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Things to do in Bayeux

Things to do in  Bayeux

Welcome to Bayeux

Best known for the UNESCO-listed tapestry which takes its name, tracing the threads of European history is one of the top things to do in Bayeux, located in northern Normandy. After discovering the 230-foot (70-meter) medieval tapestry—which depicts the Norman invasion of England in 1066—look out for landmarks such as the Bayeux Cathedral and spend time wandering the town's cobblestone streets. Bayeux was also among the first French towns liberated by the Allies in 1944, and is used as a base for those exploring the nearby D-Day beaches.

Top 15 attractions in Bayeux


Crowned by a Gothic abbey, the UNESCO-recognized medieval island village of Mont-Saint-Michel rises dramatically from the tidal flats of the bay, creating one of France’s better-known images. This island, situated at the mouth of the Couesnon River, is a must-see for history buffs and those interested in religious sites, and is surrounded by some of the largest tidal variations in Europe.More

Omaha Beach

As one of Normandy’s D-Day landing beaches, Omaha Beach was the backdrop to one of the most significant events of World War II, immortalized in the movie Saving Private Ryan and forever etched into history. Today, visitors to Omaha Beach can follow in the footsteps of the Allied soldiers and pay their respects at the American Cemetery.More

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

Located above Omaha Beach, just outside Bayeaux, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a moving site. The cemetery is the final resting place of more than 9,000 soldiers, the vast majority of whom lost their lives fighting the D-Day battles of Normandy. Other World War II heroes are buried here as well.More

Pointe du Hoc

One of France’s most important World War II landmarks, Pointe du Hoc is best known for its role in the D-Day Landings. Today, the promontory overlooking the Normandy coast is a destination for history buffs, those with personal ties to the conflict, and others wishing to pay tribute to the many soldiers who lost their lives here.More


Famously painted by artists, such as Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet, and Eugene Boudin, the picturesque waterfront and colorful harbor of Honfleur are among the most memorable in Normandy. The historic port is renowned for its architecture, especially Vieux Bassin harbor’s 16th-century buildings and the wooden church of Sainte Catherine.More

Brittany (Bretagne)

Brittany (Bretagne) is the westernmost region in France, a peninsula on the northwest coast that stretches out into the Atlantic. Home to destinations such as Rennes, which has a thriving student community; Brest, an off-the-beaten-path city; and the walled former island of Saint-Malo, Brittany is rich in history, naturally beautiful, and too often overlooked in favor of Paris and the French Riviera.More


Near the Normandy hamlet of Longues-sur-Mer, Longues battery was part of the Nazis’ fearsome Atlantic Wall fortifications, built by the German Navy between September 1943 and April 1944.Built with huge 152 mm naval guns able to fire up to 12 miles (20 km) away, the battery was strategically erected between the beaches of Omaha and Fold in order to prevent Allied landings on Normandy’s beaches. The night before D-Day on June 6, 1944, however, the Allied troops used a French cruiser and U.S. battleship to send a barrage of 1,500 tons of bombs over to the battery, where the German crew of 184 men surrendered the next day.Longues battery is unique on the Normandy coast: it’s the only spot on the Atlantic Wall where you can still see the concrete casemates and guns just as they were after the 1944 showdown. At the battery, you can also visit Longues-sur-Mer’s command post and the personnel and ammunition shelters. At the cliff edge itself, you can climb inside the battery’s fire control bunker and look out across the Normandy coast for a feel of the past. Film buffs will also recognize the bunker from the classic 1962 D-Day film,The Longest Day.More


What was an otherwise little-known village of the Cotentin Peninsula suddenly became infamous after it was visited by American troops on June 6th 1944 as part of Operation Overlord – making Sainte-Mère-Église one of the first villages to be liberated of the Nazis after four long years of occupation. Sainte-Mère-Église, along with Utah Beach, was one of the two airborne landings on D-Day, because of its strategic position between Cherbourg and Paris. Sainte-Mère-Église is also where the Airborne Museum is located (14 rue Eisenhower), entirely dedicated to the D-Day paratroopers. It includes authentic artifacts like a DC3 aircraft, insightful information and an entire section devoted to the movie The Longest Day, which depicts a well-known incident involving paratrooper John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. His parachute caught on the spire of the town church, from which he observed the fighting going on below, hanging limply for two hours and pretending to be dead before the Germans took him prisoner.More

Utah Beach D-Day Museum (Musée du Débarquement)

Utah Beach was the westernmost landing point on D-Day. The main attraction at the site of the landing is the Utah Beach D-Day Museum (Musée du Débarquement), which focuses on the extraordinary battle. The museum also holds exhibits that offer a deep dive into French life under German occupation.More

Juno Beach Centre (Centre Juno Beach)

The Juno Beach Centre (Centre Juno Beach) is a museum dedicated to the heroism of Canadian troops in the D-Day landings and the entirety of the Second World War. Located in Normandy, the center draws visitors from Canada and across the world wanting to remember their fallen patriots and learn more about France’s role in the Allied victory.More

Merville Battery (Batterie de Merville)

