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Things to do in Normandy

Things to do in  Normandy

Welcome to Normandy

Normandy in northwestern France has played an important role in history, making it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. You'll find a variety of private and small-group tours to introduce you to the historic region, whether you'd like to see battlefields, beaches, or a medieval village. Explore the picturesque town of Bayeux, roughly 163 miles (262 kilometers) from Paris, known for the Bayeux Tapestry. This extraordinary piece of embroidery depicts scenes from the Norman conquest of England and dates back to the 11th century. Book a group or private tour with a knowledgeable guide to discover World War II's D-Day beaches, Omaha and Utah among them. Stop at the Mémorial de Caen museum and war memorial, as well as some of the battlefields and cemeteries. Or head to the remote abbey rising from the rocks at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont-Saint-Michel. A guided tour rewards you with skip-the-line access to one of the most-visited sights in France—step into the refectory, cloister, and church to marvel at the architecture. Food lovers can join a culinary tour to taste the region's famous cuisine, including Camembert cheese and Calvados (apple brandy). Alternatively, hop on a sightseeing tour through Rouen, Normandy's largest city, to take in the cathedral that Monet immortalized and wander through an antique district. Finally, tours to the beautiful port of Honfleur allow you to understand just why the town has attracted so many artists over the years.

Top 10 attractions in Normandy

#1
Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

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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 movieSaving 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
#2
Caen Memorial Museum (Mémorial de Caen)

Caen Memorial Museum (Mémorial de Caen)

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Located a short drive from the D-Day Landing Beaches, the Caen Memorial Museum (Mémorial de Caen) puts one of the most significant battles of World War II into historical context. The museum gardens serve as a poignant tribute to the international soldiers that lost their lives on Norman soil.More
#3
La Cambe German War Cemetery

La Cambe German War Cemetery

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As the largest German WWII cemetery in France, the La Cambe German War Cemetery serves as a poignant reminder of the lives lost on both sides of the war. It’s a moving site, with its grey schist crosses and dark, flat headstones offering a more somber atmosphere than that of the American and Commonwealth cemeteries nearby.Although initially serving as a temporary American cemetery, today 21,222 soldiers from the German Armed Forces are buried at La Cambe. At the center of the cemetery, a 6-meter-high grassy hillock is capped with a single cross and serves as a mass grave for 296 soldiers, many of which are unknown. Just outside of the cemetery, the La Cambe Peace Garden opened in 1996, and is home to 1,200 maple trees, each planted by an individual or organization to symbolize reconciliation and lasting peace. A visitor center is also located at the entrance to the cemetery and offers further insight into the soldiers buried on-site.More
#4
Honfleur

Honfleur

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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
#5
Pegasus Memorial Museum (Pegasus Bridge)

Pegasus Memorial Museum (Pegasus Bridge)

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Before June 6, 1944 the Bénouville Bridge was simply a way for locals to cross the Canal de Caen quickly and easily. But the Allied troops knew that the Germans also used this bridge to send supplies and reinforcements to their troops along the beaches of Normandy – and so it was a priority to seize control of it as soon as possible to help the D-Day operation.And so on that day, the British 6th Airborne Division arrived silently in gliders and after only 10 minutes, had secured the bridge. From then on it was known as the Pegasus Bridge, in honor of the insignia on the brave soldiers' uniforms.Although the original bridge has been replaced thanks to modern engineering, there is still a memorial at the site, as well as a museum that focuses on the role of the Airborne Division in Operation Overlord. A fairly new museum, inaugurated only in 2000, its collection continues to grow and so is a wonderful experience even for repeat visitors.More
#6
André Malraux Museum of Modern Art (MuMa)

André Malraux Museum of Modern Art (MuMa)

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Home to one of France’s most significant collections of impressionist paintings (the second-largest, after the Orsay Museum in Paris), the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art (MuMa) has long been an important destination for art lovers. Inaugurated in 1961, the museum takes its name from André Malraux, the Minister of Culture at the time, and features a slick modernist façade looking out over the coast of Le Havre.Highlights of the MuMa’s extensive permanent collection include the world’s largest collection of works by Boudin; an old masters area including works by Luca Giordano and José de Ribera; and modern works by Henri Matisse, Albert Marquet, Raoul Dufy and more. Of course, it’s the impressionists that draw the most attention, and it’s a vast and varied collection, featuring works by Monet, Delacroix, Degas, Renoir, Manet, Gauguin and Vuillard.More
#7
Pointe du Hoc

Pointe du Hoc

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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
#8
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

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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
#9
Arromanches 360

Arromanches 360

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On the coast of Normandy, Arromanches 360 is a circular cinema with nine screens that work together to create an immersive cinematic experience. Here, visitors can watch an HD film that tells the story of the 100-day Battle of Normandy during World War II, complete with archival footage from France, Germany, the UK, Canada, and the US.More
#10
Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

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The medieval island village of Mont Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits right off France’s Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Couesnon River. Crowned by a Gothic abbey that sits atop the rocky isle, Mont Saint-Michel rises dramatically from the tidal flats of the bay, creating one of the country’s most recognizable images. It’s a must-see for history buffs and those interested in religious sites, and visits are often combined with tours through the region of Normandy.More

Top activities in Normandy

Private Tour: D-Day Beaches from Rouen

Private Tour: D-Day Beaches from Rouen

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From
US$724,14
per group
Mont Saint Michel Experience

Mont Saint Michel Experience

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From
US$90,52

Frequently Asked Questions