Museum of Modern Art André Malraux#10 in Best Things To Do in Normandy
This Le Havre art museum, located in a bright 1960s glass-and-metal building, boasts enormous plate glass windows that perfectly allow in the famous light that has fascinated artists for decades. This museum was actually the first to be built after the war. Le Havre's original Museum of Fine Arts was destroyed by bombing in 1944. Two local painters who immortalized the Normandy coast are highlighted here. The collection of works by Raoul Dufy includes oils, watercolors and sketches. Works by Eugène Boudin include his Normandy beach scenes and landscapes. It also has a number of works by Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley and Degas.
Past visitors raved about the museum's stunning coastal location and the collection of impressionist works. Others praised the friendly, knowledgeable staff.
The Museum of Modern Art André Malraux is located less than 20 miles south of Étretat (where the famous cliffs reside). The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday until 7 p.m. It is closed on Monday. Tickets cost 7 euros (about $7.70) per adult; visitors 25 and younger enjoy free admission. The museum welcomes visitors free of charge the first Saturday of every month. During the summer, the price of admission increases to 10 euros (around $11). A free audio guide is available via download on your smartphone. For more information, visit the museum's website.
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#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.
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