1 Day in Mont Saint-Michel: Top 7 Things to Do

What to Do in Mont Saint-Michel?

If you have never been able to visit Mont Saint-Michel  then you are missing out! Mont Saint-Michel is an essential place to see in France, which welcomes millions of tourists each year, fond of discovering its abbey and its surroundings.

If you are passing through Normandy or planning to visit Mont Saint-Michel, then read this article carefully!

Throughout your reading, you will discover all the practical information and advice to prepare your trip. Mont Saint-Michel is not just a castle on the water, it is a real treasure to be discovered as it should be…

Why Visiting Mont Saint-Michel?

Located in Normandy and on the edge of Brittany, Mont Saint-Michel is a French island that is both Breton and Norman. Due to its geographical location, this national treasure is witness to numerous debates around its belonging.

Things to do in Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel

But hey… one thing is certain, we all agree on the fact that Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe. The island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the building is recognized as a historical monument with precious heritage.

The bay of Mont Saint-Michel concentrates the highest European tides. To share some figures with you, the tides can reach 14 kilometers in amplitude, which is really impressive to see!

But that’s not all, even if Mont Saint-Michel is a very visited place, the town only has around thirty inhabitants. This creates a real summer change of scenery for the people of Mons and a favorite place for tourists from all over the world.

Among the new spaces built we can focus on the famous “Merveille”. A Gothic style building clearly visible on the north facade of Mont Saint-Michel. This was built in 1200 and has three floors. You can also see the abbey’s cloister offering a spectacular view of Saint-Michel Bay.

Click here for a skip-the-line ticket to Mont Saint-Michel Abbey

Furthermore, Mont Saint-Michel has undergone numerous architectural changes. Very quickly, ramparts and towers were added to the building.

Having become a veritable fortress, Mont Saint-Michel has been transformed into a highly protected and preserved space housing superb monuments.

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Mont Saint-Michel?


The visit to the Mont Saint-Michel abbey costs €11  for adults. However, it is  free  for EU nationals who are  under 26 years old. You can pay for your entry ticket directly on site, or book it online in advance.

It is also this last option that I recommend because the influx of tourists is high at Mont Saint-Michel, particularly during the high season. This ticket also gives you skip-the-line access to the site, so you won’t waste time in the queue.

If you wish, you can opt for a guided tour to benefit from the comments and anecdotes of a  professional guide. Note that if you want to learn more while remaining independent, you can rent an audio guide on site.

Going to Mont Saint-Michel from Paris

Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel

If you are in Paris and would like to visit Mont Saint-Michel, don’t panic! There are many excursions to Mont Saint-Michel from Paris! In one day, you can make the round trip by bus to visit the very famous island and bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Different options are possible if you wish: go in a group or alone, benefit from the experience of a guide or use an audio guide. This excursion is ideal if you plan to visit Paris for several days. For this activity, count around  €120 per person.

To learn more about this excursion, click here

Activities to do at Mont Saint-Michel

Are you going to visit Mont Saint-Michel soon but you don’t yet know  what to do there? Rest assured, there are plenty of things to do and see. This place is so unique and authentic that you could go there several times and still have a different experience each time.

streets of Mont Saint-Michel
streets of Mont Saint-Michel

In this part, you will discover all the activities that it is possible to do at Mont Saint-Michel. With this, you will be able to organize your trip without taking the risk of missing the essential things to see and do around Mont Saint-Michel!

1. Stroll through the Streets of Mont Saint-Michel

This activity is obvious. When you go to Mont Saint-Michel, the goal is to visit the place in great detail. To do this, enjoy a discovery walk while getting lost in the small narrow streets.

Don’t miss discovering the most important street that crosses the Mont: the Grande Rue. This will be an opportunity to do your souvenir shopping or enjoy a lunch break in one of the restaurants on this street which is lined with small shops.

In addition to admiring the architecture of the Mount, you will also tour the ramparts and their 7 towers  while gaining height. Once you arrive at the top, you can admire the panoramic view overlooking the bay and the ocean as far as the eye can see.

Also, Mont Saint-Michel is home to small houses and beautiful flower gardens in which it is possible to picnic. You can also visit museums and walk in the salt meadows.

Several museums are open to the general public to learn more about the ecology, the sea and the history of Mont Saint-Michel. If you’re not too fond of museums, then treat yourself to a breath of fresh air by walking on the salt meadows!

2. Admire the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel

Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel
Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel

To discover Mont Saint-Michel, don’t forget the Abbey. It is a cultural and historical treasure that you should not miss under any circumstances, whether you are practicing or not.

Please note that the Abbey has undergone numerous architectural modifications and developments. As beautiful on the outside as on the inside, you will also feel a caring and calming energy around you. This is an excellent time to reflect or meditate for a few quiet minutes.

