Caen-Carte-localisation

Suddenly everybody seems to be talking about quiet, understated Caen! It is constantly appearing at the top of rankings, such as for the most attractive or most liveable city, or the best place to study, go out, work or buy property. Caen strikes a balance between William the Conqueror and Orelsan, peace and buzz, major amenities and a small-town feel. Could your perfect balance be here too?

The good life, only 2 hours from Paris

  • 20 minutes from the beach
    10 km of sand for you to enjoy
  • €2,883/m²*
    * source DVF/PAP sept. 2023.
  • 3 tram lines
    and 2 new ones scheduled for 2028
  • 25 trains between Caen and Paris every day
  • 1 airport
    with direct flights to Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and other destinations.

5 top reasons to move to Caen

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Marie-Anais Thierry / CRT Normandie

01

Vamos à la playa !

Caen is only 15 km from the sea and its charming seaside resorts… Enjoy picnics on the beach, kite-surfing sessions or walks with the family. 

Caen sortie sur les quais à vélo
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02

Normandy or Amsterdam?

Cycling is ever more popular, with 400 km of cycle paths and various facilities such as bike parking and rental. Caen was ranked 3rd best city for cycling by a national federation in 2020*! 

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Coraline et Leo / CRT Normandie

03

A city of greenery

Caen stone can be seen throughout this reconstructed city – but so can greenery! Green spaces cover 25% of the town’s surface area, including the Prairie, the Jardin des Plantes, the Colline aux Oiseaux and the Vallée des Jardins. 

Caen sortie au bar sur le port
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04

There’s always something going on

Theatres, stand-up comedy, performing arts, cinemas, a dance centre, an art library, museums… Not to mention bars and restaurants. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

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05

Come as you are

An open and welcoming city, Caen has climbed to 4th place among the most attractive cities for families (Challenges, 2022). It is also recognised for being gay-friendly, veggie-friendly and student-friendly!

Choose quality of life in Caen without a second thought

Thomas Le Floc H / CRT Normandie
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Whether you’re looking for a job or office space for your business, a home for your family or a school for your children: Caen Normandie Accueil provides support for new employees of Caen-based companies (accommodation, spousal employment, schools, etc.). 

Vue_sur_Caen depuis l'Abbaye-aux-Dames

What not to miss in Caen

Without a doubt, the city of Caen is steeped in history and a great place to live.

Coraline et Leo / CRT Normandie

Caen Castle

Caen has preserved a precious relic of its medieval past: the largest fortified castle enclosure in Europe. Inside, you can climb the ramparts to admire the view over the city, explore the church of Saint Georges, or stroll through the museums. 

Coraline et Leo / CRT Normandie

The Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames

They are only 3 km apart! The Abbaye aux Hommes is adjacent to the town hall, one of the most beautiful in France. The Abbaye aux Dames is home to local government buildings and a beautiful public park.

Thomas Le Floc H / CRT Normandie

The old town centre

Shopping in Rue Saint-Pierre, grabbing a bite in Le Vaugueux, or having a drink in Place Saint-Sauveur… The old town is as lively as it is steeped in history. 

And also…

The Colline aux Oiseaux park

This former landfill site has been completely regenerated. The 17-hectare site is a favourite with families who come here for a walk, and joggers who enjoy the challenge of the slopes. 

La Prairie
La Prairie is full of surprises! Right in the centre of town, this huge green area (90 hectares!) is home to a bird sanctuary, a walking trail and a racecourse (hosting 30 races a year). 

The Memorial Museum
A major tourist attraction, with 380,000 annual visitors, Caen’s Memorial Museum tells the story of the twentieth century, putting the Second World War into context. This key part of Caen is unmissable. 

Working in Caen: a world of possibilities

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Caen-Moho-coworking

Working on company premises or from home, setting up a business: it’s all possible in Caen! With around 20,000 businesses and over 200,000 jobs, the Caen area is one of the most attractive in France in terms of employment.

There are a number of workspaces available for freelancers or remote workers, such as Moho, Europe’s first “collider”. Do you have more of an entrepreneurial spirit? With its French Tech label and numerous business support structures, Caen is also one of France’s best places to set up a business (L’Express 2019).

Caen’s leading sectors

Health & research

With 43 research departments, 2,200 researchers, cutting-edge facilities (University Hospital Centre, Baclesse, Cyceron, GANIL, etc.), a solid business network and a site dedicated to health innovation (Park Epopea), Caen offers many professional opportunities in this field.  Carers, nurses and doctors are all welcome!

