Le Havre-Carte-localisation

As the largest city in Normandy, Le Havre’s extraordinary architecture, harbour atmosphere and relaxed lifestyle make it an irresistible place to visit. With a vibrant economy and a rich cultural heritage, it was ranked among the top 20 cities to live in in France in 2023.

City living and quality of life

  • 2.5 hours from Paris by train
  • 2 km of beaches
    just 800 m from the city centre 
  • 750 ha of green areas
  • €2,356
    per m² on average

Top 5 reasons to move to Le Havre

The Explorers Valentin Pacaut / CRT Normandie


Big, but not too big

With a population of 165,000, Le Havre is the largest city in Normandy but doesn’t feel like a huge metropolis

Le-Havre balade sur la plage
Studio 911


A feast for the eyes

A listed city centre, facilities designed by the greatest architects, works of contemporary art: living in Le Havre is like living in a work of art. 

Le-Havre session de volley sur la plage
Studio 911


Next stop: the beach!

Here, bus route A takes you straight to the sea. Just a 5-minute walk from the centre, you’ll find 2 km of beach, lively bars and cafés and all sorts of water sports. 

Buchowski Vagabonde / CRT Normandie


Take the stress out of getting around

Le Havre is known for being one of the least congested cities in France. It also has 2 tram lines (with 2 more planned for 2027), buses, 160 km of cycle paths… and even a funicular railway!

Jardins_Suspendus__serre_tropicale Le Havre
Marie-Anais Thierry / CRT Normandie


Nature in the city centre

With 750 hectares of green areas and a host of parks and gardens (Parc de Montgeon, Parc de Rouelles, Japanese garden, hanging gardens), Le Havre can breathe easy – as will you! 

Pack your bags without a second thought

Sabina Lorkin-Anibas Photography

Are you ready to leave your old life behind, for a new one in Le Havre?
The Seine Estuaire Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers people who have found a job in the region the F.A.R.E. programme (Family, Support, Network, Estuary), to benefit from tailor-made support.

What not to miss in Le Havre

The Explorers Valentin Pacaut / CRT Normandie

The city centre

Rebuilt after the Second World War, Le Havre’s city centre, which was designed by Auguste Perret, has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2005. Its architecture is fascinating for both its unity and modernity.

Sabina Lorkin-Anibas Photography

The hanging gardens

Perched above Le Havre, these 17 hectares of greenery offer breath-taking views of the city centre and the sea. They have been awarded the French “Jardins remarquables” (outstanding gardens) and “Jardins botaniques” (botanical gardens) labels. 

Marie-Anais Thierry / CRT Normandie

Southampton Quay

This is where Vincent Ganivet’s “Catène de Containers” shipping container art installation was erected. At the crossroads of the city centre, the fishing port and the marina, these former quays have been transformed into an attractive promenade by architect Michel Desvigne. 

Montgeon Forest
A wide, green expanse of 270 hectares, this forest park is home to lakes, an aviary, a tropical greenhouse and a botanical garden. It’s the perfect place to cool off in summer or go for a run in winter. 

Espace Oscar Niemeyer
Named after its Brazilian architect, this square features an enormous fountain, the grand Volcan (a nationally-recognised theatre) and the petit Volcan. This “little volcano” houses a library which is considered to be one of the most original in France.


Working in Le Havre: a choice of jobs

Anne Soullez

Think that Le Havre might be the place for you? With a large pool of jobs in port and logistics operations, industry and services, the ocean city is sure to have the perfect job for you! In 2023, it recorded almost 9,000 recruitment proposals from local companies. 

The top sectors and companies recruiting

The port and maritime industry

Le Havre is one of France’s largest ports, with 31,000 jobs and 1,200 establishments within its perimeter. It is home to some of the biggest names in shipping, including CMA-CGM, Maersk and Kuehne+Nagel, as well as port-related small businesses such as SOGET. 


The port is a hub for a large number of logistics and service companies, including several international groups (XPO Logistics, Daher international and GEODIS). The sector is currently experiencing a boom in recruitment (HGV drivers, forklift operators, logistics managers, etc.).


Le Havre benefits from a strong manufacturing sector based around petrochemicals (Total and Exxon refineries, and fertiliser producers such as Yara). The automobile, mechanical engineering and aeronautics industries are also well established (Renault, Safran Nacelles, Air Liquide). Meanwhile, the Siemens Gamesa wind turbine factory has given marine renewables a boost.


If you want to have large companies, you’re going to need client support! Some groups have chosen Le Havre as the location for their customer service centres (1,300 jobs in the area). They include EDF, Harmonie Mutuelle and even the state health service (Assurance Maladie). Whether you work in banking, insurance or telemarketing, there are opportunities for you in Le Havre!

Studying at Le Havre means choosing an innovative campus

Le Havre is a university town that attracts over 13,000 students every year. The Le Havre Normandie campus, located in the city centre, is home to a number of renowned institutions (University, Grandes Ecoles, Higher Institute for Logistics Studies) and offers more than 200 higher education courses.

Studio 911
Le-Havre des étudiants sur le campus universitaire

Le Havre ranked 35th in the list of best towns to study in

Studying in Le Havre also means enjoying cultural offerings (Muma, Le Carré des Docks, etc.), sports and leisure facilities and a lively atmosphere worthy of the biggest major cities. 

In terms of student accommodation, rents in the city are very reasonable (€11 per square metre on average). The Normandy CROUS has 8 halls of residence (550 student accommodation units). So it’s no wonder that in 2023, Le Havre was ranked 35th in the league table of the best cities to study in!

Academic establishments

What’s on in Le Havre

  • Un été au Havre (summer in Le Havre)
    Every summer, this contemporary art event hosts an open-air exhibition, with works to be discovered around the city. It’s a great opportunity to rediscover the city from another perspective. 
  • The Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre transatlantic boat race
    The Transat Jacques Vabre, the most famous of the two-handed transatlantic races, has been setting sail from Le Havre since its creation in 1993. Ten days of celebrations and events await the sailors as they get ready to set sail!
  • Le Goût des Autres
    Debates, concerts, lectures, performances: the Goût des Autres literary festival brings together authors and artists around the city, focusing on a common theme. Over the past 10 years, the event has established itself as one of Europe’s leading literary events.
  • Ouest Park festival
    With almost 15,000 attendees and some forty concerts, this festival has become an unmissable part of Le Havre’s cultural life. Its eclectic line-up is what sets it apart.

Practical information in Le Havre

News about Le Havre

Futerro: the future of sustainable, green plastic in Normandy

We got the good news at the end of 2022… Following in the footsteps of Eastman, the Belgian brand Futerro announced it was coming to the Port-Jérôme business park in Seine-Maritime. What’s the idea? To open the world’s first industrial facility producing, processing and recycling bioplastic. It brings the circular economy and energy transition together:…

Eastman: a unique molecular recycling facility in Normandy

Was this content helpful?