Small and compact, delightfully authentic and always lively, Dieppe is a town unlike any other. Whether you are here for a day, a weekend or an extended visit, you will always find something to suit your tastes. Follow the guide!
To get a quick tour of the main sights of the town you can catch the Little Train for a 45-minute tour. http://www.train-touristique-dieppe.fr/
In the season, and particularly if the weather is good, there are also boat trips along the coast to see the cliffs. Fishing trips are also easily arranged.
The castle that overlooks the town centre is one of Dieppe’s most prominent landmarks. Along with maritime exhibits, paintings by Georges Braque, Auguste Renoir and Camille Pissarro and the piano and personal belongings of Camille Saint-Saëns, it houses one of the finest ivory collections in Europe.
Rue de Chastes. From June 1 to September 30: open daily 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm. From October 1 to May 31: open 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm (6pm on Sundays). Closed Tuesday.
This small memorial museum opened in 2002 in the 19th century Italian-styled municipal theatre. Thanks to the numerous documents, memorabilia, scale models, uniforms and films on display, the public can gain an understanding of the Jubilee raid which took place in Dieppe on the 19th of August 1942, while taking a look at the remarkable building itself. Place Camille Saint-Saëns, Dieppe Opening times Tel. +33(0)235403665: email email@example.com or website http://www.dieppe-operationjubilee19aout1942.fr
A great place to visit with children. Located close to the seafront, the Cité de la Mer is Dieppe’s sea life museum. Created in 1989 on the initiative of the Estran association, it has recently undergone a major refurbishment project and now boasts over 1600 square meters of permanent exhibitions presenting the flora and fauna of Dieppe and its region, including several big aquariums. 37 rue de l’Asile Thomas. Open daily from 09:30am to 6pm. Closed from 12:30pm to 1:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Located in the heart of town, Saint-Jacques is Dieppe’s oldest and biggest church. It is even considered as a cathedral by several historians. The best time to visit the church is on a summer’s evening, when the sun shines through the stained-glass windows and reflects beautiful colours on the floor.
Built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Saint-Rémy is Dieppe’s second main church. The great pride of the church is the Parizot organ of 1739, the most ancient and monumental instrument conceived by the famous organ builder.
Dieppe has one of the best-known food markets in northern France, which fills the Grande Rue and the Rue Saint Jacques on Saturday mornings. Traders start to pack up around 12 noon, so take care not to get there too late. The stalls in the Place Nationale work throughout the day, and sell mostly clothes and non-food items. The fish markets on either side of the blue bridge operate most mornings, not only Saturdays, when the boats have been out in the night and there is a catch to sell.
Located in the picturesque village of Varengeville-sur-Mer, just three miles west of Dieppe, the Bois des Moutiers is one of the country’s finest gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Open to the public daily from the 15th of March to the 15th of November, it boasts an impressive variety of blooms, along with an elegant Arts & Crafts inspired house, an early work of Edwin Lutyens and the only one of its kind in France.
Eating at all times of the day is not typically French, and restaurants are open from the usual lunchtime of 12 noon up to about 1.30 p.m., and then again in the evening from about 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Brasserie-style restaurants such as the Tout Va Bien serve continuously and late. The English word menu is best translated as carte in French. The French word menu usually means a fixed price meal consisting of two or more courses. Restaurants may offer several menus at prices from about 8 € up to 65-70 €. Wine may be included but is usually extra. You can normally buy a pichet of a quarter, half or whole litre to get something reasonable and less expensive than bottled wine. The word carafe is reserved for water, and it’s what to ask for if you want to drink tap water, which is a perfectly usual thing to do in France. Bread is free, and there are no cover charges. Normally the bill will only come when you ask for it, and it always includes service, but there is nothing to prevent you leaving a couple of euros extra to express satisfaction.
From delicious seafood eateries to exotic food venues, there are dozens of restaurants and brasseries in Dieppe.
For great views and a wide variety of dishes at a reasonable price, try Le Bas Fort Blanc, one of Dieppe’s most popular restaurants, right at the end of the seafront, beneath the western cliff and adjacent to the breezy Bar’O’Mètre.
