Set in Northwestern Europe (France), Normandy is a region full of scenic views, rich history, and distinct culture. Visiting, especially while you are already in France, is a must! However, planning the trip can get overwhelming as there are many stunning places to see here. So, we picked the top 7 tourist attractions in Normandy you should definitely visit!
1. Mont Saint-Michel
Utterly stunning in its appearance, Mont Saint-Michel is the most visited area in Normandy and for good reason! This medieval pilgrimage destination was recognized by UNESCO, soaring more than 100 meters above sea level. The narrow streets and ancient buildings are great to explore, and when the night comes and street lights paint the surroundings, the sights are magical!
Mind-blowing and inspiring, the city of Rouen deserves your attention and time! Explore the impressive architecture and art, discover many Gothic churches, and even a Cathedrale Notre-Dame, admired and talked about by many artists, including Claude Monet. Also, spend some time walking around the Old Town – ancient buildings and cobblestone lanes will make you want to take a mental picture!
In some ways Scandinavian-looking, another picturesque city of Normandy is Honfleur which catches the eye with its half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets, old-school architecture, and the serenity of an old harbor on the Seine estuary. Visit the most popular sites here including the Maritime Museum and Musee Eugene Boudin – a must-see for fans of impressionism. You will also catch a glimpse of a Late Gothic church that local shipwrights built after the Hundred Years’ War.
4. Caen Memorial Museum
Contribution to the historical side of Normandy, the Caen Memorial Museum is a place for history buffs! The city of Caen played a critical role during the Nazi Occupation of World War Two. Though most of the city was destroyed in 1944, it still stands – old, proud, and as crucial as ever. Visit the Memorial Museum to learn more about the events of the War and the position of the town and to educate yourself about the background of Caen’s history.
Due to the large number of visitors, especially when the weather is warming up, it is best for you to purchase the ticket online and as early as you can!
5. Omaha D-Day Landing Beach and Museum
The largest of the five Normandy D-Day Landing beaches, this one in Omaha is where the American 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions landed, along with other troops. See the display of exceptional pieces and equipment used during the Normandy Landings, and relive the history once again! However, you might want to do some research beforehand, as the tours are self guided.
The western part of the Omaha beach consists of 30-meter-high cliffs, which were attacked directly by the 2nd Ranger Batallion with men using rocket-fired grappling irons. Make sure to inspect the site and learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power!
What holiday would it be if you didn’t spend time at the beach? It might be a bit surprising, but there is a great seaside resort in Normandy, and it has been very active and famous since the 19th century. Actually, it has been regarded as one of the top beach destinations in all of France! So have a luxurious time relaxing on the lounge chairs, beneath the parasols, or in old-school cabanas.
Historically, Deauville has always been a popular choice for tourists; that is why they developed great establishments to make your visit here even more enjoyable. Look for boat rides, houses, small cozy rentals, and yachts. Then, make the most of it!
7. Giverny: Monet’s House and Gardens
Claude Monet lived in this establishment for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926, and over time made it into his own paradise, adapting his keen artistic eye and subtle tastes. Making it a house for his family and also a workplace, Monet enlarged the house on both sides, and now it stands at 40 meters long and 5 meters deep.
First, you can tour and visit the area where you will come across Monet’s study and bedroom, the pantry, sitting room, and more! Then, later on, move outside to see the stunning gardens!
There you go! 7 great reasons to visit the Normandy region of France. Keep in mind that it is easily reachable from the biggest cities, so you can always make it a part of a spontaneous trip. Now off to your French adventure!