a VirtualTourist member
I'm planning a trip to Caen in early July and will be visiting places in the area such as Bayeux, Argentan, Alencon and Giberville. And since I will be using trains and public transport to get around what would be the best area in Caen for me to stay, near the train station or the center of town?
Also, how do-able is it to visit both Argentan and Alencon the same day using the train.
We visited Caen a couple of years ago and only explored for several hours, but there is a tram that goes from the train station to the city center and right by William the Bastard's (aka conqueror) castle. There is also an area of restaurants and shops just to the right of the castle. We rented a car as it was so much easier than trying to rely on locale transportation.
The area in the center of town is nicer than around the train station. If you want to be near the station, try for a place between the station and the center.
Quite frankly, Caen is a nice enough town I don't think you really have to worry about the neighborhood, just the convenience.
Argentan is quite close to Alencon on the N158. You could check into bus service. I know Caen has a good bus service in town. I'm not sure out in the country. We stayed for a month in the area so leased a car and drove every place. That certainly would make things easier.
Here's a web site for buses in the Caen area. http://www.busverts.fr/
The train web search site is http://www.voyages-sncf.com
Type Caen into the Virtual Tourist Search Window above and when you get to the Caen Guide pages, on the left side of your screen there are Tips. Scroll down to Transportation and read those tips. You may get some excellent suggestions.
Also, click on the names of all the people who answer your question here. This takes you to their Home Page. Then click on their Travel Page for Caen for more ideas.
Roadquill mentioned the restaurants near the chateau of William the Conqueror and they are an option. There is also an excellent little restaurant in the Art Museum on the chateau grounds. We drove over on Sunday twice to visit the chateau and museum and had lunch there. In Caen, don't miss the Peace Memorial.
You will also really enjoy Bayeux. If you get a chance, go to the weekly market in Bayeux on Saturday morning. Great fun.
There is also a market in Caen at Bassin St. Pierre on Sundays. It's not as nice as the one in Bayeux, but if you're in Caen, it might be fun to visit.
Have a good trip.
I've read about the trams in Caen and that there is quite a bit of public transportation available. This will be my first trip to the region so I'm trying to get some first hand information on it. Thanks for your response.
Thank you for your replies and information, it's most helpful. I've been to the many of the VT listings for Caen and have also found site www.ville-caen.fr to be helpful as well. There is also an English version, but nothing takes the place of first hand experience, which you can't get from a book or a web site.