The iconic Mont Saint-Michel is located in Normandy, off the coast of Northwest France. It has existed since 708, and has been used for many different purposes such as a prison and site of religious pilgrimage. Today, many tourists flock to visit the island as it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sold on visiting Mont Saint-Michel for a day? Here's what you need to know about visiting Mont Saint-Michel.
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HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO SEE MONT SAINT-MICHEL?
Mont Saint-Michel can definitely be seen in a day trip from Paris, or even Rennes or other cities in Normandy. You will need about 3-5 hours on the island to see everything with enough time to have lunch as well.
HOW TO GET TO MONT SAINT-MICHEL?
From wherever you may be staying in proximity to Mont Saint-Michel, you can get there with public transportation for your day trip. The easiest and most flexible way to get there is to drive and park in the parking lot located just before reaching the island. A free shuttle bus will then take you to Mont Saint-Michel. Read on to learn about accessing Mont Saint-Michel via public transport...
DAY TRIP TO MONT SAINT-MICHEL FROM PARIS VIA PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Taking a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel from Paris can be done in a little over 3 hours via a train to Rennes and then a shuttle bus to Mont Saint-Michel. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time on the SNCF website for the 2 hour train from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes. After this train ride you can then exit the train station and jump on a shuttle bus for Mont Saint-Michel. Tickets for this bus can be purchased online as well, or at the station or on the bus, costing 10€/person. If you are staying in Rennes and want to take a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel, this is also the way to go as the train from Rennes to Mont Saint-Michel will take the same amount of time and you will need to take another bus once getting off the train.
For more information on the coach bus service from Rennes to Mont Saint-Michel, checkout the timetable
DAY TRIP TO MONT SAINT-MICHEL FROM BAYEUX OR CAEN VIA PUBLIC TRANSPORT
If you are in Normandy already but want to take a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel, take a break from the D-Day beaches and get on a train either from Caen or Bayeux to Pontorson Mont Saint-Michel, which will take just under 2 hours from both places. From the Pontorson Mont Saint-Michel train station, you can take a shuttle to Mont Saint-Michel in 20 minutes. Tickets for the train can once again be bought on the SNCF website. Tickets for the shuttle bus can be bought on the bus in cash, costing only 2.80€ each way!
For more information on the shuttle bus from Pontorson Mont Saint-Michel to Mont Saint-Michel, look at the timetable
To read about how to visit the landing sites of WWII, read our article: "How to visit the D-Day beaches?"
DAY TRIP EXCURSIONS FROM PARIS TO MONT SAINT-MICHEL
With Paris City Vision, Viator, and Link Paris, you can take a full day tour including transportation from Paris to Mont Saint-Michel. These tours often start at 129.00€ per person and can go up a bit more.
DAY TRIP EXCURSIONS FROM BAYEUX TO MONT SAINT-MICHEL
From Normandy (Bayeux), book Normandy Sightseeing Tours for a full day tour of Mont Saint-Michel beginning at 8:30am and ending at 4:30pm. Prices range from 100-60€.
Checkout their website for more information on the tour and to reserve your spot
WHERE TO EAT ON MONT SAINT-MICHEL?
While many many many restaurants are packed, touristy and expensive on Mont Saint-Michel, you can have a decent meal on Mont Saint-Michel at Du Chapeau Rouge. Here there is a large menu with many choices such as crêpes, mussels and fries and even salads. They have pre-fixed 2 course meals, including wine for 15€. However, we recommend packing a lunch and enjoying a picnic on the island, taking in the view!
WHAT TO SEE ON MONT SAINT-MICHEL?
MONT SAINT-MICHEL CEMETERY AND EGLISE SAINT-PIERRE
On your way to the abbey, stop at the cemetery and Saint-Pierre church for beautiful views from the island as well as to see the beautiful interior of a Catholic church!
MONT SAINT-MICHEL ABBEY
Wear your sneakers and climb all the way to the top of the island and visit the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey! This is 100% worth the 10€ ticket (for adults, free for ages 18 and under) as you will discover the history of the island and take in some more views. There are free pamphlets that will explain exactly what you're looking at, so be sure to be sure to grab one at the ticket counter!
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