Cherbourg harbour

Cherbourg travel guide

About Cherbourg

Cherbourg, in Normandy, is a port town with a seafaring history that is second to none.

One of the first places that the Titanic visited on its fateful journey and quickly liberated from the Nazis after the Normandy Landings, Cherbourg has a rich and often tragic past. Both events are marked in outstanding museums in the city, with a brilliant Titanic exhibition in the famous Cité de la Mer ('City of the Sea'), which is also home to the incredible La Redoubtable, the world's largest submarine open to visitors, and the Musée de la Libération ('Liberation Museum') inside the 19th century Fort du Roule that crowns the summit of the Montagne du Roule. 

From the fort, you are afforded a splendid scene of the sprawling city, port, naval arsenal and yachting marina. First noted by Vauban who realised the importance of Cherbourg as a defensive naval base against the English during a visit in 1686, the harbour's main dyke began construction in 1782 and took over 70 years to build. Beside the marina is the Plage Verte, a large green space that is perfect for enjoying a stroll by the coast and is popular for events and outdoor activities.

Explore the coast around Cherbourg where dramatic cliffs rise up between sandy beaches along the Cotentin Peninsula, producing a magnificent coastline. The Cap de la Hague, in particular, offers spectacular rugged cliffs and a rustic moorland landscape. The Saire Valley also offers some beautiful wild countryside that is subject to tidal flooding.

Food and shopping

Cherbourg has lots of good restaurants and is a great place to try some of the tastes of Normandy, a region famous for its apples, cider, mussels and rich butters and cheeses. A visit into the heart of the Old Town will take you to the fresh fish market at Le Vieille Ville, or you can wander through the grand markets of the Place de Gaulle, for fresh produce, delicatessens and flower stalls.

If you're looking for great shopping, there is the shopping centre beside the river, Les Eléis, which has big international and national brands, as well as some local stores, all housed inside a spectacular glass and metal building that is designed to reflect the light.

OVERVIEW

  • Country: France

  • Region: Normandy

  • Department: Manche

  • Population: 43,000

Getting to Normandy

Get closer to your destination with our routes sailing direct into Normandy

Couple at the Château de Caen

PORTSMOUTH TO CAEN FERRIES

Cherbourg harbour

PORTSMOUTH TO CHERBOURG FERRIES

Poole

POOLE TO CHERBOURG FERRIES

Holidays in France

Sail & stay with us to save time and money! Pack your car with everything you need - even the family pet, and enjoy the fun of travelling on board.

Gite in Atlantic Loire Valley

GITES AND COTTAGES IN FRANCE

View of the Hotel Aigue Marine, Tréguier

HOTEL HOLIDAYS & BREAKS IN FRANCE

Family walking on the beach

FAMILY HOLIDAYS IN FRANCE AND SPAIN

A man and a woman reading by their car

CAR & MOTORCYCLE TOURS IN FRANCE

COVID-19