10 Things to Do in Caen That You Shouldn't Miss

November 13, 2017 Russell Mellin

Caen in France, from Europe region, is best know for History Museums. Discover best things to do in Caen with beautiful photos and great reviews from traveller around the world here!
Restaurants in Caen

1. Memorial of Caen

Esplanade General Eisenhower | Cs 55026, 14050 Caen, France +33 2 31 06 06 45
Excellent
65%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Memorial of Caen

From the origins of the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Mémorial de Caen tells you the story of the XXth century.

Reviewed By travelleratheart2015 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I’m lucky enough to visit this museum a few times a year and I am never bored! Separated into 3 parts, the DDay section is my favorite with clear images and models to show the details of the beach landings. You will need a few hours but well worth the visit.

2. Office de Tourisme de Caen

Place Saint-Pierre, 14000 Caen, France +33 2 31 27 14 14
Excellent
57%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 133 reviews

Office de Tourisme de Caen

Reviewed By Hawaii-Biker - Honolulu, Hawaii

The staff member who greeted us was extremely friendly and spoke perfect English. She took the time to show us what we requested to see, and provided us with a booklet with maps and descriptions.Hello and thank you for sharing your satisfaction with the quality of our welcome. We hope the rest of your stay will be gone according to expectations. Hope to see you at the Caen Tourist Office!

3. La Colline aux Oiseaux

Avenue Amiral Mountbatten, 14000 Caen, France +33 2 31 30 48 38
Excellent
50%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 631 reviews

La Colline aux Oiseaux

Reviewed By Florian B - Lyon, France

This place is a very nice since it lies a bit far away from the city centre and offers plenty of different attractions within its limits. The central Fountain is a must during the warm summer days as all the passers-by enjoy the fresh water in a cool atmosphere. It's also a great place for the kids as there is a cool farm full of lovely animals.

4. Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey)

Esplanade Jean Marie Louvel | Caen City Hall, 14027 Caen, France +33 2 31 30 42 81
Excellent
50%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 588 reviews

Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey)

The Men's Abbey : A masterpiece of medieval art and 18th century. William the Conqueror Born in Falaise in 1027, William was the son of Robert the Magnificent, the future Duke of Normandy, and Herleva, a tanner’s daughter. Upon his father’s death, William became the designated sole heir to the ducal throne. His succession to the throne was challenged by the barons, who considered William to be Robert’s illegitimate son. William quashed the rebels once and for all in 1047 and became the undisputed Duke of Normandy. Towards 1050, William married his distant cousin Matilda of Flanders, despite opposition from Pope Leo IX. The Church forbade their marriage, so Matilda and William sought atonement by founding the Abbayeaux- Dames, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and the Abbaye-aux-Hommes, dedicated to Saint-Étienne. Work began on the Abbaye-aux-Hommes in 1066, the year that marked the Norman conquest of England. Edward, the King of England, had named William, the Duke of Normandy, to be his successor. Upon Edward’s death and betrayed by Harold, Edward’s brother-in-law, William took up arms to assert his claim to the throne. William defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14th October 1066. William was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey on 25th December 1066, whereupon he became William «the Conqueror». On 9th September 1087, he died in Rouen. According to his wishes, he was buried in the Abbey Church of Saint-Étienne in Caen. Abbey Church of Saint-Étienne Consecrated in 1077, the abbey church represents the oldest part of the site, with most of the features dating back to the 11th and 13th Centuries. The choir was redesigned in the 13th Century to reflect the prevailing Gothic style and is home to the tomb of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of England. Monastic buildings The monastery was erected in the 11th Century, but destroyed during the First War of Religion (1562-63), before being rebuilt in the 18th Century. The monastic buildings are built around a Tuscan-style cloister epitomising the classical Italian style. The buildings are today headquarters of Caen City Hall. Together with the recently refurbished Place Saint- Sauveur, the Abbaye-aux-Hommes represents a unique heritage site. Medieval buildings and agricultural buildings The abbey also used to be a farm and an inn. It still houses a cider press, a carriage house and a bakery. Two 14th Century buildings bear witness to the abbey’s former role as a place of refuge and a political venue. - Palais Ducal, which was restored between 2012 and 2013, now hosts the city’s art library and its collection of contemporary art. - The Guardroom, where City Council meetings take place

Reviewed By Ian M - Ashbourne, United Kingdom

A truly grand example of a classic Norman place of worship. The architecture is simple yet magnificent, with many interesting features including alcoves with beautiful original paintings. Of course it is also the resting place of arguably on of the greatest influences in our history - William the Conqueror. Well worth spending an hour. Admission is free, but of course a donation is appreciated.

5. Normandy Museum (Musee de Normandie)

Chateau, 14000 Caen, France +33 2 31 30 47 60
Excellent
44%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 260 reviews

Normandy Museum (Musee de Normandie)

Reviewed By Yen N - Caen, France

The museum and exhibits are both exceptional and absolutely worth seeing. Whether you come from Caen itself, Normandy, other parts of France or abroad, you will find this museum a wonderful way to learn more about the fascinating history, civilization and various cultural aspects of Normandy. It is very well-documented and nicely illustrated The guides are very welcoming and knowledgeable and the tours are adapted to their audiences , they are extremely interesting but also very entertaining. There are several different exhibits every year so you can come back and always learn captivating and essential information about the evolution of Normandy. You absolutely need to go here!

6. Abbaye aux Dames

Place de la Reine-Mathilde, 14035 Caen, France +33 2 31 06 98 98
Excellent
46%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 325 reviews

Abbaye aux Dames

Reviewed By Kath M - Hamilton, United Kingdom

On the edge of the city centre this is the sister Abbey of the Abbaye aux hommes. Commissioned by Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror it is now her resting place. Mostly undamaged in the d-day battle it is worth a visit but is less impressive or grand than its counterpart or the nearby Cathedral in Bayeux. Free to enter.

7. Eglise Saint-Pierre

Place Saint-Pierre | Place Saint-Pierre, 14000, Caen, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, Normandie, 14000 Caen, France +33 2 31 93 46 13
Excellent
33%
Good
56%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 151 reviews

Eglise Saint-Pierre

Reviewed By ProfBob13 - Liberty, Missouri

No historian or history buff of the Middle Ages can come to Caen without saying hello to William. The tomb is just perfect and the church is magnificent. Go around 11-noon the sunlight through the stained glass is awesome.

8. Musee des Beaux-Arts de Caen

le Chateau, 14000 Caen, France +33 2 31 30 47 70
Excellent
39%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 187 reviews

Musee des Beaux-Arts de Caen

Reviewed By daves1946 - Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom

Set in a very modernistic building on the Chateau site. Plenty of old masters and a selection of interesting modern works.

9. Jardin des Plantes

5 Place Blot, 14000 Caen, France +33 2 31 30 48 38
Excellent
47%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 97 reviews

Jardin des Plantes

Reviewed By Renate P - Bath, United Kingdom

I had not expected that many plants to be packed into a garden which is by no means huge. Everything is very well done and I loved the slightly neglected corners. I could not get into the tropical plants house but, again, that looked packed with plants. Superb place.

10. Chateau Ducal

14000, Caen, France +33 2 31 27 14 14
Excellent
28%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 493 reviews

Chateau Ducal

Reviewed By Fouad G - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Castle located in the centre of Caen close to the town hall. The tour takes about an hour excluding the museum part. The views from the top are nice. A good zoom would be an advantage. There is a pay parking right under the castle.

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