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Caen is the capital of Lower Normandy and of Calvados département in northern France and has a population of 115,000.


Caen is a college city and thus very active. In summer, tourists (mainly British and German) gather in Normandy for Second World War remains and the Memorial for Peace. Caen is a modern city, four-fifths of which was demolished in 1944 and rebuilt in the 1950s and 1960s. However, some old buildings remain, especially churches.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

From Paris by A13 (toll). From Cherbourg by N13. From Rouen by A13 (toll) or N175. From Rennes by A84. From Tours and Le Mans by N138, N158 and A28 (toll).

By train[edit]

Caen can be reached by trains from Paris, Rouen, Cherbourg and Rennes, Le Mans and Tours.

From Paris. Trains leave about every 2 hours from Paris Saint-Lazare station with destinations Caen and Cherbourg. The journey lasts about 2 hours. Prices begin at 33.30€ full price per adult single. Tickets may be as low as 15€ if purchased early. Out of rush hours, tickets cost 22.40€ for persons under 25.

Paris Saint-Lazare is a large station. Platforms are situated on the first floor; two floors above the métro exchange hall. Trains for Caen are operated by Intercités Normandie and leave from the higher numbered tracks (20 to 27). Grandes Lignes platforms are found to the right of the building as you approach the tracks. Trains are listed by departure hour and show the final stop, trains for Caen will have the destination Caen or Cherbourg. The train's track number (la voie) is not posted until 15-20 minutes before departure, some times as late at 10 minutes prior to departure, do not panic if you arrive earlier than that and don't see your train's platform.

Tickets may be purchased online at SNCF-voyage, at SNCF shops and on third party ticket websites. Electronic tickets (e-billet) can be kept at PDFs on your smartphone or printed. Tickets purchased from a machine or a ticket counter will need to bare a QR code. Ticket barriers have been installed at Saint-Lazare for intercity services, they are some times left open. If they are clsoed, put the code upon the reader to open the barrier and proceed to your train.

From Normandy. Caen can be reached by regional trains (TER) from Rouen, Lisieux, Cherbourg, Granville (with one change), Rennes and Le Mans. Some intercity services serve Tours and Le Mans.

Further destinations on the Atlantic coast, including the Les Sables d'Olonne, La Rochelle and Bordeaux can be reached from Caen by changing at Le Mans and Nantes.

By ferry[edit]

Ferries cross the Channel from Portsmouth (UK) to Ouistreham, 15 km north of Caen.

Get around[edit]

The bus verts will get you around Normandy easily. Within Caen and its close suburbs, use the bus and tramway network, called twisto.

  • L'abbaye d'Ardenne
  • Les plages du Débarquement
  • Les villes balnéaires de la côte Fleurie : Cabourg, Houlgate, Deauville, Trouville...
  • Les petites stations balnéaires de la côte de Nacre
  • Le pays d'Auge
  • La Suisse normande
  • Le Bessin
  • Le Bocage virois
  • Le Mont Saint Michel
  • Le chateau de Fontaine-Henry

See[edit][add listing]

  • Memorial for peace: a modern museum focusing on Second World War and the Cold War:
  • L'abbaye aux Hommes (Men's abbey) and l'abbaye aux Dames (women's abbey), a wonderful example of romanic architecture
  • Fine arts museum
  • Museum of Normandy, within the Castle (free entrance)
  • Caen Castle / Château ducal de Caen - William the Conqueror's castle, one of the largest medieval castles in Europe
  • Saint-Pierre church
  • Saint-Nicolas church and cemetery
  • Escoville mansion
  • Pegasus Bridge
  • Saint-Jean church
  • Vaugueux district
  • La rue Froide and Saint-Sauveur church
  • Caen is 15 km away from the D-Day beaches.

Do[edit][add listing]

D-Day Landing Beaches. Caen is close enough to the D-Day sites to act as a base from which to explore the D-Day sites. It is a short train ride from Caen to Bayeux. From Bayeux train station, you can catch a bus to some of the D-Day beaches. On the bus website [2] there is a map of the bus route to the D-Day beaches. Bus No. 70 takes you to Omaha beach, the American cemetery, and to Pointe Du Hoc. Bus No. 74 takes you to Arromanches beach, the location of the Mulberry harbors. Note the bus timetable as buses are few and far between so schedule your bus trip to take into account the few buses. Also, buses do not run when there is heavy snow, so check the bus website beforehand during the snow season.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Yelloh Village, +33 (0)2 31 97 34 43 (), [1]. Five star camping site in Luc-sur-mer, named Camping La Capricieuse Take your pick from the top-of-the-range accommodation available on this campsite in Normandy.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

The Vaugueux is full of restaurants.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The Rue Ecuyère, near to the Rue Saint Pierre is famous for its bars. If you are looking for a pub, you will find some at the harbour located Quai Vendeuve.

Get out[edit]

  • The little 17th century harbor of Honfleur (79 km north-east)
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