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Best things to do in Cherbourg-Octeville

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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Normandy  /  Basse-Normandie  /  Manche  /  Cherbourg-en-Cotentin  /  Cherbourg-Octeville

Top 15 things to do in Cherbourg-Octeville

1. Cite de La Mare

Cite de La Mare is a large museum devoted to scientific and historical aspects of maritime subjects. You can explore an ocean diving area and a former French Army submarine. It is situated in the restored trans-Atlantic railway terminal in Cherbourg. The monument was built in 1933 and the museum was opened in 2002.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Learn more about Cite de La Mare

2. Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer

Normandy American Cemetery honors American soldiers who died in Europe during World War II. Most of the 9,387 graves contain the remains of American soldiers and military personnel who lost their lives during the D-Day landings and the operations that followed. East of the memorial, the semicircle garden has 1,557 names inscribed on the "Walls of the Missing,” with rosettes denoting the names of those who have since been identified. The semicircular colonnade has one loggia at each end containing narratives of military operations as well as huge maps. See the iconic bronze statue called the “Spirit of American Youth” in its center and, overlooking the beach, a tablet depicting the Normandy landings.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $77 › Learn more about Normandy American Cemetery

3. Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux, Bayeux

Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux displays a 70-m (230-ft) embroidered tapestry crafted in the 11th century. Stitched after the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066, to celebrate England's conquest by William the Conqueror, this remarkable linen canvas depicts Viking ships, a comet, Saxon and Norman cavalries, and a mysterious exchange between a cleric and an Anglo-Saxon woman. The museum provides English translations of the Tituli Latin scripts; a 16-minute video, also in English, presents the tapestry’s historical context. A free English audio guide helps you explore the interpretive room, the tapestry room, and the 13th-century seminary building. A junior audio guide, in English and French, makes this educational experience entertaining for older children. Younger kids can connect with the tapestry by coloring replica printouts using any hues they like.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $82 › Learn more about Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux

4. Normandy D-Day Beaches and American Cemetery Day Trip from Paris

FROM $194
On your pilgrimage from Paris to Normandy, leave the details to us. In one unforgettable day, we’ll take you to experience history where it happened. What better way to honor the sacrifices that changed the course of WW2?You’ll visit legendary Omaha Beach and remnants of the Arromanches artificial harbor left by allied forces, and get fascinating insights into those fateful days, learning just some of the incredible stories at the Visitor Center. Take the Memorial Drive along Juno and Gold Beaches,names that will echo with meaning for all eternity. Pause to reflect in the solemn setting of the pristine American Cemetery. Your guide will bring memories to life and help you gain a special understanding of what the Allied soldiers faced and why French locals are still so grateful to the Liberation forces. If you want, when booking, upgrade to a small-group tour for a more personal experience.
Suggested duration: 13h
Tours from $194 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Airborne Museum, Sainte-Mere-Eglise

Airborne Museum tells the story of D-Day in pictures and displays mementos of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. See a Douglas C47 transport aircraft, a Waco glider, a Sherman tank, several artillery pieces, vehicles, equipment, many small arms, uniforms, and other historic objects. This is one of the best D-Day museums, offering an extensive collection of artifacts together with significant explanations and context.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $124 › Learn more about Airborne Museum

6. Parc Emmanuel Liais

For a taste of the outdoors and breathtaking landscaping, head over to Parc Emmanuel Liais. Covering a generous area in the busy city, this garden boasts a large collection of unique and exotic plants. You can have fun identifying each species while enjoying the beauty at the same time. Meanwhile, in the greenhouses, over 400 species of plants are on display.

