The municipality was established on 1 January 2016 by merger of the former communes of Cherbourg-Octeville, Équeurdreville-Hainneville, La Glacerie, Querqueville and Tourlaville.
Cherbourg can be reached by ferry from Poole and Portsmouth in the UK. Crossing times are 4.5 hours from Poole and 3 hours from Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries. It is also possible to reach Cherbourg from Rosslare in Ireland with Irish Ferries, crossing time is around 19-20 hours depending on season. If you're on foot, the ferry terminal is close to the centre of town but you have to take a long roundabout route if you try to walk. There is a free shuttle leaving shortly after the ferries arrive, which takes you to La Cite de la Mer - which is still a 5-10 minute walk to the old town. You can also get taxis from the terminal - ask the staff to call one if necessary.
Cherbourg is easily accessible from Normandy and the rest of France and is around 6 h from Paris and around 11 h from Bordeaux. There is not much traffic except during rush hours. There is limited parking close to the old town (e.g., at the station) and you may have to pay for it during the day.
Cherbourg can be reached from Paris St Lazare on a direct train, otherwise there are services to Brittany and to (sometimes) the southwest of France. Be careful: few trains, mainly delayed. Gare de Cherbourg is about 5 minutes' walk from the old town. It is also close to some hotels and a Carrefour but it is difficult to find food near the station.
A decent enough network of buses runs round the town, but everything can be reached by foot
- 1 Musée de la Libération, Montée des Résistants. Even if you don't go into the museum (or it is closed), the hill offer great views over Cherbourg. €4.
- 2 La Cité de la Mer (at the inner harbour entrance next to the Port, about 10 minutes walk from the old town along the east side of the harbour). An interesting maritime museum situated in the restored trans-Atlantic ship terminal. Visitors can explore an aquarium, an ocean diving exhibit, exhibits about the Titanic (which made one of its last stops at these docks) and a French nuclear submarine. €18.
- 3 Château des Ravalet, Avenue de Château des Ravalet, Tourlaville (probably requires a car to get to). The picturesque château is only opened occasionally, however, the rambling gardens are open daily and free to access. It is a popular place for picnics and has a café that is sometimes open. Free.
- 4 13 Rue du Port. The 1964 French musical film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, starring Catherine Deneuve, was filmed in Cherbourg. The front of the umbrella store used in the film is preserved at 13 Rue du Port. The sign over the door still says Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.
- 1 Carrefour supermarket, Quai de l'Entrepôt (opposite the train station, next to the end of the harbour). The mall here has a large Carrefour supermarket, which includes a large range of bread, cheese and Bordeaux wine for as little as €2.
- 1 Cafe du Port, 20 Quai de Caligny. All-day dining close to the water. €10-€20.
- 2 Fifty's Diner, Place du General de Gaulle. Popular diner (with mostly French dishes) overlooking a square and the theatre. €10-€20.
There are numerous other restaurants in the streets and squares of the old town and along the quay.
- There is a campsite to the east of the town and is signposted from the Ferry Terminal.
- 1 Hôtel de la Gare, 10 Place Jean Jaures (opposite the train station). Convenient to the train station (and 5 minutes walk to the old town) and good value. Some cheaper rooms with shared bathrooms. €45.
- 2 Auberge de jeunesse Cherbourg (Cherbourg youth hostel), 55, rue de l'Abbaye, 50100 Cherbourg - Octeville (Downtown near the city hall), ☎ . The hostel is a member of Hosteling International, so there will be an extra fee for non members (only a few Euros). The minimum age for the hostel is 18; there is no maximum age.
- Greece, 104 Rue Emmanuel Liais, B.P. 629, ☎ , fax: .
Phare de Gatteville (a lighthouse) is located at the north-east point of the Cotentin, about 20 minutes drive from Cherbourg. It is a lovely, peaceful spot, surrounded by fields and villages. For a few euro, you can climb the 349 steps for some incredible views.