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“Plan the Shoulder Seasons” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel

Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel
BP 22, 50170 Mont-St-Michel, France
02 33 89 80 00
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Top Rated
$96*
and up
Private Day Tour of Mont Saint-Michel from Bayeux
Type: Architectural Buildings, Castles, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Monuments/ Statues, Performances, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Cultural
Activities: Walking
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Owner description: The Benedictine Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most remarkable examples of mediaeval religious and military architecture and was one of Christianity's most important pilgrimage sites from the 8th to the 18th century.The Abbey comprises a superb ensemble of clerical buildings including the abbey church, the cloister, the refectory, the monks' ambulatory and the gardens of what has been known as the ""Merveille"" (Marvel) since the 12th century. In summer, the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel is best seen in all its splendour after sunset during the special “sons et lumières"" shows. Designated world heritage site by UNESCO. Open:> 2nd May to 31st August: from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.> 1st September to 30th April: from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last admission 1 hr before closing time. Closed:> 1st January, 1st May and 25 December. Admission fees: Adults : 9€; Concessions (18 to 25) = 5,50 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
895 reviews 895 reviews
600 attraction reviews
Reviews in 196 cities Reviews in 196 cities
632 helpful votes 632 helpful votes
“Plan the Shoulder Seasons”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

This is one of the best sites in France. Accessible at all times but more specatcular on the high tides it is a great place to visit.

The Abbey itelf is open only at daytimes but MSM itself is open all day and night. There are hotels and eateries located on MSM that are open into the night.

One of the two big questions are 1. How do I get there and 2. How long do I need to see it?

1. Go to the Forum section and decide if the train, bus, or car good for you. It is possible to day trip from Paris.
2. If you have enough time then stay then night near MSM but I would suggest not to stay on MSM. The hotels are expensive and the eateries not the best. There are many places around the abbey.

Parking is about 2 Kms away with a shuttle available to take you to the base of MSM

Once at MSM you will pass through many souvenir stores that are greatly overpriced. Making your way up to the top to the Abbey will include a gradual incline and steps. If you are in average health this will not be a problem but on summer days you will need to stop in one of the many air con shops along the way. Once at the top you'll pay an entrance fee into the Abbey. There are tours at specific times of the day listed on the Abbey's website.

The Abbey itself should take no more than one hour to see. Load up some chamber or chanting monk music on your Iphone to enhance the atmposphere and drown out the tourists. There is an Abbey gift store at the exit/entrance point of the Abbey.

At lower tides there is a tour you can take around the exterior of MSM. It is well worth the fun but bring a change of clothes. Night time photos are great around the Abbey at night but entrance into the Abbey is not allowed at night.

There are places to eat, museums, and stores on MSM.

Visited April 2013
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San Francisco
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98 reviews 98 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Pay the 9 euros, it's worth it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

Mont Saint Michel, so busy, so touristy, so ... everything almost Disney Land. And than .... there is the Abby at the end of the road. 9 Euros gets you in, join a free one hour tour or explore yourself. An amazing building, you visit the church and crypt and gardens and everything in between.

The tourists almost disappear and you enter a world of its own. If you're lucky you watch a service and listen to the organ play. An amazing place.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Arguably one of France's top attractions”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

I've been visiting France for over 20 years and it still strikes me to realise that even after having been almost everywhere there I still have "wow" moments. So was the case with Mont Saint Michel. I've been thinking of going for years but never really managed to, it seemed one of those 'cute but not that great' types of site.

How mistaken I was. St-Michel has that kind of magic that few sites can aspire to, something you can't explain or put your finger on but feel it as soon as you're there (or even before, when you see it in the distance).

The labyrinthine abbey with its austere gothic flair, alcoves, stairs, chimneys and spires is a spectacle in itself but also the village has an incredible charm. The little medieval houses and shops, the history of how it came to be.

If you liked San Gimignano or Assisi you will love this place.

One word of advice: allow time - the more, the better. St-Michel is not about "been there, seen it", it's an experience.

I did the mistake of not allowing much time for it and regret greatly. In fact, I'd recommend to allow a full day to experience the whole hamlet or even better, book a room there, spend the night, enjoy breakfast and lunch.

It must be a memorable experience.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oundle, United Kingdom
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13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Magical!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

What a sense of history. We timed it right and there was a service underway in the chapel - monks were chanting and it was absolutely amazing.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
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Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Spectacular and amazing scenery with way too much commercialism.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

Sorry to see what has been done to this wonder of the world. It's all about greedy tourist junk, and now the hike from parking to the actual entrance is lined with tacky places. We were directed to park, told to walk to the end and catch a shuttle, which drove us a few blocks and dropped us on a road which had cheap restaurants and ugly hotels along the way. Walking past them in the rain and wind to get to the actual entrance reinforced my dismay. Walking back, we entered a bar to dodge the rain, rest and grab a drink and sat for 20 minutes with no one coming to take an order, eventually left. Such an amazing cathedral and natural wonder made into a tourist trap.

Visited May 2013
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