The mild climate, with average yearly temperatures between 7-15°C, makes Caen a popular tourist destination all year round.
The warmest months for exploring the city comfortably on foot are May to October. During this time the temperature ranges from 9-22°C, with July and August being the hottest months. Accommodation rates and flights to Caen will be more expensive over this period, especially when the schools are on summer holiday in July and August. The town will also be at its most crowded.
Booking a flight to Caen during early June will allow visitors to see the anniversary celebrations of the D-Day landings, which take place in Caen and on the Normandy beaches. Another part of the celebrations is the Freedom Races which attract participants from all over the world.
If you would prefer to take in the sights when they are a little less busy then spring and autumn can be great times to visit, as the area is not inundated with tourists and visitors can also see the foliage blossoming or changing colour. Late spring and the beginning of autumn are particularly nice due to pleasant temperatures.
Winter in Caen is wet, which is off-putting to most tourists. If you’re happy to dodge the rain then this is the ideal time to look for cheap flights to Caen and lower room rates. Keep in mind airfares and accommodation prices can see an increase around Christmas and New Year. If you do visit during the festive period, head over to the Place de la Theatre, which hosts a large Christmas market during December.
The imposing Norman town of Caen is one of Normandy’s most important cities. The home town of William the Conqueror, Caen was also vital in the Normandy landings of D-Day that brought the Second World War to an end. Of course, many visitors take flights to Caen to visit and commemorate its place in the D-Day landings. Reminders of this are the Memorial Museum and the Grand Bunker – Atlantic Wall Museum. The Normandy Beaches are also just a short distance away.
After your flight to Caen, you can wander through the town’s narrow streets which open suddenly onto tranquil parks and gardens and onto the marina, which the town huddles around. Explore the historic buildings, which were built from locally quarried cream limestone which complements their architecture.
Sitting on the rivers Orne and Odon, the university city of Caen has plenty to see and do during the day and a lively nightlife. Whilst you are here, stock up on some Normandy specialities like the Calvados brandy and their regional cheeses. Visit Caen Castle, started by William the Conqueror, and see both the Musee des Beaux-Arts and the Musee de Normandie. The former displays paintings from the 15th century to the present day and the latter contains the local history of Caen and Normandy, including a display of bridal wear and furniture. The castle is also a great sight, with its two huge walls which surround the inner buildings and two main gateways which guard the entrance. From the ramparts you can see over the Normandy countryside.
In contrast to the stern Norman architecture of the castle complex are the soaring Romanesque spires of the Abbaye-aux-Hommes and the Abbaye-aux-Dames, built by William and his wife, Matilda. Younger visitors will have a great day out at the Parc Festyland, with its themed areas such as the Middles Ages, Vikings and Pirates.
Caen has an extensive, reasonably priced bus service, two tram lines and a new, experimental ‘guided bus’ system. The tourist information office is able to provide maps self-guided walking tours taking in the Norman history and architecture. There are also guided tours of Caen, nearby Bayeux and the Normandy beaches.
Caen la Mer Airport or Aéroport de Caen la Mer (CFR) is located in Carpiquet, which is 4 miles (6 km) away from Caen. From here you can rent a car or take a taxi into the city centre.