Traveling on the Côte Fleurie, do you want to visit Deauville? Here are the must-sees of this seaside resort with a luxurious reputation!

Seaside resort with international renown, Deauville remains a flagship destination on the French coasts. Particularly appreciated by Parisians, it inherited the nickname of the “21st arrondissement of Paris”. The modern city was built from scratch in the 1860s on marshy land. It was then the great fashion for sea baths. Several nearby towns emerge to welcome enthusiasts of this new health practice.

Are you planning a stay in the area? Follow the guide to visit Deauville properly.

1. THE BEACH AND ITS UMBRELLAS

One of the best things to do in Deauville is to enjoy the beach.

Deauville is particularly known for its sandy beach about two kilometers long. This one was not formed entirely naturally. Trouville (the neighboring town) wanted to develop its railway lines to receive more visitors in the 19th century. It therefore made modifications, particularly at the mouth of the Touques. This changed the sea currents and sand began to deposit along the coast. It formed a beach that continues to grow over time. The wind blows on the beach of Deauville. It is therefore ideal if you want to practice a nautical activity (paddle, windsurfing, etc.). This beach is recognizable among all in photos, thanks to its unique umbrellas. They are made locally and close in an original way, with a Deauville knot. If you want to rent one, just go to the sea bath establishment.

2. THE CABINS AND THE BOARDS

Deauvilles' iconic boards and cabins are a must-see during your stay.

You cannot visit Deauville without seeing the famous Boards. If you are wondering what to do in Deauville, it is a must! It is a walk over six hundred and fifty meters long, created in 1923 by the architect of the bath establishment. Its utility at the time: to allow women to walk on the beach without dirtying their dresses, then very long.

The Boards are now listed among the historical monuments. The 450 Art Deco style bath cabins are part of the city’s identity. They were built at the same time as the French bath establishment and the Boards. Some overlook the beach, others on the boulevard or the indoor pools. They can be rented by individuals from the municipality, for the season (from April to the end of October). However, it is rare for a cabin to be released: they are generally reserved from one year to the next.

The cabins are delimited by white wooden barriers. On these, you can read the names of famous American actors and directors. They came to Deauville as part of the American Film Festival. This original initiative was set up in 1987 by the mayor of the city at the time, Anne d’Ornano. In 2019, actress Kristen Stewart inaugurated hers, as well as Johnny Depp, Sienna Miller, and Geena Davis.

3. THE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL

The town of Deauville is famous for its American Film Festival, one of the best things to do here.

Deauville would not be the same city without its American Film Festival. The story between the city and the cinema began in 1975 with the first edition of the Festival. It now competes feature films and short films. It values both major Hollywood productions and independent American cinema. On this occasion, many celebrities go to the Deauville International Center. For ten days, in September, films are screened in different rooms. For some, these are previews of their official release in French theaters. Tributes are also paid, whether to figures of American cinema or rising stars. Do you appreciate American cinema and have you planned to visit Deauville during the festival? So, you can take a day pass and discover the films.

4. THE TOUQUES RACETRACK

The town of Deauville is famous for its horse races, and is one of the best things to do here.

If you are wondering what to do in Deauville, you cannot leave the city without having visited the racetrack. The Deauville-La Touque racecourse offers races throughout the year. It is also a training center for horses. It was created at the same time as the city, in 1863. A special sand-fibered track was installed in 2003, allowing races to take place even in winter.

5. Spa & Wellness Resorts

Deauvil has a tradition of well-being and health by sea water

To visit Deauville while staying in the tradition of well-being and health by sea water, thalasso is ideal. You can book a stay or just half a day or a treatment. Take advantage of your getaway to Deauville to relax and benefit from the benefits of salt water!

6. OLD DEAUVILLE

Enjoy a walk to climb to Old Deauville

The city is now ten times larger than originally. At the beginning of the 19th century, it was a simple village of a few houses, surrounded by marshes. So, what to do in Deauville to understand its particular development? Enjoy a walk to climb to Old Deauville. It is also called the Coteau district. You will have a breathtaking view of the modern city. You can discover Saint-Laurent church which is listed as a historical monument. Old Deauville is the original location of the village, before the marshes below were drained and built, to become the current city.

