How to get from London, the UK and Paris to Caen in Normandy

Traveling to Caen in Normandy

Caen Normandy
Caen Normandy. Getty mages/Ken Scicluna

How to get from Paris to Caen in Normandy

Read more about Paris and Caen.

Caen in Normandy was almost destroyed by bombing in World War II. It also has one of the best War Museums in France, the Memorial de Caen. Today it has some notable sites to see in and around the city that is particularly well known for its associations with William the Conqueror

Paris to Caen by Train

Trains to Caen leave from Paris Gare Saint Lazare (13 rue Amsterdam, Paris 8) all through the day.

Metro lines to and from Gare Saint Lazare

  • Ligne 3: Porte de Levallois-Becon to Gallieni
  • Ligne 12: Porte de la Chapelle to Mairie d’Issy
  • Ligne 13: Saint-Denis–Universite to Chatillon–Montrouge
  • Ligne 14: Saint Lazare to Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand

For buses see the Paris Bus map

Express trains to Caen station

Caen is on the high-speed line from Paris to Cherbourg. Direct trains include

  • Paris to Caen station in 1hrs 46 mins
  • Cherbourg to Caen station in 1 hr 12 mins
  • Rouen to Caen station in 1hr 37 mins

High-speed TER and Intercite trains with one change

  • From Lille (which connects with Eurostar) to Caen station in 3 hrs 41 mins.
  • From Charles de Gaulle Airport to Caen station in 2 hrs 06 mins.
  • From Rennes, Brittany to Caen Station in 3hrs

See the major TER services on the TER website.

Caen station is at 15 pl de la Gare, about a kilometer’s walk south of the center.

Booking Train Travel in France

  • From the US book with Rail Europe
  • From the UK book with Voyages sncf (formerly Rail Europe UK)

Getting to Caen by Ferry

Portsmouth, UK to Caen

Brittany Ferries operates a very good cruise service to Caen from Portsmouth. The crossing takes 6 hours during the day and 7 hours overnight. Seasonal timetables operates.

The ferry terminal at Ouistreham is 15 kilometers north of Caen.

  • From Caen there is direct access on the A13 to Rouen (67 miles/108 kilometers)
  • There is also direct access to the A84 to Le Mont St Michel and Brittany, and south on the N158 to Le Mans.

Book direct on Brittany Ferries

More about Ferry Travel from the UK to France

Getting to Caen by plane

Caen Airport is just outside Carpiquet, 7km west of the city. It’s a small modern airport with some UK flights and flights from most major destinations in France as well as other European countries. The major carrier is Air France and its subsidiary Brit Air.
Hop! operates domestic flights. A regular daily shuttle bus runs to the Tour-la-Roi stop in place Courtonne.

Getting to Caen by car

Paris to Caen is 234 kms (145 miles) taking around 2 hours 30 mins depending on your speed. There are tolls on the autoroutes.

Getting to Caen by bus

Eurolines leaves from Paris Gallieni Porte Bagnolet three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The journey to Caen takes 4 hours.

Car hire

For information on hiring a car under the lease-back scheme which is the most economical way of hiring a car if you’re in France for more than 17 days, try Renault Eurodrive Buy Back Lease.

Getting from London to Paris

  • By train (Eurostar)
    Eurostar between London, Paris and Lille
  • By bus/coach Eurolines offers a cheap service from London, Gillingham, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Gallieni. Six coaches a day; 2 overnight; journey time is 7 hours. The Eurolines stop is at the Paris Gallieni Coach Station, 28 ave du General de Gaulle, just by the Gallieni metro station near the Porte de Bagnolet (Metro line 3, final stop).
  • QUIBUS also operates between London and Lille and London and Paris. IDBus also goes from Lille to Amsterdam and Brussels.
    QUIBUS website
  • By car: Take the ferry across the English Channel

More about William the Conqueror and Normandy

2016 saw the 950 anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when William roundly beat Edward the Confessor and conquered England. Caen provides a good jumping off point for anybody interested in seeing more about the Norman bastard King.

Falaise Castle where William was born

William and his life in images

Guide to medieval Normandy