How to Spend 2 Days in Caen
With two days in Caen, you have time to explore the port city and venture further afield. Discover the D-Day Landing beaches, see the famous Bayeux Tapestry, and sample Normandy’s delicious cuisine (accompanied by a glass of cider, of course). Here are some ideas for how to spend two days in Caen.
Day 1: Caen and Bayeux
Morning: A walking tour of Caen is the most convenient way to take in the sights, and visiting with a guide means you can learn more about the city’s most famous former resident—William the Conqueror. Climb up to the ramparts of Caen Castle (Château de Caen) for a panoramic city view; visit the grand Abbaye aux Hommes, where William the Conqueror is buried; and admire the Gothic Church of Saint-Pierre.
Afternoon: The nearby town of Bayeux makes an easy detour from Caen, and its star attraction is the Bayeux Tapestry Museum (Musée de la Tapisserie). After admiring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed artwork, stroll around Old Town, where highlights include the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Bayeux, Conservatory of Lace (Conservatoire de la Dentelle), and Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy.
Night: Book a table at one of the waterfront restaurants along Quai Vendeuvre to sample local delicacies such as fish stew or a meat dish à la Normande (with a creamy sauce). For the full experience, couple it with a glass of Normandy cider, then finish with a cheese plate—Camembert is another regional favorite—and a classic tarte aux pommes (apple tart).
Day 2: Beaches and Battlefields
Morning: Popular day trips from Caen include the nearby city of Rouen and the UNESCO-listed island monastery of Mont Saint Michel, but if you’ve only got time for one, opt for a tour that explores Normandy’s World War II sites. Learn about the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy as you visit Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc; then pay your respects to the fallen soldiers at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
Afternoon: The Caen Memorial (Mémorial de Caen) is a moving tribute to the Allied soldiers who lost their lives, as well as a museum with insight into the WWII battles, D-Day invasions, and the war's lasting impact. Prebook your tickets to avoid waiting in line and have more time to browse the exhibitions.
Night: The bars and live music venues along Rue Ecuyère fill up with locals in the evening hours, so head there to sample Caen’s student-centric nightlife scene. Alternatively, summer visitors should head to the coast—nearby seaside towns such as Cabourg, Ouistreham, and Luc-sur-Mer host lively night markets.