Best Things To Do In Annecy, France (A Travel Guide)


Annecy France Travel Guide
Best Things to Do in Annecy, France!
Annecy, France

While France is filled with charming locations, my favourite needs to be the mountain city of Annecy. From lake cruising to farmer’s markets — listed below are the finest issues to do in Annecy, France!

Annecy is an attractive lake city within the Haute-Savoie area of France surrounded by mountains on the sting of the Swiss border. The lake, Lac d’Annecy, boasts a few of the freshest water in Europe, replenished annually from the snow soften.

The city isn’t too massive — or too small both. With a really walk-able and bike pleasant ambiance, you may spend many lazy afternoons exploring native retailers, snacking at recent meals markets, or take a picnic in one of many many parks.

We spent 2-months residing in Annecy as digital nomads with our two children and cat, and completely cherished it! So listed below are a few of our greatest ideas for actions and nice issues to do in Annecy, France.

My Annecy itinerary is totally free! I’ve labored onerous placing it collectively for you. If you discover it helpful, please use my affiliate hyperlinks whenever you e book inns, rental automobiles or actions. I’ll receives a commission a small fee, at no further price to you! Thanks.

Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Protect your self from harm, sickness, or theft whereas on trip. SafetyWing presents inexpensive journey insurance coverage!

Annecy France Travel Guide

1: Explore Annecy’s Old Town

Canals in Old Town Annecy
Old Town Annecy

One of the explanations Annecy is so picturesque is the community of canals that make their method by way of the previous city. It’s generally referred to as the “Venice of France”. Annecy’s canals are shallow, and not likely used for boating, nevertheless it nonetheless offers the city an enthralling really feel.

Combined with the colourful previous buildings, cobblestone streets, and flower containers, a stroll by way of the Old Town neighborhood of Annecy is at all times a deal with.

You’ll catch glimpses of the mountains and lake within the distance, whereas having fun with the city’s many street-side eating places, cafes, and ice cream retailers.

2: Boating On Lake Annecy

Boat on Lake Annecy
Rent a Boat on Lake Annecy

Arguably Annecy’s high spotlight is Lac d’Annecy, a surprising giant blue lake positioned proper on the sting of city. Lake Annecy is France’s third largest lake and repeatedly receives accolades for being the freshest lake in Europe (on account of snow soften from the Alps).

The lake is surrounded by mountains, and whereas chilly, is an ideal place to chill off in the summertime warmth. There are biking paths round it, loads of seashores, and plenty of alternatives to go boating!

  • Rent A Pedal Boat – You’ll discover every kind of pedal boats obtainable to lease alongside the lake’s edge at Jacquet Promenade. The boats price about €15 EURO for half-hour, relying on dimension. Some even have slides or diving boards connected!
  • Rent A Motor Boat – Small 4-5 individual motor boats could be rented, and also you don’t want a ship license both. Some have sunshades, and leases price about €65 EURO for an hour.
  • Join A Lake Tour – There are some giant tour boats that may take you across the lake whereas describing key factors of curiosity. You may even e book a desk for dinner on the boat!
  • Go Waterskiing – Waterskiing is a well-liked pastime on Lake Annecy, and it’s potential to e book a visit with one of many native water-skiing corporations.
  • Take A Sailing Lesson – You can lease a small sail boat to cruise across the lake, or take a newbie crusing lesson too!

3: Walk Across Lover’s Bridge

Lover's Bridge in Annecy
Pont des Amours

Pont des Amours is an additional fairly and well-known bridge on the sting of Lac d’Annecy that spans the Vassé canal and connects the Jardins de l’Europe with the Jacquet Promenade.

Local legend says that lovers who kiss on the bridge will keep collectively for all times.

The bridge has two nice views. One trying on the lake itself with mountains within the background, and in the event you flip round, you’ll get pleasure from a tree-lined canal with picket boats moored on both sides.

4: Picnic At Jardins de l’Europe

Gardens of Europe
Go For A Picnic

When the climate is good, strolling or biking all the way down to Jardins de l’Europe is an excellent household pleasant exercise. This large park sits on the sting of the lake, with giant inexperienced fields, boardwalks, and playgrounds.

There’s even an previous picket Carousel, initially inbuilt 1871, for teenagers to experience.

The park is in style for late afternoon picnics — simply deliver down some wine, cheese, and bread from the markets and a blanket to benefit from the mountain views. A French expertise you simply can’t miss!

5: Explore Annecy Castle

Annecy Castle
Chateau Annecy

Château d’Annecy is a citadel within the coronary heart of Annecy, positioned on a hill above the city. Originally constructed as a residence for the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.

These days the Chateau homes a museum (Musée-Château d’Annecy), that includes native sculpture, artwork, and a nature exhibit of animals and fish which might be discovered across the lake. The citadel additionally has some good views of the lake and city from the sting of its partitions.

Entry tickets price about €5 EURO for adults, and are free for teenagers beneath 12.

6: Walk The Promenade du Thiou

Promenade de Thiou Hike
Annecy’s Urban Hiking Trail

The Promenade du Thiou is a pleasant simple stroll by way of the previous city of Annecy alongside the crystal blue Thiou River, that progressively will get extra wooded and secluded as you progress out of city. There are paths on either side of the river.

The path is bike and stroller pleasant too. It’s a beautiful solution to spend an hour or two, having fun with nature (and getting away from the busy tourist-filled metropolis middle). There are some playgrounds, sitting areas, and bridges unfold out alongside the tree-shaded path.

Promenade du Thiou begins across the Quai des Cordeliers (simply previous the well-known Le Palais de I’Île), within the middle of Old Annecy and also you merely stroll up river from there.

