Montreux on Lake Geneva in Switzerland is one of the most popular destinations in the region. The city is known for its Montreux Jazz Festival and its fantastic location on the azure Lake Geneva surrounded by imposing mountain peaks. Will you be vacationing at Lake Geneva and want to visit Montreux? We share tips for the best places to visit in Montreux, Switzerland.
Montreux is a relatively small city and that means that the city itself quite frankly does not have very many special attractions. The city – along with the nearby town of Vervey – is also called the Pearl of the Swiss Riviera and is primarily a very luxurious city. Yet the city is a perfect base because of its great location. Therefore, I recommend that you set aside a day to discover the sights in Montreux and also focus on the surrounding area.
Walk along the Promenade sur les Quais de Montreux
Thanks to its location right on Lake Geneva, one of the most beautiful sights in Montreux is the eleven kilometer long promenade. The Promenade sur les Quais de Montreux is a beautiful boulevard with palm trees, places to enjoy the view and colorful flowers. During the walk along the boulevard you will pass some of the most popular sights of Montreux and you can fully enjoy a view of the azure lake and the impressive mountain peaks. Moreover, along the promenade you can admire various works of art.
A selfie with Freddie Mercury
Montreux was Freddie Mercury’s favorite city for a long time and you can’t get around that in the city. Freddie Mercury is in fact the most famous Montreux resident ever. In memory of the Queen singer, a bronze statue was therefore placed on the boulevard in 1996. To this day, the statue of Freddie Mercury is the most popular landmark in Montreux and attracts millions of tourists from all over the world every year.
Admire the Castle of Chillon
One of our favorite spots in Montreux is the imposing Chillon Castle, or Chateau de Chillon. The castle of Chillon is one of the best preserved medieval castles and is an absolute must visit especially because of its location between the peaks of the Alps and the crystal clear Lake Geneva. From the center of Montreux you walk in about thirty minutes – via the colorful boulevard – to the castle.
- Admission to Chateau de Chillon is 13.50 CHF per adult and 7 CH for children between the ages of six and fifteen.
- Children under six can visit the castle for free
- If you would like to learn more about the castle you can book an audio tour for 6 CHF. This audio tour is unfortunately not available in Dutch, but in English, French and German.
- Along the road there is ample parking where you can park for free for a maximum of three hours. For this you need a blue parking disc
- You do not have a car? Right in front of the entrance is a bus stop. Tickets for the bus in Montreux can be bought at the machine in the bus
- Chateau de Chillon is extremely popular, so there are often long lines at the entrance. If you want to avoid the lines, purchase your tickets online in advance.
Visit the Montreux Jazz Festival
The event for which Montreux has become internationally famous is the Montreux Jazz Festival, which is held every summer. The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world and has been going on for at least fifty years. The festival usually takes place in the month of July and if you have the opportunity to be in the city at just this time I would definitely recommend it. We were there at the right time (by chance) and the city was bursting with fun, cool music and nice stalls along the boulevard.
- In 2023, the 57th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival will take place from June 30 to July 15
- You can find more information on this website.
Sailing on Lake Geneva
During your vacation on Lake Geneva, a boat trip on the stunning lake can’t be missed. Various destinations around the lake are not only easily accessible by train or bus, but there is also a lot of boat traffic on the lake. From Montreux, for example, you can easily travel by boat to other destinations such as Geneva and Lausanne.
Visit the Lavaux wine region
Did you know that right on Lake Geneva you find one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world? The Lavaux wine region is the most famous wine region in Switzerland and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In several places in the Lavaux region you will find wineries where you can taste the Swiss wines for yourself, but just driving through the area provides spectacular views. Its unique location on Lake Geneva and the imposing peaks of the Alps make the Lavaux wine region one of the most beautiful sights of Montreux and its surroundings.
We made a beautiful trip for which we used the app Vaud Guide. You can download the app for free. Here you will find information about various trips and attractions in the region.
Take a day trip to Lausanne
Montreux is certainly not the only beautiful destination on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. During your vacation or round trip, I definitely recommend that you also visit the city of Lausanne. Lausanne is also called the Olympic capital on Lake Geneva and is if you ask us even cozier than Montreux.
Chaplin’s World Museum
Not only Freddie Mercury is a famous Montreux resident, Charlie Chaplin also spent the last 25 years of his life in the region. In Vervey, next to Montreux the museum Chaplin’s World is located in the immense estate where the actor spent his last years of life. In 2018, the museum was named Best Museum
- Chaplin’s World Museum is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
- The entrance fee is 27 CHF for adults and 18 CHF for children.
- You can also purchase your admission tickets in advance online via this link
- More information can be found here.
Are you looking for some more luxury and a great view over Lake Geneva then Eurotel Montreux is a great option to stay.
Bon Port is also a fine accommodation in the city from where you can easily admire all the sights in Montreux on foot.
As indicated, Montreux is quite a posh city and that means that there are few budget options in terms of accommodations. Don’t mind sharing a room and just want to get to know other travelers? Then staying at Montreux Youth Hostel is the best option.
Are you traveling through Switzerland with your camper? Just outside the city – right on Lake Geneva – you can stay at Camping des Horizons Bleus. During your stay you will receive a City Card that allows you to make free use of public transport to and from the city. We chose to stay outside the city, in the middle of the mountains in Leysin after our city trip. Here we paid 13 CHF for one night. Find the exact location here.
Admire the hotel Montreux Palace
Montreux is a city full of allure and imposing, distinguished buildings. One of the most beautiful buildings in the city that you should definitely have seen is the imposing Montreux Palace. The building is not a palace as the name suggests, but a luxury hotel where many a famous person has spent some nights.
Hike from mountain top to mountain top: Glacier 3000
As mentioned earlier, it’s not necessarily the sights in Montreux that make you need to visit the city. In particular, the surrounding area is stunning and one of the most beautiful places is the Glacier 3000. From the city you are in the mountains in no time and the Glacier 3000 – in the village of Les Diablerets – is less than an hour’s drive from the city. Glacier 3000 is the only place in the world where you can hike from one mountain peak to another via a huge suspension bridge measuring 107 meters in length.
Montreux on the map
On the map below you can find all the attractions in Montreux mentioned in this article.
Practical tips and information for your visit to Montreux, Switzerland
How many days for Montreux?
For a city trip Montreux you do not need much time. In principle, you can easily admire all the sights in Montreux in one day. However, I recommend that you definitely plan more time, so that you can also discover the stunning surroundings at your leisure
How to get to Montreux?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to fly to Montreux from the Netherlands. The best option is to book flights to Geneva and rent a car at the airport to make a nice trip along Lake Geneva. For renting a car in Switzerland, we recommend Rentelcars.com or Alamo.
Are you traveling to Switzerland by car? Make sure to purchase a toll vignette to drive on the high ways. Here you can find more information about the toll vignette for Switzerland.