What to do in Saint-Lô

Our favourite spots in the equestrian capital
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Head to Saint-Lô, for a day full of activities! Famous for its National Stud Farm and its stone ramparts, the second biggest town in the Manche has some great experiences for all the family. Culture, history, gastronomy, or nature: what will you choose? You can visit a museum, go to a concert at Le Normandy, stroll around the old streets, walk on the greenways, or have a bite to eat at one of the many good restaurants. Here are our favourite places for a great day out in Saint-Lô.

What to visit in Saint-Lô: must-see places


The National Stud Farm in Saint-Lô

Immersion in the equestrian world

A stone’s throw from the town centre, head to the National Stud Farm in Saint-Lô and its Pôle Hippique, to find out more about the equine industry in la Manche. With historical buildings, a lovely green setting and huge stables, the stud farm is a must-see in the equestrian capital. Between tourist visits, sporting events and horse riding, there’s something for all the family. Off you trot!

The National Stud Farm in Saint-Lô

Photo, © Alice Bertand

From the ramparts to Notre-Dame Church

a walk amid old stones

Bearing witness to the past, the stone ramparts of the town are well worth a visit. From Charlemagne to Napoleon, via the Vikings, the ramparts of Saint-Lô have always provided strategic defences for the town. Rebuilt after the Second World War, they are now a listed historical monument. Walk along the walls to look at Saint-Lô differently. From the Tour des Beaux Regards, there’s a lovely view over the River Vire and surrounding area.

Nestled between these stone walls, Notre-Dame Church looks down onto cobbled streets. Built from the 13th century onwards, it’s an unmissable symbol in the town. After visiting the church and admiring its Gothic architecture, walk along Rue Carnot, where you can still see a shell from the Second World War lodged in the wall.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
  • Photo
    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

    Don’t miss this detail!

    After visiting the church and admiring its Gothic architecture, walk along Rue Carnot, where you can still see a shell from the Second World War lodged in the wall.

  • Photo
    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
  • Photo
    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire

Saint-Lô through the ages

Inside the walls of this museum, the history of Saint-Lô is revealed. Relive the reconstruction of the town, which was almost entirely destroyed during the bombardment of June 1944. Immerse yourself in the audiovisual displays, reconstructions, and archive images.

The art museum is also full of treasures, with lots of paintings and a large collection of precious objects that will take you back through the ages. Workshops, temporary exhibitions and guided tours all make a visit to this museum in Saint-Lô an inspiring experience.

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Saint-Lô


Le Normandy

a great concert venue

Do you love music and concerts? Then Le Normandy is the place for you! This venue in Saint-Lô promotes contemporary music with a varied programme throughout the year.

An event for your diary is the Rendez-vous Soniques! This music festival gets the region singing and dancing every year in November, with lots of big names. Groups and artists from La Manche are also spotlighted at this venue, which strives to promote local culture.

Full programme at Le Normandy

Photo, © David Daguier - CD50

Did you know?

Le Normandy has had more than one life! It used to be an indoor horse riding arena, before becoming a cinema. And in 1996 it changed again to become a temple to music!


In the night of 6 to 7 June 1944, after the D-Day landings had taken place on Utah Beach that morning, the people of Saint-Lô saw their lives turned upside down. The town was a strategic crossroads and the Americans decided to bomb it to cut off German reinforcements in Brittany from the front. Despite the warning leaflets dropped over the town the previous night, many civilians were killed and thousands more were displaced during this aerial bombardment. More than 90% of the town was destroyed, leaving it the “Capital of ruins”. After more than 40 days of fighting, Saint-Lô was liberated on 18 July 1944. The Battle of the Hedgerows ended several days later with the launch of Operation Cobra.

In the aftermath of the World War II, everything had to be rebuilt. It took some 15 years for the teams of architects, artisans and workers to succeed in building a new Saint-Lô.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, different tributes will be held in Saint-Lô in 2024. On 5 June, an official ceremony in memory of the civilian victims will take place at the National Stud Farm, attended by Emmanuel Macron. A festival of the liberation of the town will also be held on 6 and 7 July.

Follow the historical trail that takes you to discover the vestiges and commemorative monuments: La Madeleine Chapel, the Blanchet Mausoleum, the civilian victims’ graveyard, the Major Howie memorial, the prison door, the war tunnel, etc. A trail in memory of the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives during World War II.

Explore Saint-Lô differently:
strolling between markets and green spaces


the Made in Manche shop

Right in the centre of Saint-Lô, you’ll find M’Fabrik, a shop dedicated to promoting the products and know-how of la Manche. Managed by the Attitude Manche agency, it sells many of the emblematic products of the territory. Sweet and savoury treats, drinks, clothing, books, homeware, posters, postcards, beauty products and much more: take a piece of the Manche home with you! It’s the perfect place to find a local gift or a treat for yourself.

