Caen Travel Guide

  • Men's Abbey + Church
    Men's Abbey + Church
    by darkjedi
  • Chateau of William the Conqueror
    Chateau of William the Conqueror
    by Beausoleil
  • Caen castle.
    Caen castle.
    by Pod

Caen Highlights

  • Pro
    jayhawk2000 profile photo

    jayhawk2000 says…

     Superb transport links, terrific base for D-Day Beaches 

  • Con
    Mikebond profile photo

    Mikebond says…

     none 

  • In a nutshell
    Mikebond profile photo

    Mikebond says…

     it confirms that war cannot destroy art 

Caen Things to Do

  • Visit the World War II Cemetery and...

    The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach is outside of Colleville-sur-Mer but a good base for visiting is the nearby city of Caen. You can combine the visit to the Cemetery with a visit to the Caen Peace Memorial and nearby Pegasus Bridge with the small museum and river walk there. It's a pretty intense day. If you don't have a car, there are tours...

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  • Pegasus Bridge near Caen

    The Benouville-Pegusus Bridge is a must-see if you are visiting World War II sites. Pegasus, the flying horse, was the emblem of the 6th British Airborne Division and they captured the bridge on June 6, 1944 thus maintaining a vital transportation link for the Allies.It's a drawbridge and it's fun to see it go up and down. It is also on the...

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  • The Caen Peace Memorial

    When you get your ticket, take the option for full lunch in the restaurant. The museum is large and emotionally draining (all that war and violence) so you need a break and the food is excellent.You start down a curving ramp . . . descending into the horrors of war symbolically, starting with the ending of World War I, the Great Depression and “The...

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  • The Abbey of Women (L'Abbaye-aux-Dames)

    There are two major abbeys in Caen, one is L'Abbaye-aux-Dames and the other one is (you guessed it) L'Abbaye-aux-Hommes. The Abbey of Saint-Étienne is usually called the Abbey of Men. The two abbeys were built by William the Conqueror and his wife Mathilda. Official Web site of L'Abbaye-aux-Hommes]This tip, however, is about the Abbey for Women and...

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  • Wonderful churches in Caen

    Directly across the street from the chateau is Eglise St. Pierre. It has a slightly curved apse so is particularly interesting. We had seen this in Quimper in Bretagne but it is very eye-catching when you first see it. Official Web Site of Eglise St. PierreHere is my journal entry for the church:"A very friendly docent gave us the cathedral history...

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  • The Botanical Gardens (the "Museum of...

    The botanical garden of Caen (Jardin botanique de Caen) is built on a terrain of an old stone quarry Caen. One side extraction is still visible. In the lower part is about 5,000 square meters big and hosts flora (1,000 species) typical to Normandy. There is also a medicinal garden with 600 plants; horticultural collections (700 varieties); trees,...

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  • Fine Arts Museum - Musée des Beaux-Arts...

    This museum is located in the heart of the Caen Castle (the medieval castle built by William the Conqueror) in a modern building. The museum has a selection of paintings from the 15th to 20th centuries. Lots of early arts is rather religious in kind. The museum is in fact one of the most important regional French museums, displaying a notable...

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  • Visit a Castle and more.

    There's the Castle, Built around 1060 by William the Conqueror to house his residential palace. One of the biggist in Europe. Became a millitary barracks.Ramparts. Through the years have been repaired soooo many times and messed about with. Things move and get lost through time. But the dry moat still remains in the same place.

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  • Abbaye des Dames, the Women's Abbey

    Let's not make ourselves guilty of discrimination. When one visits the Abbaye des Hommes (Men's Abbey), then also visit the Abbaye des Dames (Women's Abbey). On the other side of the city centre, a beautiful abbey is next to an even more beautiful church, the Sainte-Trinity. Here too the interior should be not left aside, however this time because...

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Caen Hotels

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Caen Restaurants

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  • A little way from Caen, a great...

    This charming little restaurant is not in the city of Caen. You have to drive to St. Sylvain southeast of the city. It is definitely worth the trip!We were renting a gite nearby so it was quite close for us but it is listed under Gastronomique Restaurants on the Caen Web site and it is a reasonable drive, about 20 minutes or 27 kilometers (17...

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  • Local specialities, sunny and heated...

    This short, quiet, but very pretty historical street is full of small, unique restaurants, serving local and global cuisine. none of them are part of any chain though so they are pretty original! Most of the restaurants also have a sunny terrace in the front and the locals sit outside even if it wasn't particularly warm! Some of the terraces are...

