A weekend in Dieppe is the perfect French seaside location to stay at for 2 nights. Plenty of time to hike the white cliffs, visit the cute fishing port and dine with French cuisine. Dieppe fishing port is right in the center, allowing for a pretty walk from the white cliffs and Dieppe Castle to the shopping and market streets.
Where Is Dieppe & How To Get There
The city of Dieppe is located in the Seine-Maritime department, which includes the cities of Le Havre and Rouen. This is part of the Normandy region of France. We had driven down from the Netherlands, which was very easy to do. The city of Dieppe is pretty small, so when arriving at the city we found our hotel within 5 minutes. When exploring the city, the car is not needed. But since we were exploring the whole Normandy coast, a car is required to do this best.
Facts About Dieppe
To keep things short, here are some facts about Dieppe in France:
- The beach is pretty full of pebbles, so dont expect any sand
- Dieppe was occupied by German naval and army forces in 1940
- You can travel to England with the boat from Dieppe to Newhaven
- In the 16th century, Dieppe was the location of the most advance french school of cartography
Where To Stay For A Weekend In Dieppe
We stayed at Mercure Dieppe La Présidence for a weekend In Dieppe. This 4 star sea view location was perfect for 2 nights in Dieppe. The location was within 2 minutes walking from the stoney beach, 8 minutes from the white cliffs and within 10 minutes from the center of Dieppe.
Our room itself was decent, with a shower in the bathroom area, sea view and plenty of space. We didn’t have the breakfast option included, as we preferred to get breakfast in the center from a local bakery.
The Alabaster Coast (in French: Côte d’Albâtre) can be found between Le Tréport and Le Havre. Villages such as Dieppe, Étretat and Fécamp are the top three locations along the coast for visiting. So staying for a weekend in Dieppe was perfect to see this pretty coastal area of France.
The total distance of this coast is 130 kilometres long. You can find my other full post about the Alabaster Coast …… COMING SOON!
Things To Do In Dieppe
Château de Dieppe / Dieppe Castle
Since our hotel was literally next to this castle, it was hard not to miss it! The castle was first built in 1188, but rebuilt and reconstructed in the 14th century. From then and several owners later, it is now owned by the city of Dieppe. They make good use of it too, as these days you can visit Dieppe museum which is now inside. In 1862 it was also classed as an official Historical French Monument.
This pretty stoney beach is a lovely place for a seaside walk. From the touristic section of the parade, you just need to walk towards the cliffs. Here you will find hardly any tourists or locals, allowing you to enjoy the beach to yourself. The beach reveals the sand when the tide is fully out, as well as some rock pools for exploring.
Keep in mind that it is recommended to not walk so close to the cliff edge due to safety. You never know when part of the cliff may fall down due to erosion.
Walk Around The Fishing Port
Take a stroll along the port edge of Dieppe, spotting all the local fishing boats docked up. The area is pretty small, and walkable within an hour along the port and around to the sea.
Come watch the locals here with a coffee or cake in your hand. There was plenty to see and enjoy, while relaxing on the seating areas nearby.
This historical castle was finished in the year 1600 after 10 years of construction. It is now a protected monument since 1945. It has over 3000 hectors of castle grounds and gardens, including a vegetable garden. As well as this, it also has a chapel with stained glass once used by monks from Fécamp Abbey.
Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to visit the castle during our stay, but it looks amazing and one to visit whenever we return to the area!
Touristic Yellow Train Ride
For those travelling to Dieppe with children or unable to get around so easily, we can suggest taking a ride on the yellow train in Dieppe. We saw this train take a route through the city centre, along the beach parade and also up to the top of the cliffs for the viewpoint of Dieppe City.
Dieppe Canadian War Memorial
A large memorial located at the base of the Château de Dieppe honors those who lost their lives from Operation Jubilee. This operation is also known as Dieppe Raid, was on 19th August in 1942. The operation was to breach the German defences from the port of Dieppe. Over 900 Canadian soldiers lost their lives here within a 9 hour period.
Église Saint-Jacques Church
This pretty church in Dieppe France is located close to the main shopping central area. Built from the 12th century onwards, it now holds many paintings and services for locals to attend. In 2015 the tower needed rebuilding after it had collapsed, which can be seen on the photo with the colours of the stone showing the difference. In 2017, there were 8 painting stolen from the church too, and I believe they have yet to be found.
The church is a French listed historical monument since 1840.
Dieppe Saturday Market
The weekend we visited in July 2020, the Dieppe Saturday market was celebrating as they won France’s finest market 2020! So it was pretty busy, despite the local corona regulations in place.
There are over 200 market stalls that you can see along the streets of Dieppe. Most are from local sellers of the region. Being a fishing city, you will sure find many fish stalls selling locally caught fish. However we loved seeing also the fresh fruits, cheeses, creams, meat and vegetables.
We didn’t see them all, since it was very busy and during the corona situation, and we wanted to keep our distance, so after picking up some fresh bits we headed back to the seaside area to eat some french croissants.
Where To Eat In Dieppe
During our Weekend in Dieppe, we had wanted to try many local dishes as we could. That includes delicious croissants and locally caught fish. We tried and can recommend the following restaurants/bakeries:
- L’Adresse – One of the best salmon dishes we had was here, as well as perfectly cooked pasta dishes
- La Mie Câline – Easy bakery selling sandwiches, fresh breads and cakes
- Café des Tribunaux – Perfect place to sit for a coffee while watching locals at the Saturday Market
- Maison Morel – Delicious little bakery for take away croissants and breads
- La Frégate – Fish restaurant along the port area of Dieppe
- The Saturday Market
Summary Weekend In Dieppe
We used our Weekend in Dieppe France hotel as a base to stay at to visit the whole are of Normandy. From Dieppe, we drove all the way to Étretat and back, which was the perfect distance a day trip. Dieppe is a lovely fishing city with a good mix of locals and tourists. We didn’t have one bad experience while staying in Dieppe, so can definitely recommend it. The best thing we loved was grabbing croissants and eating them on the pretty beach, with the white cliffs in the background.
- Visit the award winning Dieppe Market on Saturdays
- Wear sensible shoes to walk along the stoney beach, as some rocks are pretty big to walk over
- Find a spot outside a cafe or port area to just relax and enjoy the local atmosphere
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