The corsair city
Saint-Malo is one of the most popular vacation destinations in France.
This is due to its historical importance and charismatic aura, which have earned it the nickname “City of Corsairs”. Birthplace of legendary sailors and privateers such as Jacques Cartier – the man who discovered Canada – and Robert Surcouf, Saint-Malo is a city with a strong and independent character.
Stroll along the ramparts surrounding the old town, visit the Fort National, taste pancakes and galettes, or discover the Grand Aquarium. Saint-Malo offers what seems to be an endless choice of things to see and do in its unique historical setting and atmosphere.
To see / To do
Les incontournables de Saint-Malo
The Grand Aquarium
Unmissable n° 1
The Châteaubriand Square
Experience the atmosphere of Old Saint-Malo on this lively square. Place Chateaubriand is an ideal place to start your stay in Saint-Malo. This paved square, just next to the entrance to the old town through the Porte Saint-Thomas, is filled with welcoming outdoor terraces of bars, restaurants and hotels, including the Hôtel de l’Univers, the Café des Voyageurs and the Brasserie Le Chateaubriand. A few stalls sell souvenirs and paintings on the other side of the square, just across the street from the Saint-Malo castle, which houses the Museum of the History of the City and Country of Malo.
Take a walk in a reconstructed historic district dating from the 6th century, the old town of Saint-Malo was almost entirely rebuilt after the Second World War. Today, its cobbled streets and splendid grey granite houses offer you a very pleasant journey back in time. From the 13th century Saint-Vincent cathedral to the privateer’s mansions of the 18th century, the old town is full of historical sites to visit, but also of craft stores and picturesque bars and restaurants. Take a guide at the Tourist Office on the Esplanade Saint-Vincent and discover Saint-Malo Intra Muros (inside the walls).
Unmissable n° 3
See the old town, beaches and neighboring islands from another angle A walk on the ramparts of Saint-Malo allows you to see Saint-Malo and its surroundings from another angle. Just south of the castle, the Saint-Vincent gate is the starting point for a visit of the Ramparts. Along the 2 km walk that dominates the city, you will see the houses and statues of the famous ship owners and corsairs of Saint-Malo, 3 of the beaches of Saint-Malo (the Môle, Bon-Secours and the Éventail), the islands of Petit and Grand Bé, and many other curiosities.
The Grand Aquarium
A visit to the Grand Aquarium of Saint-Malo is highly recommended. From the abyss to the mangrove swamp, 9 rooms let you discover more than 600 marine species in a playful and informative way. From the large circular pool that welcomes sharks and turtles to the “Nautibus”, a yellow submarine that takes you on an exciting underwater visit, the Grand Aquarium lives up to its name. A restaurant/crêperie as well as a souvenir store are at your disposal in the aquarium enclosure which covers no less than 4,000 m².
Unmissable n° 5
The beach of Bon Secours
Just west of the old town and accessible through Porte Saint-Pierre, Bon-Secours beach offers a wide variety of fun activities. The simplest of these is simply enjoying the warm summer sun. The beach has a seawater pool that allows you to swim even at low tide. There is also a 3 and 5 meter diving board. A friendly sailing club rents sea kayaks, Hobie Cats and dinghies. Bon-Secours is the beach from which you can walk to Petit and Grand Bé islands at low tide.