Are you passionate about the history of the Second World War or do you simply want to remember? Go to the Caen Memorial. This great museum dedicated to the D-Day landings and the battle of Normandy is a place to see once in a lifetime.
Visit a museum famous worldwide for its expertise in the Battle of Normandy
The Caen Memorial is a center of history and peace located in the Norman city of Caen. Caen has a historically important geographical location as it is only a few kilometers from the famous D-Day landing beaches.
Inaugurated in 1988, the Caen Memorial was created to commemorate the Second World War and to educate visitors about the need to preserve peace.
The Caen Memorial is a museum that does everything to be exciting. It offers an interactive and immersive approach to history through exhibitions, films, audiovisual testimonies and conferences.
Visitors discover the key events of the war, notably the occupation of France, the Resistance and the D-Day landings, but also the consequences of the war (the atomic bomb, the Cold War, etc.).
The Caen Memorial is also a place of reflection on peace and contemporary issues related to armed conflicts, through temporary exhibitions and debates.
What can you see during a visit to this Norman WWII Museum?
The Caen Memorial is a large museum divided into several exhibitions. These are classified by themes, but also chronologically. Here are the permanent exhibitions to see:
- The exhibition “War in the 20th century” which presents the main stages of the two world wars, as well as contemporary conflicts and current issues of peace.
- The exhibition “The D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy” which explains the preparations, the stakes and the results of one of the most important battles of the Second World War.
- The exhibition “The Cold War” which explores the tensions between the East and West blocks after the end of the Second World War.
- The exhibition “Children in War” which recalls the fate of children during armed conflicts.
In addition to the main exhibitions, there are other things to see and do during a visit to the Caen Memorial:
- The outdoor memorial trail which allows you to pay tribute to the victims of the war.
- The 3D projection room which offers an immersive experience of the Battle of Normandy with never-before-seen images and special effects.
- The exhibition “War Reporters” which traces the work of journalists in wartime and the importance of press freedom.
- The “Contemporary Conflicts Room” presents recent armed conflicts in the world and reminds us of the stakes of peace.
- The “Room of the Fall of the Wall” which evokes the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.
- The “Jardin de la Paix” is a place of relaxation and rejuvenation with a breathtaking view of the city of Caen.
What is the entrance fee for the Caen Memorial?
The price of a visit to the Caen Memorial is:
- 19.50€ for the adult rate
- 17.50€ for the child rate (10 to 18 years old)
- 51€ for the Family pass (two adults with one or more children)
- 17.50€ for the senior rate (over 65 years old).
Temporary exhibitions or events sometimes require an additional fee to view.
How long does a visit to the Caen War Museum last?
It is best to arrive early in the morning at the Caen Memorial. This way, you can avoid the crowds and visit the museum at your leisure.
In this situation, the average duration of the visit is 2 to 3 hours.
Where is the Caen Memorial?
The Caen Memorial is located Esplanade Général Eisenhower, 14050 Caen.
How to get to the Caen Memorial?
The Caen Memorial is easily accessible. Here is the route to take if you come:
- By car: It takes about 2 hours to drive from Paris to the Caen Memorial. To do so, you must take the A13 motorway towards Caen, then take the exit n°7 “Mémorial.”
- By train: It is possible to take a train from Paris to Caen station. The journey takes about 2h30 and trains are frequent throughout the day. From Caen station, take a cab or a bus to the Caen Memorial.
- By bus: There are also direct buses from Paris to the Caen Memorial that leave from the Paris-Bercy bus station. The trip takes about 3 hours and tickets must be reserved online.
- By shuttle: If you live or sleep in Caen, take a shuttle from downtown Caen to the Memorial. This shuttle runs daily and the trip takes only 20 minutes.
What are the opening hours of the Caen Memorial?
The opening hours depend on the day and the season.
The opening is between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. Closing time is between 17:00 and 19:00.
My opinion on the Caen Memorial: a good visit with some drawbacks!
My recent trip to the Caen Memorial left me with a deep impression, mixed with respect and gratitude for the actors and victims of the Second World War. Having lived a large part of my life in a military barracks (my father was in the military), I am always sensitive to the notions of the homeland and duty to the nation.
Conveniently located near the D-Day beaches, this memorial is a must-see for anyone visiting Normandy. If you are one of the many tourists who come to Normandy only to discover the remains of the war, this museum must be one of your visits.
I was expecting a beautiful museum, but not such a large place. The museum is surprisingly large with a rich and varied collection of objects, photographs and archival documents. It offers a detailed and accurate perspective on the events of the war: the Occupation, the Liberation, the famous D-Day landing.
The personal testimonies and videos of the period add a moving dimension to the visit and allow us to enter the intimacy of those who lived through these dramatic events. The rooms dedicated to the Cold War and peace issues are also very instructive and relevant, although I much prefer the 1939-1945 period.
However, I encountered a few obstacles during my visit. The direction of the route was not always clear, which sometimes disturbed the coherence of my discovery. I didn’t seem to be the only one since several tourists passed several times in front of the same panels and seemed a little surprised to get lost…
Concerning the price, the visit alone is about 20€. This seems expensive for a visit outside Paris that lasted two hours. But I don’t regret my visit at all for all the reasons mentioned before.
Although not perfected in its organization, the Caen Memorial remains an intense and moving experience. It will delight all those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the Second World War and the lasting impact it had on our world.
What other activities can I do near the Caen Memorial?
There are several activities to do near the Caen Memorial.
- The D-Day Beaches: The D-Day Beaches are an emblematic place of contemporary history. Visitors can discover the remains of German fortifications, military cemeteries and other museums dedicated to the Landing.
The Castle of Caen: The Castle of Caen is a historical monument dating from the 11th century. Today it houses the Normandy Museum and the Fine Arts Museum.
- The Abbeys of Caen: the city of Caen has several medieval abbeys, including the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames. These historical monuments bear witness to the religious and political importance of the city in the Middle Ages.
- Normandy gastronomy: Normandy is famous for its gastronomy, with specialties such as camembert, cider, oysters or calvados. Eat in typical restaurants of the region, you will not regret it!
- Caen’s gardens: the city of Caen has several public parks and gardens, such as the Jardin des Plantes, the Jardin de l’Évêché and the Parc Michel d’Ornano. These green spaces offer a pleasant break in a day, but don’t expect the beauty and tranquility of a natural park…