Saint Malo is perched on Brittany’s coast, in northwestern France. The tall, granite walls that surround the old town invite visitors to discover the city’s rich history. Known for its independent streak, the city was long a stronghold for privateers (pirates the king approved of). It’s also the hometown of explorer Jacques Cartier and René Dugyay-Trouin, famous French corsair or “sea dog”. The imposing Saint Malo Cathedral features beautiful stained glass windows depicting Saint Malo’s exciting past.
Take a stroll along the ramparts to enjoy beautiful views of the harbor, the Solidor Tower and the Petit Bé, a tidal island just outside the city. Immerse yourself in the maritime culture of one of Brittany’s most popular tourist destinations. Saint Malo is also a culinary hot spot. Make sure to taste regional favorites including fresh seafood, locally made Cider, MALO brand dairy products and the world-famous Maison Bordier butter used in Michelin-star restaurants around the globe. For all you shopaholics out there, Saint Malo’s cobbled stoned streets are lined with many fantastic shops, including independent boutiques.
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Prepare your visit to Saint Malo
When to visit Saint Malo
Saint Malo is a great destination to visit all year round thanks to its temperate, maritime climate. With temperatures up to 20°C, July and August are especially good months to visit Saint Malo. However, it’s also peak tourist season, so expect crowds.
How long is needed to visit Saint Malo
To thoroughly enjoy the cobbled streets of Saint Malo’s old town, get an authentic glimpse into Brittany’s rich sea-faring past and taste some of the many regional culinary specialties, we recommended staying for at least two full days. However, if you are on a tight schedule, it is possible to see the main sights in just one day.
What should I wear to visit Saint Malo
If you are going to walk up the ramparts or around the cobbled streets of old town, make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Other than that, there is no specific recommended dress code for Saint Malo. So simply plan on dressing for the season.
What is there to see in Saint Malo
Saint Malo Cathedral
Make sure to visit the Saint Malo Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint Vincent de Saragosse de Saint Malo). It’s a French national monument, whose impressive spire can be seen from miles away. The Cathedral boasts Roman, Gothic and Renaissance styles for a truly unique architectural mix. In 1944, during the battle for the city, the choir section of the churched was bombed and took over 20 years to repair.
Chateau de Saint Malo
The Château de Saint Malo was built by the dukes of Brittany in the 15th and 16th centuries and formerly symbolized their royal power. The historic site is now home to the town museum, where you can learn about the history of Saint Malo. The great keep and the castle watchtower provide stunning views of old town, the port and the coast. It’s particularly beautiful at sunset.
Solidor Tower is located in the former town of Saint Servan, which was merged with Saint Malo in 1967. Built in 1369, the strengthened keep features three linked towers that overlook the harbor and was originally constructed to control the town of Saint Malo, because they refused to recognize the authority of Saint Servan. Before being turned into a museum, the tower was briefly used as a prison.