commune in Orne, France

Alençon is a city in Basse Normandie on the River Sarthe. Alençon is a restored gem. A visit is like travelling through time. Among its centuries-old highlights are the circular wheat market, home to exhibitions beneath its magnificent glass dome; the Halle aux Toiles, now a meeting venue; and the restored Jesuit church. Cobbled streets lead you from the town centre to the medieval quarter nearby, passing half timbered houses, Notre Dame Church, the Dukes' castle and the Town Hall.


Example of Alençon Lace.

Some may have heard of Point d'Alençon a rare needle point lace making technique that originated in Alençon. UNESCO have included the craftsmanship of Alençon needle lace-makingin the "Representative List of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity". Genuine Alençon lace is expensive and a lot of the lower cost offerings are machine made imitations often from China. True Alençon lace is hand made and takes many hours of work to make even a square centimetre.

Get in


Alençon is 170 km to the W of Paris, 110 km S of Caen and 50 km N of Le Mans, close to the border between Basse Normandie and Pays de la Loire.

By car


Alençon is on the N-S A28 motorway Rouen to Tours. To the N with the A88 & N158 this provides good road links N to Caen and the ferry port at Ouistreham. The Route Nationale N12 to the W connects the town to Paris and to the W to Mayenne then on to Fougères.

By rail


Alençon has both intercity and local rail services.

  • 1 Gare d'Alençon (Rail Station), pl de la résistance 61000 Alençon. M 05:05-22:25. Tu-F 06:00-22:25. Sa 06:15-22:15. Su 07:30-22:55.    

Get around


The centre of the town is small enough to walk around. The town has a local bus service operated by Alto Bus. Free car parking is available in pl Foch (next to Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall)) and pay and display parking around the town.

Chateau des Ducs, Alencon
Basilique Notre-Dame, Alençon
Église des Jésuites, Alençon
  • 1 Château des Ducs (Dukes' Castle).    
  • 2 Basilica of Notre-Dame d'Alençon. Daily 09:00-18:00. Free..    
  • 3 L'Eglise des Jésuites, pl Foch, 61014 Alençon. Tu 13:30:18:00, W 10:00-12:00 & 13:30-18:00, Th 13:30-18:00, F 13:30-18:30, Sa 10:00-17:00. Free.
  • 4 Musée des Beaux-arts et de la Dentelle d'Alençon (Museum of Fine Arts and Lace of Alençon), Cour Carrée de la Dentelle, 61000 Alençon, +33 2 33 32 40 07, . The National Lace Workshops are next door to the museum and sell small samples of Alençon lace in the museum shop. €4.10 (reduced and group rates available).    
  • 5 Maison à l'Étal, 10 rue de la Porte-de-la-Barre, 61000 Alençon.  

Horse riding

  • 1 Marché place de la Magdeleine (Market) (next to Church of Notre-Dame). Th & Sa morning.


  • 2 Lidl (Supermarket), 1 & 3 rue Nicolas Appert, 6100 Alençon. M-Sa 08:30-19:30.
  • 3 Carrefour (Hypermarket), Centre Commercial Carrefour Alençon, 61250 Condé-sur-Sarthe.
  • 4 E.Leclerc, rte du Mans, 72610 Arconnay, +33 2 33 81 41 00. M-Sa 09:00-20:30.





Stay healthy



  • 2 La Poste (Post Office), 1 rue de la Halle aux Toiles, 61000 Alençon. M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-12:15.
  • 3 La Poste (Post Office), 57 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 61000 Alençon. M 14:30-17:00, Tu-F 09:00-12:00 & 14:30-17:00, Sa 09:00-12:00.

Go next

  • Caen - The historical capital of the region
  • Le Mans - A nearby town best known for its annual 24 hour automobile race.
This city travel guide to Alençon is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.