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Visit Saint-Malo

Like a stone vessel on the mouth of the Rance, the ramparts of Saint-Malo stand proudly above its beaches and its port. The façades and towers rising up from the fortifications give the town its unique silhouette.  The parapet walk offers breath-taking views!

A town of free men

Saint Malo was born in Alet, one century B.C. The Gallo-Roman port made way for a city founded on an island in the 12th century. In the 16th century, Jacques Cartier set off to discover Canada and the fishing fleets reached Newfoundland. Roaming the sea routes, ship owners ensured the city’s fortune. They prospered behind the ramparts, which were extended by followers of Vauban.  In the 18th century, the privateers Duguay-Trouinand Surcouf confirmed the prestige of Saint-Malo, whose banner flies above the French flag.

Welcoming ramparts

A tour of the “walls” leads from bastion to tower. On one side are the town’s narrow streets. On the other, magnificent views of the beaches, the port and the forts. From Saint-Vincent gateway, at the entrance to the city, the port basins and Saint-Servan unfold. Between Saint-Louis and Saint-Philippe bastions, the view opens onto the estuary and Dinard. Beaches stretch out at the foot of the ramparts As far as the Bidouane tower. When the tide is low, the sand dries out to the islands of Grand Bé and Petit Bé. When you reach the castle, the large Sillon beach spreads out before you.

Inside the walls

Inside the ramparts, the walk continues among the tall houses. It’s hard to believe that most of them were rebuilt after the 1944 bombings! It’s tempting to take a break on a terrace straight away, on Place Chateaubriand. But it can wait, because you’ve got to see Quic-en-Groigne tower, Pélicot house built like a ship’s stern, the shipowners’ houses and Hôtel d’Asfeld.

More forts

Petit Bé fort and the national fort, which can be accessed on foot when the tide is low, are in exceptional situations. There is an unforgettable 360° view from these islets. At Grand Bé, you can pay a posthumous visit to the famous writer from Saint-Malo, Chateaubriand.

Other defensive features to admire outside the walls and on land are the fort of Alet and Tour Solidor. Saint-Servan is also the starting point for a lovely work opposite the Rance and the walled town.

Did you know?

The time of the privateers is over, but sailing is still a mainstay in Saint-Malo. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the Route du Rhum and the Quebec/Saint-Malo transatlantic races are hosted here.

What shouldn’t you miss?

  • The ramparts: city enclosure consisting of towers (14th – 15th centuries), castle walls and bastions from the 17th and 18th centuries
  • The castle: large keep (1424), general tower (1475), Quic-en-Groigne tower (1498 – 1501), Dames and Moulins towers (16th century)
  • The national fort, built by Vauban and Garangeau (1689)
  • Le Petit Bé (“the best and the most attractive of all our forts”, Vauban 1695)
  • Saint-Vincent cathedral
  • Solidor tower with three keeps from the 16th century
  • The 18th-century For de la Cité d’Alet Sainte-Croix church and Saint-Ideuc church

Guided tours

  • Guided tour for individuals
  • Guided tour for groups
  • Special tour for children
  • Little land train
  • Boat tour
  • Podcast
  • Mobile app

Information & bookings

Office de Tourisme de Saint-Malo

Plan your holiday

How to get there / get around

Coming to Saint-Malo

Hop on the train and head off to the privateer city! Saint-Malo has direct high-speed train links to Paris and the journey takes around 2 hours 15 minutes. From Rennes, it takes around 55 minutes by TER train or by car. Would you prefer to fly? Scheduled and low-cost flights land at Dinard, 13 km from Saint-Malo.

Getting around in Saint-Malo and its region

To enjoy the town with peace of mind, leave your car at the entrance to Saint-Malo. Use the Paul Féval park & ride, where a day ticket will give you five seats in the shuttle bus to the historic centre.
The entire Emerald Coast is also within reach on the MAT bus network. If you have sea legs, take the boat from Saint-Malo with Compagnie Corsaire to Cancale, Saint Cast-le-Guildo or Dinan. From April to October, the “sea bus” organises regular shuttles all day long between Dinard and Saint-Malo in 10 minutes.

Official website of tourism in Brittany