M’Fabrik online shop

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Saint-Lô market

stock up on local products

Head to Place De Gaulle on Saturday mornings for Saint-Lô market, and meet the producers from the local area. You’ll find lots of tempting goodies at this big market. The stalls are bursting with produce, giving you plenty of ideas if you want to cook up a feast. Otherwise you can try some local specialities on the spot, or grab a bite to eat from one of the different street food vendors before you stroll around the town.

Markets in La Manche

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

In summer, head to the local producers’ market

Every Thursday in summer, a local producers’ market is held by the River Vire at the Plage Verte. The Virées du Terroir market has a vibrant atmosphere, with live bands for you to enjoy: a great way to spend an evening, with the ramparts as a backdrop.

The towpath

nature walks just a stone’s throw from the town

On foot, by bike, or even on horseback, get out and enjoy the Voies Vertesaround Saint-Lô. From the Plage Verte, you can walk along the River Vire at your own pace, following one of the different trails. The perfect way to get back to nature, just a stone’s throw from the town centre. You can also hire conventional or electric bikes at the tourist information office in Saint-Lô, which is situated close to the footpaths.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

The Vallon de la Dollée

a haven of greenery for all the family

Nestled in the heart of Saint-Lô, the Vallon de la Dollée is a lovely green space that’s perfect for a family walk. Here, the river zigzags between the paths and trees all the way to the picturesque Moulin au Cat. With an outdoor fitness trail, big playgrounds, cycle paths and picnic tables, there’s something for everyone.

The Vallon de la Dollée is also the stage for Hétéroclites, a cultural and artistic festival organised by the Art Plume association in Saint-Lô. The varied programme hosted in this natural setting includes shows, workshops and outdoor performances, with other events held all over the town. It’s a family-friendly festival that takes place every year in early June.

Photo, © Jim Prod

The Roches de Ham

a gem of nature just 15 minutes from Saint-Lô

Just a few minutes from Saint-Lô, don’t miss this impressive natural site nestled between huge cliffs. From the top, there’s a gorgeous view of the River Vire as it meanders through the surrounding countryside. A patchwork of fields and hedgerows in multiple shades of green is laid out before you. Whether you fancy hiking, kayaking or just enjoying a nice lunch at the local crêperie, it’s the perfect setting for an outdoor adventure!

Find out more about the Roches de Ham

Where to eat in Saint-Lô ? Our favourite places

Le Croco

a taste of Italy in Saint-Lô

With its restaurant, delicatessen shop and wine cellar, Le Croco brings a touch of the dolce vita to Saint-Lô, taking you on a delicious culinary journey. Open the door and let the Italian flavours tickle your tastebuds! Whether you prefer classic or original, from pancetta to foie gras, prepare for a feast in this paradise for pizza lovers! But Le Croco also has much more to offer on its extensive menu, including lasagna, pasta dishes, meatballs and of course the daily special. We thoroughly recommend the tiramisu if you fancy a sweet treat!

Le Croco



Kevin and Trish welcome you to their cosy and quirky bar-restaurant with its laid-back feel. Choose a delicious cocktail (we recommend the Saint-Love), some tapas to go with it (they have a great selection of original dishes), or a main course and homemade dessert if you’re feeling more peckish.Then settle into one of the vintage sofas or lounge in the sun on the terrace and enjoy one of the many evening events organised by the couple.

La Maison


the Michelin-star restaurant reinventing local products

You’ll have stars in your eyes after visiting Intuition, the gastronomic restaurant in Saint-Lô. In the kitchen, the chef Mickaël Marion works his magic with plants and wildflowers from his garden and proposes creative and daring dishes. He spotlights local products and Norman specialities, with his own blend of delicate flavours. Indulge yourself!


Photo, © L'Intuition

Oh happy thé

a taste of childhood

 Just opposite Notre-Dame church in Saint-Lô, this cute tearoom with its lilac façade tempts you in for a tasty treat. Oh Happy Thé is a place where you can happily while away a few hours, with pretty decor, a cosy atmosphere and a colourful little terrace. Take your pick from cheesecakes, Nutella cupcakes, fruit tarts, delicious cookies and sweets from your childhood. The tearoom also provides simple lunches, with quiches, tarts and salads. It’s best to book a table.

Oh Happy Thé

Photo, © Oh Happy Thé

Getting to Saint-Lô 

Saint-Lô train station is ideally situated close to the River Vire, opposite the tourist information office. The town is accessible from Paris, with a change in Caen or Lison, as well as from Rennes. Saint-Lô also has direct train links to Coutances and Granville in la Manche.

There’s also a bus service if you want to travel within Saint-Lô. Or if you love cycling, why not try hiring a bike? There are several bike hire points around the town.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

You may be interested in