Merville Battery (Batterie de Merville) was a coastal fortification built by the Nazis in Merville-Franceville as part of the Atlantic Wall during World War II. Because this particular battery was much more better fortified than other similar installations, it was one of the first to be attacked by the Allies on D-Day.Indeed, it was successfully captured by British paratroopers on June 6, 1944, because they mistakenly believed the battery contained heavy-caliber weapons that could threaten the nearby beach landings. They discovered, however, that what it contained, essentially, was inoffensive World War I vintage guns. The battery also comprised four six-foot-thick, steel-reinforced concrete gun casemates, designed to protect mountain guns, as well as a command bunker, dorms and ammunition magazines. After the British left the battery to liberate a nearby village, Merville was once again taken over by the Germans until they withdrew France in the following month of August.More

Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery

More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers who died on Normandy beaches and battlefields are buried in this Second World War Cemetery. Lines of white headstones stretch across manicured grounds, here, and memorials repose in the shade of leafy, mature trees. Veterans Affairs Canada manages the grounds, which France has granted to Canada.More

Bayeux Tapestry (Tapisserie de Bayeux)

The Bayeux Tapestry (Tapisserie de Bayeux) might be almost 1,000 years old, but it’s still one of the top tourist attractions in northern France. Housed in a purpose-built museum and depicting the infamous Norman invasion of England, its detailed needlework and impressive size draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world every year.More

Bayeux War Cemetery

The Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy is the largest of 18 cemeteries dedicated to soldiers from the Commonwealth. It’s a peaceful place, and visitors come to remember those who died in the Second World War. For many, the cemetery is a stop on a tour of important WWII sites in northern France.More

Mulberry Harbour

Often regarded as one of the greatest engineering feats of World War Two, the Mulberry Harbour was a portable and temporary structure developed by the British to facilitate speedy discharging of cargo onto the beaches on D-Day. It was, in fact, two different artificial harbors, which were towed across the English Channel and assembled just off the coast of Normandy on that infamous morning. Once fully operational, Mulberry Harbour was capable of moving 7,000 tons of vehicles and goods each day. The harbors provided the Allies with landing ramps, necessary for the invasion of an otherwise unprotected coast. Violent storms shook the English Channel between June 19 and 22, 1944, effectively wrecking the better part of both harbors. Remains are, however, still visible a few hundred yards from Arromanches’ shoreline, continuing to remind visitors of the sheer engineering genius that emanated from the D-Day landings. The remains are best visible during low tide. The D-Day Museum nearby provides invaluable knowledge on the historical background and technical challenges that the harbors presented.More

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All about Bayeux

When to visit

Located in rainy Normandy, buffeted as it is by Atlantic fronts, Bayeux is damp throughout the year. Summer has the best weather and is the most crowded time to visit. Travelers looking for a quieter experience when seeing the blockbuster Bayeux Tapestry—and warmer temperatures when visiting the nearby D-Day landing beaches—should consider a visit in May. May also marks the start of the D-Day Festival Normandy.

Getting around

Located in rainy Normandy, buffeted as it is by Atlantic fronts, Bayeux is damp throughout the year. Summer has the best weather and is the most crowded time to visit. Travelers looking for a quieter experience when seeing the blockbuster Bayeux Tapestry—and warmer temperatures when visiting the nearby D-Day landing beaches—should consider a visit in May. May also marks the start of the D-Day Festival Normandy.

Traveler tips

Beyond its UNESCO-listed tapestry, Bayeux is renowned for its remarkably well-preserved Old Town, which avoided destruction during World War I and World War II. Before leaving town to see the D-Day landing beaches, visit local landmarks such as the Bayeux Cathedral; wander among the medieval, half-timber buildings; and indulge in local products including cider, calvados, and Norman cheeses at Bayeux bistros.

People Also Ask

What is Bayeux known for?

It’s best known for a certain hanging wall carpet. The Bayeux Tapestry is 230 feet (70 meters) long and tells the story of William the Conqueror’s conquest of England in 1066 in embroidery. The year 1066 was the last time that England was successfully invaded.

Is Bayeux worth visiting?

Yes, even if there wasn’t an immense 11th-century tapestry on display, Bayeux is worth a visit. In the former Gaulois capital, the overriding sense these days is medieval, with narrow streets and covered bridges crisscrossing the Aure river. It’s extremely quaint.

Is it better to stay in Bayeux or Caen?

Where you stay depends on what you prefer. The port city of Caen has 100,000-plus inhabitants. It’s modern, due to being rebuilt after World War II bombings, although there’s architecture that dates to the time of William the Conqueror, too. Bayeux is tiny in comparison, with better-preserved buildings.

What day is the Bayeux market?

The main Bayeux market on Place St-Patrice happens on Saturday mornings. This market sells fresh produce (seafood, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and Calvados, among other regional delicacies). There’s a smaller, pedestrianized market on Wednesdays on Rue St-Jean, which is also worth visiting.

Where is the Bayeux Tapestry today?

True to its name, the Bayeux Tapestry is in Bayeux, in the Bayeux Museum. Eventually, it will be loaned to the British Museum in London following an agreement for a cultural exchange, but many experts believe that this will only happen when the tapestry needs restoration work.

Why is Bayeux famous?

The 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry is largely responsible for Bayeux’s fame, but it’s not the sole reason. Bayeux has a proud tradition of lacemaking dating back 300 years, and an extensive World War II museum detailing the town’s swift liberation by the Allied Forces.


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