Half timbered buildings in Rouen, France

Rouen with kids

Exploring Rouen with Kids

The town of Rouen is certainly one not to miss! With a beautiful gothic church, the 1/2 timbered homes and the site of Joan of Arc. It was the Regional capital during the Roman times, William the Conquer called it home and the historic core survived the bombing of WWII. Don’t miss our Rouen with kids guide.

Half timbered buildings in Rouen, France
The beautiful 1/2 timbered buildings in Rouen, France

Where to park?

There are plenty of parking garages and underground lots throughout the city (around 14 euro per day). Or you can save some money and park in the park and ride lots. Only 1.70 euro each way to take the train.

We tried to park at the Place du Vieux Marche garage (where the Rick Steves walk begins), but it was closed for constructions, so we circled around to find another garage.

Rouen with kids?

It is stroller friendly and the streets are pedestrian friendly down the main street. Square Verdrel just north of the old town area features a grassy play area and playground.

What to see?

If you have the Rick Steves Normandy guide, check out his wonderful 1.5-hour walk through the city. Here are some of the highlights that you’ll cover:

Joan of Arch Church

This was the starting point for our walk. We took turns enjoying a peaceful look into the church and the stained glass windows while our son played on the ruins inside the courtyard.

Joan of Arc Church
Interior of the Church of St Joan of Arc, Place du Vieux Marché, Rouen, France

Place du Vieux Marché:

This street features some beautiful 1/2 timbered buildings along with the restaurant that Julia Child got her inspiration in 1948.

Restaurant where Julia Child got her inspiration.
La Couronne is the source of Julia’s 1948 inspiration (far left building)

Now continue left and head down Place du Vieux Marché to check out Auzou Le Chocolatier Normand. It is a well-known chocolate shop where you can buy Joan of Arc tears or chocolate covered almonds. As for a sample in the back. We purchased the macarons (a delight in France) and they didn’t disappoint. My husband added an ice cream macaron to his after lunch snack!

Macaron ice cream sandwiches at Auzou Le Chocolatier Normand
Macaron ice cream sandwiches at Auzou Le Chocolatier Normand.

As you continue to explore down the street, you’ll quickly find Le Gros-Horloge. It is a stunning astronomy clock in the old town of Rouen. It features a double-sided clock along with a bell tower. Don’t forget to look at the sculptures on the underneath of the arch.

Le Beffroi Clock and Tower in Rouen France
Le Beffroi Clock and Tower

At the end of the street, you’ll run into the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen. It was nap time for our son, so we walked until he fell asleep and then enjoyed a peaceful tour of the cathedral.

Tip: There are no entrance fees, so continue past the street beggars to sit with a donation box at the entrance.

Facade of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, France
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen facade before he fell asleep

We’ve seen quite a few Cathedrals during our travels in Europe, but we loved this Cathedral. They had a nice display of photographs from WWII. This cathedral sustained quite a bit of damage.

Looking down the nave to the alter of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen in Rouen, France
Alter of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen
Stone stairway in Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen
Interior of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen

It was getting close to lunch time, so we headed off to Le Saint Romain. Highly recommended and it is just around the corner from the Cathedral. The staff is very friendly and the crepes were amazing. We also enjoyed their hard cider. Picked up 3 large bottles to enjoy later at our Airbnb!


Rouen was a charming town full of top sights! It is perfect for a 1/2 day visit and longer if you want to stroll the various streets or enjoy a bit of shopping.


Interested in checking out more places to visit in the Normandy area? Head back to my Normandy with Kids guide!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *