France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Caen, Normandy, France
Center of the Basse-Normandie region, Caen is a good base for visiting D-Day sites and other parts of Normandy.




The city of Caen, 234 km (145 miles) west of Paris, is the center of France's Basse-Normandie region (map).

Because of its proximity to the D-Day invasion sites as well as to Bayeux, Mont-Saint-Michel, and coastal towns such as Honfleur, and its importance as a transport center, Caen (rhymes with the French bon) can be a central base for exploring Normandy.

Caen's early fame came from its association with William the Conqueror, who made it his base. The massive Château that William built is now in the center of town, overlooking the busy center.

A railroad hub and transport nexus located just 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the Normandy coast, Caen was a major D-Day invasion objective. The battle for Caen and its crucial transport facilities continued throughout the summer of 1944 and resulted in the destruction of extensive parts of the old city.

Because of this, Caen today is a pleasant but mostly modern city, with a few historic churches and monuments that escaped the destruction of war.

Caen is a bustling city of just over 100,000 inhabitants, with the surrounding areas bringing the population of the metropolitan region to over 400,000.

As such, it boasts a variety of hotels and restaurants, as well as both historic and modern sights ranging from the Château to historic abbeys and churches to the comprehensive museum for history and peace at Le Mémorial de Caen. It is also home to a large university.

Caen is still an important transport center, with frequent train and bus service to Paris and other locations in Normandy. More...

What to See & Do

Hotels in Caen

Caen Restaurants

Caen Transport

Tourist Information

D-Day Sites


About Normandy


Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel: three girls, so many secrets...


View of Caen from the Château, France

Above, View of Caen from the Château.

FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter