A Travel Price Comparison for France Nantes vs. Caen for Food, Attractions, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Nantes or Caen?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Nantes or Caen, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Nantes

Nantes is a beautiful, vibrant, and welcoming city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Caen

Caen is a important, historic, and park-filled city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Nantes and Caen: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Nantes or Caen?

Both Caen and Nantes have plenty of things to do for visitors. Both offer a variety of sights, activities, and attractions for tourists. Nantes is better known for its food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Caen is more popular for its big city activities. Nantes is well known for its castles and historical landmarks, local wine, and beautiful parks and gardens. Caen is well known for its role in World War II and its memorials and historical buildings.

How is Nantes different from Caen?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Nantes
Caen

You'll find a number of great museums and attractions in both Caen and Nantes.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Nantes can be an interesting and educational experience. The city is filled with historical monuments, particularly in the Bouffay District. Highlights include Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, Château des Ducs de Bretagne, and the Musée d'Arts de Nantes.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Caen. 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 Nantes or Caen? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Nantes
Caen

Nantes is renowned for its restaurants. Also, Caen is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Eat your way through Nantes, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The region lends itself to unique flavors with a great mix of seafood from the Atlantic, freshwater fish from the Loire, and dairy from the surrounding countryside. The region is also famous for its wine. Local dishes that you should try include Filet de Sandre au Beurre Blanc (fresh fish in butter sauce), Crepes Bretonnes (breakfast crepes), and Le Canard Nantais (duck with Muscadet wine).

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 Nantes or Caen Better for Nightlife?

Nantes
Caen

Nantes is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Caen is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Nantes has a large number of nightlife venues. The large student population heavily influences the nightlife scene. You'll find a young vibe with a lot of bars and clubs to choose from, particularly around Île de Nantes.

Caen has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. 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.

Is Nantes or Caen Better for its Old Town?

Nantes
Caen

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

Nantes is a good destination for visiting its old town. The city's old town is in the Bouffay District and it is filled with half-timbered houses and a maze of streets and shops.

Caen does not have a historic old town.


Is the Shopping Better in Nantes or Caen?

Nantes
Caen

Nantes is a very popular place for shopping. However, Caen is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Nantes. There are impressive shopping streets, boutique stores, and grand shopping malls. Make sure you check out Rue Crébillon, Passage Pommeraye, and the shops around the Bouffay District. Talensac Market is also a historical covered market that you can explore.

Caen is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Nantes or Caen Better for Families?

Nantes
Caen

Nantes is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Caen is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Nantes is a very family-friendly destination. It's filled with gardens, museums, and theme parks, making it a great combination of fascinating activities for adults and kids alike. Some of the top kid-friendly activities include a visit to Machine of the Isle of Nantes (both a theme park and a museum), seeing a show at Le Lieu Unique, or experiencing Naudières Park (a smaller theme park). Kids will also enjoy seeing Goulaine Castle or wandering around Jardin Extraordinaire or the Botanical Gardens.

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 Nantes or Caen Better for Couples?

Nantes
Caen

Nantes is a very popular place for romance. Also, Caen is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Nantes makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There is a mix of both natural and historical beauty. Couples can enjoy a nice meal, stroll through one of the many parks and gardens, or even spend the day at the spa.

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 Nantes or Caen Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Nantes
Caen

Caen is a nice place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Nantes is lacking in good options for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Caen. You'll find more apartments and bed and breakfasts than hostels in town, but backpackers still make their way here.

Nantes is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There aren't as many hostels as you would expect in the area, so finding an affordable and social place to stay may be a bit challenging.

Is Nantes or Caen Better for Students?

Nantes
Caen

Nantes is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Caen is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Nantes. There's a decent sized student population and the city has a welcoming atmosphere. It's also easy to get around with public transportation.

Caen is not popular with students.

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

Nantes
Caen

Visitors will find great public transit in both Nantes and Caen.

The public transit in Nantes can get you to most places easily. There are both trams and buses throughout the city that are operated by TAN (Transport de l'Agglomeration Nantaise).

Visitors to Caen can move around easily with public transportation. There are buses and trams that travel throughout the city.


Is Nantes or Caen a more walkable city?

Nantes
Caen

Nantes is a very popular place for its walkability. Also, Caen is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

Nantes is very walkable. The city is very walkable. Both locals and tourists alike choose to walk in Nantes.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Caen or Nantes?

How long in Nantes or Caen?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Nantes and Caen. In our opinion, Nantes has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Nantes than Caen. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Couples should spend more time in Nantes than Caen. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Nantes that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nantes 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 Nantes.


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

One day in Nantes or Caen?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Nantes. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Many travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the destination of Caen. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Nantes or Caen?

Nantes is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the food. 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.

Caen is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Nantes or Caen?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the welcoming destination of Nantes. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Caen. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Nantes or Caen?

The historical city of Nantes offers nightlife and food. 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.

Travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the historic destination of Caen. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in France, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in France, The Best 2-Week Tours in France, and The Best River Cruises in France.


