Top 10 attractions in Normandy

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Artists will love the stunning medieval towns and chateaux of this rustic region as well as the incredible natural beauty of the Alabaster Coast, a spot that inspired Impressionist painters such as Monet. You can also visit his house and garden in Giverny, where Monet painted some of his most famous works.

Wherever you visit in the region, you'll find quaint crêperies selling crêpes with a cup of local cidre, as well as restaurant menus filled with creamy à la Normand dishes. Seafood fans will be spoiled with freshly caught shellfish.

Our top 10 things to do in Normandy

1. Tapisserie de Bayeux

One of the most famous sights in all of France, the Bayeux Tapestry is today displayed in its own museum. On display in its entirety, the nearly 70m long tapestry depicts the events of the Norman Conquest of England by William the Conqueror and the English defeat at the Battle of Hastings.

Find out more » Tapisserie de Bayeux

2. Claude Monet's garden

See the scenes that inspired some of the world's most famous paintings with a visit to Monet's garden. It was in these spectacular gardens that Monet painted some of his best-known works including the Water Lilies series. Wander across the Japanese bridge and admire the natural beauty that inspired a master.

Find out more » Claude Monet's garden

3. Mémorial de Caen

This incredible, modern museum follows Europe's descent into war from the rise of Hitler in Germany to VE Day but also looks at the impact of war around the world ever since. Illuminating, educational and always interesting, the museum really is a unique experience. An absolutely unmissable attraction and one that you should set a whole day aside for in order to really explore.

Find out more » Mémorial de Caen

4. Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

If you are interested in visiting the D-Day sights, you have to include this on your itinerary. Nothing can quite prepare you for the scale of this cemetery where over 9,000 white marble crosses mark the names of the fallen American soldiers who died during D-Day itself and it's ensuing operations in Normandy. A profound and humbling experience.

Find out more » Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

5. Mont St Michel

Attracting over three million visitors every year, this pretty tidal island is topped by a magnificent abbey and sits in one of the 'most beautiful bays in the world'. Stroll along the steep cobbled street, filled with quaint shops, crêperies and restaurants, and up over 900 steps to reach the beautiful Benedictine abbey at the top.

Find out more » Mont St Michel

6. Cité de la Mer

Discover what life is like both on and under the seas at the Cité de la Mer. Home to La Redoubtable, the largest submarine open to the public in the world, and a stunning exhibition about the Titanic (which docked here in Cherbourg on it's fateful voyage), it also has 17 aquariums including the deepest aquarium in Europe.

Find out more » Cité de la Mer

7. Château de Caen

William the Conqueror's castle and one of the largest and best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe, the Château de Caen is a fantastic example of Norman defensive architecture from the Middle Ages. Standing high on the hill overlooking the city, today, it is home to the Museum of Normandy and a Fine Arts Museum.

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8. Abbaye aux Hommes

This striking Romanesque abbey is one of two built in Caen by William the Conqueror. This, the men's abbey, and also the Abbaye aux Dames, the women's abbey, were built in penance to the Church for William's unsanctioned marriage to his wife Mathilda. Famed for it's beautiful spires, the Abbaye aux Hommes also contains William the Conqueror's tomb.

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9. Cliffs of Etretat

Another sight in Normandy that inspired Monet, the cliffs of Etretat are a unique and picturesque natural phenomenon. The three archways hewn from the rock by the sea and the jutting spire of the Needle are a sensational backdrop to a paddle in the sea or a walk along the clifftop hiking trails.

Find out more » Cliffs of Etretat

10. Jumièges Abbey

The remains of one of the oldest abbeys in the Western world, the abbey at Jumièges was originally built in the 7th century.  In 1067, after it was rebuilt following destruction by the Vikings, William the Conqueror consecrated the abbey and it became a great centre of learning, renowned for its help to the poor, until the Wars of Religion in the 16th century.

Find out more » Jumièges Abbey

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