Houilles is a charming city located in the Yvelines department of the Île-de-France region in France. Situated just a few kilometers away from Paris, it offers a peaceful escape from the bustling capital while still being conveniently close. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Houilles.
1. Parc Charles de Gaulle
This beautiful park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It provides a serene environment for a leisurely stroll, a picnic with family and friends, or even a peaceful moment of relaxation. The park features lush green spaces, well-maintained flower beds, a lake, and playgrounds for children.
2. Church of Saint Nicholas
Built in the 13th century, the Church of Saint Nicholas is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. The church’s intricate details and stained glass windows make it a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. Inside, you’ll find a peaceful atmosphere that invites reflection and admiration.
3. Seine River
As Houilles is located on the banks of the Seine River, taking a leisurely stroll along the riverbanks is a delightful way to enjoy the city’s natural beauty. You can also rent a bike and cycle along the river, or simply relax at one of the riverside cafés and watch the boats go by.
4. La Bergerie
Image Source: https://www.yvelines.fr/fiche/bergerie-nationale-2/
Located in the heart of Houilles, La Bergerie is a historic building that now serves as a cultural center. It hosts art exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events throughout the year. The unique setting of La Bergerie adds to the charm and appeal of this cultural hub.
5. Market Day
If you happen to visit Houilles on a Wednesday or Saturday, make sure to explore the local market. The market offers a wide range of fresh produce, regional specialties, artisanal products, and more. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and pick up some delicious treats.
6. Les Bords de Seine
This picturesque promenade stretches along the Seine River and provides a tranquil setting for a relaxing walk or bike ride. The path is lined with trees, benches, and charming river views. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy the outdoors and escape the city’s hustle and bustle.
7. Maison du Peuple
This historic building serves as a cultural center and is known for its vibrant artistic scene. It hosts a variety of events, including theater performances, music concerts, art exhibitions, and workshops. Keep an eye out for their schedule to catch a captivating performance or immerse yourself in the local arts scene.
8. Shopping and Dining
Houilles boasts several charming streets lined with boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. Rue Gambetta is particularly known for its shops and eateries, where you can explore local fashion, indulge in delicious cuisine, or relax with a cup of coffee.
9. Explore nearby towns and attractions
Houilles’s strategic location makes it an ideal base for exploring the wider region. Take a short trip to nearby towns such as Sartrouville or visit the stunning Château de Maisons-Laffitte, a 17th-century castle surrounded by beautiful gardens. The neighboring city of Paris offers endless possibilities for sightseeing, shopping, dining, and experiencing its iconic landmarks.
10. Sports and Recreation
Image Source: https://s-o-houilles-u10.sporteasy.net/
If you’re a sports enthusiast, Houilles offers various recreational activities. The city has sports facilities where you can engage in activities such as tennis, swimming, and soccer. You can also rent a bike and explore the city and its surroundings on two wheels.
11. Local Cuisine
Indulge in the flavors of French cuisine by visiting local restaurants and bistros in Houilles. From traditional French dishes to international flavors, you’ll find a range of culinary options to satisfy your palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some regional specialties and delicacies.
12. Festivals and Events
Image Source: https://www.alentoor.fr/houilles/agenda/festival
Houilles hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, offering a lively atmosphere and a chance to experience the local culture. From music festivals to street fairs and cultural celebrations, these events provide a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the community spirit of Houilles.
13. Maison de la Challe
This historic house turned cultural center hosts art exhibitions, workshops, and performances. It showcases the work of local artists and provides a platform for artistic expression and creativity.
14. Explore the Impressionist Trail
Follow in the footsteps of the famous Impressionist painters by visiting the sites that inspired their masterpieces. The Impressionist Trail in the nearby town of Sartrouville takes you on a journey through the landscapes that influenced artists like Monet and Renoir.
15. Attend a Local Event
Keep an eye out for local events and festivals happening in Houilles during your visit. These events often showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region, featuring music, dance, food, and traditional performances. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local traditions and festivities.
16. Discover the Seine River by Boat
Embark on a scenic boat tour along the Seine River. Several companies offer boat cruises that allow you to admire the beauty of the river and its surroundings, providing a unique perspective on the landscape and architecture of the region.
17. Visit the Château de Versailles
A short distance from Houilles, the magnificent Château de Versailles is an absolute must-see. Explore the opulent palace, stroll through the vast gardens, and marvel at the grandeur and history of this iconic UNESCO World Heritage site.
18. Enjoy Outdoor Activities
Houilles is surrounded by beautiful parks and green spaces, offering opportunities for outdoor activities. Whether it’s a game of Frisbee, a picnic, or simply enjoying a leisurely walk, take advantage of the serene environment and fresh air in places like Parc Pierre Corneille or Parc du Dispensaire.
19. Visit the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Colombes
Located in the neighboring town of Colombes, this museum showcases a collection of art and historical artifacts. Explore the exhibitions that highlight the history and cultural heritage of the region, providing insights into the local identity.
20. Explore the Yvelines Region
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houilles
Houilles is located within the Yvelines department, which is known for its picturesque landscapes and charming towns. Take a day trip to explore attractions like the Palace of Malmaison, the Musée Maurice Denis, or the picturesque town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
21. Discover the Maison Fournaise
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maison_Fournaise
Located in the nearby town of Chatou, the Maison Fournaise is a historic riverside restaurant that was frequented by famous Impressionist painters such as Renoir. Explore the museum inside, which showcases the history of the restaurant and its connection to the art movement.
22. Take a Cooking Class
Image Source: https://howthcastlecookeryschool.ie/about/classes/
Immerse yourself in French culinary traditions by participating in a cooking class. Several cooking schools and culinary workshops in the region offer hands-on experiences where you can learn to prepare classic French dishes under the guidance of expert chefs.
23. Visit the Parc des Chanteraines
Located in nearby Gennevilliers, the Parc des Chanteraines is a vast green space that offers a range of outdoor activities. Enjoy walking or jogging trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and even a small farm where you can interact with farm animals.
24. Explore the Montesson Lake
Just a short distance from Houilles, Montesson Lake is a tranquil oasis surrounded by nature. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shore, rent a paddleboat or kayak to explore the water, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.
25. Attend a Concert or Performance at Le Sax
Le Sax is a music venue in Achères, close to Houilles, that hosts a variety of concerts and performances throughout the year. From jazz and classical music to contemporary performances, it’s a great place to enjoy live music and artistic expressions.
26. Discover the History of the RER Bridge
Image Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/RER_C
The RER Bridge in Houilles holds historical significance as it was the first bridge in France to be constructed specifically for the Réseau Express Régional (RER) train system. Take a walk across the bridge, learn about its engineering and historical importance, and admire the scenic views of the Seine River.
27. Enjoy Watersports on the Seine
If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, you can try watersports such as kayaking or paddleboarding on the Seine River. Several rental companies in the area offer equipment and guided tours for a fun and active day on the water.
28. Visit the Musée de la Batellerie
Located in nearby Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, this museum is dedicated to the history and heritage of river navigation. Explore the exhibitions that showcase the life of the riverboatmen, the evolution of river transportation, and the importance of the Seine River in the region’s history.
Places and Things To Do