Le Havre, located in the Normandy region of France, is a vibrant coastal city with a rich history and plenty of attractions to offer visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Le Havre:
1. Musée d’Art Moderne André Malraux (MuMa)
This renowned museum houses an impressive collection of modern art, including works by Monet, Renoir, and Dufy. The building itself is a work of art, with its striking architecture overlooking the harbor.
2. Le Havre Beaches
The city boasts several beautiful sandy beaches where you can relax, sunbathe, and take a dip in the English Channel. Plage du Havre and Plage de Sainte-Adresse are popular spots for beach lovers.
3. Saint-Joseph Church
Designed by renowned architect Auguste Perret, this church is a masterpiece of modern architecture. Its unique tower and stunning interior make it a must-visit attraction in Le Havre.
4. Jardins Suspendus
Perched on a hill overlooking the city, these terraced gardens offer breathtaking views of Le Havre and the surrounding area. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.
5. Maison de l’Armateur
Step back in time at this beautifully restored 18th-century shipowner’s house. Explore its elegant rooms, period furniture, and maritime artifacts to get a glimpse of Le Havre’s maritime heritage.
6. Le Volcan
This iconic cultural center, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, is a striking building resembling a volcano. It hosts a variety of performances, including theater, dance, and music, making it a hub for artistic expression.
7. Le Havre Cathedral
Known as Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Havre, this impressive cathedral features a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. Its stunning stained glass windows and intricate details are worth exploring.
8. Promenade de la Plage
Take a leisurely walk along this promenade that stretches along the coastline. Enjoy the fresh sea breeze, admire the beautiful views, and stop by the various cafes and restaurants along the way.
9. Docks Vauban
Once a bustling port area, the Docks Vauban has been transformed into a vibrant shopping and entertainment complex. Explore the numerous boutiques, restaurants, and cinemas housed in the renovated warehouses.
10. Le Havre Maritime Museum
Discover the city’s maritime history at this fascinating museum, which showcases exhibits on shipbuilding, navigation, and the maritime trade. The museum is located in the former transatlantic liner, the “France.”
11. Porte Océane
This modern architectural masterpiece is the gateway to Le Havre and serves as a symbol of the city’s rebirth after World War II. The towering structure features an observation deck that offers panoramic views of the city.
12. Malraux Floating Museum
Step aboard the floating museum, the André Malraux, located on the Quai de Southampton. This converted cargo ship houses a collection of maritime artifacts, showcasing Le Havre’s historical connection to the sea. Explore the various exhibits and learn about the city’s maritime heritage.
13. Les Bains des Docks
Treat yourself to a relaxing and rejuvenating experience at Les Bains des Docks. This modern aquatic center, designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel, features pools, saunas, steam rooms, and relaxation areas. Indulge in a wellness session or simply enjoy a swim in the sleek, contemporary facilities.
14. La Maison de l’Estuaire
Located a short distance from Le Havre, this nature center offers a fascinating insight into the flora and fauna of the estuary. Explore the interactive exhibits, walk along the nature trails, and enjoy panoramic views of the estuary from the observation deck.
15. Le Havre Street Art
The streets of Le Havre are adorned with vibrant street art, adding a touch of creativity and color to the cityscape. Take a walk through the neighborhoods and discover the murals, graffiti, and art installations that showcase the local artistic talent.
16. Le Havre Markets
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Le Havre’s markets. The Saint-Joseph Market and the Halles Centrales offer a wide array of fresh produce, local delicacies, and regional specialties. Stroll through the stalls, taste the local flavors, and soak up the vibrant market ambiance.
17. Le Havre Maritime Promenade
Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade that stretches from the beach to the port area. Enjoy the scenic views of the harbor, watch the boats sail by, and soak up the relaxed atmosphere. The promenade is also lined with cafes and restaurants where you can stop for a refreshing drink or a delicious meal.
18. La Maison de l’Armateur Gardens
Adjacent to the Maison de l’Armateur, you’ll find beautifully landscaped gardens that reflect the elegance of the 18th-century shipowner’s house. Take a leisurely stroll through the manicured lawns, flowerbeds, and hedgerows, and appreciate the tranquil ambiance of this hidden gem.
19. Le Havre Cultural Events
Le Havre is known for its vibrant cultural scene, with numerous events taking place throughout the year. Keep an eye out for festivals, concerts, art exhibitions, and theatrical performances happening in the city. The variety of cultural events ensures that there’s always something exciting to experience during your visit.
20. Le Havre Light Festival
If you’re visiting in December, don’t miss the Le Havre Light Festival (Fête de la Lumière). This annual event illuminates the city with stunning light installations, projections, and artistic displays, transforming Le Havre into a magical wonderland. The festival offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors of all ages.
21. Taste Local Cuisine
Le Havre is a great place to indulge in delicious French cuisine, particularly seafood. Visit one of the many seafood restaurants along the harbor and savor fresh oysters, mussels, lobster, and other local specialties. Pair your meal with a glass of fine Normandy cider or sample the region’s famous Calvados apple brandy.
