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24 hours in Caen

Top things to see and do around Caen

Only have a limited amount of time to spend in and around Caen? Here are our top things that you shouldn't miss while in the area.

Caen and nearby Bayeux are great places to uncover some medieval history about William the Conqueror. Some of the best sites that you shouldn't miss include:

  • Château de Caen containing the Museum of Normandy
  • Abbaye aux Hommes and its striking Gothic spires
  • Bayeux Tapestry at the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux
  • Stunning Gothic Bayeux cathedral

The area also had an important part to play during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Here's some of the most important sites and museums around Caen.

  • Bayeux War Cemetery of British soldiers
  • Museum of the Battle of Normandy at Bayeux
  • Memorial de Caen, a museum dedicated to peace
  • Sword Beach, where British troops came ashore on D-Day
  • Grand Bunker museum, a German bunker as it would have looked inside on D-Day

Caen is also perfect for shoppers with its rustic streets filled with lively independent shops, patisseries and boutiques, alongside some bigger department stores. For those looking to stock up on their favourite French foods and wines, there are several supermarkets and winesellers in the area.

Where to stay and how to get there?

Search for accommodation near these attractions in our holiday search. We have a great selection to choose from including chalet campsites, apartments, gites and cottages.

Take our Portsmouth to Caen route, sailing aboard either Mont St Michel or Normandie, and choose from a variety of day and overnight crossings to suit you.

Featured articles

Caen, in Normandy, is one of the oldest university towns in France. Bustling with activity, it is a vibrant and attractive city on the River Orne.
Bayeux in Normandy is a beautiful medieval city, brimming with history, and is the home of the famous Bayeux Tapestry.
From pre-1945 to the post-1945 period, this museum tells the story of the 20thC in a spectacular presentation of the events that had such an impact on European history.
William the Conqueror built this abbey, along with his wife Mathilda's stunning Abbaye aux Dames (the 'Ladies' Abbey'), as penance to the Church for their marriage. Built out of local Caen stone, the twin Romanesque towers of the building…
One of the largest medieval complexes in Europe, William the Conqueror's 11the century castle is an impressive piece of military architecture. Looming above the city on a hillock and surrounded by a dry moat, it is an imposing sight.
The famous Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events of the Norman Conquest of England and illustrates much about the life of the Normans. 231ft long & 20ins deep, it is believed to have been created for Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux, in England.
This splendid cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. Originally built to a Romanesque design in the 11th century, very little of the original architecture remains as it has been rebuilt over time.
Bayeux was the first town liberated during the Battle of Normandy in 1944 and it is fittingly the home of a Museum dedicated to the Battle that raged for over 2 months across the region.
Standing opposite the Museum of the Battle of Normandy and the Bayeux Memorial, the Bayeux War Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in France.
The left-hand flank of the D-Day landings, Sword Beach was one of the British landing beaches and is close to our port in Ouistreham.
Le Grand Bunker - Musée du Mur de l'Atlantique is a fascinating museum inside the German bunker at Ouistreham which has been recreated inside to look as it would have done on D-Day.