Airborne Museum (Musée Airborne)
Relive the harrowing story of the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions and see a Douglas C-47 as well as a Waco Glider. The exhibits, presentations, and items housed in this parachute-shaped museum fill in many of the missing pieces to just how the Allied forces battled their way to victory. While in Sainte-Mère-Église, don't forget to look for what appears to be a parachute wrapped around one of the spires of the church—a memorial to American paratrooper John Steele, caught there for two hours before being captured by the Germans. The museum’s exhibitions include multimedia presentations of the landings, an C-47 aircraft, and interactive/augmented reality guides. Flexible entrance tickets and the self-guided tours let you explore at your own pace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Airborne Museum is an ideal spot for history lovers.
- Families with kids find many enjoyable exhibits to keep their attention.
- A small entry fee is required with discounts for children.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
- Animals are not allowed except in closed carrying bags.
How to Get There
The Airborne Museum is located on Rue Eisenhower in the Norman town of Sainte-Mère-Église, which is near Utah Beach. From Caen, it’s about 56 miles (90 kilometers) and the Normandy Landing Beaches. The closest train station is in Carentan and connects with Saint-Lazare in Paris, and Caen, Bayeaux, and Lison in between.
When to Get There
The museum is open year-round except for the month of January. From April to September, the museum opens earlier and stays open later. Normandy has a temperate-zone maritime climate, with warm summers and mild winters and year-round rains. Peak season is July and August, as well as the anniversary around D-Day on June 6th.
What was an otherwise little-known village of the Cotentin Peninsula suddenly became infamous after it was visited by American troops on June 6th 1944 as part of Operation Overlord—making Sainte-Mere-Eglise one of the first villages to be liberated of the Nazis after four long years of occupation. Along with Utah Beach, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, was one of the two airborne landings on D-Day.
- Utah Beach D-Day Museum (Musée du Débarquement)
- Pointe du Hoc
- Omaha Beach Memorial Museum (Musée Mémorial d’Omaha Beach)
- Omaha Beach
- Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
- Bayeux War Cemetery
- Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy (Musée Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie)
- Bayeux Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux)
- Baron Gérard Museum of Art and History (MAHB)
- Lace Conservatory (Conservatoire de la Dentelle)
- Bayeux Tapestry (Tapisserie de Bayeux)
- Mulberry Harbour
- Juno Beach Centre (Centre Juno Beach)