Le Havre, located along the English Channel on the west coast of France, is the common port of entry for large ships calling at Paris and, more typically, a place to pass through on their way to the city of lights. In no way could we dissuade cruise travelers from making the long trail of 'tres Magnifique' Paris on a first visit, but on a return trip, Le Havre, both on its own merits and because of its proximity to Normandy (which is also quite magical), is worth a look. While Le Havre is an old and structured city, dating back to the 16th century, it was severely bombed during World War II, losing much of its historical charm. However, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the way it has been reconstructed; the organization noted that Le Havre is 'outstanding among many reconstructed cities for its unity and integrity'.Le Havre's prime location between Honfleur and Normandy offers a wide range of options. It is a gateway to the beaches that witnessed the bravery of D-Day and the coastline and countryside that inspired so many artists. It's also a good place to visit for its art galleries and cafes and offers a relaxing alternative to the half-day commute to Paris.