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Caen

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About Caen

Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, Caen is a vibrant university city with a fascinating and turbulent history. An hour from Bayeux and within easy reach of the D-Day Landing Beaches, this is an excellent base for cultural travellers eager to discover Normandy, or for holidaymakers looking to relax amidst the beautiful architecture, delicious food and picturesque countryside of northern France. Whether you’re a heritage enthusiast or active family, our selection of the best places to stay in Caen promise a warm welcome and a friendly base from which to explore.

For an insight into medieval Normandy, visit the ruined Château de Caen, the Musée de Normandie and the imposing abbeys commissioned by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda: the Abbaye aux Dames and the Abbaye aux Hommes. You can delve into more recent history at the Memorial de Caen, detailing the region’s Second World War legacy and the pivotal 1944 Battle for Normandy, or with guided tours of the D-Day Beaches and Pegasus Bridge.

Nature lovers can amble through the Garden des Plantes or the ornamental pond which dominates La Colline des Oiseaux, or venture further afield for hikes and cycling. Central Caen offers a network of lanes lined with boutiques, cafés, galleries and restaurants housed in heritage buildings. With a thriving student population, the city also plays host to regular events and exhibitions — do find out what’ll be on during your stay! Rooms at the best places to stay in Caen fill up fast during festival season or around key WWII memorial events, so plan your trip well in advance.

The Best Places to Stay in Caen

For a Central Stay

  • Chez Laurence Du Tilly is a delightful B&B in Caen's historic centre, made up of three self-catering one-bedroom apartments. Think modern interiors and statement furnishings. A city crashpad for families (there's space for up to four guests in two of the flats) or couples. Hearty breakfasts included.
  • Le Clos St Martin sits within a restored 16th-century mansion in cental Caen. Expect chic contemporary interiors, beamed ceilings and lovely wooden floors. A chic bolthole for sightseeing couples. With just four rooms, this is an appealingly intimate choice.

For Foodies

  • Ivan Vautier offers a five-star stay in the city centre, with bold contemporary rooms and a superb spa. The real lure is the exquisite menu of regional dishes at the Michelin-starred restaurant headed by Chef Ivan Vautier. Fresh ingredients are drawn from both land and sea, and the open kitchen allows foodies a more immersive dining experience.

For a Rural Retreat

  • Château les Cèdres is a gorgeous yellow sandstone building just outside Caen. Pick this place for elegant traditional interiors and beautiful grounds. A great family-friendly choice — or a fun place for relaxed groups, if you book all five rooms. The games room, bicycles and outdoor pool are brilliant. Rural bliss.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY VILLA

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • Fly to Caen Airport, just 15 minutes by car or bus from town. Alternatively, hop aboard the ferry from Portsmouth to Ouistreham, 20 minutes from Caen.
  • Normandy is brilliant for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel during the spring or summer for the best weather, with temperatures peaking at around 22°C in July and August — although this is the busiest time of year. September is a great choice for a quieter trip. Winters can be cool and windy.

STILL NOT SURE?

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Best Hotels in Caen

  • Ivan Vautier Caen (Normandy) 19 rooms from £106

    Foodies  -  The one Michelin starred restaurant, headed by Ivan Vautier, uses local produce to create elegant and simple regional dishes
    Romantic Break  -  With a fine dining restaurant and a spa, this is a romantic option for a getaway for two
    Great walks  -  Get out of the city and take long coastal walks before returning with an appetite for dinner
    Spa  -  The spa offeres a hammam, a sauna, a hot tub, and a wide range of treatments
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantDisabled accessParking

    A Michelin starred restaurant and five star hotel with sleek contemporary rooms in the centre of Caen. The rooms are simple and contemporary with bold colours and clean lines. The restaurant is the real lure with its exquisite regional dishes. Complete with a spa, this is an indulgent stay. See More

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  • Chez Laurence du Tilly Caen 3 rooms from £131

    Local exploring  -  Situated in the pretty historic centre of Caen with a wealth of sights and hotspots on the doorstep
    Families  -  Two of the apartments sleep up to four making them a comfortable option for families
    Apartment  -  The B&B comprises of three independent units
    Sights nearby  -  Head to sights such as Abbaye aux dames, Abbayes aux hommes and the Château Ducal, “Le Vaugueux”
    Parking
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A delightful B&B in the historic centre comprising of three self-catering one-bedroom apartments. Interiors are cosy and homely with a chic and sophisticated charm created by statement lamps, patterned carpets and comfy sofas. An ideal city crash pad with a home-away-from-home feel. See More

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  • Chateau les Cedres Caen (rue de Bayeux) 5 rooms from £149

    Local exploring  -  Set between Bayeux and Caen, the area is rich in history with museums, castles, cathedrals, & the D Day Landing beaches nearby
    Groups  -  With just five rooms this is a good option to rent out in its entirety for those travelling with a group of friends or family
    Sights nearby  -  View the 11th century Bayeux tapestry telling the story of William the Conqueror
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyParking

    An imposing sand yellow chateau set within mature gardens in the pretty town of Bretteville l’Orgueilleuse. Simply styled rooms are traditional yet unfussy with polished wooden floors, white washed walls and exposed beams. A family friendly hotel offering easy access to Normandy's main attractions. See More

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  • Le Clos St Martin, Caen Caen 4 rooms from £153

    Romantic Break  -  The stylish suites at this newly renovated hotel are ideal for a romantic couples' break, with sink-in beds and chic antiques
    Local exploring  -  Set close to the D-Day beaches in the picturesque heart of Caen, there is lots to explore local to this hotel
    Families  -  Family suites are adapted to parents travelling with children, offering extra space and cots for babies
    Sights nearby  -  Walk to the beautiful Abbaye-aux-Hommes, an abbey built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century
    GardenParkingNo pets

    This elegant hotel is housed within a restored, 16th-century mansion in the centre of Caen. Guestrooms blend contemporary interior design with selected antiques and original heritage details, from exposed beams to wooden floors. A chic bolt-hole, great for local sightseeing. See More

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