Bayeux
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Things to do in Bayeux

Things to do in  Bayeux

Welcome to Bayeux

Best known for the UNESCO-listed tapestry which takes its name, tracing the threads of European history is one of the top things to do in Bayeux, located in northern Normandy. After discovering the 230-foot (70-meter) medieval tapestry—which depicts the Norman invasion of England in 1066—look out for landmarks such as the Bayeux Cathedral and spend time wandering the town's cobblestone streets. Bayeux was also among the first French towns liberated by the Allies in 1944, and is used as a base for those exploring the nearby D-Day beaches.

Top 15 attractions in Bayeux

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 most iconic scenes. This island, situated at the mouth of the Couesnon river, is a must-see for history buffs and anyone interested in religious sites—and also surrounded by some of the largest tidal variations in Europe.More

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

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

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

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

Brittany (Bretagne)

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Brittany (Bretagne) is the westernmost region in France, a peninsula on the northwest coast that stretches out into the Atlantic. Home to destinations such as Rennes, which has a thriving student community; Brest, an off-the-beaten-path city; and the walled former island of Saint-Malo, Brittany is rich in history, naturally beautiful, and too often overlooked in favor of Paris and the French Riviera.More

Sainte-Mere-Eglise

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What was an otherwise little-known village of the Cotentin Peninsula suddenly became infamous after it was visited by American troops on June 6th 1944 as part of Operation Overlord – making Sainte-Mère-Église one of the first villages to be liberated of the Nazis after four long years of occupation. Sainte-Mère-Église, along with Utah Beach, was one of the two airborne landings on D-Day, because of its strategic position between Cherbourg and Paris. Sainte-Mère-Église is also where the Airborne Museum is located (14 rue Eisenhower), entirely dedicated to the D-Day paratroopers. It includes authentic artifacts like a DC3 aircraft, insightful information and an entire section devoted to the movie The Longest Day, which depicts a well-known incident involving paratrooper John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. His parachute caught on the spire of the town church, from which he observed the fighting going on below, hanging limply for two hours and pretending to be dead before the Germans took him prisoner.More

Longues-sur-Mer

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The only battery on the Normandy coast to have preserved the guns and casements precisely as they stood in 1944, Longues-sur-Mer is unique. Between the famous landing beaches of Gold and Omaha, it was the target of over 1,500 bombs by Allied forces during the D-Day landings and was taken over by the Allies on June 7, the day after D-Day.More

Utah Beach D-Day Museum (Musée du Débarquement)

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Utah Beach was the westernmost landing point on D-Day. The main attraction at the site of the landing is the Utah Beach D-Day Museum (Musée du Débarquement), which focuses on the extraordinary battle. The museum also holds exhibits that offer a deep dive into French life under German occupation.More

Juno Beach Centre (Centre Juno Beach)

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The Juno Beach Centre (Centre Juno Beach) is a museum dedicated to the heroism of Canadian troops in the D-Day landings and the entirety of the Second World War. Located in Normandy, the center draws visitors from Canada and across the world wanting to remember their fallen patriots and learn more about France’s role in the Allied victory.More

Bayeux Tapestry (Tapisserie de Bayeux)

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The Bayeux Tapestry (Tapisserie de Bayeux) might be almost 1,000 years old, but it’s still one of the top tourist attractions in northern France. Housed in a purpose-built museum and depicting the infamous Norman invasion of England, its detailed needlework and impressive size draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world every year.More

Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery

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More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers who died on Normandy beaches and battlefields are buried in this Second World War Cemetery. Lines of white headstones stretch across manicured grounds, here, and memorials repose in the shade of leafy, mature trees. Veterans Affairs Canada manages the grounds, which France has granted to Canada.More

Mulberry Harbour

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Often regarded as one of the greatest engineering feats of World War Two, the Mulberry Harbour was a portable and temporary structure developed by the British to facilitate speedy discharging of cargo onto the beaches on D-Day. It was, in fact, two different artificial harbors, which were towed across the English Channel and assembled just off the coast of Normandy on that infamous morning. Once fully operational, Mulberry Harbour was capable of moving 7,000 tons of vehicles and goods each day. The harbors provided the Allies with landing ramps, necessary for the invasion of an otherwise unprotected coast. Violent storms shook the English Channel between June 19 and 22, 1944, effectively wrecking the better part of both harbors. Remains are, however, still visible a few hundred yards from Arromanches’ shoreline, continuing to remind visitors of the sheer engineering genius that emanated from the D-Day landings. The remains are best visible during low tide. The D-Day Museum nearby provides invaluable knowledge on the historical background and technical challenges that the harbors presented.More

