Caen Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen)
Housed in the medieval castle of William the Conquerer, the contemporary Musée des Beaux-Arts is home to one of the finest art collections in France covering five centuries. Spanning four centuries, the artworks show a remarkable range including an array of European painters starting in the 16th century, a cabinet of prints and an impressive sculpture park.
Move through the museum’s vast panorama of works. The crowning jewel is the collection of 16th- and 17th-century European painters, encompassing Italians (Cosme Tura, Giordano), French (Poussin, Vouet), Dutch and Flemish (Bruegel, Rubens, Van Der Weyden) along with 18th-century portraitists and important French and Italian landscape painters. Moving chronologically, explore 19th-century romantic and realistic painters (Courbet, Delacroix, Géricault) and the Impressionists (Boudin, Monet) and beyond with 20th-century French cubism, and more. End your visit out in the sculpture park where on display are works by Rodin, Bourdelle, and Huang Yong Ping’s monumental ten-sculpture work perched on soaring masts.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Musée des Beaux-Art is an ideal spot for art lovers; families will appreciate the large grounds where kids may play.
- A small fee is required, with reduced rates for kids, students and seniors.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
- Have a drink or a snack on the terrace of the cafe; it's closed on Sunday nights.
How to Get There
Musée des Beaux-Arts is located within the castle of William the Conqueror at Le Chateau in Caen. Take bus line A or B to Quatrans or Bellivet stops, or tram line T1 or T3 to the Château-Quatrans stop. If you are driving, there is parking for a fee at the foot of the castle. Parking reserved for people with reduced mobility is by the entrance facing the University. A train ride from Paris takes about 2 hours.
When to Get There
Musée des Beaux-Arts is open everyday except Tuesdays from morning to evening. Come early in the day to avoid crowds. Peak season for Caen, as well as the entire region of Normandy, is during the summer months. June especially sees many travelers who come to commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Musée de Normandie
Complement your deep dive into art with a visit to this outstanding museum, also located within the castle of William the Conqueror. Displays trace the history of the formation of Normandy, the culture of the region from prehistoric time, and following through to various eras of migration and finally of the culture of the region. Activities and workshops are available for all ages.
- Normandy Museum (Musée de Normandie)
- Caen Castle (Château de Caen)
- Abbaye aux Dames
- Abbaye aux Hommes
- Caen Memorial Museum (Mémorial de Caen)
- La Colline aux Oiseaux Park (Parc de La Colline aux Oiseaux)
- Pegasus Memorial Museum (Pegasus Bridge)
- Ranville War Cemetery
- Merville Battery (Batterie de Merville)
- Mulberry Harbour
- Jurques Zoo (Zoo de Jurques)
- Trouville (Trouville-sur-Mer)