Caen

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The 7 most fantastic sightseeing spots in Caen

Want to get a real sense of Normandy? Visit Caen. Whether you're here for the war history or on a quick trip to France, this is a great base to see it all. Here are the best places to see and things to do...

  • Abbey of Saint-Etienne

    1. Abbey of Saint-Etienne

    Also known as the Abbaye Aux Hommes (Abbey for Men) this former monastery was founded by William the Conqueror in 1063. Tours take place at 10:30AM and 4:30PM on weekdays.

  • Memorial de Caen

    2. Memorial de Caen

    Block out at least half a day of your Normandy visit to take in Caen's vast World War II museum. This truly modern attraction is updated regularly, so repeat trips will still provide something new to see.

  • 3. Abbey of Sainte-Trinite

    This is the sister to Abbeye St Etienne (Aux Dames) and was founded by William's wife as part of their penance for marrying as cousins (yes, really). Visit early for tranquility.

  • Chateau de Caen

    4. Chateau de Caen

    William the Conqueror strikes again with his castle, where he would entertain visiting Dukes and Kings. A popular Caen attraction, you can tour the rooms, palaces, and dungeons.

  • Musee des Beaux-Arts de Caen

    5. Musee des Beaux-Arts de Caen

    Nestled in the heart of the castle is the museum of fine art, where you can view masterpieces from Monet, Coret, Rubens, and Corbet. Make sure to swing by the sculpture park.

  • Church of Saint-Pierre

    6. Church of Saint-Pierre

    This church offers wonderful medieval architecture, but the highlight is the beautiful stained glass windows. Also, the bomb damage, retained and on display, is interesting.

  • 7. Parc Festyland

    For a change of scenery and entertainment for kids and teens, visit this theme park. Entry is reasonable, at €19 for adults and €16 for children, and there's enough to fill a day.

Planning Your Visit

  • What's the weather like?

    Situated in northern France, you can't rely on Caen weather to stay warm or dry. Conditions are best in summer, so visit between June and August if you are looking to spend time at the beach. Throughout the spring and fall, the temperature in Caen is good for sightseeing in comfort, as log as you bring an umbrella just in case!

  • When should I visit?

    In mid-March, the Festival Aspect des Musiques d’Aujourd’hui takes place, bringing music and performances throughout the city. There are some great deals if you visit Caen in late September, as many attractions are free on the third weekend of the month, for the Journees du Patrimone.

Good to know

  • Language
    French
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +33
  • Best time to visit
    Although Caen is packed with historical sights, the crowds never get too unbearable. Visit in summer to enjoy warmer days while still enjoying all sights at your own pace without worry of too many other tourists.

Other Sightseeing Options in Caen

Want to discover all there is to do in Caen? Click here for a full list.