The latest trendy addition, l’Ô2mer, is part of the beachside swimming pool complex, with access from the promenade.
Most of the restaurants serving fish and seafood can be found on the Quai Henri IV. Try the famous Tout Va Bien, the long-standing Restaurant du Port, the popular Newhaven or La Musardière, that has just entered the Gault & Millau guide.
You will be able to try the local speciality la Marmite Dieppoise in the eponymous restaurant tucked away in rue Saint-Jean and savour remarkable oysters at Le Comptoir à Huîtres, on the Cours de Dakar. The restaurant is a walk away from the town centre but it well worth a visit not only for the delicious shellfish served in generous portions but also for its fresh fish dishes.
Perched on top of the Eastern cliff, adjacent to the Bonsecours Chapel, Les Voiles d’Or was recently awarded a star in the prestigious Michelin guide and is often regarded as the best restaurant in town.
Located in Offranville, a few miles south of Dieppe, Le Colombier restaurant has also received a Michelin star this year. The place is increasingly popular so make sure you book a table.
Also very popular with the locals, the classy Epsom bar back in Dieppe will serve you a bruschetta up to midnight. Several hotels along the seafront also have restaurants: the stylish Présidence in the Mercure hotel, L’Horizon in the Casino or the panoramic restaurant in the Windsor hotel.
Other excellent restaurants include the Bistrot des Barrières, the Turbot and the Bistrot du Pollet, all located around the Tourist Office and the île du Pollet.
Several Dieppe restaurants, including Le Turbot, Le Comptoir à Huîtres, and Les Voiles d’Or were visited by Rick Stein and feature in his latest BBC series Secret France
The latest addition to the city’s hotel offering is the three-star Brit Hôtel, which you will find if you follow the sign ‘‘toutes directions’’ on leaving the ferry port. It’s off the second roundabout at the top of the hill, but not convenient for visiting the town.
If you really want to sleep by the sea, you will find six hotels along the seafront, facing Europe’s widest coastal lawns: including the Europe, the Aguado, the Hôtel de la Plage, the Windsor, the Grand Hôtel in the Casino and the fourstar Mercure. Away from the beach but overlooking the harbour, across from the Tourist Office and the morning fish markets is the Hôtel des Arcades, with a pleasant restaurant and genial proprietors.
Budget and modern chain-hotels are mostly situated on the outskirts of town and include the Ibis, located just behind the huge Belvédère shopping centre, Formule 1 (the cheapest hotel in town?), B&B, Kyriad and Balladins, all situated off the Avenue des Canadiens.
Although Bed & Breakfasts aren’t as popular in France as they are in Britain, you will still be able to find several chambres d’hôtes in and around town: the Villa des Capucins, an ancient convent located on the île du Pollet, between the two bridges, the Bali-Dieppe, just opposite the Bonsecours Chapel or the Villa Florida, facing the golf course. Dieppe even has a motel: Aux Ouvriers Réunis (now renamed the Côte d’Albâtre), which you will also find if you follow the sign ‘‘toutes directions’’ on leaving the ferry port. It’s off the first roundabout at the top of the hill, you can’t miss it! Try its popular and noisy “routier” restaurant at lunch time for good value, including as much food and drink as you want for a fixed price.
For groups planning to visit there are a couple of hostels in the area which can be booked online. The first is set in gardens in the centre of Dieppe, the other is up the river valley and is part of a water sports centre, though participation in this is not obligatory. Both offer both lodging and meals, and cater for school parties, cycling clubs, and similar collective activities. Les Roches Town Guest House http://goo.gl/weHrFo Varenne Leisure Park http://goo.gl/9s4i4n
Dieppe’s oldest and most famous café is Les Tribunaux Housed in a historic eighteenth-century building, it is the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. Years ago, Renoir, Monet, Flaubert, Oscar Wilde or Maupassant used to drink here. Unfortunately, it closes at 8 p.m.
At the western end of the seafront, directly beneath the cliffs, lies the Bar O Mètre. It is very popular with the locals and the tourists, who fill up the terrace to enjoy the beautiful, romantic views that the small bar has to offer. Open only in the season.