If you want to discover the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, remember to reserve your entry ticket  in advance and online. To avoid the influx of tourists and the particularly long waiting time, avoid going to the tourist office.  

3. A Hike on the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel

Bay of Mont Saint-Michel
Bay of Mont Saint-Michel

All around Mont Saint-Michel is an immense bay. It is a vast space that you can also discover and experience in an authentic way. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

In order to enjoy a better experience, we recommend hiring a passionate guide. In general, many anecdotes and secrets are shared about Mont Saint-Michel and the region.

In addition, this type of hike is done barefoot, offering a powerful and unique sensory dimension. Finally, it’s a good way to get away from the tourist crowds to enjoy a few hours of relaxation.

4. My Highlight Activity at Mont Saint-Michel

Sand yachting
Sand yachting

Do you like challenges and want to discover Mont Saint-Michel differently?

I have the activity you need! Sand yachting! Whether you are new to this discipline or experienced, you will definitely have fun. For 1 hour you will explore the bay of Mont Saint-Michel from Hirel beach on a marked route.

An instructor will be present to guide you if you need it. With family or friends, don’t hesitate to try the experience, you won’t regret it 😉

Book your sand yachting experience by clicking here

5. Fly over Mont Saint-Michel

To discover Mont Saint-Michel from different angles, opt for a walk by air, sensations guaranteed! To do this, you will board an ULM, a very light aircraft for a simplified flight experience.

Seen from the sky, Mont Saint-Michel is absolutely beautiful. In addition to admiring the ocean as far as the eye can see, you will be able to observe the territorial contrasts around Mt. Thus, you will witness a spectacle between vast banks of country greenery and the coastline. If you want to spend a romantic moment with your partner, do this activity before sunset, you will not be disappointed…

Click here to see outdoor activities to do at Mont Saint-Michel

If this type of activity interests you, departures take place from the Avranches airfield. Depending on your desires, you can choose between 20 minutes or 2 hours of flight. A duration of 20 minutes allows you to go to Mont Saint-Michel, go around and come back. If you choose a 2-hour walk, you will have the opportunity to fly over the entire bay.

Fly over Mont Saint-Michel
Fly over Mont Saint-Michel

There are also helicopter flights! If you have never been in a helicopter, this is the perfect opportunity to have a helicopter experience at Mont Saint-Michel.

If you are a thrill-seeker, you can instead do a parachute jump at Mont Saint Michel, it will be a memorable experience for you with breathtaking views!

6. Discover the Saint-Aubert Chapel

The  Saint-Aubert Chapel  dates from the  12th century. It was built in the image of Saint Aubert, the one who founded Mon Saint-Michel. Many miss it during their visit to Mont Saint-Michel, and for good reason! If you arrive by the dike you will not see it, it is hidden on the left outside the town. In my opinion, it is one of the visits not to be missed when you go to Mont Saint-Michel.

7. Nightlife at Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel at night
Mont Saint-Michel at night

In summer, Mont Saint-Michel comes alive and hosts different events,  nightlife events are one of them. As night falls, the lights illuminate Mt. every evening.

From July 8 to August 31, 2023, a brand new immersive show will take place to celebrate the millennium of the abbey church. This is an opportunity not to be missed to discover Mont Saint-Michel in an original way.

Useful information

When to Visit Mont Saint-Michel?

Mont Saint-Michel itinerary
Mont Saint-Michel itinerary

The best time to visit Mont Saint-Michel is between May and June, or between September and October. Favor periods outside school holidays to avoid the massive arrival of tourists.

In addition, there are no specific times  for visiting Mont Saint-Michel. It is accessible all year round and free of charge, only when the tide is low. I advise you to allow at least 4 hours  to visit Mont Saint-Michel and the abbey. But if you can dedicate the day to it, then even better!

Accommodation in Mont Saint-Michel

Are you leaving soon and you don’t yet know where to stay at Mont Saint-Michel?

If you want to stay in the heart of the medieval village of Mont Saint-Michel, I advise you to stay at the  La Vieille Auberge hotel . This establishment with a traditional atmosphere offers comfortable rooms, some of which have a terrace where you can enjoy a view of the sea. A stone’s throw from the abbey, the place is ideal for visiting the island!



  • La Vieille Auberge is a 2-star hotel located in the medieval village of Mont-Saint-Michel, in a typical stone building. This is probably the best located hotel on the site. You will be a stone’s throw from the abbey, and you can take beautiful walks in the quiet streets in the evening or early in the morning. This is a big plus for enjoying the calm before the “storm” of the day. The establishment has a restaurant and offers double rooms with views of the bay from around €175 per night. Be careful, this is a very popular hotel and it is better to anticipate your reservation as much as possible.
  • La Croix Blanche hotel is a 3-star establishment located in the medieval town, close to the sea, and which notably has a bar. In this very charming wooden building, you can find rooms with two single beds and a sea view from €230 per night.
  • La Mère Poulard occupies a historic building, in the heart of Mont-Saint-Michel. Decorated in a classic style, its rooms overlook the bay, the abbey or the medieval city. At the prestigious restaurant of the La Mère Poulard hotel, you can enjoy traditional dishes including its famous omelette known throughout the world. For one night, count around €235, breakfast included.



