Saint-Malo Travel Guide

  • Saint-Malo
    by coucou7
  • Seagull on the walls of Saint-Malo
    Seagull on the walls of Saint-Malo
    by SWFC_Fan
  • Beach, Grand Be and Petit Be, Saint-Malo
    Beach, Grand Be and Petit Be, Saint-Malo
    by SWFC_Fan

Saint-Malo Things to Do

  • Biking

    It is very advisable to reach Saint-Malo by bike. Not for the city itself and its ramparts, but for exploring its surroundings. Minimum, you can do a nice tour around the bay of Saint-Malo. In addition, you can bike also along the northern shore and towards Fort National.

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  • Notre-Dame de Bonsecours

    In a niche in the Great Door of the city walls, there's a small statue of the Holly Virgin.According to traditional description, it was found by a local sailor, floating in the sea, in 1663.

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  • The Town

    Lots of personality, in this old town surrounded by strong walls. The walls are perfect (reconstructed after WW2), and you can walk all around the town, with a good perspective of the city and its architecture, and all the beaches. Down there, the town is lively, with all the people escaped from the freezing beach. Beautiful, yes, but......

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  • The ramparts

    It is possible to walk around all the historic city, along its strong and large walls. It's an easy and interesting walk, with several entry and exit points, and excellent views over town and sea.

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  • The Beach

    It was cold, in August, when we were there. The temperature of the Atlantic didn't convince us, so we didn't try to swim. There were several rocky and sandy beaches, but... empty.A Portuguese fellow living in Bretagna told me that the water usually beats 20º centigrade. Will it be possible in such an ocean, in such latitude? Next time I'll check it...

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  • Place de la Poissonnerie

    The Place de la Poissonnerie unsurprisingly is the plaice (sorry) where Saint-Malo's covered fishmarket is located. The original market was totally destroyed by the Allied bombardment in 1944 and the rebuilt version, a collaboration between the architect Henri Auffret and the sculptor Francis Pellerin, combines practicality with Pellerin's artistic...

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Saint-Malo Hotels

Saint-Malo Restaurants

  • Les Embruns

    I was actively looking for somewhere for a proper French 3-course lunch and I had in my head exactly what I was after - somewhere reasonably classy but not too formal, busy but not too busy and where the menu would be written in French with no English version. I'd already done the bits that I'd intended to do in the new town - tobacco...

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  • Understated Elegance

    I was actively looking for somewhere for a proper French 3-course lunch and I had in my head exactly what I was after - somewhere reasonably classy but not too formal, busy but not too busy and where the menu would be written in French with no English version. I'd already done the bits that I'd intended to do in the new town - tobacco...

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  • Dining On The Ferry

    When I'm in no hurry travelling by ferry, especially the big conventional ones, is my absolute favourite way of getting from A to B. I love the sense of space, being able to get out on deck at any time, the variety of the facilities, especially the bars, and just the general relaxed ambience that sea travel evokes.Over the years I've variously...

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Saint-Malo Nightlife

  • Oh, How We Cheered!

    It was the trio of leggy ladies, obviously local, sharing a bottle of after-work wine that drew my attention to this little bar on the Grand Rue and so I dropped in for a swift "demi Leffe" and joined them on the terrace. I didn't actually join join them but rather took up a table of my own where I sat perfectly blissfully, beer in one hand,...

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  • Go to Sleep

    There is no St. Malo nightlife as far as I could discern. This tiny fishing village goes to bed early, and you should too, because it gets really quiet after dark. The last thing the residents want is a bunch of loud Americans looking for a pub when they're all snoozing. The walled city gets very dark and kind of creepy at night anyway. If you must...

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  • The corner bar

    We had to go into this bar because the barstools are SWINGS! (Or as the bartender said, suspended chairs.)

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Saint-Malo Transportation

  • Ferries

    The two main ferry companies which sail in and out of Saint-Malo are Condor and Brittany Ferries both of which use the Terminal Ferries de Naye, about a kilometre south of the walled city. NB that this shouldn't be confused with the Gare Maritime de la Bourse which mainly deals with cruise ships and the local Compagnie Corsaire. Condor...

