Top 10 Must See D-Day Sites in Normandy (Updated for 2023)

From Allied and German war cemeteries to fortifications, memorials and museums Normandy has such a wide range of D-Day sites to explore, it can be a challenging task to decide where to visit first. To help give you some ideas and inspiration we've listed ten of our favourite spots below.

Longues-sur-Mer Battery

Casemate at Longues-Sur-Mer Battery with original gun

Longues-sur-Mer Battery is located between Omaha and Gold Beach and consisted of four 152mm naval guns housed in concrete castmates.

The batteries fire was directed by a fire control post which was featured in the film The Longest Day its location on the cliff edge provided a clear view over the English channel although its communication line to the gun casemates was damaged by Allied bombing on the morning of D-Day.

Today the battery is open to the public all year round, including access to the fire control post bunker and concrete casemates which still house their original guns and damage from their artillery dual with allied ships on D-Day.

Normandy American Cemetery Memorial

The Normandy American Cemetery is located in Colleville-Sur-Mer overlooking Omaha Beach and contains more than 9,000 burials, most of whom were killed during the Normandy Landings and the following military operations.

Graves at Normandy American Cemetery near Colleville-Sur-Mer

The Walls of the Missing, a semi-circular colonnade is a memorial listing the names of 1,557 who lost their lives during the Normandy campaign and could not be found or identified.

From the cemetery there is a path leading down to the beach passing remnants of the German defences, including concrete casemates one of which has a memorial to the soldiers who fought during the landings on top.

Bayeux War Cemetery

Graves at Bayeux Commonwealth War Cemetery

Bayeux Commonwealth War Cemetery is the largest commonwealth cemetery in France for Second World War Commonwealth Soldiers with 4,144 Commonwealth burials and 500 burials of other nationalities.

Opposite the cemetery is the Bayeux Memorial to the Missing, which is engraved with the names of 1,808 men who died in the Battle of Normandy and have no known grave.

Graves at Bayeux Commonwealth War Cemetery

A short walk from the cemetery is The Musée Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie, a museum which covers the preparations for D-Day through to the Battle of Normandy from 7th June till the 29th August 1944.

Arromanches Artificial Harbour

Remnants of the artificial harbour at Arromanches

Arromanches Artificial Harbour was created as the Allies knew that after the invasion they would need a port to facilitate the rapid offloading of supplies to support the push inland. As the ports in occupied Europe were heavily fortified it was decided to create prefabricated ports in Britain and tow them across the English Channel following the invasion to be used until a French port could be captured and brought back into service.

Arromanches was chosen to be the site for one of these ports, Port Wilson, named after the British prime minister Winston Churchill. Another port was also assembled off Omaha beach but was destroyed by a storm.

Despite being designed to only last three months, the harbour was in use for ten months landing over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tonnes of supplies. Arromanches also has several good museums including Musée Débarquement (currently closed for refurbishment until March 2023) and Arromanches 360.

Today the remains of the harbour can be seen on the beach and coast surrounding Arromanches.

Point du Hoc

Createred landscape at Pointe du hoc including bunkers

Pointe du Hoc is a prominent cliff between Utah and Omaha Beach. The site was a gun battery, fortified with concrete casemates and gun pits, forming part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall defences.

The site was assaulted on D-Day by the US Rangers who were brought ashore by landing craft below the sheer cliffs before climbing and fighting inland.

Today the site remains cratered from the aerial and naval bombardment prior to the Rangers assault, demonstrating how fierce the bombardment was along the coast. Many of the original fortifications and bunkers remain on the site and are open to the public, including the fire control casemate, on top of which there is a monument to the 2nd Ranger Battalion.

WN60 (Widerstandsneste 60)

Trenches and tubrok overlooking Ohama beach in the background

WN60 (Widerstandsneste 60) was one of the German coastal defence strong points in Normandy, located on a cliff on the Eastern edge of Omaha Beach giving it a view Westwards along the length of the beach.

Armed with 75mm guns, mortars and machine guns the site inflicted many casualties on the troops landing at Omaha Beach before it was finally silenced.

Today the site contains many of the concrete Tobruks and other fortifications linked by a zigzag trench system which is still visible today.

Pegasus Bridge and Musée Memorial Pegasus

Memorials and the modern pegasus bridge replacement the background

Pegasus Bridge was the site of a dramatic glider-borne coup de main assault when three gliders carrying troops of the British 6th Airborne Division landed in the opening minutes of D-Day on the 6th of June 1944. Capturing the bridge intact after a short battle and holding it until reinforcements from the beach landings arrived.

The original bridge was replaced by a larger similar-looking bridge when the canal was widened but the original is close by at Musée Memorial Pegasus Bridge. The site also has three monuments marking the locations where each of the gliders landed, a bust of Major John Howard and a German gun.

Merville Battery

C47 and bunker at Merville Battery

Merville Gun Battery consisted of four six-foot-thick steel-reinforced concrete casemates, each containing a 100mm gun that could threaten the British troops landing at Sword Beach 8 miles away.

Today the site houses the Merville Battery Museum, which covers the battery’s role in the German Atlantic Wall Defences and the lives of the soldiers who were stationed there, as well as the story of the Allied soldiers who captured it.

Juno Beach Centre and surrounding memorials

Exterior of Juno Beach Centre

Located immediately behind the beach where on D-Day thousands of Canadian soldiers landed, Juno Beach Centre not only covers the D-Day landings but also the contributions made by Canada's military and civilians to the war effort.

Located along the beach in front of the museum, you can see some of the remaining German fortifications as well as memorials to the Canadian Infantry, 1st Polish Armoured Division, North Nova Scotia Highlanders and a Churchill AVRE Tank “Charlie” that landed on D-Day.

Le Cambe War Cemetery

Graves at La Cambe War Cemetery

La Cambe War Cemetery was originally the site of an American battlefield cemetery where American and German personnel were buried in two adjacent fields. After the war, most of the American remains were transferred back to the United States and the remainder were reinterred at the Normandy American Cemetery.

The graves at La Cambe War Cemetery are marked by small dark brown stone crosses or plaques on the ground in contrast to the white grave markers at allied cemeteries.

The site is now under the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge) and more than 21,000 German soldiers are buried in the cemetery.

More DDay sites in Normandy

I hope the list has been able to give you some ideas and inspiration for your next trip, for hundreds more museums, fortifications and memorials to visit in Normandy check out our explore page.