How to Spend 1 Day in Normandy
With just one day in Normandy, it’s a good idea to focus on a few highlights: World War II sites, the Bayeux Tapestry, and Norman cuisine. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in this region of northern France.
Morning: Beaches and battlefields
The beaches and seacliffs along Normandy’s coast are best known as the site of the D-Day landings, one of the most significant events of WWII. Join a tour to avoid the hassle of renting a car and benefit from the expertise of a guide.
Most tours visit the D-Day beaches as well as other key sites such as Pointe du Hoc and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. If you have time, stop by the D-Day Landing Museum at Utah Beach or the Memorial de Caen Museum. Buy your tickets in advance to skip the entry lines.
Afternoon: Art masterpieces
A short drive from the D-Day beaches, the small town of Bayeux is home to one of France’s most famous artifacts, the Bayeux Tapestry. A glimpse of the iconic artwork is a must, so head to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum (Musée de la Tapisserie). More than 1,000 years old, the UNESCO-protected piece depicts the conquests of William the Conqueror in 1066.
Bayeux’s other attractions are easily covered on a walking tour. Make a photo stop at the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Bayeux, discover the city’s lace-making history at the Conservatory of Lace (Conservatoire de la Dentelle), or visit the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy.
Night: Food and festivities
Summer visitors enjoy a host of evening events, from night markets at coastal resorts such as Ouistreham and Cabourg, to a light show by Bayeux Cathedral. If drinking and dancing are more your thing, Rue Ecuyère in nearby Caen is lined with bars, nightclubs, and live music venues.
Wherever you choose to spend the evening, book a table at one of the region’s many restaurants to sample some typical Norman cuisine. Fish stew and seafood are menu staples, and be sure to finish your meal with a cheese plate (don’t miss the regional Camembert) and a slice of tarte aux pommes (apple tart).