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Things to do in Normandy

Things to do in  Normandy

Welcome to Normandy

Normandy in northwestern France has played an important role in history, making it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. You'll find a variety of private and small-group tours to introduce you to the historic region, whether you'd like to see battlefields, beaches, or a medieval village. Explore the picturesque town of Bayeux, roughly 163 miles (262 kilometers) from Paris, known for the Bayeux Tapestry. This extraordinary piece of embroidery depicts scenes from the Norman conquest of England and dates back to the 11th century. Book a group or private tour with a knowledgeable guide to discover World War II's D-Day beaches, Omaha and Utah among them. Stop at the Mémorial de Caen museum and war memorial, as well as some of the battlefields and cemeteries. Or head to the remote abbey rising from the rocks at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont-Saint-Michel. A guided tour rewards you with skip-the-line access to one of the most-visited sights in France—step into the refectory, cloister, and church to marvel at the architecture. Food lovers can join a culinary tour to taste the region's famous cuisine, including Camembert cheese and Calvados (apple brandy). Alternatively, hop on a sightseeing tour through Rouen, Normandy's largest city, to take in the cathedral that Monet immortalized and wander through an antique district. Finally, tours to the beautiful port of Honfleur allow you to understand just why the town has attracted so many artists over the years.

Top 10 attractions in Normandy

#1
Pegasus Memorial Museum (Pegasus Bridge)

Pegasus Memorial Museum (Pegasus Bridge)

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Before June 6, 1944 the Bénouville Bridge was simply a way for locals to cross the Canal de Caen quickly and easily. But the Allied troops knew that the Germans also used this bridge to send supplies and reinforcements to their troops along the beaches of Normandy – and so it was a priority to seize control of it as soon as possible to help the D-Day operation.And so on that day, the British 6th Airborne Division arrived silently in gliders and after only 10 minutes, had secured the bridge. From then on it was known as the Pegasus Bridge, in honor of the insignia on the brave soldiers' uniforms.Although the original bridge has been replaced thanks to modern engineering, there is still a memorial at the site, as well as a museum that focuses on the role of the Airborne Division in Operation Overlord. A fairly new museum, inaugurated only in 2000, its collection continues to grow and so is a wonderful experience even for repeat visitors.More
#2
Arromanches 360

Arromanches 360

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On the coast of Normandy, Arromanches 360 is a circular cinema with nine screens that work together to create an immersive cinematic experience. Here, visitors can watch an HD film that tells the story of the 100-day Battle of Normandy during World War II, complete with archival footage from France, Germany, the UK, Canada, and the US.More
#3
Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

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As one of Normandy’s D-Day landing beaches, Omaha Beach was the backdrop to one of the most significant events of World War II, immortalized in the movie Saving Private Ryan and forever etched into history. Today, visitors to Omaha Beach can follow in the footsteps of the Allied soldiers and pay their respects at the American Cemetery.More
#4
Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

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Crowned by a Gothic abbey, the UNESCO-recognized medieval island village of Mont Saint-Michel rises dramatically from the tidal flats of the bay, creating one of France’s better-known images. This island, situated at the mouth of the Couesnon River, is a must-see for history buffs and those interested in religious sites, and is surrounded by some of the largest tidal variations in Europe.More
#5
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

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Located above Omaha Beach, just outside Bayeaux, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a moving site. The cemetery is the final resting place of more than 9,000 soldiers, the vast majority of whom lost their lives fighting the D-Day battles of Normandy. Other World War II heroes are buried here as well.More
#6
La Cambe German War Cemetery

La Cambe German War Cemetery

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As the largest German WWII cemetery in France, the La Cambe German War Cemetery serves as a poignant reminder of the lives lost on both sides of the war. It’s a moving site, with its grey schist crosses and dark, flat headstones offering a more somber atmosphere than that of the American and Commonwealth cemeteries nearby.Although initially serving as a temporary American cemetery, today 21,222 soldiers from the German Armed Forces are buried at La Cambe. At the center of the cemetery, a 6-meter-high grassy hillock is capped with a single cross and serves as a mass grave for 296 soldiers, many of which are unknown. Just outside of the cemetery, the La Cambe Peace Garden opened in 1996, and is home to 1,200 maple trees, each planted by an individual or organization to symbolize reconciliation and lasting peace. A visitor center is also located at the entrance to the cemetery and offers further insight into the soldiers buried on-site.More
#7
Honfleur

Honfleur

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Famously painted by artists, such as Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet, and Eugene Boudin, the picturesque waterfront and colorful harbor of Honfleur are among the most memorable in Normandy. The historic port is renowned for its architecture, especially Vieux Bassin harbor’s 16th-century buildings and the wooden church of Sainte Catherine.More
#8
Pointe du Hoc

Pointe du Hoc

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One of France’s most important World War II landmarks, Pointe du Hoc is best known for its role in the D-Day Landings. Today, the promontory overlooking the Normandy coast is a destination for history buffs, those with personal ties to the conflict, and others wishing to pay tribute to the many soldiers who lost their lives here.More
#9
Rouen Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts)

Rouen Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts)

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Rouen’s Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts) was created in 1801 by Napoleon I. It features a collection of over 8000 paintings, sculptures, drawings and decorative art collections from the Renaissance to the present age, including household names like Renoir, Degas, Fragonard, and many more. The museum also has an exceptional Depeaux collection, and is considered one of the most outstanding public collections in France. Visitors can also enjoy sought-after temporary exhibitions and occasional contemporary art exhibitions.More
#10
Longues-sur-Mer

