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Day Trip from Paris: Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches and Sites

Get a glimpse of the events of D-Day

· 6 min read

Not only does Paris itself offer a multitude of enchanting experiences, it is also a great base if you are looking to explore the region. There are various day trips that you can take from Paris, but for those seeking a poignant journey through history, a day trip to the Normandy Landing Beaches presents an unparalleled opportunity. Just a few hours away, this excursion provides a solemn yet awe-inspiring encounter with the sites that bore witness to the turning point of World War II.

Source: Capt. Saska Ball

What is the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches?

June 6, 1944 marked the start of a battle that turned the tides of World War II. The D-Day invasion, also known as Operation Overlord, started from a massive amphibious assault on the beaches of Normandy, and pushed southeast towards Paris. The major operation was essential in helping the Allied forces gain a strategic foothold in northwest Europe, which eventually led to the liberation of Western Europe.

The D-day Landing Beaches refer to the five beaches that the Allied forces' troops landed on during the operation. Spanning a 50-mile (~80km) stretch of coastline, the 5 beaches go by the code names: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

Visiting the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches

Of the five beaches, Omaha and Utah were the entry points for the American soldiers, while the Canadian and British troops landed on Gold, Juno, and Sword.

Source: Jonovision82

Of the 5 sites, Omaha is the one that most people would prioritise visiting. Omaha was where the most intense battles took place. It is the bloodiest beach on D-Day, where about 2,400 American troops lost their lives. Just beyond Omaha lies the Normandy American Cemetery, a cemetery which honours the troops who lost their lives on the beaches.

Source: Viator

Utah is also a site that many would choose to visit, due to its close assocaition with the American forces. Utah was a last-minute addition to the operation, and was the first place where the Allies landed. There is also a museum at Utah, which houses an extensive collection of vehicles, equipment, and objects that provide context to the events that took place at the sites.

Other notable World War II sites in Normandy

The D-Day landing beaches are significant in history. But, there are also other notable World War II sites in Normandy that you should visit as part of your trip.

Caen Memorial Museum

As part of your visit to the D-Day sites, plan to stop by the Caen Memorial Museum. Caen is the largest city in Normandy and played a crucial role in the war. The Museum focuses on the Battle of Normandy and offers visitors unique insights into the events of World War II in this part of France. You will get a glimpse of how life under the German Occupation was like, along with extensive objects related to the French Resistance. It offers a good overview and is a great starting point for your visit to the D-Day sites.

Bayeux Battle Of Normandy Museum

Located in the west of Caen, the Bayeux museum focuses solely on the Battle of Normandy which took place during the summer of 1944. The Battle of Normandy took place after the D-Day invasion, and is part of the troops push towards Paris.


Source: Jebulon

Longues-sur-Mer was German artillery battery strategically positioned between the Omaha and Gold Beaches. It is one of the best-preserved World War II sites across France today. Visitors can see the original cannon that was used by the Germans during World War II.


The Allied forces built temporary harbours, known as Mulberry Harbours, to move their vehicles and cargo across the English Channel. Today, you can find the remains of one of these harbours at Arromanches-les-Bains on Gold Beach.

How to visit the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches?

There are various ways to get to the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches, and you can choose the mode that is the most convenient and suitable for you.

Normandy is about a 2 hour drive away from Paris, and it is easy to get there by driving. An advantage of renting a car is that you get to have more flexibility on where you want to go and how much time you spend at each location.

There is a lot to explore in Normandy, and it is definitely possible to spend more than a day. But, if you only have a day to spare on your trip, consider joining a guided tour instead. An advantage of joining a guided tour is that you will get to see the key highlights, and the guides will often provide greater insights into the history and happenings of the area, further enriching your experience and visit.

Day Tours to Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches from Paris

There are many day tours from Paris to the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches and World War II sites that you can choose from. Each tour brings you to different sites and have a different focus, and it might be hard to choose one.

To help you with your decision, here are some of the available tours along with the key highlights that are included:

  1. Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Day Trip with Cider Tasting & Lunch from Paris (From 190 USD, free cancellation. Rated 4.5 stars, 2k+ reviews): Includes visit to Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, American Cemetery, and Omaha Beach Visitor Centre. Includes 2 course lunch and a glass of cider.
  2. Normandy D-Day Small-Group Day Trip (From 270 USD, free cancellation. Rated 5 stars, 1k+ reviews): Includes visit to Omaha Beach, Operation Overlord Museum, German bunkers, Pointe du Hoc, and American Cemetery. Includes cider tasting.
  3. Normandy D-Day Tour from Paris (From 370 USD, non-refundable. Rated 5 stars, 63 reviews): Includes guided tour to the Memorial de Caen Museum, cliffs at Point du Hoc, the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, and Omaha Beach.
  4. Normandy D-Day Small-group Tour from Paris (From 358.80 USD, free cancellation. Rated 5 stars, 8 reviews): Includes visit to the American Cemetery, Omaha Beach Memorial, Arromanches-les-Bains. Minimum of 2 pax.
  5. Normandy D-Day All Day Tour by Minibus from Paris (From 276 USD, free cancellation. Rated 4.7 stars, 39 reviews): Includes visit to American Cemetery, Longues-sur-Mer, Point du Hoc.
  6. From Paris: Normandy D-Day Beaches Day Trip (From 200 USD, free cancellation. Rated 4.7 stars, 274 reviews): Include visit to American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, ****Arromanches-les-Bains, and Juno Beach.
  7. From Paris: Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Full-Day Tour (From 265 USD, free cancellation. Rated 4.8 stars, 337 reviews): Include visit to Longues-sur-Mer battery, Omaha beach, Overlord Museum, Pointe du Hoc, American Cemetery.
  8. Normandy D-Day Beaches Guided Day Trip with Lunch (From 155 USD, free cancellation. Rated 4.5 stars, 373 reviews): Include visit to Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, American Cemetery. Includes 2-course local lunch with 1 glass of cider.

For a different perspective that focuses more on the Canadian involvement in D-Day, check out this tour:

  1. Canadian Normandy D-Day Juno Beach from Paris (From 238 USD, free cancellation. Rated 4.9 stars, 54 reviews): Includes visit to Juno Beach, Canadian Cemetery, Hell's Corner, and Abbey d'Ardenne.