Whether you are staying for one day, one weekend or several days, you will leave Dieppe promising to return. Dieppe is first of all a beautiful maritime town. The sea is everywhere and the maritime culture pervades the streets.
Take time to explore the city centre on foot and take the main street that goes from the Quai Henri IV up to the square Place du Puits Salé where there is the Café des Tribunaux, an a landmark in Dieppe. This nice place has always been the meeting place for all the inhabitants of Dieppe. On Saturday mornings, when the market is held, the terrace is always full and everybody meets there. During your visit, you must go and have a look at the two churches, Saint-Jacques and Saint-Rémy, both remarkable and impressive, which will tell you more about the town's history.
If you have children, visit the Cité de la Mer Museum (Museum of the sea) where they will have fun learning about the fauna and flora of the Channel, the fishing industry, the history of the cliffs thanks to exhibitions and see aquariums displaying local fish.
For a visit that will please both children and grown-ups, the Castle-Museum, standing proudly on the cliff overlooking the town thus offering a breathtaking view, will take you on an adventure in the medieval times.
The very best of the town is of course its large seafront: for a long walk along the beach. Even better, if you have a good pair of shoes: walk along the cliffs at low tide (but not too close to the cliffs as there sometimes are rock slides) towards Pourville-sur-Mer: it is a unique experience.
During the high tides, or at low sea, take a bucket and a rake and pick up some shellfish… You simply have to follow regular shellfish pickers to know where to look for: mussels, periwinkles, velvet swimming crabs, edible crabs … enough to make a nice seafood platter.
Along the seafront, Les Bains, a leisure pool with thalasso and spa facilities, makes available several pools for children and grown-ups, filled with heated salt water, including an outdoor training pool with a view of the castle. There are also indoor pools for babies (paddling pool for babies only), for children (2 pools and a slide) and also for adults with massage jets and hot tubs.
The town of Dieppe recently had a beautiful skateparks built on the seafront where BMX, skateboard or scooter riders meet: successful structures that young and very young children have already taken possession of.
Dieppe is lively all year round. If you stay in Dieppe during the summer, you will be there for the various sailing races and maritime festivals (The tour de France à la Voile, the Solitaire du Figaro, the Banana’s Cup, the Sea Festival…), the numerous events on the seafront lawns (the horse show jumping competition, concerts, the dog show, etc.) and more especially the International Kite Festival, which takes place every two years in Dieppe and welcomes more than 40 different nationalities; a colourful event as the show in the sky is so wonderful and mind-blowing.
In November, the Scallop and Herring Festival is incredible: smoke rises over the whole city coming from the hundreds of barbecues lit up on the pavements for this special occasion to grill herrings and scallops that can be enjoyed standing or sitting on a terrace by the thousands of visitors tempted by the smell… A joyful and colourful popular event, well in tune with Dieppe's long maritime history.
For those who are interested in History, you will notice that Dieppe has strong relationships with Canada, in memory of the Second World War and especially Operation Jubilee. Canada has named one of its cities Dieppe to remember the hundreds of Canadian soldiers who died here. There is a memorial to pay tribute to these soldiers, located in a 19th century theatre near the Tourelles, a remain of the fortification wall that used to surround the town. It will tell you all about the Anglo-Canadian raid of 19th August 1942 thanks to documents, objects, photos, uniforms, weapons and a film.
In terms of gastronomy, Dieppe is not left behind either… The markets held on Thursdays and more importantly Saturdays (Rue Saint-Jacques and in the High Street respectively) display the key products of the town and surrounding area: shellfish, fish, cheeses, poultry, etc. The local specialties are served in the numerous restaurants and food facilities in the city centre. There are tons of options to treat yourself in Dieppe!