  • Les Terrasses Poulard offers accommodation with views of the bay, the village and the street. Decorated in a modern style, rooms are accessible by stairs. Some have large windows overlooking the bay. Breakfast is served at the Auberge de la Mère Poulard restaurant, a 2-minute walk away. You must budget at least €200 to stay in this establishment.
  • Le Mouton Blanc Hotel is located at the foot of the abbey, in a historic building dating from the 14th century. It offers comfortable rooms with simple and welcoming decoration. The property’s restaurant offers traditional local cuisine in the dining room or on the terrace. Count from €145 per night.

How to Get to Mont Saint-Michel?

You can get to Mont Saint-Michel with your own vehicle, whether on two wheels or by car. The routes are quite simple to arrive from Rennes, Saint-Malo or even Paris.

However, you will have to park in one of the car parks located not far from Mont. Note that parking is chargeable and prices are quite high, especially during the summer period. You can find the price list below.

You can then take a free shuttle  to go to Mont Saint-Michel. They are accessible from 7:30 a.m. until midnight, from the car park. A footbridge is also available to access Mont Saint-Michel on foot or by carriage for €6 per trip.

parking at Mont Saint Michel
parking at Mont Saint Michel

It is also possible for you to come to Mont Saint Michel by train. Your arrival station will be around ten kilometers from the site in Pontorson.

You will have to cover the remaining kilometers by taking the bus. Taking the bus is also a simple and economical way to get to the Mont; the ticket costs around €3.10.

Why not come to Mont Saint Michel by bike? If the challenge tempts you, know that it is completely achievable! Several circuits lead to the site, remember to park your bike in one of the car parks provided for this purpose.

Where to Park in Mont Saint-Michel?

When you go to Mont Saint-Michel by car, you can take advantage of one of the many parking lots  before visiting the site. However, parking is chargeable, prices vary depending on the time you go there. I share with you the price list valid as of June 14, 2023:

Parking time

Low season

Average season

 High season

0 to 30 min




30 mins to 3 hours

8 €

14 €

17 €

3 a.m. to 6 a.m.

10 €

17 €

21 €

6 a.m. to 24 p.m.

12 €

20 €

25 €

From 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.



Classic price list

To complete the rest of the journey, you will then need to take the free shuttle.

The History of Mont Saint-Michel: a place of worship and pilgrimage

It took many decades for Mont Saint-Michel to become a successful tourist area… The construction of Mont Saint-Michel began on a mystical and spiritual dimension.

Built under the orders of Bishop Aubert, the latter would have witnessed divine apparitions, that of the Archangel Saint-Michel during his various dreams.

They would have suggested that he build a chapel on the mountain to accommodate the faithful so that they could meditate.

1 Day in Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel

Despite his faith and his religious convictions, Bishop Aubert was quite perplexed by these divine apparitions. But according to legend, the archangel impregnated the latter’s spirit by placing a finger of fire on the back of his head.

This would also explain the hole that can be seen in the back of Bishop Aubert’s head, still visible on his relic. His body is currently inside the Notre-Dame-Sous-Terre crypt in the abbey.

When Mont Saint-Michel was built, it quickly became a gathering place for all believers. Just like the pilgrimage to Lourdes, the divine apparitions attracted many faithful so that they could meditate and pray.

Over time, the massive arrival of pilgrims increased, leading to the expansion of the building in order to meet increasing demand.

However, expanding the premises required a lot of effort and time. The area has particular geographical characteristics and each stone was cut by hand.

cloister mont-saint-michel
cloister mont-saint-michel

Among the new spaces built we can focus on the famous “Merveille”. A Gothic style building clearly visible on the north facade of Mont Saint-Michel. This was built in 1200 and has three floors. You can also see the abbey’s cloister offering a spectacular view of Saint-Michel Bay.

Furthermore, Mont Saint-Michel has undergone numerous architectural changes. Very quickly, ramparts and towers were added to the building. Having become a veritable fortress, Mont Saint-Michel has been transformed into a highly protected and preserved space.

Of course, even if you are not a believer, Mont Saint-Michel is completely accessible to everyone. It is not impossible to come across a few visitors who are also fervent believers, it is a place open to all.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments!

Are you looking for other travel ideas in France? Read Also:

Discover all our articles on French cities : all articles on France are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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