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Visitors often feel there is something strangely familiar about the beautiful, traditional Norman port town of Honfleur. The town was a particular favourite with the Impressionist painters. Local artist Eugene Boudin encouraged his contemporaries down from Paris and many were inspired by the beauty of this Seine-side region.There are other good reasons to visit though and some of the best places to stay in Honfleur to enjoy them.
Honfleur: Artist's Muse
As well as the charm of the light, Honfleur's architecture must be a pleasure to paint. The majority still seems to be timber, propped up by grander stone mansions. It all fits together along narrow alleyways in a pleasingly neat way.
Honfleur's official gallery has Monets, Courbets and of course Boudins all depicting the town in different meteorological states. Honfleur's reputation as a muse results in a very high rate of galleries per capita. As well as the studios showing landscapes of Honfleur you can also find all sorts of other art.
Taste of Honfleur
Before high tide, Honfleur harbour is a hive of activity as its fleet of fishing boats return - bringing back today's déjeuner or souper to be served in the cafes and restaurants which line the harbour.
The French themselves come here for the food and the local style (a la normande) is thick, buttery and creamy.
History of Honfleur
Many of Honfleur's historic sights are in the L'Enclos area around the old port. This is also where you can find the wonderful old buildings of the port authority, now a marine museum and the salt halls.
Sainte-Catherine is the area around the great wooden Sainte-Catherine church, the largest wooden church in France, built by ship builders around 1500. This is where many of the best restaurants, galleries and big markets can be found..
As well as the Impressionists, Honfleur was also home to composer musician Satie and his lively museum is certainly worth a visit.
The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Honfleur are perfect bases for getting the best, both culturally and gastronomically, out of this charming seaside town.
The best places to stay in honfleur
Not To Miss
- Be sure to visit the stunning 15th century Saint Catherine's Church - you will feel like you've been transported back in time!
- Le Vieux Bassin, Honfleur's pretty old port, is a great place to wander around before sitting down to enjoy a coffee in one of the bustling cafes.
- The Naturospace Butterfly House, set amidst an exotic garden of flowers and tropical trees, is a delightful spot. You will meet a wide range of rare butterflies with a variety of colours - the kids will love it.
For families and those on a budget
- If you're saving your pennies for your pick of the galleries, fun and funky Hotel des Loges is one of the best places to stay in Honfleur. On a charming cobbled street right near the centre of town, this B&B has an excellent range of accommodation options from rooms to a self catering cottage which sleeps five (ideal for families or groups). Doubles start from only €118 per night.
- Les Manoirs De Tourgeville enjoys a rural setting within a Norman manor. Boasting large contemporary suites and with plenty of activities on offer nearby it is a top family spot.
For central location
- Le Clos Bourdet, being surrounded by beautiful gardens, is a great place from which to get to know Honfleur. The 5 chic rooms are brimming with character and you can even hire a bike to explore the area.
- L'Absinthe Hôtel, set in a 16th century presbytery, offers smart individually decorated rooms with whirlpool baths and with 2 great restaurants to choose from.
- The 18th century La Maison de Lucie boasts smartly decorated rooms as well as a verdant courtyard. Come back after a day out to unwind in the cellar spa or grab a drink in the elegant bar.
- Hotel Vent D'Ouest enjoys a central location in nearby Le Havre. Ideally suited to explore all the city has to offer, you can stay in either a bedroom or book yourself one of their three apartments. Relax in the billard room or the cosy sitting rooms.
- Les Maisons de Lea is perfect if you like to be right in the centre of things. This B&B is set in four 17th Century buildings all decorated in different styles and joined with a series of winding staircases and hallways. It gives the feeling of staying in an eccentric private home.
- A L'Ecole Buissonniere is a pretty B&B with charming, cosy rooms featuring exposed brick walls and French windows. Offering just 5 rooms it is located right by all the sights. An intimate city stay.
- The vine-clad La Cour Sainte Catherine, set in a former convent, is a shabby-chic B&B in the centre of town. Simply charming.
- La Petite Folie is a splendid B&B, providing gorgeous rooms and suites with vaulted ceilings, cosy fireplaces and various contemporary furnishings. A superb stay!
- Although slightly out of town, the Auberge de la Source will fit the bill for anyone who likes a chic gourmet retreat.
- The 5* La Ferme Saint Simeon, located a few minutes away from the coast offers superb accommodation and divine dining. With a rooftop terrace offering sea views and a spoiling spa, you are bound to fall in love with the place.
- Chateau de Saint Maclou La Campagne is set in a gorgeous rural chateau. Boasting four enormous rooms with exposed wooden beams, stone walls and lovely fireplaces.
For A Beach Break
- The newly renovated Villa Josephine is set in a gorgeous traditional house with boutique rooms featuring antiques and bold splashes of colour. Wander around the lovely gardens or head around the corner to the beach for the day.
- Manoir De Benerville is a stunning property surrounded by pretty gardens and just a short distance from the beach. The charming rooms are decorated in light pink hues and there is an elegant lounge in which to kick back and relax with a drink.
- The family-run Le Fer A Cheval, Deauville provides simple yet chic accommodation in Trouville-sur-Mer. Plus, you are just minutes away from the coast.
- Situated almost on the beach, Le Flaubert is the ideal seaside retreat. The huge stylish rooms have private balconies with terrific sea views.
- La Chaumiere is a wonderfully romantic coastal spot, sandwiched between the sea and tranquil gardens. Stay in smart contemporary rooms with wooden influences, and if you don't fancy a dip in the sea then there's an indoor pool instead.
For An Apartment Or Villa
If you'd rather the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.
- Honfleur is never exactly scorching and is nicest in the summer months - the average daily temperature climbs to 18°C in July. So you may be best off visiting around this time, though this is also peak tourist season.
