Le Havre (French for ‘The Harbour’) is a beautiful city aside the English Channel, known mostly for being a popular port. It’s the main harbour that transfers merchandise to and from Paris via the Seine. Many UK residents visit Le Havre by ferry from either Newhaven or Portsmouth, but few stay there to see the sights.

It’s a wonderful city steeped in a rich history. In the Battle of Normandy, Le Havre was bombed badly. Reinforced concrete was used to rebuild the city, and the reconstruction of the city as a whole has led to it now being listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. There is one building that was not damaged during the war, Maison de l’Armateur, which can be found just opposite the ferries.

On the whole, the city is also quite small, so if you’re feeling active, you can get around most of it by foot, or you might like to rent a bike.
There are plenty of sights to see during your stay. One of Le Havre’s most popular tourist destinations is St Joseph’s Church. It was one of the most important projects in the rebuilding of the city, and was designed by August Perret. Spend a few peaceful hours admiring the tower of the church, which is lined with some stunning stained glass. You might also like to climb the tower of the town hall (Hotel de Ville), which will give you exceptional views of Perret’s architecture and the surrounding areas. Inside the town hall, you’ll find interesting information on the history of the town. It also sits in France’s largest square.

If you really need to relax, you can also spend a few hours soaking up the sun on Le Havre’s local beach. Along the sea front, you’ll also find an abundance of bars and restaurants to while away the evenings.

There is a beautiful little covered market in Le Havre known as Les Halles which sells plenty of cheese and cider, both of which are famous for being produced in Normandy. You can also purchase wine, meats, and vegetables.

Ferries to Le Havre only take three hours and fifteen minutes. If you’re planning an onward journey, Le Havre is a great place to stay over before heading on. There are a number of hotels to stay in. Cheaper choices are just outside the city, such as the popular Formule 1, which can be found in Gonfreville l’orcher. If you’re looking for something more luxurious, try the four-star hotel and spa called The Casino. If you’ve taken your car across on the ferry, driving onwards couldn’t be easier. The distance to Paris is 110 miles, Calais is 127 miles, Hornfleur is 8 miles, Dieppe is 51 miles, and Tonnay Charente is 249 miles.

It’s quite easy to drive across most of France within one day. Alternatively, use Le Havre’s airport to get you to Amsterdam or Lyon. There is also a train station, with regular services to Paris, and once-daily services to Marseilles.