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  • Condor Ferries

    If departing from St Malo on an afternoon or evening Condor or Brittany ferry there's absolutely no need to queue up for checking in and boarding. Instead head straight for the friendly little bar at the terminal, have a few beers, and the barman will let you know when the last call for boarding is announced. Another useful little thing to...

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  • Saint-Malo Ferries

    The two main ferry companies which sail in and out of Saint-Malo are Condor and Brittany Ferries both of which use the Terminal Ferries de Naye, about a kilometre south of the walled city. NB that this shouldn't be confused with the Gare Maritime de la Bourse which mainly deals with cruise ships and the local Compagnie Corsaire.Condor Ferries...

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Saint-Malo Shopping

  • Where To Get Your Fresh Seafood

    If you are self-catering, or maybe fancy some cooked stuff to take away for a picnic, this looks like the plaice (sorry!) to get your fresh seafood.The couple of shop windows attached to the Café de St Malo have a mouth-watering display of local shellfish and other fruits de mer enticingly-presented on their beds of crushed ice. As well as the...

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  • Music shop

    Hi! I am going to arrive in Saint-Malo in August. I am much interested in Breton music and language. Could somebody advice me good music shops and bookstores in Saint-Malo?Thank you!With best regards,Olga Bonjour!Je vais arriver a Saint-Malo en aout. Je m'interesse beacoup a la music Breton et la langue Breton. Ect-ce qu'il y a des magasins...

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  • Great Art

    While enjoying the medieval jumble of streets in St. Malo, we discovered an art store that had some paintings of ships and ocean views that were outstanding. Buying a painting wasn't in the budget, but there were many I would like to have purchased.

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Saint-Malo Local Customs

  • Rue du Chat qui Danse

    During my wander around the ramparts I noticed this intriguingly-named street - that of the Dancing Cat. I reckoned there had to be tale behind and so there is.ON the 26th November 1693, during the "War of the Great Alliance" (also known as the "Nine Years War"), the English and Dutch sent a fleet of 30 ships to attack Saint-Malo. In order to...

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  • The Saint-Malo Flag

    The Saint-Malo flag is particularly interesting in how it proclaims the Malouin identity and sense of independence - "neither French nor Breton, I am from St Malo" - whilst retaining a sort of allegiance to the Province and the Country.The blue, white and red are, of course, the colours of the French national flag whilst the collar and cloak of the...

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  • The Saint-Malo Coat of Arms

    Pictured is a manhole cover from within the intra muros showing the Saint-Malo coat of arms from 1949. This is described on the website www.crwflags.com as follows:"The shield is surmonted by a golden mural crown made of the two big towers of the Grand'Porte flanked by two elements of the rampart walls. The shield is flanked by two guard dogs...

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Saint-Malo Warnings and Dangers

  • Danger of high tides.

    Roughly 5 or 6 times a year the coefficient of the tides here in St Malo go over the 100 mark during 2/3 days, twice a day. Depending on wind force and direction, there can be created great undercurrents that literally throw the water in the high, 15 to 20 metres in some places. It is very foolish to want to get too close to the sea during these...

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  • Time and Tide Waits for No Man (or...

    The tidal rise in the Bay of St.-Malo is on average the second greatest in the world (14m, compared with those in Eastern Canada-Bay of Fundy, etc-17m). On average ocean tides are 0.8m. The phenomenon is due to the funnel shape of the sides and bottom of the bay funneling into the estuary of the Rance River. To our knowlege nowhere else has this...

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  • Swiftly moving tides

    We decided to take a walk out to the National Fort from the beach and were surprised when a lifeguard in a wetsuit turned us away, as it didn't look like the tide was coming in quickly from the small island....but within 5 minutes, amazingly it had not only turned, but completely covered the spot where we were standing, with water rushing in from...

