"Caen in Normandy" Top 5 Page for this destination Caen by Beausoleil

Caen Travel Guide: 142 reviews and 374 photos

You have to remember Caen was virtually destroyed in World War II so much has been rebuilt and much is new construction. There is an old center but not nearly as large as some other cities further south.

You can walk these streets, walk to St. Pierre, walk to the Chateau and to both the Abbey for Men and Abbey for Women. There is excellent bus service and they have a very lively market on the pier Sunday mornings.

This is an imposing fortified wall in the center of Caen. It's a bit of a surprise to walk through the gates and find the chateau missing. The fortifications remain but the chateau was destroyed.

Instead you will find a pleasant Fine Arts Museum, a Museum of Norman Life, the Chapel of St. George that is now used for exhibits, an archeological dig and a fairly large parking lot.

All of these are worth a visit and the art museum has a very nice cafe with outdoor seating . . . weather permitting.

When you walk out the front of the Chateau, this view of St. Pierre is framed for you. Walk across the bridge, down the hill, across the street and into the church. They usually have a docent inside the church who will give you the history of the church.

The church has a curved apse very reminiscent of the cathedral in Quimper. There is also wonderful stained glass, especially if the sun is out.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small but pleasant old town area, nice abbeys, friendly people
  • Cons:Much rebuilding since WWII and not always attractive
  • In a nutshell:Worth a visit for the Peace Memorial alone!
  • Intro Updated Jun 25, 2011
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Reviews (11)

Comments (8)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    St. Pierre looks beautiful!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    What wonderful restaurant tips. The apartment was a real find. Enjoyed all these 5-star tips but especially the Peace Memorial and the WWII Cemetery.

  • jakiline's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Hi from Bayeux! I love your description of Caen where I might soon be moving to. I often walk across the castle site but never took a single photo! wait & see... bye, Jacqueline

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Excellent descriptions of the museum and all of your trip, in fact. I think I should follow your footsteps when I finally get to France.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2009 at 3:41 AM

    I enjoyed revisiting Caen through your page. Wish we'd had more time to poke around that area - a gite such as yours may be the answer.

  • vbede's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2007 at 10:48 AM

    Thanks for your tips on Caen. We are heading to St. Lo for a week and they will certainly help us along the way.

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2006 at 12:09 PM

    Thinking about taking my mother to the Peace Museum next year. Will talk to you more about it. Jeannette

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2006 at 8:52 PM

    I see you made it to Caen last year. I took my parents to Normandie last September. Truly a great experience, cheers, karl

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