Once a source of inspiration for the painter Camille Pissarro, the Town of Art and History of Pontoise on the banks of the Oise has a lot of interesting heritage for architecture and culture fans. Saint-Maclou cathedral, which overlooks the rooftops from the upper part of town, was built from the 12th to 16th centuries and combines Primitive Gothic, Flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance styles. After visiting this listed historic monument, take a stroll in the surrounding narrow streets then head to the town's museums.
Tavet-Delacour museum, which occupies a late 15th-century mansion, is home to the town's historic collections, as well as works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries, including by the artist Otto Freundlich.
The Camille Pissarro museum, housed an impressive mansion on the site of the former royal château, has a large display of drawings and engravings by the famous Impressionist who worked in Pontoise from 1866 to 1883. Don't miss the museum's park for the superb "garden of the five senses" filled with aromatic and medicinal plants, as well as the stunning panoramic view over the Oise valley from the ramparts.