Please sign in to post.

Need help constructing Normandy itinerary

I am going to Normandy (as a part of a larger trip to France and Italy).

I want to see Rouen, Caen, Bayeux, and definitely Mont St. Michel. However, I need to get back to Paris (to fly into Milan).

I was hoping to go to MSM first, then Bayeux/Caen, then Rouen. MSM and Bayeux would be one day, while Caen/ Rouen would be another day. On the second night, I would head back to Paris (for the flight is the next morning). I plan on using rail, but gettting to MSM seems tricky and I would appreciate a best way to get there.


Posted by
12040 posts

Normandy is difficult to independently explore by rail. I think one night is not enough for your proposed itinerary.

Posted by
4129 posts

I agree with Tom. If that's all the time you have, you should scale back.

Rouen would work great as a day trip from Paris.

Posted by
211 posts

Rouen has a pedestrian, street that leads from the the Cathedral to the Vieux Marche, which is where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, there is a small chruch there along with a market selling fish, veggies etc. About halfway on the street is the Gros Horlage, which is the large, beautiful clock, you can take a tour up in the clock if you have time. There is the Musee De Beau Arts, if you want to check out a museaum. There are a number of bike paths and places to pick up a bike for a few hours if you'd like to bike around town.

The entire town is beautiful, very medievil. If you want a great view of the city I'd recommend taking the number 4 bus up to Mont Saint Aignan, the suburb on the hill, the journey up is lovely, and you can just get off at any point, cross the street and catch the bus back down, restamping your ticket (tickets cost 1.40 and are good for an hour)

I've just come back from spending a semester in Rouen and fell in love with the city.

Chez Pepe was a favorite place to eat, nice, yet casual pl (

Posted by
283 posts

Skip Mont St. Michel and Caen. The War and Peace museum is a half a day, expensive, and not worth it in my opinion. If you take the train to Bayeux, you will be in the best spot. In Bayeux itself is the tapestry--very worthwhile. If you want to do battlefields, pick on or two--I like Arromanche and Omaha. My son took a day trip by train to Bayeux from Parisand hired a cab for three hours to do some battlefields. It was not that expensive.

Rouen is fantastic, but I would skip it, if you want battlefieds. Rouen takes a whole day at least to enjoy. If you do go, don't miss the light show at the cathedral, no matter how tired you are. One of the best experiences I have ever had.

Posted by
79 posts

Thanks for the advice. I have decided to do 3 days in Paris and 1 day in Rouen. MSM, Bayeux/Caen, and D-Day will have to wait. The travel times are too great.

I'll definitely check out the cathedral in Rouen. What else can you recommend there? I was planning on spending all day there, eating dinner, and heading back to Paris that night (flight to Milan next day).

Posted by
4129 posts

Rouen is one of those places that is itself an attraction--lots of pretty streets with half-timbered buildings. Near the cathedral is another church in the flamboyant style, worth a visit, and an old ossuary. The TI in the old center (across from the Cathedral) has a map and (as I recall) suggested walking tour that is pretty good.

One idea: Before you go to Rouen, visit the Marmottan Museum in Paris to see some of Monet's paintings of the cathedral. (Worth a visit anyway.)

Too bad you don't have time for a longer visit, but I think you've made a good decision.

Posted by
16 posts


I agree that Normandy on one night would be too difficult, though if you plan well Mont St. Michel and the town of Bayeux are definately managable in one day. The Churchill Hotel in Bayeux offers a shuttle to MSM everyday that leaves at 9am and returns at 3pm for 55 Euros. You don't have to be a guest (I wasn't), just contact them and let them know you are interested. As for the battlefields, if you stop in the Bayeux tourism building they offer lots of D-Day tours, many of them half days that finish or start at 1pm. Hope that helps.