Bayeux Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux)

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A National Monument of France and one of Bayeaux’s most eye-catching monuments, the Bayeux Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux) is best known as the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry (now a UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’ and displayed at the nearby Bayeux Tapestry Museum). Originally built in the 11th century, the cathedral’s Gothic façade was reconstructed in the 12th century, but much of the Romanesque-style interiors remain intact, shown off by atmospheric lighting during the evening hours.Consecrated in 1077 by Bishop Odo of Conteville in the presence of his brother and King of England, William the Conqueror, the cathedral’s strong English ties are portrayed in its vibrant frescos, which depict the life of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and of course, the iconic Bayeux Tapestry, said to have been commissioned by the Bishop to decorate its nave.More

Airborne Museum (Musée Airborne)

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American paratroopers descended, and their scattered arrival sent the Germans running to defend their hold, a move which ultimately was one of the many factors in the Allies' victory. Most of the action from this event, code-named Operation Neptune, centered on the small village of Sainte-Mère-Église, which hosts the Airborne Museum, one of the most fascinating WWII sites in Normandy.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Bayeux

Normandy Beaches Half-Day Afternoon Trip from Bayeux (A2)
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Normandy Battlefields D-Day Private Trip with VIP Services from Paris
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Utah & Omaha Beaches D-Day Group Tour from Bayeux
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Half-day sidecar excursion to the landing beaches
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Mont Saint Michel Shuttle Service from Bayeux
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One Day American Battlefield Tour

One Day American Battlefield Tour

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All about Bayeux

When to visit

Located in rainy Normandy, buffeted as it is by Atlantic fronts, Bayeux is damp throughout the year. Summer has the best weather and is the most crowded time to visit. Travelers looking for a quieter experience when seeing the blockbuster Bayeux Tapestry—and warmer temperatures when visiting the nearby D-Day landing beaches—should consider a visit in May. May also marks the start of the D-Day Festival Normandy.

Getting around

Located in rainy Normandy, buffeted as it is by Atlantic fronts, Bayeux is damp throughout the year. Summer has the best weather and is the most crowded time to visit. Travelers looking for a quieter experience when seeing the blockbuster Bayeux Tapestry—and warmer temperatures when visiting the nearby D-Day landing beaches—should consider a visit in May. May also marks the start of the D-Day Festival Normandy.

Traveler tips

Beyond its UNESCO-listed tapestry, Bayeux is renowned for its remarkably well-preserved Old Town, which avoided destruction during World War I and World War II. Before leaving town to see the D-Day landing beaches, visit local landmarks such as the Bayeux Cathedral; wander among the medieval, half-timber buildings; and indulge in local products including cider, calvados, and Norman cheeses at Bayeux bistros.

People Also Ask

What is Bayeux known for?

It’s best known for a certain hanging wall carpet. The Bayeux Tapestry is 230 feet (70 meters) long and tells the story of William the Conqueror’s conquest of England in 1066 in embroidery. The year 1066 was the last time that England was successfully invaded.

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Is Bayeux worth visiting?

Yes, even if there wasn’t an immense 11th-century tapestry on display, Bayeux is worth a visit. In the former Gaulois capital, the overriding sense these days is medieval, with narrow streets and covered bridges crisscrossing the Aure river. It’s extremely quaint.

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Is it better to stay in Bayeux or Caen?

Where you stay depends on what you prefer. The port city of Caen has 100,000-plus inhabitants. It’s modern, due to being rebuilt after World War II bombings, although there’s architecture that dates to the time of William the Conqueror, too. Bayeux is tiny in comparison, with better-preserved buildings.

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What day is the Bayeux market?

The main Bayeux market on Place St-Patrice happens on Saturday mornings. This market sells fresh produce (seafood, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and Calvados, among other regional delicacies). There’s a smaller, pedestrianized market on Wednesdays on Rue St-Jean, which is also worth visiting.

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Where is the Bayeux Tapestry today?

True to its name, the Bayeux Tapestry is in Bayeux, in the Bayeux Museum. Eventually, it will be loaned to the British Museum in London following an agreement for a cultural exchange, but many experts believe that this will only happen when the tapestry needs restoration work.

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Why is Bayeux famous?

The 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry is largely responsible for Bayeux’s fame, but it’s not the sole reason. Bayeux has a proud tradition of lacemaking dating back 300 years, and an extensive World War II museum detailing the town’s swift liberation by the Allied Forces.

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Bayeux information

Number of Attractions

23

Number of Tours

97

Number of Reviews

7,249

Currency

EUR
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