Utah Beach D-Day Museum (Musée du Débarquement)
Built in 1962 in a German bunker, the D-Day Landing Museum of Utah Beach tells the story of the momentous day though a rich collection of objects, including vehicles, an original B-26 bomber, and other materials, as well as enlightening stories from locals who survived the battle. Make sure to see the museum’s short film, “Victory in the Sand,” which recreates the epic experience of American soldiers. Some of the museum’s other exhibits show the moment from the perspective of the German soldiers.
Take a guided tour to hear an hour-by-hour account of the events of D-Day and take a trip outside onto the beach itself. Some tours include a stop here along with other sites, such as the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
Things To Know Before You Go
There is a small entry fee; students receive discounts.
The museum is wheelchair-accessible.
The Utah Beach D-Day Museum is run by the French (while the nearby Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is run by the US government).
Displays are in both French and English.
How To Get There
Utah Beach is located on the coast of Normandy, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Bayeaux and about 31 miles (50 kilometers) from Caen. You can reach Bayeux from Paris by train (from Gare Saint-Lazare), then take a taxi or tour bus to the beach and the museum. Travel by rail takes about 3 hours.
When To Get There
The museum at Utah Beach is open from February through December, with longer hours in summer (June–September). Normandy’s peak tourist season is in July and August, during school holidays. The site is also crowded around the anniversary of the D-Day landing (June 6th), when the area hosts numerous memorial ceremonies.
The easternmost of the five landing areas of the Normandy Invasion, Sword Beach (located in Ouistreham) was taken by units from the British 3rd Division, with French and British commandos attached. Visit the town and the area surrounding it to see a number of monuments, museums, and remnants from the war, including the French-British Musée No. 4 Commando, which is dedicated to the small band of French commandos that landed here with the British troops.