- If you fancy coming at a quieter time then consider visiting in September when the weather is still nice enough to enjoy sightseeing and the beaches.
- Visitors can fly into Deauville-Saint-Gatien Airport, located just 15 minutes south of Honfleur. Ryanair fly here from London Stansted twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays.
- From here, take bus number 20 to Honfleur city centre.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Honfleur
A L'Ecole Buissonniere 5 rooms from $130Honfleur
Pretty B&B in former schoolhouse. Rooms feature exposed brick walls, cozy lighting, modern bathrooms and big French windows. Restaurant serving fresh daily breakfasts, sun terrace to enjoy. Walkable to most of the town's delights. A charming Normandy stay.Hideaway - Quiet seaside town which inspired Monet, find peace in the romantic interiors, a cider tour or enjoy waterfront restaurantsSights nearby - Deauville and Trouville are just a 10-minute driveGreat walks - To nearby Port d’HonfleurRestrictions on children
Auberge de la Source 15 rooms from $143Barneville-la-Bertran, Normandy
A delightful timbered farmhouse with fantastic restaurant. Rustic chic interiors with high wooden beamed ceilings and lots of light. Rooms, suites, and family suites with sumptuous beds chalet-style. A peaceful rural setting for families, groups, or friends.Sights nearby - Only 4km from Honfleur and easy access to Deauville.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Full of characterGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Les Maisons de Léa 28 rooms from $183Honfleur, Normandy
A unique hotel B&B set in three different buildings in central Honfleur. Rooms, suites, and a private cottage all beautifully decorated in different styles: rustic farmhouse, Mediterranean, loft conversion. The bathrooms have huge bathtubs, some with private jacuzzis. Fantastic.Sights nearby - Located bang in the centre of HonfleurFull of characterLocal markets - Good for local colour.TraditionalRecommended by - Sawdays
le Clos Bourdet 5 rooms from $166Honfleur
An elegant guesthouse situated in it's own large, picturesque garden. The five bedrooms each have their own character and enjoy pretty views of the apple trees. Breakfast can be enjoyed in the garden or on the lovely terrace. A charming base for exploring historic and artistic Honfleur.Fishing - Honfleur is a maritime town and the fish which can be caught include sole, dogfish, gurnard and mackerel.Local markets - Every Saturday there is a traditional market in Honfleur and on Wednesdays there is an organic market.Sights nearby - Côte de Grace is 1.9 miles away and Deauville and its famous beaches are 10.6 miles away.Sailing - The old dock in Honfleur attracts many yachts.
La Chaumiere 9 rooms from $269Honfleur (Route du Littoral)
A gorgeous little hotel with chic rooms on the seafront. Large airy rooms and suites with contemporary furnishings and artistic flair. Fabulous restaurant, gardens and terraces, and immediate access to the beach. A great spot for a romantic break.Romantic BreakSwimming Pool - Indoor PoolSights nearby - Well located for major sights.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
La Maison de Lucie 12 rooms from $194Honfleur
A cozy 18th century hotel with undeniable French charm and romance. Airy, elegant rooms, a verdant courtyard and terrace. A cellar spa hot tub and large, lofty suites showcase the hotel's relaxed environment. Close to lots of exciting restaurants in this picturesque northwestern port.Sights nearby - Close to Mont St Michel, the Normandy Landing Beaches and Deauville, Trouville and Etretat.Great walks - Climb to the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Grâce.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Ferme Saint Simeon 35 rooms from $341Honfleur
A fabulous Five Star hotel on the coast of Hornfleur. Top of the range spa with Turkish hammam, a fine dining restaurant, stunning rooms and suites, roof top terrace with sea views. The perfect spot to unwind in, for the luxury traveller.Foodies - Le Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant that specialises in regional cuisine.Spa breaks - La Ferme de Beaute is a fully equipped spa with Turkish hammam and body wraps.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Romantic BreakRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux, Tablet
L'Absinthe Hôtel 11 rooms from $149Honfleur
Charming, former 16th century presbytery in the centre of Honfleur. Individually furnished rooms offer an elegant mélange of wood, leather, velvet and stone and a luxurious whirlpool bath to boot. Come to Honfleur to explore the cobbled streets and the coast littered with WW1 memorials.Views - Superior rooms have lovely views over the portLocal markets - Good for local colour.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Great walks - Good for walkers.
La Cour Sainte Catherine 5 rooms from $126Honfleur
A beautiful vine-clad convent come B&B in the picturesque port town of Honfleur. Shabby-chic rooms are comfortable and spacious and feature vintage artwork and posters. A continental breakfast is served, whilst plenty of restaurants are in walking distance. Or visit the famed Camembert producers.Local exploring - Just two minutes walk from Honfleur port and many other attractionsSights nearby - Five minutes walk away is the Port of Honleur that dates back to the Vikings.Local markets - Good for local colour.
Hotel des Loges 14 rooms from $130Honfleur, Normandy
An intimate B&B on a delightful cobbled street in the harbour town of Honfleur. Various rooms sizes can accommodate groups of friends and families -the self catering cottage sleep five. All bright and airy in ochre tones. Walking distance to all the attractions and restaurants.FamiliesSights nearby - Well located for major sights.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - I Escape
La Petite Folie 6 rooms from $171Honfleur, Normandy
Fabulous boutique B&B with rooms and self-catering apartments. Individually designed rooms with great attention to detail - from lashings of modern style to cosy fireplaces and vaulted ceilings. Ideal for couples, groups of friends, or those looking for the privacy of an apartment.Romantic BreakSights nearby - Just steps from Honfleur's old harbourRestrictions on children - Over 10s in two apartments onlySailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - I Escape, Sawdays