Caen Travel & Hotels
As the capital of Lower Normandy, Caen has a convenient position at the heart of the network of road and rail routes. It is not far from the coast and thus relatively close to various ports offering cross-Channel ferry services.
Caen by Road
Caen is surrounded by a ring-road which is fed by four main traffic arteries:
- the A13 motorway to the east
This route connects directly to Rouen and also offers access to the ports of Le Havre and Dieppe, as well as being the route towards Belgium and coastal areas further afield
- the D658 to the south
This decent departmental road heads towards the town of Argentan before joining up with the A28 motorway. It is an option to head south avoiding Paris via Le Mans and Tours.
- the A84 motorway to the west
This runs actually a little bit southwest towards Mont St-Michel. Just before the Bay of Mont St-Michel it heads directly south towards Rennes, with its major traffic connections west and south.
- the D613 to the northwest
This main departmental road serves the important connection to Bayeux and is a principal route of access for the D-Day beaches from Caen. It heads further up the Cotentin peninsula towards the port of Cherbourg.
Regional bus services are provided by the Bus Verts de Calvados.
Caen by Rail
The Caen railway station is located near the river (see the more detailed map on the main Caen page) and, similarly to the road network, has destinations available by train in most directions.
The most important routes are:
- Cherbourg - Caen - Lisieux - Paris St Lazare
- Caen - Rouen
- Coutances - Saint-Lô - Caen - Paris St Lazare
- Caen - Alençon - Le Mans - Tours
- Caen - Saint-Lô - Coutances - Granville - Rennes
Caen by Air
Caen actually has its own airport - Caen Carpiquet - which is located to the west of the city just outside the ring road. There are some intra-European flights from destinations such as Madrid and Prague and a more extensive range of summer charter flights but most of the regular services are between French cities.
There is also a seasonal service between the Deauville-Normandie airport on the coast to the north-east of Caen and London City Airport.
The third local airport is out on the Cotentin peninsula at Cherbourg. Cherbourg-Maupertus Airport offers charters to sunshine destinations but has in the past had services to Jersey and Southampton in the UK.
Those looking for long-haul flights are more likely to find a wide selection from one of the Paris airports. Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport is the main international airport and is located 255km from Caen.
Caen by Ferry
Caen actually claims to have its own ferry port - although it is actually located 15km downriver at Ouistreham. The services between Caen and Portsmouth are provided by Britanny Ferries. The company runs three services a day throughout the year and an extra high-speed crossing on summer weekends.
Caen is also close to the cross-Channel ferry ports of Cherbourg (123km) and Le Havre (95km).
Caen Travel Resources and Map
Bus Verts - www.busverts.fr
Caen Airport - www.caen.aeroport.fr
Deauville Airport - www.deauville.aeroport.fr
Cherbourg Airport - www.cherbourg.aeroport.fr
Caen-Ouistreham Port - www.caen.port.fr
Britanny Ferries - www.brittany-ferries.co.uk
Caen Hotel Accommodation
29 Rue Gémare
Tel: 02 31 86 22 26
This four-star Best Western hotel is situated in a historic priory (with parts dating back to the 14th century) and is in a convenient location next to the castle.
3 Avenue Henry Chéron
Tel: 02 31 73 32 71
This small and modern five-star hotel is connected to Caen restauranteur and chef Ivan Vautier and offers special gastronomic packages.
48 Place de la Gare
Tel: 02 31 82 23 59
This two-star hotel is a good budget option in Caen with a location opposite the train station and recommended for its friendly and helpful staff.