Annecy castle overlooking the city

Annecy, in the North of the French Alps, is the Venice of Savoie — a well deserved title. The medieval town centre built around a 14th century Chateau is dissected by small canals and streams running out of Lac Annecy, which is clean, fresh and a wonderful azure colour. Annecy is also the prefecture of the département of Haute-Savoie.

Get in

By train

Ten TER Rhône-Alpes trains operated by SNCF leave daily for Annecy from the Gare de Part-Dieu in Lyon, leaving around every two hours from 7:00 to 21:00. A round-trip ticket is €54.40 (€27.20 one-way) and the trip is around two hours each way.

There are also trains leaving for Annecy from Chambéry, which run more frequently. Eighteen TER trains and one Intercités de Nuit train, as well as one SNCF bus service, run between the two towns, taking around an hour each way. A round-trip ticket is €21.20 (€10.60 one-way).

By bus

Annecy is a popular day trip from nearby Geneva, Switzerland (bring your passport for the border crossing - although checks are not frequent). Buses operated by Lihsa leave from Geneva's intercity bus station about 5 times/day on Sundays, more frequently on weekdays. A round-trip ticket costs 32 CHF and the trip takes about an hour/direction.

By plane

Geneva is the nearest major international airport and is well served from across Europe and beyond. With the new motorway, it is now just over 35 min away. A little further away is Lyon, a full international airport, and Grenoble, which is focused on low cost and winter flights. Both are about a one-hour drive by car or bus. The airport at Annecy only has flights to Paris.

By car

Autoroute A41 runs next to Annecy, and you can easily drive there from e.g. Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble or Aosta.


Palais de l'Isle



A canal in Annecy's old town


Annecy has a number of local artisan shops as well as many European chain boutiques.

There is a market (marché) each Sunday morning in the pedestrian streets of the medieval city. Le marché is an open air market with the freshest fruits and vegetables.


For between meals try the ice cream shops, favored by the locals, located on the numerous pedestrian-only by-ways that weave the city and river together.

Another suggestion is the brioche (sweet roll) and other goodies to be found at the boulangeries (bakeries) in town.

And of course, Haute-Savoie is famous for its cheese recipes :


Bed & breakfast, youth hostel exist. Surrounding mountains and lake activities are draining a large number of tourist during the summer and more and more during the winter season. Several winter sport resorts are within a 30 minute drive.


The town itself gets ridiculously busy in July but September brings less folk - visit then when the air is clearer and the views to the mountains are better.

Go next

If you want to get away from the crowds, try the far side of the lake. The best way to get around is by bike.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, June 29, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.