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Annecy, France (Alps)

Bonjour all!

I just saw a very interesting looking town called Annecy. I was wondering if anyone has been there, as I plan to arrive by train, and use public transport to get around in town / to the castle etc.

Thanks very much!

Posted by
4447 posts

Hi Laura, yes, Annecy is very beautiful and popular. We came from Torino, Italy by train and headed to Lyon by train afterwards.

We stayed at the Imperial Palace and really enjoyed those gorgeous views, rented a small power boat, rented bikes and enjoyed the quaint town.

Posted by
250 posts

Great to hear! Is the public transport simple? (I won't have a car, so I"m hoping I can easily get to the sights)

Thank you!

Posted by
427 posts

You're right Laura, Annecy is a very interesting town. From the train station you can easily walk to the Old Town, the chateau (castle), the Lake and lakeside park. We stayed at the Hotel Alexandra (also an easy walk from the train station) and liked it.
There's lots of information about Annecy readily available on line and in guide books. It's a well-known tourist destination.

Posted by
250 posts

Awesome! Thanks. I am not even sure how I stumbled upon it, but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to go!

THanks for the very useful info

Posted by
19 posts

Bonjour Laura: I'm going there too for the first time for a month. There are hikes nearby and biking paths around the lake; beaches and boats. It's an old town built by the Romans; France's Venice. You can take day trips to Chamonix (Mont Blanc) and Lyon. It's close to Geneva. Excellent public transportation. Get a bus pass at the train station or rent a bicycle.

Posted by
1777 posts

hey hey laura
our trip to annecy is for third week of september for 6 nights. flying to paris, spend sunday night and train to geneva on monday for 2 nights. then a taxi to annecy in an apartment near the lake. i've done reserach for this town and found a few things to do. walk as much on lake promenade as much as we can, the canals with the restaurants and sights to see.
i have saved: annecyvacation.com
taxiannecygeneva.net
thecrazytourist.com (search annecy)
tasteofsavoie.com (taking the train to the village of chambery)
annecycitytour.fr
we have never been there and so excited, it's a rest and relaxation vacation. we have a balcony with our apartment looking over the lake, will walk around the center of town, eat and people watch. after our time in annecy will train back to paris for 8 nights. a fun vacation planned with great friends.
don't know where you are training from, i've booked our train from paris to geneva already for the cheaper fare thru trainline, taxi from geneva to annecy booked, only waiting for schedule to open for annecy to paris, hopefully by end of month.
don't know what part of california you're coming from, where you flying to and your dates.book your trains early and have a great time and enjoy.
aloha

Posted by
4447 posts

Hi Laura, we took a taxi from the train station to our hotel and then just walked everywhere (except for leisure biking along lake). There’s boat rides where you could tour the lake, too.

Posted by
250 posts

Merci beaucoups all!

I just booked the TGV from Annecy direct to Paris. So convenient! I’ll be coming to Annecy from Zermatt , I think. Next, I will need to look at the various Swiss train passes to better understand their requirements for pre-booking, cost comparisons, etc.

So excited!

Posted by
6478 posts

Annecy is my favorite town in France (after Paris of course). It's so beautiful there, the lake and the canal that runs though town. Be sure to take a ride on the boat that goes to some of the small villages on the lake. I loved walking along the lake walk and through the park in the evening. If you're there on Friday their market is really nice.

I stayed at Hotel du Chateau, which is up on the hill by the castle. It's a little bit of a hike down to the town center but only a couple of blocks so not bad. There's a little terrace with fantastic views over the town and the staff was very attentive. I took a taxi from the train station to the hotel and walked everywhere from there except when on the boat.

I hope you have as nice weather as I did, it was gorgeous.

Posted by
2916 posts

I've been to Annecy several times and loved it. I'm attaching a link to my travel blog, which includes a number of entries covering Annecy. Because they're spread out over several trips, the easiest way to find them is by entering "Annecy" in the search box. http://mainelywinenews.blogspot.com/
Someone mentioned Hotel du Chateau as a place to stay. Although we haven't stayed there, friends of ours did and loved it.

Since you're from California, I thought I would add this caution. And for reference, I used to live near Annecy and it came up frequently as a possible destination for visitors from the U.S.

Annecy is an OK town. It's got some nice attributes. And it has some not-so-nice attributes, one of which is the incredible tourist overload in the summer inflicted by countless automobiles and tour buses. As for me, I would refuse to go there any time between May 1 and October 31.

If you have never seen an alpine lake, then it might seem more interesting to you than if you had been around such features. But being from California, if you have seen Lake Tahoe or some other spectacular alpine lake, then Annecy likely would score somewhat lower on your scale of impressiveness.

It's pretty in some spots, no doubt. But not pretty enough, if you're familiar with that kind of setting, to bother with during the high tourist season.

Posted by
21039 posts

I've seen Lake Tahoe and a bunch of Swiss and Italian lakes, and I still think Annecy is lovely. However, it is certainly true that it is mobbed with visitors in the summer. It can also be surprisingly hot, so if you plan to visit during the summer, I highly recommend an air conditioned hotel. I had taken that precaution, but the heat made walking around the lake not very pleasant, and the crowds made me glad I was only there for one full day. I assume I was a bit unlucky with the weather, but I guess the crowds are a fact of life.

Posted by
2916 posts

I agree that summer is probably not a good time to visit Annecy, particularly due to what I would expect to be large crowds. But I think eliminating the entire period from May 1 to October 31 is going too far. I've been there several times, from late March to late April. Yes, it was always pretty crowded, but Annecy can absorb crowds pretty well, with the exception of the roads. We always ditched our car before or upon arriving in Annecy, but we did experience some awful traffic congestion while on buses along the lake.

Posted by
6478 posts

I was in Annecy the middle of July. Yes, it was crowded in the small compact old center of town. But it was not so horrible that I would hesitate going again in summer. I never had to wait for a table at a cafe and I didn't have to stand in line for the boat ride, the only really long line was at the Glaces des Alpes ice cream shop (popular spot). Now, that was 4 years ago but I can't believe it's become that much worse in just those 4 years, at least I hope not. I guess I'm maybe not as bothered by crowds as some people are. Most desirable tourist spots are crowded and if you want to visit them you learn to deal with the crowds.

Posted by
4684 posts

I was in Annecy last weekend and certainly didn't think it was "mobbed".

Posted by
781 posts

I was in Annecy in early May of 2017 and really enjoyed it and yes it was crowded.If a place has touristic value,it will be crowded.We went from Annecy to Chamonix at Mt Blanc and rode the gondola to Aguile du Midi which is the best gondola ride that I have ever done.When we were in Annecy there was an antique market on a Sunday that was very interesting.The food scene has good variety with Fondue available.
Mike

Posted by
1777 posts

hey hey mary
read about the “cow parade” festival, looked like a fun day. we will miss it but do plan to buy cow bells for my family in Hawaii in memory of my mom. she was a cowgirl on a ranch there. moo
aloha

Posted by
7 posts

Does anyone know if the Hotel Chateau has air conditioning? Would we need it for a trip September 9-11, 2019? Traveling with someone sensitive to heat. Any other hotel recommendations if this one does not have A/C? Thank you!