Northern France Sightseeing, Attractions & Activities Guide

recommended places to visit and things to do throughout Northern France


  • museum
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  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • art
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  • history
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  • military history
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  • needlecraft

the story of this world famous tapestry is cleverly told and the tapestry itself well-displayed, so that adults and children alike can view it easily. Vividly unfolding the action packed scenes culminating in the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Cité de la Mer

Cherbourg

  • aquarium
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  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • café
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  • nature
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  • wildlife

Set in the Art Deco Gare Maritime Transatlantique, this excellent aquarium houses Europe's deepest fish tank and includes a display of submersibles used in deep sea exploration

Mont St-Michel

Pontorson

  • landmark
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  • family-friendly
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • guided tours
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  • architecture
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  • art
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  • history
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  • religion
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  • walking

there is much to see here including the architecturally stunning Abbey, the famous cloisters with double row of delicately carved pillars, the 13th century dining hall and one of the oldest rooms, the underground Lady Chapel

  • museum
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  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • shop
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  • history
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  • military history
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  • World War II

an excellent introduction to the Battle of Normandy with a 25 minute video screened in French and English with well chosen exhibits including personal accounts, photos and wartime objects

  • cemetery
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  • free admission
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  • open year round
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  • history
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  • military history
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  • World War II
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  • Battle of Britain

the largest of the 18 Commonwealth military cemeteries containing nearly 5 thousand graves of British soldiers and 10 other countries. Across the road is a memorial to the 1807 Commonwealth soldiers whose remains were never found

  • aquarium
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  • family-friendly
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • history
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  • maritime heritage
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  • nature
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  • wildlife

bringing the city's long association with fishing and maritime heritage to life with interactive children friendly displays and a fish petting pool. The sea creatures here are native to the English Channel and swim in dozens of aquaria

  • historic house
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  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • literature

with displays in French and English, this is where Jules Verne wrote many of this famous novels outlining his vision of the future with models, prints and posters. When going round the world in 80 days seemed impossible

  • museum
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • guided tours
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  • shop
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  • antiques
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  • archeology
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  • art
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  • ceramics
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  • fashion
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  • furniture
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  • history
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  • needlecraft

opened in 2013 and splendidly presented with exceptional exhibits from Gallo-Roman archaeology to Renaissance paintings, 20th Century art and exquisite local lace and porcelain. Truly something for everyone

Musée Malraux

Le Havre

  • art gallery
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • café
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  • shop
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  • art

smart, spacious and modern and full of truly exceptional impressionist works of art - the finest outside Paris - by masters such as Monet, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley. The ground flour is devoted to Raoul Dufy, who was born in Le Havre

Nausicaa

Boulogne-sur-Mer

  • aquarium
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  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • nature
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  • wildlife

largest sea life centre in Europe which aims to manage marine resources and showcase them by using public awareness. Theare are 36 aquaria and 10,000 marine animals from all over the world

  • cemetery
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  • free admission
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  • open year round
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  • guided tours
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  • shop
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  • visitor centre
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  • architecture
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  • history
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  • military history
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  • World War II
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  • Battle of Britain
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  • walking

overlooking the bitterly contested Omaha Beach, the endless rows of crosses and Stars of David seem to be endless. There is a very good Visitor Centre, this is one of the largest American war cemeteries in Europe

Overlord Museum

Colleville-sur-Mer

  • museum
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  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • shop
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  • history
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  • military history
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  • World War II
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  • Battle of Britain

with a well presented collection of restored WWll military equipment from both sides just up the hill from the American Cemetery

  • museum
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  • something different!
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  • family-friendly
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  • seasonal opening
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  • café
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  • history
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  • social history

recreation of early 20th century village with shops and garage and an eclectic collection of tools and artefacts with two thirds size windmills

Arromanches 360° Cinema

Arromanches-les-Bains

  • museum
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  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • history
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  • military history
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  • World War II
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  • Battle of Britain

Located on the Arromanches clifftops dominating the remnants of the one of the two artificial Mulberry Harbours and screening archival footage of the Battle of Normandy

  • place of worship
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  • open year round
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  • limited opening
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  • guided tours
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  • architecture
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  • history
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  • religion

stunning Gothic architecture with a plethora of gargoyles and fantastic beasts and much graffiti from earlier times. The cathedral was famously and often, painted by Monet. There is a free, spectacular Light and Sound projection during the summer months

  • natural landscape
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  • family-friendly
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  • seasonal opening
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  • nature

set in125 acres in the forest with 40 horses and ponies available for outings of different lengths, depending on the visitors ability and experience

  • something different!
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • free admission
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  • open year round
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  • shop
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  • history
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  • needlecraft

Lacemaking was brought to Bayeux in the seventeenth century. The industry has long gone, but in this medieval workshop the visitor can watch some of France's most celebrated lacemakers working with numerous bobbins and pins.

  • place of worship
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  • something different!
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • free admission
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  • open year round
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  • architecture
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  • history
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  • religion

built in the 15th century as a temporary structure, this unusual wooden church with a double nave resembling two upturned ships' hulls is the largest wooden church in France

Jardin Public

St-Omer

  • park
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  • family-friendly
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  • free admission
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  • open year round
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  • nature
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  • walking

vast park located on part of the old 17th Century rampart fortifications. The old moat has been turned into a formal French garden and on the slope there is an English garden

La Redoubtable

Cherbourg

  • family-friendly
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  • all-weather attraction
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  • open year round
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  • history
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  • maritime heritage

French nuclear submarine which can be visited inside. There is also an exhibit of the Titanic. This was its last port of call before the fateful vogage

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