Our most recommended things to do in Caen

Caen: Memorial Museum Entrance Ticket

1. Caen: Memorial Museum Entrance Ticket

Discover one of Europe's leading memorial centres and experience the dark chapters of 20th Century history with this entrance ticket to the Caen Memorial. Learn about the events of World War II that destroyed most of Caen, the tribulation of occupation, and the joy of liberation as you walk through the numerous exhibits. Step into the museum and begin your visit with a film about D-Day to understand the events that took place during World War II. Find out how Normandy and the 100 days following the invasion of Normandy changed the course of history. Walk through the various fascinating exhibits spanning from the end of the First World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Discover original battle artefacts, historical documents, film and audio testimonies. Pause to reflect on peace and gain unique perspectives to understand the world and its transformations. To wrap up your experience, make your way to the three memorial gardens dedicated to the three allied forces that helped liberate France. Take a break at one of the museum's two on-site restaurants or pack a picnic on the museum lawn.

Caen: Guided D-Day Sites Tour & Caen Memorial Museum Ticket

2. Caen: Guided D-Day Sites Tour & Caen Memorial Museum Ticket

Learn about the history of World War II and the D-Day events with a small group guided tour of key D-Day sites, along with admission to the unmissable Mémorial de Caen Museum. The tour consists of a self-guided visit of the Mémorial de Caen Museum and a guided tour of the D-Day key sites. You can spend as much time as you wish discovering the Mémorial de Caen on the same day as your D-Day guided tour or another day.  The Mémorial de Caen is a museum and war memorial which you can explore at your own pace. Here, go on an historical journey through the 20th century, discovering major events from the end of World War I to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The museum features an entire section devoted to D-Day, and is the only museum in Normandy to relate the intensity of the invasion and explain its preparation in both enemy camps. You'll get the chance to visit the Normandy landing beaches in the company of an expert guide from Le Mémorial de Caen. Travel by air-conditioned minivan to the key sites: the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc. This is a small group tour with a maximum of 7 passengers.

From Paris: 2-Day Normandy & Brittany Tour

3. From Paris: 2-Day Normandy & Brittany Tour

Discover the historic D-Day Beaches on a 2-day trip around the stunning French regions of Normandy and Brittany. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Paris - Caen (Meals: D) Take the Normandy motorway and make your first stop at Rouen for a walking tour in the old town before continuing to Honfleur. On the way between Rouen and Honfleur, enjoy a view of the newly built Pont de Normandie, a cable-stayed bridge. Take free time for lunch once in Honfleur, then continue to the beaches of Normandy and pass by the landing area at Omaha Beach. Visit the American cemetery of Saint-Laurent, stop off in Arromanches, and then continue on for dinner and an overnight stay at Novotel Caen (or similar). Day 2: Caen - Paris (Meals: B) Leave Caen in the direction of Saint-Malo located in the Brittany region. Take a guided tour of the town, including a walk along the ramparts and the cathedral. After free time for lunch, depart for Mont-Saint-Michel, the frontier between the Brittany and Normandy regions. Continue your afternoon with a guided visit of the abbey and free time for strolling and shopping, before returning to Paris.

Small-Group Canadian Normandy D-Day Juno Beach from Paris

4. Small-Group Canadian Normandy D-Day Juno Beach from Paris

On June 6th, 1944 the largest seaborne invasion ever attempted in history took place. The Allied troops waged an extremely difficult attack on the German forces who were entrenched in bunkers along the coast of Normandy. More than 14,000 Canadian soldiers landed or parachuted into France on that day. Though the soldiers knew that they were fighting against the odds they carried on with courage and helped to win the battle for Normandy. During this insightful tour, you will take a guided journey through many of the historical landmarks that are pivotal to this moment in history. Take a walk on Juno Beach, just like the Canadian troops did in 1944, you can walk on the same sand they did on that very day. Whilst at Juno Beach, your guide will take you to see Juno Beach Center, the most comprehensive museum about the Canadian landings in Normandy. Visit the Canadian Cemetery in Beny-sur-Mer. There, stroll through the beautiful cemetery whilst paying your respects to the fallen Canadian soldiers. Also see "Hell's Corner," the furthest advance inland taken by Canadian troops on D-Day, 5-miles from the city of Caen. You'll also be able to see Abbey d'Ardenne, a HQ point for the nazis. Whether you’re a great admirer of military history or someone who is just curious about how the events really played out on D-Day, this tour will help you better appreciate the remarkable acts of courage that took place on Juno Beach. For they are well worth learning about and being remembered by all free folk today.

