Are you thinking of leaving a big city for a more relaxed life in Normandy? But you haven’t decided on which town yet? Rouen was recently voted one of the top 3 cities in France to live in, and boasts a number of attractive features. Just an hour from Paris, the historic capital of Normandy is renowned for its quality of life, and its lively and friendly atmosphere. Could this “town of a hundred church bells” maybe be your little corner or paradise?

A city on the go

  • 1 hour from the beaches of Deauville and the Cliffs of Étretat
  • 1 metropolitan area with 800,000 inhabitants
  • 2 metro lines
  • 500 km of walking trails

Top 5 reasons to move to Rouen

Coraline et Leo / CRT Normandie


A living museum

If you’re a fan of cultural and industrial heritage, you’re in for a treat. Rouen has the highest number of listed buildings per capita.

Paris et la Normandie-Pont et ville de Rouen
Studio 911


A green city

Nature can be found all around Rouen. Enjoy a stroll or jog through its parks, gardens and forests. The Seine riverside is also a great place to relax and enjoy everything that Rouen’s nature has to offer, as is the marina.

Coraline et Leo / CRT Normandie


A city for foodies

Normandy is a great place to eat, and Rouen is no exception. The city was even named “UNESCO Creative City 2021” in the culinary field

Refuse to hibernate / CRT Normandie


A lively town

Rouen’s residents love getting together in the city to socialise. Whether you’re into festivals, sporting competitions or cultural visits, there’s always a good reason to go out in Rouen!

Refuse to hibernate / CRT Normandie


Leave the car at home

Just like in Paris or London, you don’t need a car to get around in Rouen. Take the metro, bus or train to get wherever you need to go!

Everything you need to feel at home in Rouen

So, it’s decided – Rouen is going to be your new home! The whole time is ready to welcome you. Do you need to find housing, a job, a school or childcare? Sit back and let us guide you!

Refuse to hibernate / CRT Normandie
  • Rouen Town Hall
    Enrolment at school, administrative formalities, daily life and more.
  • Rouen Normandy Metropole
    Housing assistance, refuse, cultural and sporting activities, tourism, etc.
  • AVF
    Helping new arrivals get settled, informal get-togethers, outings, and other community activities.
  • Rouen Normandy Invest
    Guidance for businesses wishing to set up in the area.

Rouen’s most unmissable spots

One of the many reasons why Rouen is one of France’s best cities to live in is its social life! If you love going out, the capital of Normandy has plenty of places where you can make the most of your free time in Rouen.

Coraline et Leo / CRT Normandie

The Gros-Horloge clock tower

A true landmark in the city, it is one of Rouen’s best-known and most-visited historic monuments. Take a climb to the top of the belfry and admire the view!

La Couronne

La Couronne

France’s oldest inn, a feature of Rouen since 1345! Book a table, just like Joan of Arc or Pierre Corneille.

Coraline et Leo / CRT Normandie

The Musée des Beaux-Arts

 This fine arts museum holds France’s largest Impressionist collection after the Musée d’Orsay. 8,000 works of art are just waiting to be discovered.

The Joan of Arc exhibition
An innovative, interactive tour that retraces the epic tale of the heroine, sentenced to death at the stake in 1431.

Get ready to support Rouen’s ice hockey team, the Dragons, or Rouen Métropole Basket (National 1). 6,000 spectators are waiting for you at the Palais des Sports in Rouen.


Working in Rouen, an attractive location for employment

Refuse to hibernate / CRT Normandie
Quais_de_Seine__Rouen Seine-Maritime

With its ideal location just an hour from Paris and the sea, the city is home to thriving businesses in a number of booming sectors. Whether you’re actively looking for a job in Rouen or planning to set up your own business, the capital of Normandy (with 440,000 jobs) is definitely a good choice.

The top sectors and professions recruiting in Rouen


Based in Rouen, the Normandie Aeropsace (NAE) cluster has 170 members, including leading names in the aerospace industry such as Safran Aerosystems and Thales, and employs 21,500 people.

Food industry

Rouen is home to the French headquarters of the Ferrero group, as well as a number of factories that produce their much-loved chocolates.


Rouen boasts global names such as Renault, Alpine, Bosch, Knorr Bremse and Nextmove.

Health and cosmetics

Sanofi France, Aspen, Ethypharm, Eurapharma… All of these leading international pharmaceutical companies have chosen Rouen. The area is also home to biotech start-ups such as Robocath and Angany Genetics.

Environmental technologies

To the south of Rouen, the Rouen Madrillet Innovation technology hub is home to pioneering companies specialising in engineering sciences and environmental technologies.


Rouen is home to EDF, Europarc, Saipol, Aqualon France and RVH2 Boréalis.

Finance, insurance and fintech

Rouen is the birthplace of several insurance companies, including Matmut, which has its headquarters here.
The city also has 40 customer service centres.

Port and logistics operations

Rouen’s port area (HAROPA PORT) is home to many major companies, such CMA CGM, Sea-Tank, Somatrans, Bollore Logistics and Sea Invest.


The Rouen-based Normandie Web Xperts (NWX) group has around a hundred members: they include marketing, digital communications and e-commerce companies, developers, IT security, gamification, SEO, social marketing, big data and AI specialists, etc.

Be spoilt for choice when you study in Rouen!

A true student town, Rouen welcomes 40,000 students each year. What is it that attracts them? A wide range of high-quality, well-regarded higher education courses, as well as a thriving student life.

Balade dans le centre-ville de Rouen au soleil

Academic establishments in Rouen

  • From 2-year to 8-year courses, you can master almost any profession in Rouen. 
  • The University of Rouen Normandy alone offers over 300 programmes and qualifications in medicine, law, sport, literature, languages, and more.
  • Rouen is also home to prestigious public institutions such as the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Normandie, the ESADHaR (Fine Arts) and the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers de Normandie.
  • In the private sector, business and engineering Grandes Ecoles institutions have also set up campuses here: Neoma Business School, Esigelec, Insaand more.
  • Several training centres and GRETA Normandie also offer a wide range of courses in the services sector (business, banking and insurance, real estate, etc.), construction and caring services, under apprenticeship or vocational training contracts.
  • New training courses are constantly being created in Rouen to meet the region’s needs.
  • A new dentistry faculty opened in 2022.
    Fauchon, which specialises in luxury gastronomy, chose Rouen as the location for the opening of its very first school in 2023.
  • UniLaSalle has also opened a new veterinary training programme.

What’s on in Rouen 

  • Les Puces Rouennaises
    Every year, collectors and vintage enthusiasts gather at the Parc Expo.
  • The French Cup
    Come and cheer on the best synchronised skating teams as they prepare for the World Championships.
  • Joan of Arc festival
    Parades, medieval market, performances… For 3 days, Rouen goes back in time to the Middle Ages. Take a trip through the ages, back to the days of the troubadours.
  • The Armada
    Every two years, the world’s greatest sailing ships and more than 8,000 sailors gather in the port for ten days. It’s a spectacular sight!
  • Fête du Ventre et de la Gastronomie normande
    Foodies – this one is for you! For a whole weekend, 160 producers will be present in the Vieux-Marché neighbourhood for this local produce fair, where you can taste and purchase all sorts of Norman products.

Practical information in Rouen

Was this content helpful?