Accommodation Le Havre

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Le Havre Travel Course

Le Havre Hotels

Sat on the River Seine’s deep-water estuary, Le Havre is a city built on Maritime tradition - and more than a little stoicism. Le Havre became something of a symbol of post-war optimism across France when Charles De Gaulle awarded the battered - but liberated - port city the Legion of Honour, for the ‘heroism with which it faced its destruction’. The Belgian architect, Auguste Perret, was tasked with rebuilding the city from the rubble, and in 2005, UNESCO recognised his work with World Heritage Site status - acclaiming the exceptional post-war town planning, and inventive use of concrete architecture.

Things to see

For a solid example of the creative concrete that epitomises Le Havre’s rebuild, head to Eglise St-Joseph. Concrete may not be renowned for its beauty, but it’s hard to argue with the impact of the church’s colossal concrete bell tower, which rises above the city like a rocket. Still unconvinced? Step inside to be wowed by the tower’s kaleidoscope of stained glass windows, which draws your gaze upwards towards the heavens. For a more traditional religious building - and a glimpse into the pre-war world of this remarkable concrete coven - visit Cathedrale Notre-Dame. This 16th century cathedral was damaged during both the French Revolution and the Second World War, but it’s still standing firm - meaning you can step inside to enjoy its dramatic columns and arches, and feel its vast organ shaking the thick stone walls as it rumbles into life. Offering views of the busy harbour, Musée d'Art Moderne André Malraux is a sublime space to soak up some of France’s best art. This purpose-built gallery invites natural light in through its huge ceiling windows, and details like the rich colours of Monet’s floating water lilies are beautifully enhanced by the cascading sunlight.

Hotels in Le Havre

While the city is renowned for the concrete brutalism of its architecture, the hotels in Le Havre offer a sumptuous stay in more homely, welcoming surroundings. Share a glass - while letting the hot tub massage you - before slicing into an oozing peppered steak - as you sit looking out over the glittering lights of ships, making their way out of the Seine’s estuary. In your room, speedy WiFi helps you to plan out your stay, while your soft bed will quickly lull you to sleep once the lights are off. Flat-screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, and effective air conditioning is provided as standard in most of the hotels in Le Havre.

Where to stay

Stay near the port, along the street Escale Quai George V, to enjoy soothing waterfront views, and easy access to the concrete colossus of a Town Hall - where sunny afternoons are best spent enjoying the pirouettes of the dancing fountains outside. Quartier St-François is the place to sink your teeth into some of the fruits of Le Havre’s seas. Take your seat to crack lobster claws and squeeze sharp lemon over juicy oysters, before savouring the salty taste as they slip down your neck.

How to get to Le Havre

Le Havre has a large train station, which is the simplest way to reach the city from Paris or Rouen. There’s also a once a day TGV train link between Le Havre - France’s second biggest port city - and Marseilles in the south - the country’s biggest port. Le Havre’s coastal position means the city is a popular stop-off for cruise ships, as well as regular ferries, which cross the Channel from Ireland and Portsmouth. In the city itself, a modern tram system ensures you never have to walk too far.

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