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  • Brazilian take away

    Mon Dieu, this place is awesome! It is super small and mainly specialised in take away food, but not just any take away food, but Brazilian food. There is very limited seating available since most people take their food home, but the Brazilian lady who owned the place was kind enough to let us sit indoors (there are a few chairs outside too). The...

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  • Lovely newly opened local

    We found this awesome little restaurant called Les Petites Bouches ('The Little Lips') by chance. We were looking for somewhere to eat as we were starving and none of the bar brasseries along the main pedestrian streets seemed to be serving food as early as 7pm. The restaurant is popular among locals as it is tucked away from the main city centre...

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  • Super tasty and fresh creps and salads

    This lovely, very tiny crepeterie called 'Le Triplex' is located along the short, historical street called Rue du Vaugeueux, a must see in Caen. I had the most delicious and super fresh salad (Salad L'Italien or 'Italian salad') with Italian spices, mozzarella cheese, the most delicious ham (jambon) I have ever had and salad leaves in this place....

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  • Italian restaurant across from the...

    We were spending a Sunday in Caen visiting the chateau and arrived at lunch time. We parked by the chateau and started down the hill looking for a place to eat. The first thing we saw was Cafe Milano right across from the Chateau at the beginning of the Old Town section of Caen. It was a lovely day and the view couldn't be beat so we took a table...

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Caen Nightlife

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  • Latin favour

    Don't let the word 'cafe' fool you. 'Cafe' in France is often actually a bar. Cafe Latin is a nice, small bar with Spanish and South American theme. They serve all major drinks including mojito, sangria, caipirinha and tehre is also tapas from 6pm on Saturdays. Happy hour (half priced cocktails) on Saturdays from 6pm until close. The food was not...

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  • Classy but quiet

    Between Abbaybe aux Dames and the Ducal Chateau you'll find pretty Le Vaugueux. This picturesque street with its jumble of timbered houses verges on looking like France Street at a theme park. The restaurants and bars looked nice but on both occasions when we walked through here the place was dead. Completely empty. Plenty of people were wandering...

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  • Caen Hotels

    54 Hotels in Caen

    48 Reviews and Opinions

Caen Transportation

  • D-Day beaches bus tour

    Thanks to Beausoleil's reply in the travel forum, here's a link to a day trip by bus to 3 of the D-Day beaches. Read the discussion hereThe full day tour costs € 14 per person and departs from the train station in Caen and also ends there. So you can take a train from anywhere easily. Tours daily except Sundays and public holidays. You can also hop...

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  • Local trains

    Owner RFF / SNCF RFF / SNCF Exploitant Operator SNCF SNCF Services Corail Intercités : ( Paris Saint-Lazare , Cherbourg , Tours ). Coral Intercités: (Paris Saint-Lazare, Cherbourg, Tours). TER : ( Rouen , Saint-Lô , Rennes , Le Mans ) TER: (Rouen, Saint-Lo, Rennes, Le Mans)

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  • Caen Railway Station

    Caen railway station, Gare de l'Ouest Calvados is the main station and now the only station in the city of Caen. The station is located on the railway line from Paris Saint-Lazare in Cherbourg, the services of the SNCF arresting them are mainly Highlights: (Corails Intercités since 2006) although some regional services also stop. The typical routes...

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Caen Shopping

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  • Bath products

    store bath products with scents gourmet specialist duck for the bath, bath toy. Once in the store you are on leave with a product so it's great In this store there is something for all budgets (minimum 1€)

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  • Caen city centre

    As being the central city in the Basse-Normandie region, Caen as well is a favorite shopping centre of this part of France, offering it's shopping crazy visitors a wide collection of shops and articles to buy. Maybe some specific Normandian items can be found in Caen.

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  • Several shops

    You will find a lot of nice shops in Caen. This tip show a selection of them. Their names are sometimes funny, like Le bois dormant (that refers to the tale La belle au bois dormant) as the name of a toy shop.

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Caen Local Customs

  • Doggie Doo Bags

    All around Caen are many stations where you can obtain a doggie doo bag with which you can keep your dog away from the doggie jail for making a mess on the pavement.

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  • Chaotic ensemble of architectural styles

    Some say it is chaotic, others - like me - find it one of the charmes of old towns. The colourful variety in buildings throughout the city streets. Various architectural styles, that emerged throughout the centuries, can be seen over a few hundred meters of walking and therefore there is always something to your liking (or your disgus - hehe). Caen...

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  • A (start or finish) place within the...

    All places in France every year fight to get a start or finish in the Tour de France, the largest bicycle event our world knows. Caen was in luck in 2006. The Tour de France would finish here on the 6th of July and with it bring an enormous publicity and media circus. Weeks in advance preparations are made to show the city from it's best side....

