Cherbourg is a town of the Manche department, in the Basse Normandie region of France. It is located in the north of the country and boasts a strategic location. Indeed, it is situated at the bottom of the Cotentin peninsula, an overhang in the Channel. The town’s full name is Cherbourg-Octeville, but it is almost always shortened as Cherbourg. With its 40,828 inhabitants it is the largest town of the Manche department.
Cherbourg is an international marina which welcomes important water events such as the Course du Figaro, Challenge Mondial Assistance and Cutty Sark. But Cherbourg is also an art town housing an Italian-style theatre, art and history museums as well as several religious monuments. It besides Cherbourg offers a great variety of restaurants, bars and cafés, shops, street markets and lovely English-style gardens. The latter are perfect for relaxation and tranquillity.
La Cité de la Mer, a gorgeous attraction dedicated to the deep-sea life, is a big asset for the town. Laid out in the ancient transatlantic harbour station, it is a unique tourist and cultural complex in Europe. Its three main exhibitions are the following ones: the Redoutable, biggest open to the public submarine in the world; the Aquarium Abyssal which is the deepest of Europe and ‘Walking into the Depths’, a virtual experience really one of a kind. It is the perfect way to learn in a playful way.
In 2009, a property in France is sold €3,197 /sq m. In the Manche department generally speaking as well as in Cherbourg, the property price is €2,030 /sq m on average. Considering that the town is a touristy location, property prices are affordable and an investment there should be profitable.
In terms of rentals, Cherbourg is an excellent location. With over 70% of tenants living in the town, rental opportunities are numerous and the real estate market is perfect for those who are looking for buy-to-lets. A property is rented €12.22 /sq m /month in France, and €8.11 /sq m /month in Cherbourg.
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Economy: the famous Nestlé company is based in Cherbourg, which boasts a dynamic economy. But the maritime activities also play an important role in the local economy. Indeed, the town possesses 4 harbours amongst which a trade harbour and a fishing harbour. Other sectors of Cherbourg are metallurgy, food industry and electronics. In addition, Cherbourg is the main area of activity in terms of service industry; with tourism in the lead.
Tourism – sights: tourism plays a fundamental role in the town. Indeed, Cherbourg is a marina which attracts many tourists. In order to enable a welcome worth of the name, numerous facilities have been created and development projects are constantly on the agenda. There, you can notably see renowned cruise ships such as the Queen Mary 2 or the Queen Elizabeth. Furthermore, the nearby Mont Saint Michel is a must-visit and will probably seduce most of you.
Parks and gardens: Cherbourg offers numerous parks and gardens which are displayed all over the town. They were built during the 19th century and have a nice English style. They boast a gorgeous vegetable heritage and some of them are listed as ‘outstanding gardens’. Strolling within their sinuous alleys is a real breath of fresh air. The commune also received 4 flowers (out of 4) in the French competition of the flourished villages called Villes et Villages Fleuris.
Activities: many cultural activities are on offer with several museums, a theatre as well as different centres aimed at promoting the environment or broadening cultural knowledge. Besides, being close to the seaside Cherbourg allows many different activities. The most practised are cycling, sea rowing, sand yachting and golfing. Furthermore, in July and in August, bus routes serve the town and drive to the local beaches. What a great plan for both sport and idleness lovers!
Location – transport links: Cherbourg is easily accessible by road from Paris, Nantes and Rennes. By plane, you can land at Cherbourg-Maupertus airport from Paris. By train, regular routes lead from Cherbourg to Paris,. Being a hub in terms of transport links, the French capital allows you to reach other big European cities easily. A Paris-London flight will notably take you only about 1h15. Another solution is to take the ferry from Portsmouth, Poole or Rosslare.
Apartments: they represent 68.1% of the dwellings in Cherbourg. Flats are ideal for buy-to-lets. Furthermore, the town offers excellent rental opportunities and it should not be difficult to find a tenant. They are close to all amenities i.e. to shops, bus stops, schools… Some of them are fully renovated but others may need works.
Houses: although apartments are much more sought-after and widespread in the town, you may find town houses or detaches houses. They have no particular architecture however. They may come with a plot of land, cellar and garage.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Basse Normandie.
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