A Travel Price Comparison for France Carcassonne vs. Caen for Attractions, Food, Backpackers, and Families

Should you visit Carcassonne or Caen?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Carcassonne and Caen. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a medieval, historical, and fairytale town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include food and museums.

Caen

Caen is a historic, park-filled, and important city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and museums.

Carcassonne and Caen: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Carcassonne or Caen?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Caen. Although Carcassonne and Caen are both popular with visitors, Caen has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Caen is more popular for its nightlife and big city activities, while Carcassonne is known for its historical sights, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Carcassonne is more touristy than Caen and is known for its medieval history, walled fortifications, and well-known castle. Caen is popular for its role in World War II and its memorials and historical buildings. It is also home to Pegasus Bridge.

How is Carcassonne different from Caen?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Caen and Carcassonne. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Carcassonne or Caen?

Carcassonne
Caen

Spend time exploring the excellent sights and museums in either Carcassonne or Caen.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Carcassonne. The town is filled with medieval sights including the Château Comtal, the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, and the Carcassonne Cathedral.

Caen offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. There are many monuments around town commemorating the city's long history. You'll want to see Château de Caen, Pegasus Bridge, Mémorial de Caen, Musée de Normandie, and Musée des beaux-arts de Caen.


Is the Food Better in Carcassonne or Caen? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Carcassonne
Caen

Both Carcassonne and Caen offer excellent local cuisine and restaurants.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Carcassonne. There are a number of local restaurants that serve regional specialties such as cassoulet. You can spend a few hours exploring the castle and then grab a delicious bite to eat.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Caen. There's a market that's at its best on Sundays where you'll find fresh produce and other local ingredients. There are also Michelin starred restaurants, seafood restaurants, and other traditional dishes. Head to the Vaugueux Quarter for traditional dishes.

Is Carcassonne or Caen Better for Nightlife?

Carcassonne
Caen

Caen is a good destination for nightlife. However, Carcassonne is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Caen. The nightlife scene stays active thanks to the 30,000 students living in town. Head to the Rue Ecuyère for a pub crawl or hit up any of the other bars around town.

Carcassonne is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Carcassonne or Caen Better for its Old Town?

Carcassonne
Caen

Carcassonne is a good destination for its historic old town. However, Caen does not have a historic old town.

Carcassonne is a good destination for visiting its old town. The medieval walled city is seeped in history and filled with atmosphere. Cars are not allowed in town.

Caen does not have a historic old town.


Is Carcassonne or Caen Better for Families?

Carcassonne
Caen

Both Carcassonne and Caen are good family-friendly destinations.

Carcassonne is a family-friendly town. Kids who love castles will enjoy wandering the maze of rooms and getting lost in the medieval atmosphere.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Caen. There are museums, parks, monasteries, and castles that kids and adults alike with enjoy visiting.

Is Carcassonne or Caen Better for Couples?

Carcassonne
Caen

Carcassonne and Caen both good destinations for a couple.

Carcassonne is a nice destination for couples. It's a medieval city with an impressive castle and walled fortifications. It's a uniquely European sight that is great for couples who enjoy history.

Caen makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples that are fascinated by history will enjoy a visit to this town in Normandy. There are also abbeys, castles and parks.

Is Carcassonne or Caen Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Carcassonne
Caen

Carcassonne is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Caen is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Carcassonne is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There are interesting hostels in the area including a converted 17th century convent.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Caen. You'll find more apartments and bed and breakfasts than hostels in town, but backpackers still make their way here.


Is Carcassonne or Caen Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Carcassonne
Caen

Caen is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. Also, Carcassonne is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Public transit in Caen is fairly effecient and thorough. There are buses and trams that travel throughout the city.

You'll find some public transit in Carcassonne, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. You can reach the town by train from Dijon, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, or Bordeaux and many people visit the town as a day trip.

Is Carcassonne or Caen a more walkable city?

Carcassonne
Caen

Carcassonne is renowned for its walkability. Also, Caen is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Carcassonne. Cars aren't allowed in the medieval city so it's best to explore on foot.

Caen is a somewhat walkable place. The city center is best explored on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Carcassonne Worth Visiting? and Is Caen Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Caen or Carcassonne?

How long in Carcassonne or Caen?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Carcassonne and Caen. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Caen than in Carcassonne. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Carcassonne, and 2-3 days is enough time in Caen.

Families should spend more time in Carcassonne than Caen. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Carcassonne, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Carcassonne than Caen if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Carcassonne.


  • How many days in Carcassonne or Caen? Ideal Length of Stay
    Carcassonne 1-2 
    Caen 2-3

One day in Carcassonne or Caen?

Visitors enjoy the museums and food when visiting the destination of Carcassonne. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the important city of Caen. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A weekend in Carcassonne or Caen?

Carcassonne is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Visitors enjoy the food and museums when visiting the important destination of Caen. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Carcassonne or Caen?

You'll find museums and food around the fairytale destination of Carcassonne. This town offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

The park-filled city of Caen offers museums and nightlife. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Carcassonne or Caen?

The fairytale town of Carcassonne offers food and museums. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting Caen. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in France, The Best Historical Tours in France, The Best 10-Day Tours in France, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in France.


