29 Best Places And Things To Do in Saint-Malo, France

Saint-Malo, located in Brittany, France, is a picturesque coastal city that offers a delightful mix of history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. Known for its stunning beaches, ancient ramparts, and charming old town, Saint-Malo attracts visitors from around the world. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Saint-Malo:

1. Intra-Muros

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Begin your exploration of Saint-Malo by wandering through the enchanting old town, known as Intra-Muros. Enclosed within its fortified walls, you’ll find narrow cobblestone streets lined with charming shops, cafes, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll along the ramparts for breathtaking views of the city and the sea.

2, Saint-Malo Cathedral

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Pay a visit to the Saint-Malo Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Admire its stunning stained glass windows and intricate details while soaking in the peaceful atmosphere. Climb the tower for a panoramic view of the city.

3. Fort National

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Situated on a small island just off the coast, Fort National is a 17th-century fortress that played a significant role in the city’s history. Explore its stone walls, gun emplacements, and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

4. Beaches

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Saint-Malo boasts beautiful sandy beaches that are perfect for relaxation and leisurely walks. Plage du Môle and Plage de l’Éventail are popular choices, offering stunning vistas of the city and the open sea. If you’re feeling adventurous, try water sports like sailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding.

5. Grand Aquarium

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Ideal for families and marine enthusiasts, the Grand Aquarium in Saint-Malo is a captivating attraction. Dive into the mesmerizing underwater world and witness a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, and colorful tropical fish.

6. Château de Saint-Malo

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Located on the outskirts of the city, the Château de Saint-Malo is a magnificent 15th-century castle. Explore its historic rooms and admire the impressive architecture. The castle also houses the Museum of History, where you can learn about the city’s maritime heritage.

7. Corsair City Museum

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As a city with a rich seafaring history, Saint-Malo is often associated with corsairs—pirates who operated with government authorization. The Corsair City Museum offers fascinating exhibits that delve into this adventurous era, displaying artifacts, ship models, and interactive displays.

8. Thalassotherapy

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Indulge in the ultimate relaxation experience by treating yourself to a thalassotherapy session. Saint-Malo is renowned for its seawater treatments, and several spa centers offer a range of therapies that harness the healing properties of the ocean.

9. Saint-Servan

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Take a short trip to the neighboring district of Saint-Servan and explore its charming streets, picturesque harbor, and vibrant market. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste some fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.

10. Le Grand Bé and Petit Bé

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These two small islands off the coast of Saint-Malo are accessible during low tide and offer a unique natural experience. Le Grand Bé is home to the tomb of the famous French writer Chateaubriand, while Petit Bé features an old fort. Enjoy a leisurely walk on the islands, surrounded by the beauty of the sea and the sound of crashing waves.

11. The Solidor Tower

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Situated in the Saint-Servan district, the Solidor Tower is a medieval tower that houses the International Museum of Cape Horners. Explore the museum’s collection of artifacts and exhibits related to sailors who braved the treacherous waters around Cape Horn. Climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the Rance River and the surrounding coastline.

12. Saint-Malo Ramparts Walk

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Embark on a scenic walk along the fortified ramparts of Saint-Malo. The walk provides breathtaking views of the city, its beaches, and the sparkling waters beyond. Experience the invigorating sea breeze as you stroll along the walls, taking in the beauty of the coastal landscape.

13. Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo

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Pamper yourself at the Thalassotherapy center, Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo. Indulge in rejuvenating treatments, such as seaweed wraps, sea salt scrubs, and hydrotherapy sessions. Relax in the spa’s pools, saunas, and jacuzzis while enjoying panoramic views of the ocean.

14. The Saint-Malo Street Market

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Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the bustling street market in Saint-Malo. Held on Tuesdays and Fridays, the market offers an array of fresh produce, regional specialties, and handicrafts. Explore the stalls, sample local delicacies, and engage with the friendly vendors.

15. La Demeure de Corsaire

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Step into the world of corsairs at La Demeure de Corsaire, a historic mansion turned museum. Discover the life and adventures of privateers through interactive exhibits, period furnishings, and captivating storytelling. Gain insights into the maritime heritage of Saint-Malo and the fascinating tales of its famous seafarers.

