The walled grey granite St-Malo citadel is the main tourist attraction for visitors to the area. With its atmospheric narrow streets, bustling bars, restaurants and shops, the citadel makes an ideal base for a long weekend break in Brittany.

Perched on a granite island, the citadel was originally only accessible by a long causeway. This changed in modern times with the construction of the inner harbours joining the citadel to the mainland.

Today, although the buildings give the impression of great age, they are almost all the result of a staggering reconstruction project which returned the town to its former glory after WWII. This project was only officially completed in 1971.

It is possible to walk almost the complete circuit of the walls and this refreshing promenade provides some wonderful vistas. In addition, the town’s beaches can be easily accessed from various points on the way.

Within St-Malo Citadel

The Impressive Chateau de St-Malo

Chateau de St-Malo

The impressive Castle of St-Malo acts as the town hall and is also home to the Museum of St-Malo.

The museum covers a number of themes including the long maritime history of St-Malo, 19th century writers of which Chateaubriand is the most well known, WWII occupation and the destruction/ reconstruction of the town.

Cathedrale St-Vincent soars above the streets of the St-Malo citadel.
The Cathedrale St-Vincent is a National Monument of France

Cathedrale St-Vincent

The tall spire of the Cathedrale St-Vincent soars above the streets of the St-Malo citadel and is clearly visible to visitors arriving by sea.

There has been a church on the site since the 12th century with the current gothic cathedral dating to the 13th. A plaque in the aisle commemorates the departure of explorer Jacques Cartier to Canada.

Outside Porte St-Vincent is the inner entrance to the harbours of St-Malo
The Twin Main Arches of the Porte St-Vincent Gate

Porte St-Vincent Gate

The main entrance into the citadel is via the Porte St-Vincent gate. Immediately inside and to the front of the Castle is Place Chateaubriand, the liveliest part of the Old Town and home to numerous hotels and restaurants.

Outside this entrance are the inner commercial harbours of St-Malo.

L'Hotel d'Asfeld, this 18th century mansion block is one of the few buildings to survive the war intact.
The Imposing Mansion of Demeure de Corsaire

Demeure de Corsaire

Also known as the L’Hotel d’Asfeld, this 18th century mansion block is one of the few buildings to survive the war intact. It was built by the wealthy ship owner and director of the French East India Company, Francois-Auguste Magon.

To gain an insight into the lives of St-Malo’s rich merchants, it’s possible to take a guided tour around parts of the building.

Ferries from Porte de Dinan take visitors  to Dinard, Dinan and Cap Frehel.
Building of the Mole Began in 1837

Porte de Dinan

Located at the south facing walls, this is the place to go for those interested in taking a boat trip. Ferries make the short hop to Dinard as well as longer excursions up river to Dinan and west along the coast to Cap Frehel.

It also marks the start of the Mole des Noires, a long curved jetty with a lighthouse which gives an alternative view of the citadel.

Robert Surcouf, the famous sailor from St-Malo
Robert Surcouf Captured More than Fourty Vessels in his Career

Statue of Robert Surcouf

Further on from the Porte des Bes, which provides access to the northern end of Plage de Bon Secours, is the Champs Vauverts and a statue of the famous corsair, Robert Surcouf.

At the north west corner of the ramparts, the bulk of the Tower Bidouane hosts various temporary exhibitions.

Outside the Walls

Beyond the ferry terminal to the south of the Citadel is the district of St-Servan.
St-Malo Merged with St-Servan in 1967


Beyond the ferry terminal to the south of the Citadel is the district of St-Servan which pre-dates St-Malo, having been founded in Roman times.

Next to the river is the spectacular tower of Tour Solidor. Built to guard the Rance it now holds a museum devoted to the history of seafaring around Cape Horn. There’s a tour that lasts 90 minutes.

The rural areas surrounding St-Malo are dotted with country houses.
The Rance is Host to a Tidal Power Station

Rance Estuary

The rural areas surrounding St-Malo are dotted with country houses built as retreats by the wealthy Malouin merchants and some have gardens open to the public. One example is Parc de la Briantais with grounds that slope down to the sea.

Further south are a number of pretty villages such as St-Suliac with attractive houses of speckled stone.

The Petit Aquarium is set within the St-Malo Citadel walls.
There are over 11,000 Marine Animals in the Aquarium

The Grand Aquarium

Under the same management as the Petit Aquarium set within the St-Malo Citadel walls, this is a much bigger venue.

There are eight areas holding sea life from all over the world, the most spectacular being the Anneau which is a ring shaped tank that allows visitors to be literally surrounded by swirling shoals.

Parame is the seaside resort of St-Malo with it's 2 mile long sandy beach.
Paramé is a Popular Destination for Sun Seekers 


The suburb of Parame has expanded over the years and now functions as the seaside resort of St-Malo due to its 2 mile long sandy beach.

The beach is the main attraction (even though completely covered at high tide) as there is not much to see in the town. Large numbers of hotels line the shore.