Guided Tour of the Landing Sites and the Memorial of Caen

5. Guided Tour of the Landing Sites and the Memorial of Caen

Go on a journey back through time on a day-long sightseeing tour of the World War II sites and landing beaches of Caen and Normandy. The excursion starts with a guided tour of the Memorial de Caen Museum. Here, go on an historical journey through the 20th century, discovering major events from the end of World War I to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The museum features an entire section devoted to D-Day and is the only museum in Normandy to relate the intensity of the invasion and explain its preparation in both enemy camps. Pause for lunch at the lovely Les Pommierse Restaurant. Then, continue your tour to the Normandy landing beaches, in the company of your bilingual guide from Le Mémorial de Caen. Travel by air-conditioned minivan to the key D-Day sites visiting the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, Omaha Beach and the Pointe du Hoc.

From Paris: Normandy Landing Beaches D-Day Tour by Minibus

6. From Paris: Normandy Landing Beaches D-Day Tour by Minibus

Explore some of the most important sights in Normandy – the remains of historic Allied landings that changed the course of the Second World War. The full-day tour from Paris will take you to the German battery of Longues sur Mer, part of the German's Atlantic Wall of defense. You will also stop at the American Cemetery in Colleville, for an emotional visit, where 9,386 soldiers now rest. In 2007 a new Visitor Center was created to commemorate the operations of the D-Day Landings, and you will have time to learn more about these dramatic events. Continue to Omaha Beach, where more bloody events took place, and spend some time contemplating those moments before you break for lunch. In the early afternoon, you will see the ruins of the Arromanches’ artificial harbor, built by the Allies in less than 15 days. Finally, continue along the coast past Gold Beach to Juno Beach, where you will get a guided tour of the remains of the Atlantic Wall, before your return to Paris.

From Paris: Private Normandy D-Day Beaches Tour

7. From Paris: Private Normandy D-Day Beaches Tour

Depart from your hotel in Paris and then, after 2.5 hours driving, arrive at Colleville Cemetery. Nearly, 9387 American soldiers died during the landing and you will see the perfectly aligned gravestones across this expansive green lawn. The Cemetery visitor center is also very helpful if you wish to know more about the details of Operation Overlord. Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion. the beach is just under the cemetery and was the theater of one of the most intense periods of fighting. The beach was nicknamed the Bloody Beach. You will stop by Arromanche, the seaside city which was a priority target of Allied troops. You will be able to have lunch at one of the restaurants that your driver will recommend to you. To end the visit, you will be driven to Pointe du Hoc. Symbolizing the courage of the young American soldiers involved in its storming, the famous Pointe du Hoc was one of the strongest German fortifications and was taken by force on the morning of 6th June by Colonel Rudder’s Rangers. The site, full of emotional memories, has been completely redeveloped; its impressive appearance bears witness to the intensity of the battle which took place here. You will then return to Paris.

Caen Like a Local: Customized Guided Walking Tour

8. Caen Like a Local: Customized Guided Walking Tour

Skip the usual historical tours and discover the city of Caen through a local's eyes on this customized tour that can run for anything between 2-6 hours. Experience a tour that will transform the way you travel, making it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Meet your guide at your accommodation in Caen to get familiar with the neighborhood, find out about the best places to eat, the easiest ways to get around, and the hidden gems you might have missed. Through conversations with your local guide, learn about cultural differences, local events, and what it's truly like to be a Caen local. By the end of the tour, you'll feel comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most out of your stay. Since the local partner's guides are not professional, they provide an experience that's authentic and personal, like a friend showing you around the city. The more notice, the better, as these tours are organized on demand and are completely personalized. Choose between 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6-hour options. With this experience, you won't just be passing through the city, you’ll be part of it.

