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Le Havre

A Unesco World Heritage Site since 2005 and a regular port of call for cruise ships, Le Havre is a love letter to modernism, evoking, more than any other French city, France’s postwar energy and optimism. All but obliterated in September 1944 by Allied bombing raids that killed 3000 civilians, the centre was completely rebuilt by the Belgian architect Auguste Perret – mentor to Le Corbusier – whose bright, airy modernist vision remains, miraculously, largely intact.

Attractions include a museum full of captivating impressionist paintings, a soaring modernist church with a mesmerising stained-glass tower, hilltop gardens with views over the city and a medieval church that rose again from the ashes of war.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Le Havre.