The town has two distinct areas: the modern town on the mainland and the medieval Ville Close, a walled town on a long island in the centre of the harbour. Historically, the old town was a centre of shipbuilding. The Ville Close is now devoted to tourism with many restaurants and shops aimed at tourists. However restraint has been shown in resisting the worst excesses of souvenir shops. Also in the Ville Close is the fishing museum. The Ville Close is connected to the town by a bridge and at the other end a ferry to the village of Lanriec on the other side of the harbour.
In August the town holds the annual Fête des Filets Bleus (Festival of the blue nets). The festival, named after the traditional blue nets of Concarneau's fishing fleet, is a celebration of Breton and pan-Celtic culture. Such festivals can occur throughout Brittany but the Filets Bleus is one of the oldest and largest, attracting in excess of a thousand participants in traditional dress with many times that number of observers. In 2005, the 100th festival was celebrated.
Fishing, particularly for tuna, has long been the primary economic activity in Concarneau. The Les Mouettes d'Arvor is one of the last traditional canning factories in Concarneau. Concarneau is one of the biggest fishing ports in France. Since the 1980s, other industries have arisen, such as boat construction and summer tourism.
The Ville Close separates the working port from the yacht basin.
Inhabitants of Concarneau are called in French Concarnois.
In 2008, 2.16% of primary-school children attended bilingual schools.
US Concarneau is based in the town.