Small Group Guided Tour of the Secret History of Rouen

9. Small Group Guided Tour of the Secret History of Rouen

Stop At: Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, 3 rue Saint Romain, 76000, Rouen France Description of the facade and its history Duration: 10 minutes Stop At: Abbatiale Saint-Ouen, Place du General de Gaulle, 76000, Rouen France The Saint-Ouen abbey in Rouen is one of the main monuments of the city of Rouen; its abbey church is a completed example of Gothic architecture in Normandy. The abbey is the subject of a classification as historical monuments by the list of 1840 Duration: 10 minutes Stop At: Aitre Saint-Maclou, 186 rue Martainville, 76000, Rouen France L'aître Saint-Maclou is a former mass grave dating from the 16th century, located at 186, rue de Martainville in Rouen, France. It is one of the rare examples of such an ossuary surviving in Europe. The Saint-Maclou is the subject of a classification as historical monuments by the list of 1862 Duration: 10 minutes Stop At: Gros-Horloge, Rue du Gros Horloge, 76000, Rouen France The Gros-Horloge is one of the emblematic monuments of the city of Rouen. The building, attached to a belfry, consists of a Renaissance arch spanning the rue du Gros-Horloge surmounted by an astronomical clock from the 14th century. Duration: 15 minutes Stop At: Place du Vieux-Marche, Esse endereço na França é em Rouen e não em Caen onde se encontra a atração, Rouen France It was on this square, in the middle of the Hundred Years' War that Joan of Arc was burnt alive on May 30, 1431. The place, as Joan of Arc could see it, did not resemble what it was. is today. The square was smaller and its space was occupied by the Saint-Sauveur church, the Saint-Michel church and by a large market hall. It was also the usual place of executions. A large cross was erected on the site of the pyre. In the middle of the square, the remains of the old Saint-Sauveur church have been unearthed. It is in this modest parish church that Pierre Corneille was baptized, his birthplace, rue de la Pie, now transformed into a museum located nearby. Today it is a lively square, around which are restaurants and bars Duration: 20 minutes

Normandy D-Day Beaches Private Tour US sector from Bayeux

10. Normandy D-Day Beaches Private Tour US sector from Bayeux

Pay tribute to those young men that gave their lives on D-Day and ensure that their story is passed on from present to future generations with this day trip from Bayeux or Caen. See Omaha Beach, the American cemetery, and the bombardment craters at Pointe du Hoc.   Be picked up at your location in Bayeux or Caen and ride in an air-conditioned van. Cover topics about D-Day like the ground, naval, airborne forces. Hear about the artificial ports, the decoy plan called Fortitude, French life under German occupation, the French resistance, and the Atlantic wall. Stop first at Omaha Beach and see the American cemetery where 10,000 American soldiers are buried or marked as missing in action. Have the opportunity to visit a strongpoint that is part of the Atlantic wall. Head to Pointe du Hoc, the only place where huge craters are still visible due to naval and aerial bombardments. View the spot where 225 rangers bravely climbed up the 100 feet cliffs. It is a good site for a good comprehension of the German defenses.  Buy lunch at the Roosevelt café, which was built on a bunker and is now a meeting place for veterans. Visit a private bunker that is not open to the public. Travel from Utah Beach to Sainte-Mère-l'Eglise and pass through the hedgerows. Arrive in a small village that was made famous by the movie 'The Longest Day.' View the church tower where a paratrooper, John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, landed. Discover two amazing stained glass windows inside the church that were created to commemorate the liberation of the city by the 82nd Airborne Division on June 6, 1944. Return to your starting point in Bayeux or Caen at the end of your tour. 

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What people are saying about Caen

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 64 reviews

Igor had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Normandy battles. He conveyed his knowledge in an engaging and very creative way. We learned so much from him. He helped us get an extremely realistic view of not only the battles, but a feel for what the of the local French inhabitants of the surrounding countryside lived through being occupied for years before the D Day invasion. He also helped us understand how the local terrain affected the battles by taking us on small roads to experience the thick hedgerows and the elevation changes of the ground especially along the coast. We all came away feeling we learned so much more than if we had just visited a museum. I would highly recommend Igor for your tour guide.

Absolutely the highlight of our trip (2 adults, 14 & 12 year old boys). We came to honour our family’s D Day sacrifice and were so grateful to have Jonathon be our tour guide. He was knowledgable, patient, supportive and an endless resource. A day we will cherish forever. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience, it was perfection.

This was an amazing experience. Truly an emotional and touching tribute to our Canadian soldiers. Our tour guide Nadir was THE BEST!!! His knowledge of the area and the history was superior and he went out of his way to cater to our needs and made the day truly memorable. Highly recommend.

Excellent tour, guide was on time and very knowledgeable. I recommend this tour

Our guide was knowledgeable about the topic. He is friendly also.