Caen lodging recommendations

Aug 23rd, 2003, 10:38 AM
  #1  
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Caen lodging recommendations

We will be visiting Normandy for three days and have decided to stay in Caen. I am seeking advice on a nice hotel, preferably near the rail station and the castle museums, as we will be walking. Everyone seems to recommend Bayeaux, but I think that would be too rural for us.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Hey CB

A couple of thoughts: Bayeux is definitely not rural. It's a lovely small city. You mention that you'll be walking. Most people travel to the area to see the Normandy beaches and if that's on your agenda, it's definitely not walkable from either Caen or Bayeux. I don't know about public transportation out to the beaches, so maybe someone else will post. Maybe you've already thought all this through, or maybe my thoughts are superfluous, but I'm just adding my two cents worth.
Betsy is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2003, 11:37 AM
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I'd recommend Bayeux as well.

We stayed in Caen at a cheap/small roomed (but clean) place called the Bernieres - well located for the town's attractions, good continental style breakfast buffet. I would happily stay there again, but I'm a "budget" guy. The station is a healthy walk from the center of town, however, and if you find a place near the station, you'll have to walk quite a way through Caen's heavy trafficked streets to get to the interesting stuff. Caen is okay, but Bayeux is a lot more atmospheric and more interesting to visit.
Russ is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2003, 12:55 PM
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I can't recommend Bayeaux, because we didn't go there. We stayed at the Ibis Caen Centre, 6 rue de Courtonne; very central, a five minute walk to the Chateau de Caen and perhaps a kilometre from the train station. Two star hotel, clean, modern, decent buffet breakfast.
ron is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 12:38 PM
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I also recommend Bayeux. Caen is rather charmless. It was bombed to bits in WWII, so the architecture is almost entirely late 20th century. Bayeux, on the other hand, was not bombed and retains many old structures including its beautiful cathedral.
Jean is online now  
Aug 25th, 2003, 11:47 AM
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I had read quite a bit before posting the original question. Both Caen and Bayeux have tours of the WWII sites. Caen has the peace memorial, two abbies, and an art museum; Bayeux has the church with the famed tapestry. While I like art, I have to admit that I have never seen a tapestry that I would want to see again, so the art museum in Caen is more attractive to me.

Since we will have only three days (arriving Wednesday and leaving for Paris Saturday) and the first day will be spent recovering from our flight, it makes sense to stay in the town that has more of the things we want to see.

Thanks to those responders who gave information on lodgings in Caen.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:05 PM
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Hi when are you going?/ I am going in October--if you go before let me know please--I was going to stay 1 nite in Caen and 2 in Bayeux or maybe 3 in Bayeux--are you from Cleveland--I live in VA now but grew up in Lakewood
[email protected] if you want to e-mail me.
nevilledog is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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We just returned from two weeks in France with 5 days in Bayeux. It was not rural - had a nice little pedestrian walkway with good restaurants. Was not bombed to heck during the war. Central to all of the D-Day sites, etc. You'll want to see the tapestry, cathedral, beaches, cemetaries, etc. Caen is about 10-15 miles further from those than Bayeux. However, be sure and see the Memorial de Paix in Caen. We only alotted a half day and could have easily spent more time. If you end up in Bayeux, have dinner at La Rapiere for sure, we also liked La Marine in Arromanches, Triskell for crepes in Bayeux and Lion D'Or for dinner as well.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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Caen is a University town. I went to school there back in the late seventies and returned for the first time in May 2002. It has some very interesting sites, including William the Conqueror's castle (what's left of it), the Men's and Women's Abbeys, and of course the Caen Memorial Museum on the outskirts of the city (a must see, IMO). There's also a lovely park (Jardin des Plantes) and a somewhat interesting pedestrian/shopping area.

As someone already mentioned, it was almost completely bombed during WWII, so it's a relatively modern city. No where near as charming as Bayeaux and other small towns in Normandy. But it is a great base for touring the area.

You'll find all types of restaurants in Caen, and some nightlife, but a lot of it caters to students at the Univerisity. There are also a few decent, more upscale restaurants, if you're interested.

I stayed there while visiting Normandy in 2002 so I could show my husband the city where I went to school, my old apartment, etc. It was kind of a lovely nastalgia trip for me. I would not have chosen it otherwise. I can recommend the hotel we stayed at: Le Dauphin. It's is now part of the Best Western chain, but don't be put off by that. It's actually a charming hotel with a decent restaurant, friendly and helpful staff, and good size rooms with modern baths. I believe we had one of the best rooms in the hotel and paid about $110 a night. It is located directly across from the castle, near the city center. If you have a rental car, there is hotel parking.

Wherever you choose to stay, Bayeaux or Caen, I don't think you'll be disappointed in Normandy. It's a beautiful area of France. The food is fabulous, the people warm and friendly, and the D-day sights are awe inspiring and thought provoking. Have a great trip!

Diane
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