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What You Need To Know

Travel to Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy. This famous old French city dubbed “the city with a hundred bells chiming in the air,” opens its gates to you. Every hour of the day brings a procession of colors that constantly unveil a different city, making this old French city one of the most beautiful European cities At the cathedral, you can see famous paintings by Claude Monet, the stone facade reflecting the colors of the sun, and the colorful stained-glass windows permeating with light. Tourists in France travel to visit this important French city of Rouen — the birthplace of Impressionism!

Guardian of an eternal mystery that has always captivated painters, writers and travelers, Rouen has a remarkable heritage built across many centuries. Whether man-made or natural, the pieces of this heritage delight visitors all year round. The area under redevelopment is composed of an agglomeration of 71 communes, in the heart of which bloom gardens, abbeys, and museums, and the Seine, a major axis with gracefully winding curves.

Area: 8.255 mi²
Population: 110,933

Currency

  • The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

Weather

In Rouen, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are long, chilly, windy, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 35°F to 74°F and is rarely below 24°F or above 84°F.

The warm season lasts for 3.0 months, from June 13 to September 13, with an average daily high temperature above 68°F. The hottest day of the year is August 4, with an average high of 74°F and low of 57°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.8 months, from November 17 to March 10, with an average daily high temperature below 50°F. The coldest day of the year is February 8, with an average low of 35°F and high of 45°F.

Language

Although the official language in Normandy is French, the main language spoken there is Norman. It belongs to the North-Viking family of languages and is a type of Somewhere-Between-English-And-French dialect. Some words in English and French come from the Norman language but it is still considered to be a messed-up French and doesn’t have a good reputation amongst French people (a proof of this is the French expression ‘to answer in Norman’ which means to answer ambiguously and evasively) and is not considered at all by English people. There are French people who think that the Norman language is easy to understand. But it is a giant mistake. If this person suddenly finds himself in the company of a group of Normans having a conversation, and he tries to figure out the topic of the talk, he will probably fail. You may think that Normans are peacefully discussing today’s weather, but it’s equally likely they’re actually be planning the launch of nuclear missiles.

Health and security

  • The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the “close to best overall health care” in the world. In 2011, France spent 11.6% of GDP on health care, or US$4,086 per capita, a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the US. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies.

    Most general physicians are in private practice but draw their income from the public insurance funds. These funds, unlike their German counterparts, have never gained self-management responsibility. Instead, the government has taken responsibility for the financial and operational management of health insurance (by setting premium levels related to income and determining the prices of goods and services refunded). The French government generally refunds patients 70% of most health care costs, and 100% in case of costly or long-term ailments. Supplemental coverage may be bought from private insurers, most of them nonprofit, mutual insurers. Until 2000, coverage was restricted to those who contributed to social security (generally, workers or retirees), excluding some poor segments of the population; the government of Lionel Jospin put into place universal health coverage and extended the coverage to all those legally resident in France. Only about 3.7% of hospital treatment costs are reimbursed through private insurance, but a much higher share of the cost of spectacles and prostheses (21.9%), drugs (18.6%) and dental care (35.9%) (figures from the year 2000). There are public hospitals, non-profit independent hospitals (which are linked to the public system), as well as private for-profit hospitals.

  • Rouen is the historical capital city of Normandy.Tourists are attracted by its cultural and artistic heritage.This safe and pleasant place to live has inspired many renowned writers and artists such as Pierre Corneille or Gustave Flaubert. Historical parts of the city are kept intact with pedestrianized streets and high medieval buildings all around.

    As with anywhere in the world it is about taking simple steps to make sure you are not a victim of crime. Don’t wear expensive jewellery. Be discreet with smart phones and ipads and certainly don’t leave anything of value on display in your hire car. Avoid unlit streets, take care when in crowds, pickpockets operate everywhere in the world.

DON’T

  • Lots of countries have a bustling 24/7 mentality where shops and services are always open for the convenience of their customers. This is not necessarily the case in France, especially in smaller towns. They take their breaks and work/life balance seriously. Many French shops close from 12:00 to 2:00 for a leisurely, civilized lunch lull – profits be damned. Some banks, post offices, museums and other places of business do too. Most things are closed on Sundays, and there are 10 Public Holidays that also shut down commercial activity. Lots of businesses take a few weeks off in July or August for their annual summer holiday, and frequent strikes can disrupt certain services. Popular tourist areas may stay open, and restaurants are more accommodating, but you should always double-check the opening hours and closing days before heading out for a shopping spree or errand run.
  • Strolling through a local fruit and vegetable market is one of the many simple pleasures awaiting you in France. Everything is so fresh, so appealing, so artfully displayed, perusing and purchasing produce can be a highlight of your trip. However, be forewarned that poking, prodding or picking up the goods is a big non-non here. There’s an unspoken hands-off policy at a French marché . Let the vendor pick up the produce for you, and just point if you want to select a specific item.

DO

  • You are invited to visit its numerous museums and discover its picturesque houses with wood corners , its cathedral , its Gros Horloge, its Palais de Justice , its Aitre and Saint Maclou ‘s church , its Saint Ouen ‘s abbey church , or its famous Donjon ( the keep in which Joan of Arc was made a prisoner).
  • With its soaring Gothic cathedral, beautifully restored medieval quarter, excellent museums and vibrant cultural life, Rouen is one of Normandy’s most engaging destinations.
    The city has had a turbulent history. It was devastated by fire and plague several times during the Middle Ages, and was occupied by the English during the Hundred Years War. The young French heroine Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) was tried for heresy and burned at the stake in the central square in 1431. And during WWII, Allied bombing raids laid waste to large parts of the city, especially south of the cathedral.