If you are looking for a unique cultural and historical experience on your upcoming trip to France, consider taking a day trip or two to Normandy and see not only the seaside but also the D-Day beaches. Touring Normandy by car is the easiest form of transportation to travel around the region, but there are also train and bus routes from Paris, giving you plenty of options if you want to discover the Normandy. Read on to learn more!
If you are confused as to which Normandy touring sites are worth visiting, scroll down…
The American Cemetery is one of the largest foreign American cemeteries. Here you can walk amongst the picturesque white crosses that occupy 172.5 acres along the seaside. Both the cemetery as well as the visitor center that provides useful information on the American landing in Normandy are free and definitely worth the humbling visit for every nationality.
THE CAEN MEMORIAL
The Caen Memorial is a newly renovated museum where visitors can learn more about various conflicts such as The Battle of Normandy, World War II and The Cold War. This memorial is much larger than some of the others and while it is definitely recommended, you should leave 3-4 hours to spend here. You can book your tickets here!
THE D-DAY BEACHES
The D-Day beaches, consisting of Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach, and Sword Beach, are the main points of entry of the Allied forces in Normandy. Today, visitors often tend to visit only Omaha Beach but all beaches provide the same opportunity for you to see with your own eyes how the Normandy beaches played a roll in the ending of World War II. A visit to Pointe du Hoc, the highest point during the Normandy landings that was fortified by the Germans, is also worth a visit.
HOW MANY DAYS TO VISIT NORMANDY?
While there are many different tourist destinations in Normandy, one full day would suffice to see all the main sites!
NORMANDY BY CAR
Visiting Normandy with a rental car from Paris is by far the simplest method of transportation. After renting a car in Paris, at about 59€ a day, you will take the A13 motorway to Caen then the N13 motorway, exiting at number 36 towards Normandy beaches.
VIA COACH TOUR OR TAXI
If you are not comfortable driving to Normandy yourself, consider take a coach bus tour from Paris or a taxi from the Bayeux train station. Paris City Vision offers coach bus tours leaving Paris at 7am and returning at 9pm, costing 180€/person for the day.
You can also take a train from Paris, leaving from Gare Saint-Lazare, that will drop you in Bayeux. There are 7 trips per day and round-trip costs about 82€. Once arriving at the Bayeux train station, you can either take a bus to the D-Day beaches or a taxi. Taxi tours cost about 70€ one-way to The American Cemetery as well as to Omaha Beach, and the bus, Bus Vert number 70, costs 4.30€ round-trip.
Be sure book to your train tickets in advance on SNCF‘s website!
If you are looking for a quality meal while visiting Normandy and the D-Day beaches, there is an excellent restaurant in Bayeux called Au Petit Bistrot. Here you can enjoy a typical French meal that will offer you the opportunity to have a 3 course meal starting at 16.90€. Be sure to get yourself a glass of local Normandy cider as well!
Open Tuesday to Saturday 12pm to 2pm and 7pm to 9.30pm – 31, rue Larcher 14400 Bayeux
For more information check out their website