Things to do in Deauville

Explore the jewel of Normandy's Côte Fleurie

One of the most exclusive seaside resorts in France, Deauville has been a fashionable destination since the 1920s. Thanks to its popularity among the French, especially vacationers from Paris, the city is nicknamed the Parisian Riviera and is one of the most precious jewels of the Normandy region. Located on the marvelous Côte Fleurie, Deauville is renowned for its exclusive entertainment venues, beautiful beaches, and peculiar architecture, but it has much more to offer. Although it might lack the Gothic and Baroque grandeur of other bigger French cities such as Bordeaux or Orléans, Deauville boasts unique examples of Normandy style at its finest, as attested by the charming houses and buildings facing the famous Deauville Beach. From trying your luck at the Casino to enjoying the iconic sea promenade or horseback riding at sunset, you can experience Deauville at its finest with our travel tips.
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Visit Deauville Town Hall building

Deauville will delight you with its picturesque atmosphere and typical half-timbered houses. One of the most visited sites in the city is the Town Hall building, La Mairie de Deauville. Built in the year 1880 in Beaux-Arts style and based on the Versailles architect Saintin’s project, the building initially hosted the municipal offices of the city and was subsequently expanded with two more wings to incorporate the Post Office and Telegraph Administration and the police station. The Town Hall, originally featuring a red-brick façade, was renovated in the Normandy style after World War II to uniform the region’s identity by cladding the central body in brick and stone on the first floor and a vertical false wood panel in the upper parts. The building is in a lovely garden where you will find the ideal setting for scenic, Instagrammable shots.

Discover Deauville's architecture

While strolling around Deauville, you will appreciate many unusual and diverse examples of architecture, with the typical regional Normandy style imposing itself on the others. All over the territory of Deauville, you will encounter the quaint half-timber houses and checkerboard brickwork buildings, unmistakable hallmarks of Norman architecture. The façades of most of the houses are clad in false brick, stone or wood panelling painted with oblique and geometrical decorative elements. Other architectural styles in Deauville include Art-Nouveau and Art-Deco, with buildings characterized by rounded angles and simplicity of forms and sobriety. Raw concrete is the preferred material used in this type of construction, and we often find mosaic, enamelled lava and ceramic on the detail and ornamental elements of the façades. The cabins bordering Les Planches promenade are one of the most notable examples of Art Deco in town. Further eclectic decorative and architectural items include the finely chiselled wooden balconies reminding of the Hygienist style and the sober, imposing red-brick or polychrome façades typical of the oldest buildings.

Enjoy a stroll in Deauville's marina

Deauville Marina, or le Port de Deauville, is a must-see during your stay in town. With a peculiar combination of residential buildings and port infrastructures, the area is unique in its genre and different from many harbours on the Normandy coast, where the tides impose their schedules on sailors, and is accessible 14 hours a day. Most of Port-Deauville’s infrastructures, which encompass a lock basin, a wet dock and a tidal basin, have been renewed: the pontoons, pathways (floating docks) and electrical terminals were refurbished, and a new, more sustainable settling tank is operational. Enjoy a stroll among the docks and browse the colourful shops in the elegantly renovated marina.

Try your luck at Deauville Casino

The iconic Casino Barrière Deauville has been one of the town’s highlights since the past century. Once reserved for movie stars and illustrious personalities, the casino is one of the most popular sites in Deauville, attracting locals and tourists who want to try their luck. Hosted in an elegant, white historical building, the casino features sumptuous interiors with crystal chandeliers, marble columns, mirrors and a 20-metre-high ceiling emphasizing the rich red and gold décor. The Casino Barrière offers numerous slot machines and games to keep you entertained, plus an elegant Renaissance-style theatre hosting music and live performances and an onsite cinema room available for private screenings.

Discover Deauville Beach and coastline

Thanks to its privileged location on the beautiful Côte Fleurie, Deauville is the ideal destination to enjoy the splendid Normandy coast. Deauville Beach, extending for over two kilometres, has been among the most renowned and exclusive resorts in the region since the 1920s, with services that include 450 cabins, sports fields, a children club, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a leisure park, and numerous shops ranging from apparel to beach items. The most distinctive elements of the beach are the iconic colourful parasols, which were installed on the beach at the end of the 19th century and are unique to Deauville. Relax under the sun, and do not forget to take a picture of the parasols!