7. BOAT RIDE

Take advantage of your stay in Deauville to go on a boat trip

Visiting Deauville also means enjoying the Normandy coast, and its welcoming sweetness. For this, nothing better than the boat ride! Indeed, renting a boat in Deauville will allow you to take a real breath of fresh air, a dose of oxygen that will allow you to clear your mind. Whether you want to sail alone or be carried by a skipper, the boat ride in Deauville will delight you.

8. THE BELGIAN BRIDGE BETWEEN TROUVILLE AND DEAUVILLE

The Pont des Belges links Trouville to Deauville

The Pont des Belges connects Deauville to Trouville, passing over the Touques. It is a place of memory for the city. If you are a history buff and are wondering what to do in Deauville, this bridge is a beautiful symbol not to be missed. In 1944, it was the Belgian Piron brigade that liberated the city (August 22) and Trouville (August 24). The German troops retreated to Trouville. They bombed the original bridge as the soldiers made their crossing from Deauville to Trouville. Two of them lost their lives. Once the bridge was rebuilt, it was named in honor of the liberators.

9. DEAUVILLE ARCHITECTURE

Villa Strassburger is located in Deauville

If you like to admire architecture and villas, take a walk in Deauville! Don’t miss:

  • The peninsula: it will give you a nice view of Trouville.
  • Place Morny: it is in the city center and hosts many traders, as well as the market.
  • Place Yves-Saint-Laurent: in the heart of the most luxurious district of Deauville.
  • Villa Strassburger: one of the most beautiful and imposing Norman-style villas, now owned by the city.

Visiting this city also means discovering its rich architectural heritage!

10. THE CASINO

The casino is really popular in Deauville

To finish visiting Deauville and stay in the luxury spirit, go to the Deauville Barrière casino. You can dine in one of the casino’s restaurants and try your hand at games if you like. Many shows are also scheduled throughout the year. To access the casino, proper attire is required – and you must be of legal age.


How to go to Deauville?

BY TRAIN

The Trouville — Deauville train station brings you right into the heart of Deauville. Upon exiting, you can immediately head to your hotel or take a first stroll along the sea! Deauville was nicknamed the “21st arrondissement of Paris” due to its proximity to the capital and the special connection between them. There is a direct line from Paris Saint-Lazare station.

BY CAR

The city is easily accessible by car. To park, be aware that downtown parking spaces are paid all year round. As for parking on the seafront, spaces become paid from April 1st for the summer season, as well as on weekends and school holidays. Parking in the rest of the city is free. If you’ve chosen to stay in a hotel for the night, parking spaces are generally reserved for guests.

BY PLANE

Deauville airport allows you to arrive from certain provincial cities. If your city is not one of the chosen ones, Caen airport is just an hour’s drive from Deauville. To find your ideal flight, consider comparing different options on a flight comparator like Skyscanner.

WHERE TO STAY IN DEAUVILLE?

If you plan to visit Deauville over several days, you’ll need accommodation. Be aware that this city is a very popular destination. If you plan to spend a weekend there, especially between April and September, book your accommodation as early as possible!

You will find a large number of accommodations in the center of Deauville. It’s a lively area, just a stone’s throw from the beach and the train station. You’ll have all the shops and restaurants nearby. You can choose between private accommodation or a hotel. In the latter case, consider comparing rates with a hotel comparator to ensure the best value for money.

If you prefer a quieter area, you might want to consider the Planches district. Accommodations there are fewer. The villa districts or the racetrack area are also recommended for their tranquility and proximity to the city center. In ten to fifteen minutes on foot, you’ll find yourself in the bustling heart of Deauville! To discover the various accommodations, check out our article “In which district to stay in Deauville?”.

Now you know what to do in Deauville to see the essentials of this beautiful city!

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