Saint-Brieuc, Brittany: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Saint-Brieuc in Cotes-d'Armor

Visit Saint-Brieuc (Brittany, France)

MAP & PLACES TO VISIT

Saint-Brieuc is an important town in north-eastern Brittany in the Cotes d'Armor department. It is true to say that the town doesn't place its main focus on tourism, but there are some interesting sites to see in Saint-Brieuc if you allow the time to explore.

Exploring Saint-Brieuc

Your visit will focus in the centre of the town (we did find parking a bit of a challenge), where the main things of interest are the cathedral and the half-timbered medieval houses in the streets that immediately surround the cathedral.

Mairie in Saint-Brieuc

The 15th century cathedral of Saint Etienne is in gothic style and impressively fortified - the main entrance has sturdy 100 feet high towers either side with slits that allowed weapons to be fired from them - quite a feat given that the cathedral was originally built on wooden supports to stop it sinking into the marshes that were here at the time. Inside the cathedral there is also some very attractive decoration, such as the 18th century altarpiece.

The medieval quarter of Saint-Brieuc, next to the cathedral, is focussed around Place au Lin, Place Louis Guilloux and Rue Fardel, and contains some attractive ancient half-timbered houses. The most interesting medieval buildings are perhaps the 'Hotel of the Dukes of Brittany' on Place Louis Guilloux, built in the 16th century and with ornate decoration, and the Maison du Ribeault on Place au Lin, said to be the oldest house in Saint-Brieuc.

Other buildings we found architecturally interesting in Saint-Brieuc include the 15th century Quicangrogne Manor and the imposing 19th century Town Hall, both in the Place du General de Gaulle. See also the small Chapel of Saint-Guillame and Chapel Notre-Dame-de-la-Fontaine and the 19th century Caisse d'Epargne building.

Saint-Brieuc also has an ever-bustling pedestrianised shopping centre with a very wide range of shops and other commerces, and lots of outdoor cafes in the squares and streets where you can watch the world pass by and where buskers perform in the summer.

When shopping becomes too much, set off for one of the parcs that help the town qualify as a 'town in bloom' - perhaps the parc des promenades, a haven of peace in the town with shady trees and various statues to enjoy. A little outside the town centre the park around the Villa Rohannec'h is also pleasant to explore, with the imposing villa as an impressive backdrop.

Other activities in Saint-Brieuc

The Museum of Art and History in Saint-Brieuc has numerous objects explaining the history of the town and industry in the surrounding region, largely related to maritime,  agricultural and local industry activities - see particularly the lovely models of historical ships.

Saint-Brieuc is only about three kilometres from the coast, and here there are lovely views along the coast in both directions as well as a nature reserve, coastal walks, a bird sanctuary and an information centre. On the way here you can also take a stroll around the port for Saint-Brieuc at Légué, which has some pretty and colourful houses even if it is also rather overshadowed by a large concrete bridge.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Cotes-d'Armor guide and the Brittany guide.

See also:

Map of Saint-Brieuc and places to visit

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Address: Saint-Brieuc, Cotes-d'Armor, Brittany, 22000, France || GPS: latitude 48.5136, longitude -2.76528

Plan your visit to Saint-Brieuc, Brittany

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Zooparc de Trégomeur: zoo or wildlife park (12km)
  • Jardin du Colombier: remarkable garden (16km)
  • Quintin: ville fleurie 4* (16km)
  • Baie de Saint-Brieuc: site of natural beauty (17km)
  • Îlot du Verdelet: site of natural beauty (18km)
  • Cap d'Erquy / Cap Frehel: grand site of france (26km)
  • Le Grand-Pourier: site of natural beauty (27km)
  • Source - Rance: site of natural beauty (29km)
  • Abbaye de Beauport: site of natural beauty (34km)
  • Beauport Abbey: grand site of france (34km)

Market days in Saint-Brieuc, France

Regular market(s) are held in Saint-Brieuc each Wednesday & Sunday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Saint-Brieuc (Francais)