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Driving to Le Havre

Rebuilt after being desemated in WWII, Le Havre is an architecturally beautiful city with a rich, varied culture. Discover its secrets when you drive here.

Known as one of the cooler cities in France, Le Havre is a great city to visit if you want modern chic, an optimistic post-war attitude and beautiful tourist spots. Since 2005, Le Havre has had the honour of being a Unesco World Heritage Site, thanks to its use of modernist buildings that blossomed after WWII.

The Drive to Le Havre

A post-war town, Le Havre sits boldly and beautifully on France's coast. If you're planning a French road trip, it is surrounded by many beautiful and intriguing cities and towns that make great stop-off points. Read through our guide on what you can find on the way to Le Havre.

What to see on the way to Le Havre

Rouen is a historical city, the backdrop to the legends of Joan of Arc and Richard the Lionheart.
Rouen is a historical city, the backdrop to the legends of Joan of Arc and Richard the Lionheart.

About an hour away from Le Havre, is the medieval city of Rouen. Known for being the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, it is a place teeming with French history. There are plenty of Joan of Arc points of reference you can visit, such as Tour Jeanne d'Arc where she was put on trial. You can also stop by Rouen Cathedral, as not only is this a beautiful building, but it is also the place where Richard the Lionheart's actual heart is entombed.

Walk along the canals of Amiens, and discover the history of the Sommes.
Walk along the canals of Amiens, and discover the history of the Sommes.

This French town is about two hours from Le Havre, and is known for its memorials to those killed or injured in the First World War, as well as its spectacular Gothic cathedral. Cathédrale Notre Dame is the largest Gothic cathedral in France, and visitors from all over the world come to see its magnificent beauty in person. 

Saint-Quentin is a city rich in different architectural styles.
Saint-Quentin is a city rich in different architectural styles.

It's not just Amiens where you can go to see beautiful architecture. The mix of Gothic and art-deco styles is one of the main draws to Saint-Quentin. Those who are fans of Gothic architecture, head to the town square, where the town hall stands intimidatingly. If you do visit, make sure you don't stand too close when the bells start ringing; with 37 of them, they definitely make quite the racket! The art-deco style on so many of the other buildings throughout the city was as a result of the destruction of the war, and much of the city was rebuilt in this style.

What to See in Le Havre

Inside the tower of St Joseph's Church, Le Havre
Inside the tower of St Joseph's Church, Le Havre
St Joseph's Church

Le Havre's number one must-see location is the stunning St Joseph's Church. Its highest point stands at 120 metres tall, and its position is so prominent that sailors use it as a reference point when at sea. Visitors can spot it from wherever they are in the city, and it's hard to not be blown away by its architecture and stained glass windows when up close.

Where to Eat in Le Havre

La Taverne Paillette  

Any trip to a French town needs to feature traditional French dishes, and in this case, it's mussels. La Taverne Paillette has four different types of mussels on its menu, so there is some variety. The cosy, family restaurant also serves La Bière Paillette, a local delicacy that you should definitely sample.

Where to Drink in Le Havre

Marie Louise

As le Havre has grown in popularity, the bars have become trendier. But, if you are looking for a taste of the old-school Le Havre, then the Marie Louise on the Quai de Saône is a great choice. Originally a docker's bar, locals still come here to drink and chat with the landlady. A real Le Havre experience.

Where to Stay in Le Havre

Passino Spa Hotel

All that wandering around a new city, you will definitely need some proper R&R. Passino has a great spa that will both relax and rejuvenate you. After all, if you don't come back from a holiday completely refreshed, what's the point in going?

Weather in Le Havre

Visiting in the summer, the average weather in July and August reaches around 18°C, but it can get higher. If you're planning a winter trip, then bring a coat to combat the chilly lows of 5°C. As for rainfall, the autumn sees the most, with 70ml from September to November.

Getting there and around

The drive from the Calais Eurotunnel terminal to Le Havre is just under three hours, but be aware that that drive does include tolls. You just need to take the A16 to Gonfreville-l'Orcher, then the N282 and D6015 to Avenue du Général Lecler in Le Havre.

There are as many as fifteen car parks in Le Havre with Coty being the largest. An underground car park just six minutes walk from the centre and allows cars to stay short term (€1.20 an hour/€4.80 a day) or longer (€20 for one week).

Will you be paying a visit to Le Havre? At only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, you can be there in no time. Make sure you book your Eurotunnel Le Shuttle tickets early, to get the best price.


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