Longues-sur-Mer

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Near the Normandy hamlet of Longues-sur-Mer, Longues battery was part of the Nazis’ fearsome Atlantic Wall fortifications, built by the German Navy between September 1943 and April 1944.Built with huge 152 mm naval guns able to fire up to 12 miles (20 km) away, the battery was strategically erected between the beaches of Omaha and Fold in order to prevent Allied landings on Normandy’s beaches. The night before D-Day on June 6, 1944, however, the Allied troops used a French cruiser and U.S. battleship to send a barrage of 1,500 tons of bombs over to the battery, where the German crew of 184 men surrendered the next day.Longues battery is unique on the Normandy coast: it’s the only spot on the Atlantic Wall where you can still see the concrete casemates and guns just as they were after the 1944 showdown. At the battery, you can also visit Longues-sur-Mer’s command post and the personnel and ammunition shelters. At the cliff edge itself, you can climb inside the battery’s fire control bunker and look out across the Normandy coast for a feel of the past. Film buffs will also recognize the bunker from the classic 1962 D-Day film,The Longest Day.More

Top activities in Normandy

Private Tour: D-Day Beaches from Bayeux

Private Tour: D-Day Beaches from Bayeux

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6
From
$589.32
per group

Recent reviews from experiences in Normandy

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Normandy Battlefields Tour - Canadian World War II Sites
toddhunter65, Sep 2019
Normandy Battlefields Tour - Canadian World War II Sites
Got to see all the relevant sites for the Canadian portion of the Normandy invasion.
star-5
Excellent overview of the key sites
JTSLY, Aug 2019
D-Day Omaha Beach Area Morning or Afternoon Group Tour from Bayeux
This is a great opportunity to see the key sites of Normandy.
star-5
Well worth a full day!
OnAir60938439190, Jul 2019
Utah & Omaha Beaches D-Day Group Tour from Bayeux
I wasn’t sure whether we would need an entire day to see the WWII sites in Normandy, but I’m so glad to have taken the full day tour!
star-5
Excellent Tour!
Adventure230228, May 2019
D-Day Omaha Beach Area Morning or Afternoon Group Tour from Bayeux
If you want to see Normandy, but don't have a lot of time, then this is the tour for you.
star-5
Mont St Michel
, Jul 2018
Normandy WW2 British Jeep Tour
Mont St Michel is unique, amazing place to visit.
star-4
Our tour guide was excellent - and I...
Valerie C, Oct 2015
Normandy Battlefields Tour - American Sites
Our tour guide was excellent - and I highly recommend if you want to see the sights of Normandy, that you have a guide.
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We decided to drive ourselves from...
Gary H, Nov 2017
Normandy Beaches Half-Day Trip from Bayeux
We were able to see the lowering of the flag at the American Cemetery and many of the beaches of Normandy.
star-5
Great tour and we enjoyed Eric as...
James F, Mar 2018
Normandy American D-Day Beaches Full Day Tour from Bayeux
Definitely the way to go if you want to see the sites of Normandy in one day.
star-5
This was a great afternoon tour to...
Erin L, Jan 2018
Normandy Beaches Half-Day Trip from Bayeux
This was a great afternoon tour to see the Normandy Beaches and the American war cemetery.
star-5
Our guide spoke excellent English...
Sandy C, Sep 2016
Utah & Omaha Beaches D-Day Group Tour from Bayeux
We thoroughly enjoyed the entire day and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to see the beaches of Normandy and hear the the events that occured on that day.
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It was amazing to see all the...
Alyssa Rachelle M, May 2015
Normandy Battlefields Tour - Canadian World War II Sites
It was amazing to see all the historic Canadian sites.
star-5
Our guide was wonderful. His...
Nancy M, Nov 2015
Private Day Tour including Normandy Landing Beaches & Battlefields from Bayeux
His english was perfect and his knowledge of the events leading up to and during the Normandy Invasion was superb!
star-4
Great way to see normandy...
shannon b, Jul 2013
Normandy Battlefields Tour - American Sites
Great way to see normandy battlefields, but 8 hrs is a little too long for my taste.
star-5
Wow! What an amazing experience to...
LUCY__13, Mar 2018
Normandy Beaches Half-Day Trip from Bayeux
What an amazing experience to see the DDay beaches and Normandy American Cemetery.
star-5
Normandy was incredible, and even...
lennylev, Jan 2012
Private Day Tour including Normandy Landing Beaches & Battlefields from Bayeux
It is the only way to see Normandy; especially if you only have one day.
star-4
Although the tour was extremely...
Kayla M, Apr 2011
Omaha Beach Half-Day Trip from Bayeux
Although the tour was extremely quick, we were able to see enough to give us a good idea of what occurred in the American sector on D-Day.
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We had an excellent guide. He made the...
Dean D, Jul 2007
Omaha Beach Half-Day Trip from Bayeux
His English was very easy to understand and his vocabulary was very good.
star-4
Great Tour from a very knowledgeable Guide
andrew_m, Jul 2020
Mont Saint Michel Experience
Prompt pick-up by our (very knolwedgable) Guide Cedric and a lot of useful information delivered during the drive and upon arrival (not limited only to the Mont, but general info on Normandy and WW2 history), all in perfect English.
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I would highly recommend.
Dean_M, Mar 2020
One Day American Battlefield Tour
We were greeted at our accommodation by Duncan and his wife and privately transported to various sites that was bespoke to what we wanted to see whilst on the tour.
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An absolutely OUTSTANDING Day.
Gloria_G, Mar 2020
Full-Day American Battlefields and Sites of Normandy Tour from Bayeux
Incredible to see first hand.
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