These recommendations are taken from our Brittany & Normandy guidebook, which is full of inspirational ideas & detailed coverage for foodies, walkers & culture lovers.
1. Mémorial de Caen — This cutting-edge WWII museum is overwhelming in every sense, providing a comprehensive treatment of the battle of Normandy, but its intention is not merely to commemorate the liberation of Europe but to promote peace.
2. Maisons Satie — Ponder a winged pear and a pedal-powered instrument at the house of eccentric composer Eric Satie. Visitors wander through the Honfleur museum with headsets playing Satie's music and excerpts from his writings. Each room is a surprise. One features a winged pear, another has a light display around a basin, and room called the Laboratory of Emotions has a whimsical instrument that you pedal.
3. Musée Départmental Breton — Brush up on your Celtic culture and see some historic Quimper faïence. Home to the nation's greatest collection of Breton artefacts, ranging from ancient archaeological artefacts to Celtic jewellery, Roman mosaics and plenty of priceless Quimperois faïence.
4. Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen— The region's leading fine-arts museum. The collection has important works by artists such as Rubens, Caravaggio, Poussin, Delacroix, Duchamp, Degas, Renoir and Modigliani. Naturally, painters who lived and worked in Rouen are well represented. One of Monet's famous studies of Rouen cathedral is a highlight of the small but excellent Impressionist collection.
More cultural highlights can be found in the Lonely Planet guide to Brittany & Normandy