7: Visit Annecy le Vieux

Annecy Le Vieux
Exploring Annecy Le Vieux

Annecy le Vieux is a distinct a part of city, a residential space raised up on a hill overlooking the remainder of the lake. It incorporates a good park, previous buildings and church buildings, some eating places & bars, and is mostly a extra relaxed place in comparison with the busy previous metropolis down beneath.

Some highlights right here embody the Clocher Roman Church, Parc Gabriel Fauré, and Les Quatre Gourmets Restaurant.

8: Shop At The Farmer’s Markets

Farmer's Markets
Fresh Cheese on the Market

One of my favourite elements of residing in Annecy was the numerous recent meals markets that line the streets of the previous city. You’ll discover quite a lot of produce, cheese, sausage, wine, olives, bread, flowers, crafts, and extra.

The Annecy road markets occur each Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from 7am–1pm. Make certain to attempt a few of the native reblochon cheese, utilized in many native dishes.

9: Chateau de Menthon-Saint Bernard

Chateau Menthon and Valley
Chateau Menthon

Chateau de Menthon is a powerful medieval citadel simply exterior of Annecy. Home to the identical household for over 100 years, it’s open to guests from April to October on weekends.

The citadel towers over Lake Annecy, the Roc de Chère National Nature Reserve, and Menthon-Saint-Bernard, with fantastic views of every.

Guided excursions of the citadel (in French solely) are within the afternoons, and final about an hour. There’s additionally a small backyard together with sheep, pigs, and peacocks.

10: Bike Around The Lake

Bike Path in Annecy
Biking Around the Lake

Annecy may be very bicycle pleasant, with many devoted bike paths and trails that may take you throughout the city. There is fantastic bike path that encircles the lake too, and it’s a good way to kill just a few hours whereas having fun with the mountain surroundings.

This 35 km paved greenway follows the previous route of a railroad that linked Annecy with Albertville, and stops in smaller villages alongside the way in which like Sévrier, Saint-Jorioz, Duingt, Lathuile and Doussard.

You can lease a motorcycle from many retailers in Annecy, and even get a trailer for teenagers (like we did).

11: Palais de l’Île

Palais de l'Ile
Attempting a Family Photo…

Palais de l’Isle might be probably the most postcard-famous spot in Annecy. A novel castle-like constructing that sits in the course of the Thiou River, surrounded by eating places and retailers in Annecy’s previous city.

Often described as a “house in the shape of a ship” — the constructing has been a jail, a courthouse and an administrative middle. The authentic construction was constructed within the twelfth century.

These days it’s a museum (about €4 to enter), that includes an previous courtroom, dungeon, jail cells and chapel that you could go to. The most well-known photographs are taken from the bridge out in entrance.

12: Go For A Hike

La Tournette Mountain
La Tournette Hike

Annecy is positioned on the base of the French Alps, and an incredible place to base your self for visiting the mountains. There are many native hikes close by, in addition to day journeys to glorious snowboarding and trekking alternatives.

From simple walks, to excessive mountaineering, there’s one thing for everybody. Hikes round Annecy can embody waterfalls, mountain lakes, and wildlife sightings of ibex mountain goats.

Here are some in style mountain climbing trails round Annecy:

  • La Tournette – The highest peak close to the lake, La Tournette is a really tough hike. But the views are superb. About 6-hours round-trip. Experienced hikers solely.
  • Mont Baron & Veyrier – A reasonable 2-hour loop hike that visits two mountain peaks, with fantastic views.
  • Gorges du Fier – An simple stroll for the entire household, this hike takes you throughout suspension bridges in the course of a gorge.
  • Cascade d’Angon – Beautiful shaded waterfall hike that’s not too tough, and offers you good views of the lake. About 2-hours spherical journey.
Annecy from Above
When to Visit Annecy

Best Time To Visit Annecy

March – May

We visited Annecy within the Spring, primarily in April and May. The climate on this a part of France could be unpredictable, and it snowed on us a pair occasions. In between sunny days full of wildflowers. The mountains will nonetheless have snow on them, however the climate isn’t too sizzling but on the town.

June – August

This is Annecy’s excessive season, and whereas lovely, it may well get very crowded. Many vacationers go to Annecy as a day journey whereas touring by way of Switzerland, as a result of it’s so near the border. It’s tough to search out lodging in the summertime, except you e book months upfront.

September – November

This might be the perfect time to go to Annecy. Most of the high-season vacationers are gone, the climate is cool, however the snow hasn’t come but. There’s additionally an incredible pageant in October referred to as the Return Of The Alpine Pastures Festival.

Boat on a Canal
How To Visit Annecy, France

Where Is Annecy (Getting There)

Annecy, France is positioned 44 km West of Geneva (Switzerland) a few 40-minute drive away. Most individuals get to Annecy after flying into Geneva International Airport, after which driving over the border.

However it’s additionally potential to fly into Paris and take a prepare. Search for the most affordable flights to Geneva on

Buildings in the Old Town
Staying in Annecy

Where To Stay In Annecy

Accommodation in Annecy can vary from backpacker pleasant to luxurious. As we have been staying there long-term, we rented a beautiful vacation residence from My Sweet Home Annecy that was near all the pieces.

The finest areas to remain in Annecy are close to the previous city for straightforward entry to the markets and the lake.


Enjoy This Article? Pin It!


I hope you loved my information on what to do in Annecy, France! Hopefully you discovered it helpful. Here are just a few extra wanderlust-inducing articles that I like to recommend you learn subsequent:

Have any questions on issues to do in Annecy, France? What about different recommendations? Join the dialog on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here