22. Shopping at Rue de Paris
Rue de Paris is Le Havre’s main shopping street, lined with a wide range of shops, boutiques, and department stores. Browse through fashion boutiques, artisanal shops, and specialty stores to find unique souvenirs, fashion items, and local products to take home.
23. Sports and Recreation
Le Havre offers various opportunities for sports and outdoor activities. Enjoy a game of beach volleyball or engage in water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, or kayaking. The city also has numerous parks and green spaces where you can go for a jog, have a picnic, or simply relax amidst nature.
24. Le Havre Nightlife
As evening falls, Le Havre’s nightlife comes alive with bars, pubs, and nightclubs offering a lively atmosphere. Enjoy a drink at a waterfront bar, dance the night away to live music, or attend a cultural event at one of the city’s theaters or performance venues.
25. Day Trips to Mont Saint-Michel
While not directly in Le Havre, Mont Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit attraction within reach. Take a day trip from Le Havre to explore this iconic abbey perched on a rocky island, marvel at its medieval architecture, and experience the stunning tidal surroundings.
26. Le Havre Port
Explore the bustling Port of Le Havre, one of the largest ports in France. Take a harbor cruise or simply stroll along the quayside to observe the comings and goings of ships, and witness the vibrant maritime activity that has shaped the city’s history.
27. Le Havre Maritime Train Station
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Havre_station
Even if you’re not arriving or departing by train, a visit to the Le Havre Maritime Train Station is worthwhile. This architectural gem, designed by Auguste Perret, is a testament to the city’s modernist style. Admire its unique features, including the striking clock tower, as you step into the grandeur of its interior.
28. Excursion to the Normandy Countryside
Le Havre is an excellent starting point for exploring the picturesque Normandy countryside. Embark on a day trip to charming villages like Honfleur, Deauville, or Trouville-sur-Mer, where you can enjoy the idyllic landscapes, sample local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the region’s rich cultural heritage.
29. Maison de l’Enfant et des Découvertes
Image Source: https://www.lamanufacture-evreux.fr/l-association
If you’re traveling with children, a visit to the Maison de l’Enfant et des Découvertes is highly recommended. This interactive science and discovery center offers engaging exhibits and hands-on activities that cater to young minds, making learning fun and exciting.
30. Le Havre Football Club
If you’re a sports enthusiast, catch a football match at the Stade Océane to support Le Havre Athletic Club (HAC). Join the passionate crowd and immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere as you cheer on the local team.
31. Le Havre Beer Tasting
Indulge in a unique beer-tasting experience at one of Le Havre’s microbreweries or craft beer bars. Sample a variety of locally brewed beers, ranging from traditional styles to innovative flavors, and learn about the city’s emerging craft beer scene.
32.Le Havre Art Walk
Explore Le Havre’s vibrant street art scene by taking an art walk through the city. Discover colorful murals, graffiti, and urban installations that adorn the walls, buildings, and public spaces, adding a creative and contemporary flair to Le Havre’s urban landscape.
33. Le Havre Music Festivals
Le Havre hosts various music festivals throughout the year, catering to a wide range of musical tastes. From jazz and classical music to rock and electronic genres, there’s something for everyone. Check the local events calendar to catch a live performance or immerse yourself in the energy of a music festival.
34. Le Havre Nature Reserves
Discover the natural beauty surrounding Le Havre by visiting its nature reserves. The nearby Natural Park of the Seine Estuary (Parc Naturel Régional des Boucles de la Seine Normande) offers picturesque landscapes, walking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature and appreciate the diverse ecosystems in the region.
35. Le Havre Chocolate Tasting
Indulge your sweet tooth by sampling delicious chocolates at Le Havre’s chocolate shops and patisseries. Explore the delectable creations made by talented chocolatiers, taste a variety of flavors, and learn about the art of chocolate making. From pralines to truffles, treat yourself to a delightful chocolate tasting experience.
36. Le Havre Sunset at Sainte-Adresse
Head to the nearby town of Sainte-Adresse, located just a short distance from Le Havre, to witness breathtaking sunsets over the English Channel. Find a spot along the coast, sit back, and enjoy the vibrant colors as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the sea and coastline.
37. Le Havre Museum of Natural History
Visit the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre to discover a fascinating collection of geological, zoological, and botanical specimens. Learn about the natural history of the region and explore interactive exhibits that showcase the diversity of local ecosystems and wildlife.
38. Le Havre Lightship
Step aboard the Le Havre Lightship, a floating museum that offers a glimpse into the maritime history of the city. Explore the interior of the ship, learn about its role in guiding vessels, and gain insights into the lives of the sailors who once manned it.
39. Le Havre Lighthouse
Image Source: https://www.ibiblio.org/lighthouse/fran2.htm
Climb to the top of the Le Havre Lighthouse for panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. From the observation deck, you can enjoy breathtaking vistas of the harbor, coastline, and the vast expanse of the sea. Take in the beauty of Le Havre from this iconic landmark.
Places and Things To Do