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How to Spend 3 Days in Caen

How to Spend 3 Days in Caen

Three days give you plenty of time to discover Caen’s historic sites and museums, visit the D-Day landing beaches, and explore more of Normandy—top attractions such as Mont St. Michel and the Bayeux Tapestry are within day-tripping distance. Here are some ideas for how to spend three days in Caen.

Day 1: Caen and Bayeux

The former home of William the Conqueror has played an important role in French history so Caen’s historic center is best explored on a walking tour, during which a guide provides historical insight that you’re unlikely to find in the guidebook. Tours typically cover Caen Castle (Château de Caen); Abbaye aux Hommes, where William the Conqueror is buried; and the Old Town, home to the Gothic Church of Saint-Pierre and the timber-framed Maison des Quatrans. 

In the afternoon, head to neighboring Bayeux, where the star attraction is the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry. Book your tickets in advance for the Bayeux Tapestry Museum (Musée de la Tapisserie), which attracts large crowds, or if you visit independently, pick up an audio guide to learn more about the 1,000-year-old masterpiece. Back in Caen, indulge in regional specialties such as Normandy cider, camembert cheese, andtarte aux pommes (apple tart) at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Discover the D-Day Beaches

Caen lies a short drive from the D-Day beaches, where one of the most significant events of World War II took place. Landing beaches, battlefields, and WWII sites are dotted along the coast, so having your own transport is essential—joining a tour lets you avoid the hassle of car hire and allows you to cover multiple beaches in just one day. 

Most day trips visit Omaha Beach, Arromanches, and Pointe du Hoc, and typically stop at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, or Bayeux War Cemetery. To understand more about the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, there are also a number of museums worth visiting. To avoid waiting in line, book tickets in advance for the Falaise Civilians in Wartime Memorial, the Caen Memorial and Museum, or the Arromanches 360° Cinema. Or, if you want to explore at your own pace, pick up an audio guide.

Day 3: Mont St. Michel

Spend your final day exploring further afield on a day trip. Explore the picturesque port towns of Honfleur and Deauville; visit orchards, dairy farms, and Calvados distilleries on a tasting tour; or marvel at Normandy’s most-visited attraction, Mont St. Michel. Dramatically situated on an island off the coast of south Normandy, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed monastery makes for some impressive photos. Most Mont St. Michel excursions include a walking tour of the hilltop monastery, as well as free time to browse the shops in Mont St. Michel village and enjoy a Bretongalette (savory buckwheat pancake)—a specialty of neighboring Brittany.

If you prefer to travel independently, book a round-trip shuttle transfer from Caen and spend the day at your leisure, without having to worry about hiring a car or driving. 

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5 Tours and Activities | All Caen Tours

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Private Tour: D-Day Beaches from Caen

Private Tour: D-Day Beaches from Caen

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Visit the Normandy landing beaches of World War II on this customizable, private day trip from Caen. Settle inside an air-conditioned minivan with your private guide — a local whose family lived through the Nazi occupation. Spend the day exploring D-Day sites such as Arromanches, Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc. Delve into the landings at the Airborne Museum, pay homage at the American Cemetery, and enjoy a ‘calvados’ (apple brandy) tasting. This is a private tour, so inform your guide if there’s anything you want to see more of.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$555.32
per group
From
$555.32
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Normandy Specialties Food Tour from Caen

Private Tour: Normandy Specialties Food Tour from Caen

Eat your way around Normandy in just one day on this day-long, small-group food and eating excursion from Caen. Go to the untrammeled parts of the region and get jaw-dropping views of views of Trouville, Deauville and Honfleur along the way. Stop and visit with some producers of Camembert, Pont L'évèque, cider and calvados and then tuck into some amazing meals at some of the region's best restaurants.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$617.02
per group
From
$617.02
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Full-Day Tour of Mont-Saint-Michel from Caen

Private Full-Day Tour of Mont-Saint-Michel from Caen

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Discover the charms of Mont-Saint-Michel on this private full-day tour. Take an early morning train from Paris to Caen. Explore the town and enjoy a breakfast of coffee and croissants. Travel through the lovely Normandy countryside to Mont-Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a comprehensive tour of the abbey, break for a traditional sausage and calvados.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$555.32
per group
From
$555.32
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Rouen, Bayeux, and Falaise Day Trip from Caen

Private Tour: Rouen, Bayeux, and Falaise Day Trip from Caen

Follow in the footsteps of historic icons like William the Conqueror, Joan of Arc and Rollo on this full-day private tour of Normandy. Discover the dark secrets and major events of French history as you explore Rouen, Caen and Bayeux with an expert guide. Start with a visit to historic Rouen to view the magnificent Cathedral and see the spot where Joan of Arc was killed. After lunch (own expense), explore the port town of Caen, including William the Conquerors's castle and the Abbaye aux Hommes, then marvel over the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$493.62
per group
From
$493.62
per group
Taking safety measures

Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema Entrance Ticket

Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema Entrance Ticket

star-4
Relive the Battle of Normandy and gain a unique insight into French history at the Arromanches 360° circular cinema. Watch the memorable film 'Normandy's 100 Days' on the high-definition panoramic screens and learn about the D-Day landings, see previously unseen footage from the archives, and follow in the footsteps of the Allied soldiers
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  • 19 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$9.26
From
$9.26
Taking safety measures