Our Hotels in Le Havre

Sitting on the Normandy coast at the mouth of the Seine, vibrant Le Havre is France's second-largest port and the only post-war city in France recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Founded in 1517 and almost completely obliterated in World War II, it was rebuilt under the auspices of French architect Auguste Perret, whose modernist vision and pioneering use of reinforced concrete created a bold and unified city. Other daring architects including Oscar Niemeyer and Jean Nouvel have continued the renaissance, and today the Cité Océane is an energetic and creative place, with a buzzing cultural and nightlife scene, as well as a full calendar of events.

Le Havre

Things to do in Le Havre

But Le Havre doesn't only offer urban pleasures to its visitors. You'll find a charming English Channel beach a short walk from the city centre and a wealth of green spaces for outdoor activities – not to mention the dramatic light that inspired painters including Claude Monet – and it's an ideal base for exploring the rugged Alabaster Coast. Whether you're here for tourism, business or just making a quick stopover, our Le Havre accommodation portfolio guarantees that you'll find the best place to stay to match your needs.

Outdoor activities in Le Havre

A perfect start to your walk around Le Havre, and a great spot to get your bearings, is the 1950s Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), which offers panoramic views over the city and the Seine estuary from its 17th-floor viewing platform. Dominating the skyline like a beacon is the city's emblem, concrete Saint Joseph Church Le Havre, designed by Auguste Perret and dedicated to the memory of the victims of the WWII bombings. Its octagonal 110-metre tower is impressive from outside, but the interior is stunning, with light flooding through thousands of coloured glass panes in changing hues throughout the day. You can time-travel back to the '50s at the Témoin Perret Apartment, fully period-furnished and designed at the time to show off the architect's vision for future housing in the city. In 1872, Monet painted the sun rising over the Le Havre port, and titled it "Impression, Sunrise", inadvertently naming perhaps the world's most-beloved art movement. You can admire France's largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside Paris, as well as standout Fauvist works, at the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art (MuMa), housed in a light-flooded modernist building overlooking the harbour. Another must-visit stop for exhibitions in Le Havre is the Natural History Museum, with archaeology and ethnology displays, plus lots of hands-on displays for the kids. One of the city's most distinctive modernist landmarks is the Bibliothèque Oscar Niemeyer, designed by the lauded Brazilian architect and affectionately dubbed the "Petit Volcan" for its resemblance to a sparkling-white volcano – it's just the spot for a sightseeing break, reading a book, listening to music or watching a film in the library's concrete-and-timber interior.

Dining and nightlife in Le Havre

Feel like taking a dip? Combine a swim with an exploration of another striking landmark at Les Bains des Docks, an angular, all-white aquatic complex designed by acclaimed French architect Jean Nouvel and offering sauna, hammam and fitness rooms as well as indoor and outdoor pools. Or take a stroll via the picturesque marina and the huge waterfront skatepark to pebbly Le Havre Beach, backed by a long promenade with snack bars and colourful cabins – here you can rent a paddle board, join a game of volleyball and take a plunge into the English Channel. The city is also blessed with verdant green spaces and botanic gardens ideal for a picnic or a stroll, including the Hanging Gardens, set in a former fort and offering city and sea views. You can also catch your breath in the serene Japanese Garden or the sprawling Montgeon Forest. Your stay at one of our hotels in Le Havre is a perfect opportunity to explore more of the dramatic Alabaster Coast. Head north to the town of Étretat for its sculpture-filled topiary gardens and spectacular views of white chalk cliffs. Or cross the Seine estuary via the futuristic cable-stayed Normandie Bridge to the charming town of Honfleur, its harbour lined with colourful, half-timbered townhouses. Prefer to take to the water? There's a host of options for boat trips from Le Havre to give you an aquatic perspective on the port and coastline.

Hotels in Le Havre, France

This being the Normandy coast, you'll find seafood including mussels, scallops, oysters and fresh fish prominent on lots of menus at restaurants in Le Havre. Lamb raised in the salt marshes near Mont-Saint-Michel, meaty andouillette sausages, tripe from Caen and black pudding from Mortagne-au-Perche are other local favourites. The region is also famed for its cheeses – pick up Camembert de Normandie, Livarot or Neufchâtel at one of Le Havre's farmers' markets. Normandy's ciders are world renowned, including a pear variety, poiré, while the local calvados apple brandy is the traditional conclusion to a gourmet meal. If you're heading out for a drink, you'll find plenty of bars near the port in the Quartier Saint-François, while there are dance clubs in the nearby Magasins Généraux area. Fancy a flutter? The casino, Pasino du Havre has roulette and poker games as well as slot machines.

Getting to Le Havre

Whether you're looking for a 4-star hotel with a spa in the city centre, or an affordable option with bed-and-breakfast offers, you'll find just the right accommodation in our selection of Le Havre hotels. In town for a conference? We have hotels with space for coworking in Le Havre. Making a quick stopover after arriving on the ferry? We have options steps away from the terminal at Port Le Havre or close to the train station. We also offer stylish economy and 4-star hotels across the estuary in charming Honfleur.

When to visit Le Havre

Overnight ferries travel from Portsmouth in England to Le Havre several times a week, with more sailings during peak season. The port is also a major terminal for ocean cruises. The SNCF train journey from Paris is around three hours, while the trip by car takes 2.5 hours. Le Havre-Octeville Airport operates flights to and from Lyon as well as seasonal charter flights. Other airports nearby include Caen, Deauville and Rouen.

Le Havre has a temperate maritime climate with cool, damp winters and warm-to-hot summers. You should be prepared for rain whenever you visit. There's a busy calendar of events, with music festivals including MoZ'aïque in July, showcasing world music; jazz on the waterfront during September's Dixie Days; and electro or rap at October's Ouest Park. Lovers of sailing converge on Le Havre for the huge Normandie Cup regatta in June, while yachts set sail for South America in the Transat Jacques Vabre race in November.