Top Choice Memorial in Caen

Le Mémorial – Un Musée pour la Paix

For an insightful and vivid account of the entire war, with special focus on the Battle of Normandy, the best place to head is Le Mémorial, one of Europe’s premier WWII museums. It’s a hugely impressive affair, usin…
Top Choice Museum in Honfleur

Les Maisons Satie

Like no other museum you’ve ever seen, this complex captures the whimsical spirit of the eccentric avant-garde composer Erik Satie (1866–1925), who lived and worked in Honfleur and was born in one of the two half-ti…
Top Choice Art Museum in Le Havre

Musée Malraux

Near the waterfront, this luminous modern space houses a fabulous collection of impressionist works – the finest in France outside Paris – by masters such as Monet (who grew up in Le Havre), Pissarro, Renoir and Sis…
Top Choice Aquarium in Cherbourg

Cité de la Mer

Cherbourg’s art-deco Gare Maritime Transatlantique (Transatlantic Ferry Terminal), built from 1928 to 1933, was designed so travellers could walk from their train directly to their ocean liner. These days it is stil…
Top Choice Tapestry in Bayeux

Bayeux Tapestry

The world’s most celebrated embroidery depicts the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 from an unashamedly Norman perspective. Commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, William’s half-brother, for the o…
Top Choice Museum in Bayeux

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire Baron Gérard

Opened in 2013, this is one of France’s most gorgeously presented provincial museums. The exquisite exhibitions cover everything from Gallo-Roman archaeology to medieval art to paintings from the Renaissance to the …
Top Choice Museum in Rouen

Historial Jeanne d'Arc

For an introduction to the great 15th-century heroine and the events that earned her fame – and shortly thereafter condemnation – don't miss this excellent new site. It's less of a museum, and more of an immersive, …
Abbey in Caen


Highlights at the Women’s Abbey complex, once run by the Benedictines, includes Église de la Trinité – look for Matilda’s tomb behind the main altar and the striking pink stained-glass windows beyond. Free tours (at…
Abbey in Caen


Caen’s most important medieval site is the Men’s Abbey – now city hall – and, right next door, the magnificent, multi-turreted Église St-Étienne (St Stephen’s Church), known for its Romanesque nave, Gothic choir and…
Museum in Caen

Musée de Normandie

This two-part museum presents traditional life in Normandy and the region’s history and archaeology. Situated inside the Château de Caen.