The park and greenhouses were created by Emmanuel Liais in 1885. Many of the tree species are from South America, Australia, and China, and the environment is set off by magnificent ancient groups of azaleas, both Japanese and mollis, to great effect.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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7. Pointe du Hoc, Cricqueville-en-Bessin

Pointe du Hoc, a rocky headland towering over the beach, has become a symbol of the courage of U.S. troops. Here, Germans had placed bunkers and artillery. The positions were bombed, shelled, and then attacked by 225 U.S. Rangers, who scaled the 35 m (115 ft) rock wall, besieged the bunkers, and finally took them, only to find there were no guns at all. They had been dismantled and hidden in an orchard. Only 90 rangers were still standing. Today, bomb and shell craters remain. A monument in memory of the 2nd Rangers Battalion is built on a control firing casemate at the site, where bodies of soldiers still lie under the ruins.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $77 › Learn more about Pointe du Hoc

8. Normandy D-Day Small-Group Day Trip with Omaha Beach, Cemetery & Cider Tasting

Likely to sell out FROM $269
Visit the most important D-Day sites in Normandy on this small-group day trip from Paris. You'll walk on Omaha Beach, go inside of German bunkers, visit the Overlord Museum, peer over the 110ft tall seaside cliffs at the Pointe du Hoc, and pay your respects to those who sacrificed it all at the American Cemetery. In order to bring a little sweetness to your visit you also enjoy a local Normandy Hard Cider tasting.
Suggested duration: 12h - 13h
Tours from $269 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Omaha Beach, Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer

Overlooked by bluffs which rise to 46 m (150 ft) and command the beaches, Omaha Beach possesses naturally strong defensive positions. During World War II, the Germans skillfully fortified this area with concrete gun emplacements, anti-tank guns, and machine guns. Allied bombs left these largely undamaged, and since there was no cover on the sand, the tranquil strand became a killing field on D-Day, when the US 1st Infantry Division had the most difficult landing of the whole Allied assault.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $77 › Learn more about Omaha Beach

10. Bayeux War Cemetery, Bayeux

The largest World War II cemetery of French commonwealth and English soldiers in France, Bayeux War Cemetery has more than 4,000 graves, mostly from the invasion of Normandy. Many of the gravestones and plaques have comments commemorating the lives of those who fought for freedom. The cemetery contains the Cross of Sacrifice, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, and the Bayeux Memorial, erected in white stone facing the cemetery.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $131 › Learn more about Bayeux War Cemetery

11. Musee du Debarquement, Arromanches-les-Bains

Located in front of the actual vestiges of the Mulberries, Musee du Debarquement devotes its exhibits to the incredible feat of technology the British achieved in building the artificial harbor at this site. Watch the period newsreel in English and French. Impressive, dynamic scale models show how the floating docks rolled with the waves and tides. A 75-foot section of Mulberry floating bridge is on display outside. Military equipment is also on view, including an American half-track armored vehicle and a Higgins boat.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $137 › Learn more about Musee du Debarquement

12. Utah & Omaha Beaches D-Day Group Tour from Bayeux

Likely to sell out FROM $157
Full day sightseeing tour of the American sectors of the D-Day Normandy invasion + Airborne Museum. An experienced English speaking guide will show you the battlefield sites and explain in detail the events that occurred.
Suggested duration: 8h
Tours from $157 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Cathedrale Notre-Dame, Bayeux

Cathedrale Notre-Dame towers over the entire town. First, circle around the exterior, where occasional informational signs on stone or wood blocks explain aspects of the church's construction and its architectural features. Then explore inside, where you’ll find excellent views of the architecture, statues, and murals. There are several empty crypts you can visit beneath the church.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $22 › Learn more about Cathedrale Notre-Dame

14. Rade de Cherbourg

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Rade de Cherbourg

15. Normandy Beaches Half-Day Afternoon Trip from Bayeux (A2)

Likely to sell out FROM $85
Pay tribute to the soldiers who fought on Normandy’s World War II beaches on this afternoon tour to Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc from Bayeux. Visit famous D-Day battlefield sites while hearing about the bloody events that happened there, and end with a guided visit of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial and its visitor center on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Numbers are limited to eight people on this small-group tour by minivan, the perfect way to get to Normandy’s out-of-the-way sites in one day.
Suggested duration: 5h
Tours from $85 › More about this tour at viator.com ›