Planning a visit to Normandy? Do NOT skip Bayeux! It became one of my favorite towns from our entire road trip through this seriously underrated region in France! Although not a huge town, there are plenty of things to do in Bayeux!
During my road trip through Normandy, we based ourselves in Caen, but after visiting Bayeux, I realized it was a mistake. Bayeux is way more charming, cute, and authentic than I found Caen to be and I wish we got to spend more time there.
Here are 5 wonderful things to do in Bayeux, Normandy that definitely justify a visit!
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Tips for visiting Bayeux
🚂 You can take the train from Paris. It should take you between 2-2.5 hours to get there by train directly from Paris and ticket prices range from 20 to 30 euros! You can find the best prices on Trainline, this is where I book all of my train tickets in France.
🗺️ Take day trips around Normandy. If you’re visiting Bayeux for the weekend at least pop over to see the D-Day beaches (more on that below). But if you have more time to spend, definitely consider exploring more of the region! Bayeux isn’t the largest city in Normandy so there are plenty of other spots to check out, like the famous Mont St. Michel!
🏨 Where to stay: Château La Chenevière. This is a beautiful property just outside of Bayeux more towards the coast. It is an 18th-century manor with restaurants, gardens, a swimming pool, and a spa. If you’re looking for a slice of luxury and some pampering, I’d definitely stay here!
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5 Things to do in Bayeux, Normandy
Dine in French Manor
If staying at the Château La Chenevière is a bit out of your price range, you’ll be happy to know that their site restaurant is very budget-friendly! Le Petit Jardin restaurant is located in this 18th-century manor’s old conservatory. You can enjoy a lovely view of the swimming pool and the gardens, in a really cozy, cute space.
But I’d say the best part about dining here is the local products. The restaurant uses a seasonal menu and uses the vegetables and produce from their own gardens. For example, I had a cocktail that featured honey from their hives and my dessert featured mushrooms from their own gardens. (And yes, it was DELICIOUS).
In terms of price range, each meal cost roughly 20-25 euros which is very average for restaurants in France so I was pleasantly surprised when we dined here. This was one of my favorite things to do when I visited Bayeux on a recent road trip in Normandy, so I highly recommend it!
HIGHLIGHT: Admire the Bayeux Tapestry
As a history major, I had heard about the Bayeux Tapestry but never truly understood the appeal of visiting it for myself. I mean, it’s technically just a piece of fabric right? Why pay money to go see it and why hype it up so much? But let me tell you, this is the most memorable thing to do when visiting Bayeux to truly appreciate the history of Normandy.
It wasn’t until I actually visited that I was really impressed by the Bayeux Tapestry so let me explain why it is worth visiting:
📖 It’s from the 11th century! It was made at a time when literacy was low so they made a tapestry telling the story of William the Conquerer’s conquest of England in 1066 frame by frame.
🧵It’s massively impressive! It’s 70 m in length and is one entire piece of cloth embroidered in wool thread. This has been preserved for AGES! Today they present the tapestry in a glass display case and visitors follow the events in chronological order.
⚔️ The storytelling is very well done. When you visit, you are given headphones and an audio guide. This is where you fully appreciate this iconic piece of history. The narrator goes frame by frame of the story and points out details that most people might miss. They explain the events, the characters, and the imagery so clearly; it is surprisingly captivating.
We spent about 45 minutes to an hour inside which didn’t include a visit to the rest of the museum. When we went, it was already closed, so you definitely can spend at least 1-2 hours here I’d imagine. For future visitors, it cost us 12 euros per person to visit.
For more information about visiting, check out their website here!
Visit the Bayeux Cathedral
The Bayeux Cathedral is believed the be the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry. This means that this Roman Catholic Cathedral dates back to the 11th century! It was actually consecrated in the presence of William the Conquerer! Visiting the Cathedral is for sure one of the top things to do when visiting Bayeux because of how long it has been at the heart of this medieval town in Normandy.
Like most cathedrals in France, it is a massive structure covered in details from top to bottom. And considering the history that has taken place in Normandy, it is very well preserved. When visiting, don’t forget to pop into the Romanesque crypts underneath the Cathedral!
Day trip to the D-Day Beaches
A visit to Bayeux is not complete without a visit to the D-Day beaches! They’re one of the most popular spots in Normandy and things to do when visiting Bayeux. Of course one of the go-to stops is Omaha Beach. This is, of course, where the Allied forces landed in Normandy during the D-Day invasions, an incredibly significant turning point in World War II. Today when visiting, there are a few monuments to check out to remember the fallen soldiers.
But if you have time, there is one more D-Day beach that is sometimes overlooked. Juno Beach is further down the coast and is a very significant beach to Canadian and British history as this is where most of the soldiers participated. Today there is a really cool museum and visitor centre located at the beach as well as some German Bunkers on the grounds. They also offer guided tours, which you can learn more about here.
Visiting by train and not sure how to get to the D-Day beaches without a car? Check out the tour below!
Wander around the old town
Part of what makes Bayeux such a great town to visit is its charm. It is super adorable and a perfect example of a medieval town in France. There is a river running through town and some beautiful authentic windmills still in operation. There are also plenty of cute shops, warm restaurants, and a few parks and wander through. Wandering along the river on cobblestone streets and admiring the half-timbered houses is the perfect thing to do in Bayeux.
Remember, Bayeux isn’t the largest town so you don’t need to rush. Take your time and enjoy the slow life of this medieval town in Normandy. If you happen to be visiting on Wednesday or Saturday, you might also run into the weekly town market. You can find out more about any upcoming festivals or holiday markets on their official site here!
Planning a visit to Bayeux?
As you can guess, I consider Normandy to be a seriously underrated region in France and Bayeux even more so! There are plenty of things to do in Bayeux, but even more so across the rest of Normandy! Want to know more? Check out my FREE Visitor’s Guide to Bayeux!
If you are planning a trip to Normandy, let me help you with your travel planning! I have been to Normandy for 2 separate road trips and am happy to help you plan an amazing getaway! You can schedule a consultation call with me or order a personalized travel guide or itinerary through my Thatch site!
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