Digital

With 3,200 jobs, 600 companies, the French Tech label and several business clusters (Pôle TES, NextMove, etc.), Caen is a thriving hub for digital companies. There are many opportunities for and in start-ups (health tech, data, cybersecurity).

Logistics

Thanks to its ideal geographical location, its infrastructure and its industries, Caen La Mer has naturally developed a favourable environment for logistics activities. Industry leaders (Malherbe, Stef, Chatel) and successful SMEs (SupplyWeb) are present. The sector is recruiting in droves: warehouse workers, lorry drivers, logistics managers, etc.

Tourism

With €210 million in economic benefits, tourism is a major contributor to the local economy. Hospitality, recreation, accommodation, catering: the sector recruits all year round and for all sorts of jobs!

Enjoy the best that student life has to offer in Caen

With its university (one of the oldest in Europe), its campuses and its friendly atmosphere, Caen is the place to be for your studies! More than 35,000 young people from all over the world come here every year to hone their academic skills. What’s more, finding accommodation here is relatively straightforward, with 8 CROUS student halls and affordable rents in the private sector. Result: Caen is ranked 5th among the best cities in France for studying (l’Étudiant 2023)! 

A wide range of courses

Caen La Mer stands out for the variety of its courses. The university, with its 8 faculties and 4 Grandes Ecoles (IUT, IAE, INSPÉ, ESIX Normandie) accounts for a large proportion of these. Another of Caen La Mer’s assets is its Health Training and Research Centre, which brings together on one site the Health Faculty, 9 paramedical and midwifery training institutions (and, from 2023, orthoptist and dentistry training), the University Hospital’s research department and the Health Library. 

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Academic establishments

Université de Caen Normandie, IUT Grand Ouest Normandie, INSPÉ, ESAM, Ecole Brassart, IAE CAEN, EM NORMANDIE, ESIX NORMANDIE, ENSICAEN, ISPN, E2SE Business School, MBWAY, SupInfo, IHECF, ScholarFab, MyDigitalSchool
Teaching Hospitals in Caen (medical regulators, paediatric workers, nurses, ambulance drivers, medical electroradiology technicians, etc.), IRTS (social), SUP4S. Several colleges also offer BTS courses (vocational diplomas): Dumont d’Urville, Malherbe, Fresnel, Jeanne d’Arc, Victor Hugo, Jean Rostand, Sainte-Marie, Laplace, Notre-Dame, Saint-Ursule,
Apprenticeships: CIFAC, CFA BTP, CFAMC, Compagnons du devoir, IUMM
Others: Ecole Tunon, Institut Lemonnier, WinSport School.

What’s on

  • Éclat(s) de rue 
    Summer
    Éclat(s) de rue is around a hundred shows, often funny, and always striking, in every area of the city. 
  • Époque
    May
    Meetings, book signings, lectures: Époque is Caen’s own book fair. Every year, it welcomes some 150 authors (adult and children’s literature, graphic novels, etc.).
  • NDK festival
    October
    An electronic music festival that aims to be socially responsible and community-based, with concerts, workshops, masterclasses and more.
  • Final of the international moot court competition
    March
    Each year, the Memorial Museum organises a moot court competition. During the final, high school students, law students and professional lawyers go head-to-head over an emotional weekend. 
  • Normandy World Peace Forum
    September
    Organised by the Region of Normandy, this major event brings together experts, politicians and the general public to reflect on world tensions and peace-building. 
  • Student carnival
    March
    Europe’s biggest student carnival!  35,000 carnival participants take to the streets of the city. A festive occasion shared with all of Caen’s residents. 
  • CCI Normandy Channel Race
    June
    A 1,000-mile sail that starts and ends in Ouistreham. The port of Caen will be hosting the event village for 10 days of meets, concerts and events… A must for all nautical fans! 
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Caen celebrates its millenium

Caen will be celebrating its 1000 years of history with around fifty events throughout 2025, with thousands of visitors expected to attend.

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Useful information in Caen


Top stories in Caen

The Prix Liberté: Normandy’s tribute to history

The Prix Liberté is awarded by 15-25 year olds every year to people or organisations fighting for freedom. The innovative campaign is organised by the Normandy Region and brought to life by the Institut international des droits de l’Homme et de la paix (International Institute for Human Rights and Peace) based in Hérouville-Saint-Clair. The award…

Virtual Reality (VR) at the service of research

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