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Saint-Malo Tourist Traps

  • TimDaoust's Profile Photo

    Nature's tourist trap

    by TimDaoust Updated Mar 11, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is a little fort that one can tour out on the beach here beside the walled city. The hours we thought were odd, as it was closed at about 230 when we were there. After a little bit of time hanging out on the rocks and wading in the water, we realized why it was closed. I turned to see that the tide was rising fast and we were about to be on an island about 50m or so off the shore. We quickly rolled up our pants and rushed back through foot deep water to the shore amidst giggles from the locals and even the other hapless toursits. Then came the coast guard with the boats to pick up whoever got stuck there. Guess it happens often there.

    Unique Suggestions: Enjoy it by all means though and, hey, get stuck out there. Kinda romantic.

    Wading in St. Malo
    Related to:
    • Beaches

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Saint-Malo What to Pack

  • Sensible shoes & rugsack

    There is no luggage storage anywhere in town - except for your hotel maybe, so if you can avoid bringing a bag on wheels, take a rugsack or other sort of bag you can carry. This is because it's a pain to drag a trolley bag along the cobbled streets and this may not be good for items such as lap tops - especially if you arrive in Saint-Malo in the...

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  • Just a bathing suit

    You really only need a bathing suit and just the bottom is enough for the girls as St. Malo is a topless beach. Lots of film for the views

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  • Saint-Malo Hotels

    81 Hotels in Saint-Malo

Saint-Malo Off The Beaten Path

  • The immense Barrage de la Rance tidal...

    (work in progress)Apologies for the poor quality of this photograph but:a. we were driving (that's the Royal We, as I was not in the driving seat) andb. the weather was distinctly British/BretonAnyway, this is the amazing Barrage de la Rance, a tidal barrage built across the mouth of the river Rance to harness the tidal power of the unusually high...

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  • Barrage de la Rance (Power Plant)

    Located a couple of kilometres from the centre of St-Malo is a bridge that crosses the Rance Estuary. This impressive bridge links the towns of Dinard and St Malo, but it is the Usine Maremotrice de la Rance (power plant) connected to it that is most impressive.Under the four-lane highway (168) there are 24 turbines whirring away, taking full...

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  • A Visit to Saint-Servan-sur-Mer

    Once a town in its own right, it was an independent parish until 1967 when it became incorporated into Saint-Malo. This parish is located at the mouth of the river Rance between the dam and Saint-Malo. Quiet and floral, Saint-Servan boasts numerous places to visit. I will always pay a visit to this town on the outskirts of St Malo to wander thru...

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Saint-Malo Favorites

  • l'Office de Tourisme

    Should you require information or assistance with pretty much anything when visiting Saint-Malo the Office de Tourisme is located in front of the main city gate, Porte St-Vincent. Here you can get accommodation advice, public transport info, guide to local events and things to do plus the various freebie leaflets and a city map. They can also do...

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  • Happy!!!!!

    An unashamed advert for Saint Malo.....although not as much visited as the Mont Saint Michel, Saint Malo nevertheless has it's own major attractions, some of which are shown on this video made by a local photographer.http://youtu.be/lLRc5U7bwos

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  • History of Saint-Malo

    During the Middle Ages Saint-Malo was a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance River, controlling not only the estuary but the open sea beyond. Modern Saint-Malo traces its origins to a monastic settlement founded by Saint Aaron and Saint Brendan early in the 6th century. Its name is derived from a man said to have been a follower of Brendan,...

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Explore Deeper into Saint-Malo
No Need To Stand In The Queue!
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A Superbly Serendipitous Discovery
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For The Footweary - Le Petit Train
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Local Buses
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Arriving By Train From Rennes
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Sandy Beaches
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Ferry
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St Malo Cathedral
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Train
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Saint-Malo neighbourhood
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Fort National
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Walled town ------ Intra Muros
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Intra-muros
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Fresh seafood with a view to die for.
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Great food in the village of Neant sur Yvel
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Rance Tidal Power Station
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Islands Grand Bé & Petit Bé
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Beaches
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Fort National
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The ramparts
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Cathedral Saint-Vincent
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"Intra muros", the centre
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Fortress
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Saint- Malo Beach
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Memorial 39-45, Cité d'Aleth, St Malo.
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Map of Saint-Malo