Check the famous Les Planches promenade and Art Deco cabins

While visiting Deauville Beach, you will notice the famous Bains Pompéiens, whose 450 Art Deco cabins are a characteristic element of the town. Spread across nine courtyards, which include different facilities and amenities, the cabins are for rent by the day, week, month or season. The Bains Pompéiens establishment, inspired by the Roman baths, was realized by architect Charles D’Adda in 1923, with the adjacent 762-metre-long promenade Les Planches (lit. the boards). Enjoy a walk and appreciate the classical yet modernized architecture of the cabins, featuring elegant mosaics and decorations. Since 1975, the cabins have been featuring the names of actors and film directors invited to the prestigious American Film Festival held in Deauville every year.

Gallop on the sand at Deauville Beach

Another original way to experience Deauville Beach is with a romantic horseback ride at sunset. Deauville dedicates many activities to horses: besides the famous racecourse Deauville Hippodrome, the city offers many chances to enjoy equestrian sports and events, such as polo matches, expositions or the yearling sales. Not far from the Les Planches boardwalk, you can join long horseback rides at a walk or a gallop on the beach. Discover the extraordinary experience of moving with your horse over the sand or in the waves and enjoy freedom while feeling one with nature.

Spend one day in Trouville

While staying in Deauville, you cannot help but visit the neighbouring town of Trouville. Located on the opposite bank of the Touques River, Trouville-sur-Mer boasts an ancient past, although it gained popularity as a seaside resort in the last century. A lovely town with majestic architecture dating back to the 19th century, Trouville is nowadays one of the poshest beach destinations in France, offering an extensive sandy beach where you can enjoy several activities and sports and relax under the warm Normandy sun. Explore the city starting from the lively commercial and entertainment district alongside the Touques estuary and discover the many typical shops, restaurants and bars in the area. A pleasant tourist harbour, the sumptuous Town Hall building, the famous fish market and the aquarium add to the town’s attractions, making it a perfect destination for a one-day trip from Deauville. Before leaving, check out the ‘Escalier du serpent’, a series of 100 steps taking you up to the heights of Trouville, where you can admire stunning sea and city views.

Taste delicious fresh seafood and fish from Le Marché aux Poissons

Being one of the most chic seaside resorts of Normandy, it is no surprise that Deauville boasts gastronomy based on fish and seafood. With over 40 gourmet and Michelin restaurants in town, you will not miss a chance to taste some of the most delicious fish-based dishes typical of the region. From Normandy scallops to lobster, fish stew and prawns, you can taste incredible delicacies that will make your gastronomic journey in Deauville a unique experience. To select fresh fish and seafood products first-hand, visit the famous Marché aux Poissons in Trouville, where you will find a wide assortment of crustaceans, molluscs, fish and other seafood. While in Deauville, you can taste many French and Norman specialities other than fish, such as local cheeses Camembert, Pont-l’Évêque and Livarot, the Poulet Vallée d'Auge (Auge Valley Chicken)- a chicken-based dish made with apples, farm-certified poultry, apples, mushrooms, creme fraiche and Calvados wine, and the Norman version of the French apple pie.

Visit the nearby town of Caen

Located around 50 kilometres from Deauville, the pleasant port city of Caen is another excellent destination for a day out with your family. The capital of the Calvados department, Caen is known for its imponent medieval castle Château de Caen and the adjacent Abbey of Saint-Étienne, and for its wealthy historical past, which includes William the Conqueror legacy and the more recent D-Day in World War II. Caen boasts a rich artistic heritage, as attested by the numerous galleries and museums. Although they are not so renowned as other European museum complexes such as those in Madrid or Frankfurt, we recommend you visit the FRAC (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain), which regularly features exhibitions of local and international artists, the Artothèque and the marvellous Musée des Beaux-Arts. Enjoy the typical Norman architecture and deco while you stroll around the town, and treat yourself to haute cuisine by the many local and regional restaurants and taverns.