast loss of life that occurred as a result of the two World Wars.
Car hire in Rouen
You can hire a car online and pick it up at any of the surrounding major airports and drive to Rouen for your stay, or get to Rouen and then hire a car online, which you can pick up from the city centre.