On the other side of the harbour Mieux ici qu’en face, a well-known bar in the fishermen’s quarter of Le Pollet offers splendid views of the harbour front and passing boats in a friendly setting.
At the heart of the beachfront, l’Epsom is a cosy and classy cocktail and music bar, where jazz, blues or pop bands warm up the basement on most Fridays.
When the sun goes down, head for the Cactus, located on the quai Henry IV, opposite the marina. It’s a funky, colourful, vibrant and buzzing cocktail bar. For a great night out, try le Club 58, rue de la Rade. There’s plenty of room and they often have themed evenings. Beer experts recommend Au Bout Là-bas, 109 quai Henri IV.
For gamblers the casino offers roulette and other games as well as slot machines. You will need to take photo id to get in, but admission is free. The Casino also houses a restaurant and the Grand Hotel as noted above.
Opposite the casino, the swimming pool complex, Les Bains, includes a range of beauty
treatments and a fitness centre as well as a restaurant, l’Ô2mer already mentioned.
Next to the swimming pool, below the promenade, the Minigolf includes a bar. In good weather you can have lunch outside, sheltered from the wind.
There is also a restaurant at the racecourse if your Dieppe
visit happens to coincide with one of the summer racing days.
The Dieppe Tourist Office have a printed guide (in French only) to all the local water sports and seaside activities including sailing, diving, kayaking, fishing and more. Ask for the Guide de la Station Nautique 2018 or click to download the PDF version from Google.
For much more about Dieppe’s history and more advice and
addresses visit the Taste of Dieppe website
Whether it’s as soon as you get here or just before you leave, we recommend a bout of shopping in Dieppe.
Town centre shopping: Find a parking spot on the seafront where it’s free to stay as long as you like and head for the Tourist office by the Pont Ango (the blue rising bridge).
If the weather hasn’t been too bad for fishing, stalls offering the fish landed in the night are set up each morning. From October to May you will mostly find scallops, a Dieppe speciality. In the summer months there are flatfish including Dover soles, Turbot and Plaice but also red mullet, whiting, cod, monkfish, John Dory and many others. The herring too, in its season. It’s worthwhile visiting just to look.
Next head along the Grande rue, the High Street, to the Place du Puits Salé and the rue de la Barre and then come back to where you started via the rue St Jacques. Your walk takes you past a wide range of shops. Remember that many close for lunch from noon to 2 o’clock.
The shops include banking services, chemists, bookshops and newsagents (with English papers) and many estate agencies.
You can also find the French touch in the range of ready-to-wear clothes and shoes, and jewellery too. Food shops are also present with several butchers, a good fishmonger and several charcuteries and boulangeries. Carrefour Market is a good-sized supermarket in rue de la Barre, where you can find most things.
Also on your walk you will have passed pâtisseries and traditional chocolatiers such as Roussel, Divernet and la Duchesse du Berry, all in the Grande rue. Not to be missed.
For winelovers and those who appreciate stronger stuff such as whisky, calvados and the rest Olivier in rue Saint Jacques is a famous destination. In rue de Clieu near the St Jacques Church there is a large wine shop Les Vins en Scène. It’s really a concept wine bar offering tasting and a selection of over 200 wines for sale from independent producers. The setting is a magnificent series of ancient vaults.
We mustn’t leave out the three weekly markets. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there’s a small market on the Place Nationale, but on Saturday morning you mustn’t miss the main Dieppe market which attracts people from miles around to buy and sell.
It’s primarily a food market and closes at the end of morning trading except in the main square where general goods are sold into the afternoon. Altogether a sight to see and to photograph.
Out of town shopping: There’s plenty to see too, so don’t hesitate. The French love to wander through Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer, and they have big stores here too. The main names – Auchan, Leclerc, Intermarché – are all nearby. The biggest shopping centre is the Belvedere, on the road towards Rouen, with the Auchan hypermarket and a mall of more than 38 shops. Nearby you can find diy stores, electrical goods and clothing and shoes too. The major stores are well known for their Foire aux Vins, wine fairs, held mainly in the spring and autumn. Large numbers of bottles, including some famous wines are offered at attractive prices.