At the confluence of the Oise and Seine Rivers, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine is only half an hour from Paris by train, but things move much slower in this town. At a sedate river’s speed in fact, because Conflans has long been the capital of France’s inland waterways.
There’s a fabulous museum and venerable boats on the riverside pointing to this legacy. And you can plan a trip for June when the Pardon National de la Batellerie remembers that bygone era with a weekend of ceremonies. Also come to the quays for cruises during the summer gliding past scenes painted 130 years ago by Impressionist masters like van Gogh, Pissarro, Cézanne and Sisley.
Lets explore the best things to do in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine:
1. Musée de la Batellerie
The story of France’s inland waterways is long and surprisingly interesting.
This museum reveals everything you need to know, from the transformative canal projects across France in the 17th and 18th centuries, to the barges, boats, goods and people that used to navigate them.
There’s information about canal locks and other technical innovations that opened up trade routes in France.
You’ll go on a journey through the centuries, learning about the steam craft that arrived in the 19th century, replacing, horse, man and wind-power.
To help paint the picture there are antique shipbuilding tools, navigational gear, model boats and archive photos.