Which place is cheaper, Caen or Carcassonne?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Carcassonne is €106, while the average daily cost in Caen is €123. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Carcassonne and Caen in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Carcassonne 61
    Caen 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Carcassonne 122
    Caen 122
Compare Hotels in Carcassonne and Caen

Looking for a hotel in Carcassonne or Caen? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Carcassonne


Hotels in Caen


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Carcassonne Hotel Prices and Caen Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Carcassonne 7.14
    Caen 35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Caen

Also for Caen, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer Round-Trip from Caen Airport (CFR) to Caen: $64
  • Caen to Caen Carpiquet Airport (CFR) - Departure Private Transfer: $32
  • Caen Carpiquet Airport (CFR) to Caen - Arrival Private Transfer: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Carcassonne or Caen?

Prices for flights to both Caen and Carcassonne change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Carcassonne 39
    Caen 40

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Carcassonne 14
    Caen 19

Tours and Activities in Carcassonne

For Carcassonne, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • A Self-Guided Tour of Carcassonne’s Ancient Basilica: $20
  • Best of Cathar Country: Full-Day Private Tour.: $208
  • Carcassonne 's Medieval Walls: A Self-Guided Tour: $20
  • Carcassonne Private Guided Walking Tour: $298
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour : $201
  • Castle and Ramparts Entry Ticket: $12
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.50
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Fortress Walking Tour: $173
  • Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $6.50
  • Medieval Walls Self-Guided Smartphone App Tour: $20
  • Photoshoot Experience: $163

Tours and Activities in Caen

For Caen, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Caen Like a Local: Customized Guided Walking Tour: $52
  • Guided D-Day Sites Tour & Caen Memorial Museum Ticket: $129
  • Memorial Museum Entrance Ticket: $21
  • Private Guided Walking Tour: $312
  • Private Guided Walking Tour: $162
  • Private custom tour with a local guide: $60
  • D-Day private tour Juno Beach departing Caen with audio guide. 2Pers. minimum: $268
  • D-Day private tour Omaha Beach from Caen with audio guide.: $268
  • From Caen or Bayeux: Normandy History Private Full-Day Tour: $1,300
  • Guided Tour in an Old Convertible Car on the Côte de Nacre: $94
  • Guided Tour of the Landing Sites and the Memorial of Caen: $194
  • Mémorial de Caen Museum Admission and Guided Tour of D-Day Sites: $133

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Carcassonne 13
    Caen 17

Sample the Local Flavors in Carcassonne

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Carcassonne:

  • Wine tour Cathar country: $477


When comparing the travel costs between Carcassonne and Caen, we can see that Caen is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Carcassonne Expensive? and Is Caen Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Carcassonne or Caen?

Caen has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Carcassonne. When comparing the sizes of Carcassonne and Caen, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Carcassonne or Caen?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Carcassonne or Caen in the Summer?

Both Caen and Carcassonne are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Carcassonne because of the small town charm and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Caen this time of year.

Carcassonne is a little warmer than Caen in the summer. The daily temperature in Carcassonne averages around 24°C (75°F) in July, and Caen fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

It's quite sunny in Caen. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Carcassonne. Carcassonne usually receives more sunshine than Caen during summer. Carcassonne gets 275 hours of sunny skies, while Caen receives 227 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Carcassonne usually receives less rain than Caen. Carcassonne gets 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Caen receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Carcassonne 24°C (75°F) 
    Caen 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Carcassonne or Caen in the Autumn?

Both Caen and Carcassonne during the autumn are popular places to visit. The small town atmosphere and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Carcassonne this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Caen for the city's sights and attractions.

In the autumn, Carcassonne is a little warmer than Caen. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Carcassonne in October average around 17°C (62°F), and Caen averages at about 12°C (54°F).

In the autumn, Carcassonne often gets more sunshine than Caen. Carcassonne gets 161 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Caen receives 128 hours of full sun.

Carcassonne usually gets more rain in October than Caen. Carcassonne gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Caen receives 68 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Carcassonne 17°C (62°F) 
    Caen 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Carcassonne or Caen in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Carcassonne and Caen. Many travelers come to Carcassonne for the museums and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Caen in the winter for the museums and the cuisine.

Caen can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Carcassonne is generally much warmer than Caen. Daily temperatures in Carcassonne average around 8°C (47°F), and Caen fluctuates around 5°C (41°F).

Carcassonne usually receives more sunshine than Caen during winter. Carcassonne gets 88 hours of sunny skies, while Caen receives 70 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Carcassonne usually receives less rain than Caen. Carcassonne gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Caen receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Carcassonne 8°C (47°F) 
    Caen 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Carcassonne or Caen in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Carcassonne as well as Caen. Many visitors come to Carcassonne in the spring for the small town charm and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Caen for the activities around the city during these months.

Carcassonne is a little warmer than Caen in the spring. The daily temperature in Carcassonne averages around 14°C (56°F) in April, and Caen fluctuates around 9°C (49°F).

In the spring, Carcassonne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Caen. Carcassonne gets 178 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Caen receives 171 hours of full sun.

Carcassonne usually gets more rain in April than Caen. Carcassonne gets 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Caen receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Carcassonne 14°C (56°F) 
    Caen 9°C (49°F)

Typical Weather for Caen and Carcassonne

Carcassonne Caen
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 8°C (47°F) 51 mm (2 in) 5°C (41°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Feb 9°C (49°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 5°C (42°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 11°C (52°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 7°C (45°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 14°C (56°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 9°C (49°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 50 mm (2 in) 13°C (55°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 15°C (60°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Jul 24°C (75°F) 17 mm (0.7 in) 18°C (64°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 32 mm (1.3 in) 18°C (64°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Sep 21°C (69°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 17°C (62°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Nov 12°C (53°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 8°C (47°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
Dec 9°C (49°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 6°C (43°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)