Once the feared base of pirates (corsairs), heavily fortified against Norman (or English) attack, today's Saint-Malo is one of the top tourist draws in Brittany.
The star of the show is the atmospheric walled city (intramuros), largely destroyed in the second world war but painstakingly reconstructed. The modern towns of Parame and Saint-Servan lie outside the walls.
Saint-Malo has a good bus system, with the main terminals located at the train station and just outside the walls (St Vincent). Get a booklet with maps and times from any bus driver. A one and a half hour ticket costs €1.05. Unfortunately there are no bus services late in the evening. The walled city is easily covered on foot, but you can also opt for a dinky "Tourist Train" that takes you and your wallet for a ride (€5.50).
Highlights and sights of Saint-Malo:
- Watch the impressive tide.
- Walk (or jog) along the beach.
- Walk around the walls of the walled city (free).
- Visit the Festival des Folklores du Monde (World Folklores), which takes place at the beginning of July. There are dance and music performances from around the world. You can also dance when Celtic Breton bands play music in the main square of Parame district.
- Look at the many hundreds of sailing boats of all sizes and ages in the harbour/s.
- Ramparts (Remparts).
- The walled city (La Ville Intra-Muros)
- The Chateau
- The walled city view from the "Memorial 39-45"
- World's first tidal power station. The tidal power plant reportedly attracts 200,000 visitors per year. A canal lock in the west end of the dam permits the passage of 16,000 vessels between the English Channel and the Rance. The display centre is looking a bit tired and there isn't much to see from the barrage wall. Getting there is a bit tricky, bus routes C1 and C2 get you to within a kilometer walk.