Which place is cheaper, Caen or Nantes?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nantes is €108, 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 Nantes and Caen in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nantes 60
    Caen 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nantes 120
    Caen 122
Compare Hotels in Nantes and Caen

Looking for a hotel in Nantes 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 Nantes


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: Nantes Hotel Prices and Caen Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nantes 36
    Caen 35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nantes

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

  • Private Transfer from Nantes Hotels to La Rochelle Cruise Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Nantes Atlantique Airport NTE to Puy du Fou Park: $175
  • Private Transfer from Nantes Airport (NTE) to La Rochelle Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Airports to Nantes: $33
  • Nantes to Nantes Airport (NTE) - Departure Private Transfer: $26
  • Nantes Private Transfer from Nantes city centre to Nantes Airport: $65
  • Nantes Private Transfer from Nantes Airport to City centre: $65
  • Nantes Airport (NTE) to Nantes hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $26
  • Nantes Airport (NTE) to Nantes - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Caen

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

  • Tourist transfert with stops from Reims to Caen: $1,140
  • Tourist transfert with stops from Caen to Honfleur: $225
  • Tourist transfert with stops from Caen to Deauville: $214
  • Private Transfer Round-Trip from Caen Airport (CFR) to Caen: $63
  • 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 Nantes or Caen?

Prices for flights to both Caen and Nantes 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
    Nantes 27
    Caen 40

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nantes

For Nantes, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Nantes Traditional Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience : $104
  • All Inclusive Food Tour of Nantes Old Town with Local Guide: $145

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nantes 13
    Caen 19

Tours and Activities in Nantes

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

  • Guided treetop adventure course in the heart of Nantes: $31
  • Half-Day Tour in Nantes: $291
  • London's Nature Tour: Museum Expedition: $93
  • Nantes : Must-see Attractions Walking Tour: $75
  • Nantes : Private Walking Tour With A Local : $51
  • Nantes Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $52
  • Nantes Private Guided Walking Tour: $308
  • Nantes Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.55
  • Nantes Traditional Food Group Walking Tour: $102
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.42
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.41
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21

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: $51
  • Caen Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $10
  • Guided D-Day Sites Tour & Caen Memorial Museum Ticket: $127
  • Memorial Museum Entrance Ticket: $21
  • Private Guided Walking Tour: $308
  • Private Guided Walking Tour: $160
  • Private custom tour with a local guide: $59
  • Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided City Highlights Tour: $10
  • From Caen or Bayeux: Normandy History Private Full-Day Tour: $1,285
  • Guided Tour in an Old Convertible Car on the Côte de Nacre: $88
  • Guided Tour of the Landing Sites and the Memorial of Caen: $192
  • Mémorial de Caen Museum Admission and Guided Tour of D-Day Sites: $133

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nantes 6.43
    Caen 17

Sample the Local Flavors in Nantes

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Nantes:

  • Château du Bois-Huaut: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting Class: $35


When comparing the travel costs between Nantes 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 Nantes Expensive? and Is Caen Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Nantes or Caen?

Nantes has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Caen. When comparing the sizes of Nantes 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 Nantes 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 Nantes or Caen in the Summer?

Both Caen and Nantes are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Nantes for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Caen in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Nantes is a little warmer than Caen. Typically, the summer temperatures in Nantes in July average around 19°C (67°F), and Caen averages at about 18°C (64°F).

It's quite sunny in Caen. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Nantes. Nantes usually receives more sunshine than Caen during summer. Nantes gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Caen receives 227 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Nantes usually receives around the same amount of rain as Caen. Nantes gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Caen receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nantes 19°C (67°F) 
    Caen 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Nantes or Caen in the Autumn?

Both Caen and Nantes during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Nantes in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Caen for the city's sights and attractions during these months.

In October, Nantes is generally around the same temperature as Caen. Daily temperatures in Nantes average around 13°C (56°F), and Caen fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).

In the autumn, Nantes often gets more sunshine than Caen. Nantes gets 141 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Caen receives 128 hours of full sun.

Nantes usually gets more rain in October than Caen. Nantes gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Caen receives 68 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nantes 13°C (56°F) 
    Caen 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Nantes or Caen in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Nantes and Caen. Most visitors come to Nantes for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Caen because of the museums and the cuisine.

The weather in Caen can be very cold. Nantes is a little warmer than Caen in the winter. The daily temperature in Nantes averages around 6°C (42°F) in January, and Caen fluctuates around 5°C (41°F).

Nantes usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Caen during winter. Nantes gets 72 hours of sunny skies, while Caen receives 70 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Nantes usually receives more rain than Caen. Nantes gets 87 mm (3.4 in) of rain, while Caen receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nantes 6°C (42°F) 
    Caen 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Nantes or Caen in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Nantes as well as Caen. The spring months attract visitors to Nantes because of the natural beauty. Also, the activities around the city are the main draw to Caen this time of year.

In the spring, Nantes is a little warmer than Caen. Typically, the spring temperatures in Nantes in April average around 11°C (51°F), and Caen averages at about 9°C (49°F).

In the spring, Nantes often gets more sunshine than Caen. Nantes gets 187 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Caen receives 171 hours of full sun.

Nantes usually gets more rain in April than Caen. Nantes gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Caen receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nantes 11°C (51°F) 
    Caen 9°C (49°F)

Typical Weather for Caen and Nantes

Nantes Caen
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (42°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 5°C (41°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 5°C (42°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 7°C (45°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Apr 11°C (51°F) 50 mm (2 in) 9°C (49°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 13°C (55°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 15°C (60°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Jul 19°C (67°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Aug 19°C (66°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Nov 9°C (48°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 8°C (47°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
Dec 6°C (43°F) 84 mm (3.3 in) 6°C (43°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)


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