Mémorial de Caen picture
laurent mataillet/Flickr

Key Info

Esplanade Général Eisenhower


Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This museum details events leading up to WWII as well as its decadeslong aftermath, with exhibits ranging from photos and documents charting the Nazi's rise to power in the 1930s, to life before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A tabletop map shows the location of the D-Day landings and a split-screen presentation of the D-Day invasion from both the Allied and Nazi standpoints gives a good overview. A 17-minute film, called "Europe Our History," is shown in a 360-degree theater and included with admission. Outside, you'll find three gardens dedicated to the memory of the Resistance fighters and Allied soldiers who died in Normandy. 

Recent visitors appreciated the comprehensive and educational way the museum covers the war. Others said a visit here is a must before a trip to the D-Day Beaches as it provides important context to the sites. Reviewers said you should plan to spend half a day here to make the most of the museum's offerings and that the audio guide is essential. One particular highlight for travelers was the reconstructed underground bunker of a Nazi general.

The museum is located in Caen, about 30 miles southeast of the D-Day beaches. It is generally open daily from 9 or 9:30 a.m. to 5, 6 or 7 p.m., depending on the month. Keep in mind: The museum is closed for the majority of January. Tickets cost 19.80 euros (about $22) for adults and 17 euros (around $19) for children ages 10 to 18 and adults 60 and older. There is an additional fee for special exhibits and audio guides. If you're accessing the museum via public transportation, you can take the No. 2 bus from the city center. For more information, visit the museum's official website.

See all Hotels in Normandy »

More Best Things To Do in Normandy

D-Day Beaches1 of 17
Mont Saint-Michel Abbey (Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel)2 of 17
Time to Spend
#1 D-Day Beaches

World War II's successful Operation Overlord took place on the coast of France. Although there were heavy Allied casualties, this invasion turned the tide in the war and helped lead to the fall of Nazi Germany. Today this piece of coastline, which includes Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches, is collectively known as the D-Day Beaches.

Visitors can tour the approximately 50-mile stretch of sand and pop by a number of museums, memorials and cemeteries that are spread out alongside the coastline either with a tour or on their own. If you're driving yourself, start in the town of Arromanches, which hosts two museums that help provide context for the battle sites. The American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and the Pointe-du-Hoc bomb craters are also especially moving. If you'd rather let someone else do the driving, recent visitors recommend going with a tour guide to fully appreciate the area's historic importance and receive a comprehensive overview. If you're visiting in June, you'll likely come across several ceremonies and reenactment groups commemorating the anniversary. Thanks to Normandy's unpredictable weather, you'll want to dress in layers (no matter the time of your visit) and bring rain gear, according to past visitors.

Read more
fhm/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Normandy »

Explore More of Normandy

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


14 Top Jigsaw Puzzles, Games and Books to Keep Travelers Entertained

Even though you're stuck at home, you can still indulge your wanderlust with these activities.

15 Top Cookbooks to Buy

Travel to far-flung destinations and enjoy international food without leaving home.

The 12 Best Language-Learning Apps, Programs and Online Courses

Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill.

The 13 Best Sedona Tours

Get lost in the magic of Sedona's red rocks on these top adventures.

What is an Ecolodge? 21 Top Eco Resorts and Eco Hotels Around the World

Luxury meets environmental welfare at these top-notch ecolodges.

The 12 Best Puerto Rico Tours

Experience island living at its best on one of these guided trips.

I Went On a Cruise During the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Is What Happened.

Coronavirus concerns, itinerary changes and uncertainty lead to an unusual vacation.

5 Travel-Themed Activities to Do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Use these suggestions to fill the travel void amid the pandemic.

Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know

If you are rescheduling a vacation or booking a future trip, consider purchasing an insurance policy with the CFAR benefit.

The 21 Best Costa Rica Tours

Dive into this natural paradise on these exceptional excursions.