A weekend in Cherbourg

Our favourite spots for discovering the port town on foot
Photo, © David Daguier - CD50

With its port, its huge harbour and its nearby beaches with different watersports on offer, Cherbourg is a destination with a focus on the sea. To soak up the atmosphere of the town, simply stroll through the streets and let yourself be tempted into one of its great eateries. During your city break, discover all the secrets of the Cité de la Mer and the Parapluies de Cherbourg umbrella factory. Follow us as we take you to visit the biggest town in La Manche!

What to visit in Cherbourg

Must-see places in Cherbourg

La Cité de la Mer

Twenty years ago, La Cité de la Mer first opened its doors in the old transatlantic liner terminal. This completely unique place invites you to dive to the bottom of the ocean. You can visit the Redoutable submarine or relive the legend of the Titanic, which docked in Cherbourg before its tragic end. La Cité de la Mer has plenty of surprises in store, for a completely immersive experience.


Photo, © François Dourlen

Cherbourg harbour

To discover this treasure of military architecture, the best way is to head out to sea. Embark on one of the Hague à Part boats for an hour-long guided tour. You’ll find out all about the biggest artificial harbour in Europe. While you’re at the port, enjoy a drink on the terrace of Les Travailleurs de l’Amer, a brasserie with some great organic craft beers.


Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg 

You can’t come to Cherbourg without visiting the umbrella factory. This famous Manche company has been operating in the town centre since 1800. You can visit the workshops and find out all about the iconic brand and its unique know-how, which is passed down from generation to generation. The factory is open for visits all year round, from Monday to Saturday (from 10 a.m. to midday and from 2 to 7 p.m.).


Photo, © Parapluie de Cherbourg

Explore the town differently

Strolling around the town

Taking your time as you stroll through the town and admire the surprises around every corner; definitely the best way to enjoy a city break! The town centre has a rich heritage. Don’t miss Place Napoléon, with its statue of the famous Emperor, and a stone’s throw away, the Sainte-Trinité Basilica. Carry on to the Thomas Henry museum, the third largest art museum in Normandy, and well worth a look. If you want to just chill for a while, sit down and relax in the lovely Emmanuel Liais park.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

In the evening, head to the Trident theatre, a multidisciplinary international stage. With theatre, dance, music and puppetry, there’s a varied programme to choose from. Or for a more sporty atmosphere, we recommend a handball match with JS Cherbourg. Come and support the team as they battle it out on the court!

The markets in Cherbourg

There’s no better way to soak up the atmosphere of a town than by heading to the market. In Cherbourg, several lively markets are held in the town throughout the week. Stroll around the stalls on a Saturday morning in Place de Gaulle, where you’ll find lots of vendors selling local products for you to try. Be sure to sample the wares of the “grilleurs” (rotisserie stalls), a real local tradition!

The markets and country fairs

Photo, © Baptiste Almodovar

Collignon beach

Just a few kilometres from the town centre, leave the crowds behind and head to Collignon beach, which is 6 km from Port Chantereyne. If you don’t feel like walking, you can always hire an electric bike or take the bus. A completely different atmosphere awaits you there, with chilling, swimming and watersports! You could also try kite surfing, sailing or sand yachting with the Voile et Vent watersports centre. The beach has lifeguards on duty from 1 July to 31 August.

 Book a beginner’s course

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Take home a souvenir made in Cherbourg! Pop into the Cherwood clothes shop, a brand created in Cherbourg. The concept is for people to take pride in their territory, and you too can show how much you love the town by choosing one of the brand’s gorgeous sweatshirts or polo shirts!


Where to stay in Cherbourg: practical information

Where to eat in Cherbourg?

The town is full of fantastic restaurants and great places for a drink. With some real institutions as well as more relaxed eateries, there’s something for everyone.

Café Pompon, a relaxing break

After visiting the Thomas Henry museum, drop into Café Pompon, a heaven for foodies! This tearoom is famous for its delicious lemon cake, which of all the treats on offer, is probably the most popular with locals. Be sure to try a piece!

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Club Dinette,
a veggie eatery

Just round the corner from the Sainte-Trinité Basilica is a little restaurant proposing a local and eco-friendly cuisine. This quirky restaurant, where the ethos is “better food, more fun”, will tempt you in with its tapas, burgers, cheesecake and much more. Why not try the brunch on a Sunday?

Pâtisserie Foucher,
the perfect place for a treat

After travelling the world, the chef Jean-François Foucher set up his pâtisserie in Cherbourg, where he takes pride in sourcing local products and has an orchard near the town. He puts his own twist on old favourites and is renowned for his chocolate, macaroons and sorbets. In short, this place is heaven for anyone with a sweet tooth! If you want to learn the chef’s secrets, pâtisserie lessons are available.

Le Carabot,
a Gault & Millau favourite

This delicious restaurant is a firm favourite in Cherbourg, with its cuisine based on local products and its great atmosphere. It has a special recommendation in the famous Gault & Millau restaurant guide, so be sure to book ahead.

Where to stay in Cherbourg?

Cherbourg has a great selection of hotels to stay in. Ideally situated in the town centre, you’ll be able to get to your accommodation easily.

A special mention goes to the Hôtel Mercure, with views of the port and the sea.

How to get to Cherbourg?

From Paris, Cherbourg is easily accessible by train. It’s an ideal destination for a relaxing weekend by the sea. Drop your suitcases off at the hotel and head out for a walk in the town centre, or hire a bike.

Cherbourg is also accessed from the RN13 main road from Paris, which goes through Caen.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

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