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Caen Warnings and Dangers

  • Railway station automated toilets

    Automated toilets require you to insert 30 cents into a slot and a door will open, you then enter and use the facilities until you are ready to leave, then open the door with a button on the wall. If there is someone using the toilets when you arrive at them, do not under any circumstances go in if the departing user holds the door open for you....

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  • Heart Attack?

    Should you feel a sudden pain in the chest area you will be very glad to know that at various locations around Caen are placed Defribulators in which case passing doctors will be able to have the equipment at hand to re-start your heart.

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  • My favorite sign in Caen

    I guess if you didn't watch your step and a local didn't follow the sign, you could be in for a "oh ***" momemt

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Caen Off The Beaten Path

  • Visit the area around Caen, beautiful!

    There are many things to do in the area of Caen. You can base yourself in Caen, Bayeux or one of the charming small villages nearby. We once spent a month in Cauvicourt and had plenty to do the entire time.Caen is in the region of Calvados in Basse Normandie. We have spent time in both Basse Normandie and in Haute Normandie, two very different...

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  • Historical street: Rue du Vaugueux

    This short, quiet, but very pretty street is pedestrian only. It is located between the Cean Castle and the port. It is one of the few remaining, very old and historical parts of Caen. Historical records mention the street for the first time in 1210. The street also gave its name to the suburb which was built at the foot of the collegiate church of...

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  • See the Church of St.-Pierre

    The West Facade of St.-Pierre is readily seen from the ramparts of the castle and its belfry is a landmark of Caen, so it is not really off the beaten path, but it is easily neglected. We did not go in due to lack of time. It has a flamboyant Gothic facade with a prominent Rose window and a porch clearly studied from the castle. However one must go...

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Caen Favorites

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  • Tourist - Post Office

    Caen's tourist office is across the street from the church of St-Pierre in the beautiful sixteenth-century Hôtel d'Escoville at 14 place St-Pierre (July & Aug Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-1pm & 2-5pm; rest of year Mon-Sat 10am-1pm & 2-6pm, Sun 10am-1pm; tel 02.31.27.14.14, www.ville-caen.fr ). For details of forthcoming events, pick up a copy of...

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  • Half-timbered houses

    Also in Caen, like in Angers and in other French cities, you will see a lot of half-timbered houses like those you see here. One of them hosts the Musée de la Poste, which I didn't visit. I really like this kind of house.

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  • Croissants

    Start every morning with a butter or chocolate filled croissant from the Boulangerie on Rue St Pierre- easily the best in town! Seeing the chateau every day and having a glass of Bordeaux rouge in Cafe Le broc

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Explore Deeper into Caen
Gastronomic Marvels
Restaurants
The abbey church of the men
Things to Do
Sainte-Trinity, the curch of the women's abbey
Things to Do
Inside the castle of Caen
Things to Do
Musée d'initiation à la nature
Things to Do
Eglise Saint Pierre
Things to Do
Juno Beach
Things to Do
Sword Beach
Things to Do
Delicious meal
Restaurants
Fish Soup.... Mmmmmmmmmm
Restaurants
A tribute to the peace : the Memorial of Caen
Things to Do
Englise Saint Pierre
Things to Do
Tomb Of William The Conqueror
Things to Do
Palais de Justice
Things to Do
Veol rental bikes
Transportation
The Castle: Lifts
Things to Do
Leroy Tower
Things to Do
The Castle: Statue of Great Warrior
Things to Do
Ferry Port to Caen bus
Transportation
Trams
Transportation
Maisons des Quatrans
Things to Do
The Castle: Normandy Museum
Things to Do
The Castle: The Exchequer
Things to Do
The Castle: St George's Church
Things to Do
Le Château Ducal
Things to Do
Abbaye-aux-Dames
Things to Do
Abbaye-aux-Hommes
Things to Do
Caen Ferry Port
Transportation
Mémorial de Caen
Things to Do
Saint-Étienne
Things to Do
Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux
Things to Do
La Trinite Church: Descend into the Crypt
Things to Do
Visit the Museum of Beaux Arts
Things to Do
The Castle Grounds Offer Many Attractions
Things to Do
Study the Furnishings of the Abbey Church
Things to Do
Look at Vieux-St.-Etienne Church
Things to Do
Stop at the Ruins of St.Sauveur-le-Vieux
Off The Beaten Path
Further Details on La Trinite Church
Things to Do
Visit La Trinite Church of the Abbaye aux Dames
Things to Do
Find the Ruins of St.-Gilles
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Caen

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