16. Le Petit Train de Saint-Malo

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Hop aboard the Petit Train for a charming tour of Saint-Malo’s key landmarks. This tourist train takes you around the city, providing an informative and enjoyable way to explore its highlights. Sit back, relax, and soak up the sights and sounds of Saint-Malo while learning about its history.

17. Oysters and Seafood

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Saint-Malo is renowned for its delectable seafood, particularly its fresh oysters. Treat your taste buds to a culinary delight by savoring a plate of oysters at one of the local restaurants or seafood stalls. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample other seafood specialties, such as mussels, scallops, and lobster, which are abundant in this coastal region.

18. Sunset at the Ramparts

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As the day draws to a close, head to the ramparts of Saint-Malo to witness a mesmerizing sunset over the sea. Find a comfortable spot along the walls, and watch as the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant colors, casting a golden glow over the city. It’s a magical experience that encapsulates the beauty and tranquility of Saint-Malo.

19. Saint-Malo Music Festival

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Music lovers should plan their visit during the Saint-Malo Music Festival, held in July and August. This renowned event showcases a wide range of musical genres, including classical, jazz, world music, and contemporary. From intimate performances in historical venues to open-air concerts on the beach, the festival offers a memorable experience for music enthusiasts of all tastes.

20. Explore the Surrounding Coastal Towns

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Use Saint-Malo as a base to explore the charming coastal towns in the vicinity. Take a short ferry ride to Dinard, known for its Belle Époque villas and picturesque beaches. Visit Cancale, famous for its oysters and breathtaking coastal scenery. Each town has its own unique character and attractions, offering a delightful opportunity to discover the beauty of the Brittany coastline.

21. Maritime Museum

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Delve into the maritime history of Saint-Malo at the Maritime Museum. Located in a former 18th-century shipowner’s mansion, the museum showcases artifacts, ship models, and interactive exhibits that highlight the city’s seafaring heritage. Learn about famous explorers, trade routes, and the life of sailors through engaging displays.

22. Chocolate Tasting

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Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to one of the artisanal chocolate shops in Saint-Malo. Indulge in delectable handmade chocolates, truffles, and pralines created with traditional techniques. Some shops even offer chocolate-making workshops where you can learn the art of creating these delightful treats.

23. Saint-Malo Casino

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If you’re feeling lucky or seeking some entertainment, visit the Saint-Malo Casino. Try your hand at the slot machines or join a poker or blackjack table for an evening of excitement. The casino also hosts live performances and events, adding to the lively ambiance.

24. Photography Opportunities

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Saint-Malo’s picturesque setting provides ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture stunning shots of the historic architecture, the rugged coastline, and the colorful boats in the harbor. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur photographer, you’ll find plenty of inspiring subjects to capture the essence of Saint-Malo.

25. Plage du Sillon

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Plage du Sillon is the main beach in Saint-Malo and stretches along the city’s promenade. With its expansive sandy shoreline and panoramic views of the city’s historic walls, this beach offers a perfect spot for sunbathing, beach games, and leisurely walks. During low tide, the beach extends even further, creating vast areas for beachcombing and exploring the tidal pools.

26. Plage de Bon Secours

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Nestled within the walls of the old town, Plage de Bon Secours is a small, charming beach that exudes a unique ambiance. Its location near the historic ramparts and the bustling streets of Intra-Muros adds to its allure. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea or simply relax on the sandy shores while enjoying the view of the fortified city.

27. Plage du Pont

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Situated on the Rance River, Plage du Pont is a unique beach known for its calm waters and picturesque surroundings. The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers a serene atmosphere, making it a popular spot for families with children. It’s a great place for swimming, kayaking, and enjoying the peacefulness of the river setting.

28. Plage de Rothéneuf

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Located a short distance from the city center, Plage de Rothéneuf is a hidden gem with its rugged beauty and stunning cliffs. This beach is known for its rocky shoreline, tide pools, and breathtaking views. It’s a great spot for exploring the fascinating rock formations, observing marine life, and enjoying the natural beauty of the coast.

29. Plage du Val

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Situated near the Saint-Malo Marina, Plage du Val offers a more secluded and serene beach experience. Surrounded by a backdrop of cliffs and greenery, this sandy beach is a peaceful retreat where visitors can relax, read a book, or simply enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.