Worth a visit - Cherbourg

Cherbourg, one of France’s great Channel ports, is closely linked to French naval history, and to transatlantic adventures – the Titanic even made its final stop here on its fateful journey, as recalled at the Cité de la Mer, one of the port’s main tourist attractions.

Not to be missed in Cherbourg

> Cité de la Mer: set in the spacious former Art Deco Gare Maritime building where ocean liner passengers embarked and disembarked, this major marine centre opened in 2002. It offers a wide variety of themed areas. There are parts dedicated to underwater exploration and marine creatures, and of course there’s a section devoted to the Titanic. The issue of immigration are also covered. The highlight for many visitors is boarding the disused French nuclear submarine, Le Redoutable, kept here.

> Muséum Emmanuel Liais: set beside a fine public garden on the western side of the town centre, this museum has wide-ranging displays of archaeology and ethnography, including Ancient Egyptian works and cabinets of curiosity. Its collections recall the fact that many explorers set out from Cherbourg.

> Holy Trinity Basilica: Cherbourg’s major church displays a whole mix of styles, as it was added to down many centuries.

> Musée Thomas Henry : This art museum in the centre of town reopened in 2015 after undergoing renovations. It contains works by celebrated international figures, the paintings given to the town in the 1830s by Thomas Henry, a native of Cherbourg who became a leading art expert at the Louvre. Talented local artists are also well represented, including Millet, who lived near Cherbourg and painted memorable scenes of rural life in the Cotentin in the 19th century.

The highlight for many visitors is boarding the disused French nuclear submarine, Le Redoutable

> Le Point du Jour: this photographic centre puts on three exhibitions a year.

> Fort du Roule : Cherbourg’s war story is told in a fort perched far above the town, reached via hairpin bends. The coastal views from the fort are magnificent.

> Château des Ravalet Gardens: in Tourlaville, on the outskirts of Cherbourg, visit these magnificent gardens laid out beside a 16th century castle.

> Maison du Littoral et de l’Environnement: At Tourlaville also, this environmental centre organises hiking tours of the area, among other things.

> Théâtre à l’Italienne Le Trident: a 19th century extraganza, this is the grandest of three venues for theatre in town.

> Petit Train Touristique

> Hague à Part sea outings: on board L’Adèle, enjoy a one-hour cruise around Cherbourg’s huge walled harbour, getting close to its forts. There are also cruises along the north Cotentin coast.


What to see and do around Cherbourg