Travel Guide to St Malo in Brittany, France

Welcome to St Malo

Having been brought up in the Channel Island of Jersey, I almost know the French historic city of St Malo like the back of my hand!

Only an hour by ferry from Jersey, St Malo was the regular place for our school trips when we were young and day-drinking exploits as we got older!

However, it was only on my recent trip back home, when I got to revisit this ancient and impressive once again, that I finally saw its beauty as a stranger would.

Over one thousand years old, this amazing French outpost is steeped in history and heritage, making it both a truly unique and beautiful destination.

Lying extremely close to the UK, St Malo is the perfect gateway to France from the UK, not least because it is plied by a regular and cost-effective ferry service.

So if you’re looking to head over to mainland Europe from Britain soon, let me welcome you to the city of St Malo…


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Intro to St Malo in Brittany

France, St Malo, Turret

Situated in the gorgeous province of Brittany, St Malo is a port city located in the northwestern area of France.

Historically a walled city dating from the 1st Century BC, the old city of St Malo is famous for its beautiful ramparts, historic cobbled streets and excellent shellfish restaurants.

The old, walled city has now been joined by a more modern quarter, which most of the locals now live, shop and work.

It’ most famous attraction, the St Malo Aquarium is also located in the new part of the city.

Because of its strategic nautical position, St Malo has a strong maritime focus even to this day.

Fishing and shipping are large industries here, along with tourism, which is complemented by the regular ferry service St Malo provides between France, the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, and England.


Catching the Ferry to St Malo

It is more than likely you’ll arrive by ferry if you are travelling to St Malo. In many ways, this makes the city a gateway to the UK to and from mainland Europe.

Brittany Ferries are the main company to travel with from England, namely from the city of Portsmouth. They provide both foot passenger and car services, which makes them an excellent choice if you are using St Malo as your landing point to travel deeper into France of Europe.

Bringing your car on the ferry and camping in France can be an excellent way to travel the country on a budget, giving you freedom, independence and flexibility too, so I highly recommend it.

The other St Malo Ferry company is Condor, who also provide foot passenger and car services between this part of France and the Channel Islands, as well as Poole and Weymouth in mainland UK.


Travel from St Malo to Paris


If you’re travelling from St Malo to Paris or anywhere else in France via public transport, then the city has some good connections.

Ouibus are a great budget option with daily coach services from St Malo to Paris and other destinations.

They generally operate from near the ferry terminal near the walled city, which makes them very convenient

Alternatively, the high-speed TGV has regular services to Paris via Rennes, which depart from the new town.

Check prices for buses or trains, and book tickets online, using Trainline.


St Malo Climate & Weather

France, St Malo, Sunset

Located in the north of the country, the St Malo weather is a lot more similar to that of southern England, than southern France.

Temperatures are generally cool in the winter, but long sunny days fill the summer.

Being situated on the coast, St Malo also gets quite a lot of annual rainfall and can be windy.

The summer months of June, July and August boast the driest weather, again making this time of year the best to visit.

Sea conditions at this time are also likely to be the calmest, which is a blessing if you are travelling to St Malo by ferry!




Top Things to do in St Malo

France, St Malo, Restaurant

St Malo is perfect day trip material, with many people from the Channel Islands, in particular, making the short trip to France and back in a day.

Filled with lovely shops, cafes and restaurants, it’s easy to sample, smell and see much of what many people love about France including croissants, coffee and crepes!

Moules frites is the lunch of choice here, and of course there’s plenty of excellent wine and local cider available to wash it down with!

Otherwise strolling the ramparts and watch the huge tidal range here is a wonderful thing to do, as it walking the cobbled streets and enjoying some good petanque watching!

There’s an excellent museum in St Malo too if you want to learn more about the city and its origins.

Otherwise the beautiful beaches nearby are ideal for a swim or a sunbathe on a good summer’s day.


Camping in St Malo

France, St Malo, Ramparts

Understandably popular with many visitors arriving from the UK, St Malo has a lot of excellent campsites nearby that make the perfect accommodation choice for those travelling on a budget.

St Malo camping accommodation is specifically appealing to those that may have brought their vehicle over on the ferry too, as driving is certainly the only way to reach many of them.

That said, there are a number of hire car companies within St Malo, that you can easily use to get to your campsite if you’ve only travelled as a foot passenger. is an excellent resource for those looking to go camping near St Malo, so check it out for some super ideas.

Otherwise, Camping Municipal de la Cité d’Alet, Camping de la Fontaine and Domaine de la Ville Huchet are 3 of the closest campsites to St Malo, that all get good reviews.


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Top Travel Tips for St Malo

France to Spain Ferry On Deck

Best Time to Visit?

I highly recommend visiting St Malo in the spring and summer months from May to September.


How to Get Around?

It’s easy to walk around the walled historic city of St Malo.

For travel to the new town, local buses are on hand.


5 Key Packing Items for St Malo

#1 Walking Shoes

I highly recommend these lightweight and durable ones from Salomon.

#2 Waterproof, Windproof Jacket

Bring a good waterproof and windproof jacket with you no matter what time of year you’re coming.

#3 Sturdy Day Pack

I never go on anywhere on my travels without a sturdy backpack to ensure I’ve got room to day trip with everything I need. This featherweight Kompressor from Marmot is my go-to.

#4 Good Camera

Having an excellent camera to snap St Malo in all her glory, and preserve some epic memories from your trip, is a must. My mirrorless Sony A6000 never leaves my side!

#5 Portable Charger

Come armed with 2 fully charged Anker power banks, so you can fire up your phone, camera or other devices whenever you and wherever you need.


Travel Insurance for France

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Travel Money for France

When it comes to paying for things in France, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise card away with me wherever I travel.

The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups, no sneaky transaction fees and a free Euros account, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card and it links easily with Google and Apple pay. Grab yours here.




Have you visited the ancient walled city of St Malo?

If so, I’d love to hear what you get up to there in the comments box below…


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