36 Romantic Hours in Annecy, France

Arriving in Annecy

If you take a train or a bus into town, the station is only about a ten minute walk to the Old Town area.  We found it really simple to book a hotel near the station so we could drop off our luggage and still have a quick, easy walk into the Old Town, “Vieille Ville”.

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Exploring the Romantic Annecy

No map is needed for this little town.  You can use the lake as your compass.  We enjoyed meandering through the old streets along the canals scattered with flower pots only adding to its appeal.  

The Palais de L’Ile is the most photographed place in town, it is the building around which the canals fork.  Pont Perrier is the bridge from where the photos are taken.   Regardless, we found plenty of photo ops along the canals and the arched passageways along the historic streets.

Catch the sunset from the Musee Chateau at the top of the hill.

The Lake Life, “La Vie du Lac” is a major draw to this area.  Spend some time on the water whether you book a cruise, paddle boat, sail boat, or motor boat.   We rented a two-person paddle boat for 19€ per hour and packed wine and a picnic to enjoy in the middle of the lake.

Wander the shore line as well for some beautiful views of the mountains behind sparkling water.  We walked from Old Town to Parc Charles Bosson where we laid in the grass sunbathing like the locals in front of the Imperial Casino.

Tip: Get out early to avoid the crowds and get some great pictures of  the quiet town highlighted with the morning sun.

Dining in Annecy

Raclette – Since visiting France 2 years ago, we regretted not trying Raclette.  We found the place in Annecy known for their Raclette and Fondues.  It is called Le Freti. You should definitely make a reservation as they fill up, especially the tables with outlets for the Raclette machines.

You can’t go wrong at any of the restaurants in Old Town and prices seemed highly comparable across them.

There is Gelato EVERYWHERE!  We loved the chocolate we purchased from Meyer Le Chocolatier d’Annecy. Moral of the story, save room for dessert.

Markets – On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 7am-1pm, the market fills many of the streets of old town with breads, olives, cheese, vegetables, fruits, and craft goods.  This is where we collected supplies for our makeshift paddle boat picnic.

If you have more time, consider a trip to the Chateau de Duingt Castle, hike in the Alps, or try some adventure sports!  Annecy is the birth place of Paragliding.

I would have loved to go, but the season hadn’t started.  I was also tempted by the Hot Air Balloons at daybreak.

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