Known as the ancient home of French corsairs, Saint-Malo is now a very welcoming and popular tourist destination. I have been many times to Saint-Malo at many different stages of my life. I always loved it. Here are my tips on Saint-Malo points of interest to help you plan your visit of Saint-Malo and the region.
Points of interest in Saint-Malo
Saint-Malo is a lovely port on the English Channel with a great History. For three centuries, it was the main port of the French kingdom.
The town centre is surrounded by ramparts. The 2 km walk on the walls of the city gives a beautiful view of the harbour, the bay, and the inner city centre. Not something you’ll often experience!
The Chateau de Saint-Malo, built in the 15th century, provides great views of the city too. If you’re interested to learn more about the history and the life of the city, there’s a museum inside.
In the 17th century, Vauban – a French military genius very highly respected by Louis XIV – was sent to Saint-Malo to design the defence of the city. From the ramparts and the beach, you can see a few forts designed by Vauban on the small mounts in front of the city. Some of them become an island at high tide. Chateaubriand, a very famous French writer, is buried on one of them, Grand Be.
The Cathedral Saint-Vincent, from the 12th century, has been renovated and is worth a look. You’ll find there the tomb of Jacques Cartier, the French explorer who discovered Canada.
Inside the walls, the ancient style of the city of Saint-Malo has been preserved which gives a lot of charms to the town. It is gorgeous. I liked wandering the streets and shopping for food: oysters, winkles… I just love seafood, and there are plenty of options for great local food in Saint-Malo. If it’s your first time in Brittany, you have to eat a “galette”, which is a local savoury crepe made with a different flour than the crepes you’re used to. I love Brittany for the stunning landscape and culture, but food surely has a place on my Best Of Brittany list!
One day should be enough to explore Saint-Malo points of interest, but you would not get bored if you choose to spend an entire weekend there.
This area has plenty of offer if you are there for longer.
The Mont St Michel, in Normandy but at the limit with Brittany, is only 50 kilometres away. It’s an excellent visit and can be perfect as a bundle with Saint-Malo for a great weekend gateway. If you have time to add Dinan to it, it’s a lovely town too.
I used to spend my summer holidays just nearby it when I was very young, in a small town named Cancale, reputed for its oysters. You can find many seafood restaurants there, in the city centre and on the port. There is a very nice hike to do there called “le Chemin des Douaniers” to go to “la Pointe du Grouin”, to admire the bay and, if the weather allows it, you can see far away the Mont Saint Michel.
Where is Saint-Malo?
Getting from Paris to Saint-Malo by train is super easy and will only cost you 20 euros if you find a good deal to book in advance. There are multiple trains per day and it takes usually around 2.5 hours.
It’s a lot longer to go from Paris to Saint-Malo by car, you’ll need at least 4.5 hours.
Have you visited Saint-Malo? Do you like it as much as I did? Please leave a comment below!
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Eloise lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you won’t find her often in the city. When she is not disconnected underwater or in a national park, she loves sharing her travel tips and inspiring her readers to take care of our beautiful planet. She considers every weekend as a two-day holiday break. Her approach: you don’t always need to go far to travel. Still, she also enjoys exploring the world and discovering new cultures. Eloise is originally from France and, before moving to Brisbane, she lived in Sydney, Istanbul and England.