Le Havre, France cruises

Le Havre, seaport and city, is located at the mouth of the River Seine in the Normandy region of northern France.

Boasting beaches, bars, restaurants, museums, and a thriving arts scene, Le Havre is a maritime metropolis.

Le Havre port guide

Le Havre is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, with a substantial part of the city being redeveloped following significant damage in World War II. It’s uniquely positioned among the white cliffs and soaring waves of northern France, and is a gateway to an array of impressive sights and picturesque villages in Normandy.

Deemed an outstanding example of post-war planning and architecture, unlike its medieval neighbors the port city of Le Havre showcases modern architectural design and appeal. At the same time, however, it’s characterized by over 500 years of rich history, classic culinary delights, art culture, and an abundance of activities and attractions. There is much to discover in this cosmopolitan city.

Here is our guide on everything you need to know about exploring the port city of Le Havre.

Top landmarks and sights in Le Havre

St Joseph’s Church

St Joseph’s is a Roman Catholic church designed by Auguste Perret - the architect who was commissioned to rebuild the entire city after World War II. Standing at 107 meters tall, this octagonal tower with geometric stained windows is considered a keystone of the reconstructed city.

Graville Abbey

Graville Abbey is the oldest monument in Le Havre, having survived the bombings of World War II. A fine example of Gothic architecture, inside you’ll find a fascinating display of history, art, and exhibitions. Located on the bank of the river Seine, the Abbey provides breathtaking views of the surrounding city and sea.

Fort of Sainte-Adresse

Built to defend the harbor from British attacks in the mid-nineteenth century, the Fort of Sainte-Adresse is today considered a gem within the city. Abandoned by 1970, the site has since been transformed into a botanical garden filled with over 3,000 plant species.

Honoring great botanists around the world, the Fort of Sainte Adresse offers exhibitions, guided tours, and gardening workshops throughout the year.

The Seine Estuary

The Seine Estuary Nature Reserve is the second-largest nature reserve in France, made up of over 8,000 hectares of wildlife and landscape. Comprised of mudflats, salt marshes, and reedbeds, this protected wetland is ideal for bird-watching and spotting.

This area attracts more than 500 animal species including butterflies, mammals, amphibians, and fish. Guided tours, educational activities, and exhibitions are frequently organized by the Estuary Visitor Centre.

Things to do in Le Havre

Le Havre Beach

Just a short walk from the city center, Le Havre Beach is a sand and pebble stretch along the west coast. Facilities include showers, chair rental, access to eateries, and a manmade pool perfect for a freshwater swim. Beach volleyball, street basketball, and boules can also be found along the promenade on this beach in the city.


You could choose to travel to Paris from Le Havre and visit iconic attractions like the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and of course, the magical Eiffel Tower. Take a look on My Cunard after booking your cruise to browse the ample shore excursions that are available to ensure a seamless and exciting day ashore.


The newly developed Docks Vauban shopping mall in Le Havre bring a different kind of vibrancy and leisure to this bustling city. Once a deserted large-scale warehouse, the Docks Vauban has been converted into a thriving commercial center and lined with restaurants, cafes, a cinema, a playground, and a gym, in addition to many boutiques and a range of popular shops.

Eating and drinking in Le Havre

The entire region of Normandy is home to an impressive food scene, serving culinary delights from land and sea. From luxurious seafood spreads to ciders and calvados (brandy), the rich cuisine of Normandy awaits your exploration.

In Normandy, over 300,000 cider apples are harvested each year. Ranging from sweet to bitter taste, the large-scale apple production makes French cider Normandy’s biggest export. While cider is a traditional drink here, pork, chicken, and rabbit are also commonly cooked in the nectar.

Located by the sea, Le Havre is also well known for its fresh seafood offering and traditional French cuisine. However, throughout this diverse city you will also find a range of multicultural flavors introduced to the region by migrants.

Norman cheeses, milk, and cream boast a quality label in Normandy. Intense, pungent creamy, crumbly, and buttery, Le Havre is filled with terrific things to taste.

Getting around, Le Havre transport

A local shuttle service runs from the port into the city center of Le Havre for a small fee. Alternatively, taxis will most likely be available from the port. The train station of Le Havre is around a 30-minute walk from the cruise terminal.

In the city itself, bike rental and car rentals are widely available. A tram also operates a reliable service. Tickets for trams can be purchased at every tram stop. In general, however, Le Havre is a walkable city with easy access to major attractions and points of interest.

Shore excursions are available if you wish to visit neighboring towns, villages, and cities.

Le Havre port facilities

The port facilities at Le Havre port include a cruise welcome center, touring services, free Wi-Fi, shops, and a taxi rank. From the cruise welcome center, you can obtain tourist information, guides, brochures, and maps.

Le Havre quick tips


The Euro is the local currency in Le Havre, France. Card payments are widely accepted, however there may be a foreign transaction fee.

Some small shops and bars may not accept card payments, however, so it is recommended that you carry some cash during your visit. You can buy Euros on board your Cunard Queen, or find ATMs throughout the city.


Tipping is not required in Le Havre but a small bonus for exceptional service is greatly appreciated. Rounding up your bill or leaving up to 10% is appropriate.


Le Havre has a temperate oceanic climate with long, cold winters and warm summers. It’s considered a wet city, with significant rainfall even during the driest month.

Temperatures are expected to reach highs of 22°C during the summer in Le Havre, while the winter months reach lows of 4°C.