Things to Do Things Le Havre France

Le Havre is exceptional for its unity and integrity, combining a reflection of the city’s earlier scheme and its still-existing historic structures with new ideas in town planning and building technology. In this article, you will find the list of things to see in Le Havre France. Beneath its appearance of an industrial port, Le Havre conceals a unique architecture. Le Havre is situated Normandie region. Between the upper town and the lower town, surprises await walkers around the streets.

Le Havre France
Martin Falbisoner, via Wikimedia Commons

These bear witness to a tumultuous history, punctuated by military assaults. Today, this sub-prefecture of Seine-Maritime is part of the UNESCO heritage. It is also a popular destination for tourists, in search of a little Normandy sweetness. Let’s explore the top 10 things to see in Le Havre France.


1. Museum of Modern Art Andre Malraux

Museum of Modern Art Andre Malraux

Impressionism is widely represented there, making this museum the second most important collection in France, after the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The collection owes a great deal to the various legacies that have fueled it. The museum was thus able to acquire works by Monet, Gauguin, and even Pissaro.


2. St Joseph’s Church Le Havre

St Joseph's Church Le Havre

Beneath its lighthouse appearance, it is indeed a church! All visitors wondering what to do in Le Havre cannot miss this monument of impressive dimensions. The Saint Joseph church, dedicated to the victims of the Second World War, has become emblematic of the city.


3. Le Havre Beach

Le Havre Beach

Few cities can boast of having a beach in the city center! This is however the case of Le Havre, which obtained the status of a seaside resort in 1999. Two kilometers of sand and pebbles await you just five hundred meters from the historic center. For sports enthusiasts, kitesurfing, canoeing, and beach volleyball are on the program. Something to offer you a few moments of relaxation on sunny days.


4. Le Havre Hanging Gardens

Le Havre Hanging Gardens

These atypical gardens are located in a former 19th-century fort. You will find thematic arrangements paying homage to the four corners of the globe. The Japanese garden in particular is not to be missed. With its pools and typical vegetation, it invites relaxation and meditation. You will also see a large collection of exotic and aromatic plants with delicate scents.


5. The Perret district and the Model Apartment

The Perret district and the Model Apartment

In terms of town planning, Le Havre is a model of 20th-century France. The city has also been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, in particular thanks to its downtown rebuilt in 1947 by Auguste Perret. The walk in the streets is worth the detour! Stop in the Perret Show Apartment, a real dip in the 1950s.


6. The Shipowner’s Museum-House Le Havre

The Shipowner's Museum-House Le Havre

The Maison de l’Armateur, a building that is part of the 20% of the city that resisted the bombardments of 1944. Inside, we discover the living rooms as they could have been when the house was inhabited. Kitchen, lady’s bedroom, gentleman’s bedroom, cabinet of curiosities, owners’ or service stairs. The 20 rooms are distributed around an unusual octagonal skylight. This is considered one of the most beautiful things to see in Le Harve France.


7. Le Havre Port

Le Havre Port

Board a ship to visit Le Havre from the sea! We suggest to spend some time at the port because is one of the best things to see in Le Havre. Guided by the captain, you will discover the François 1er lock, which was the largest in the world until 1989. You will also see the oil stations and the tidal basins. This iodized walk is a good introduction to discovering the city. You will also have a unique view of the landscape.


8. Montgeon forest

Montgeon forest

This large park of two hundred and seventy hectares is an ancient prehistoric site. It is equipped with several football pitches, a cycle path and playgrounds. A body of water allows you to practice water activities, such as pedal boating.


9. Le Havre Cathedral

Le Havre Cathedral
© Raimond Spekking

Le Havre Cathedral is a curious building, a mixture of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance style, the oldest monument in the city center, a building that could almost be shocked by its originality in the middle of this extremely standardized district. Classified as a Historic Monument since 1919, the Notre-Dame du Havre cathedral did not escape the bombardments of Allied planes during the Second World War and the landing, like the whole city center, but the monument was skillfully restored in the image of the Port city.


10. Castle of Gadelles

Castle of Gadelles

The “Chateau des Gadelles” is also known as “Porte de Burgos” after the 14th century “Arco de Santa Maria” castle in Burgos, Spain which it was modeled on. In 1874 the original architect of the current Gadelles castle decided to copy the Arco de Santa Maria castle in Spain and place it on a terrain located in Le Havre bordering the Saint-Adresse town. So in 1886, he ended up only copying the gatehouse (in French “Porte”), hence the alias “Porte de Burgos”. So in fact this magnificent castle is “only” a gatehouse.