Just past the bustling waterfront town of Montreux, among the mountains lies the quaint, medieval village of Gruyères. Best known for its cheese production, the quaint town of Gruyères boasts a cheese factory, several restaurants specializing in fondue, a castle, and impressive landscapes. Gruyères is a small village, with a population of 2,200 people, but it has been deemed as one of Switzerland’s most beautiful villages. If you’re visiting the Geneva area, be sure to spend a day wandering around this fairytale of a town! Below is a guide to spending a day in Gruyères, with the best things to do, where to stay, and what to eat in Gruyères!
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Getting to Gruyères
Gruyères is about a 35 minute drive from Montreux, and 1 hour and 20 minutes from Geneva by car. The most direct mode of transportation is bus or car, as there are no direct train lines leaving from either city without transfers. If you’re aiming to make the most of the region, I recommend staying in the small town of Bulle, located just 10 minutes from Gruyères and also a short trip to the waterfront town of Montreux.
Where to Stay in Gruyères
As previously mentioned, staying in Bulle is a great option for a night or two. There aren’t too many options in the town of Gruyères itself; you’ll find a handful of small B&B style hotels in the village. During my visit, I stayed at Hotel D Bulle, as it was between Montreux and Gruyères, both popular destinations for a day trip. Hotel D Bulle is a new 4 star hotel located in the same building as a small shopping center which is also quite new as well. This location is really convenient, not only because of the covered parking garage, but there are several shops you can access with makeup, toiletries, and even wine and local cheeses. Hotel D Bulle has some of the friendliest staff which made the stay a delight! Not to mention, the modern rooms and stylish breakfast and lounge area were instagram worthy.
Best Things to do in Gruyères
Start your day off at La Maison du Gruyère, home to the official Gruyère cheese production which also houses a museum and interactive exhibits. After spending time learning about the cheese, stop by the restaurant for fondue. However, if it’s too early in the day for cheese, there’s a market on site to take away some for later!
After you spend an hour or two at La Maison du Gruyère, head up the hill to the top of the village. Here you will find the Gruyères castle, one of the best activities in Gruyères! You can do a self guided tour to observe the architecture of this unique medieval castle for only 12 CHF for adults. If you prefer a guided tour, one can be booked on the website ahead of time. Regardless of what you choose, you will learn about the unique history of Gruyères and the impressive medieval architecture!
If you’re a sci-fi fan, be sure to check out the HR Giger museum, full of artwork by HR Giger, a swiss artist who is known for the movie, “Alien”. This museum has artwork that is not kid friendly, just a forewarning. Across from the museum you’ll find the HR Giger museum bar. This bar is a work of art and follows the theme of the museum, which has made it a really popular destination, especially for photos!
Fondue tasting is a must-do activity in Gruyères. Head over to Gruyère Traditions Switzerland for a savory savoyard meal outside while you take in the scenery of the stunning village. I highly recommend trying the truffle fondue!
After you’re filled to the brim with fondue or raclette, wander among the village for some shopping. The village is quite small and consists of just one street with only a small handful of stores, though a lovely way to spend an afternoon!
Finally as you say goodbye to the picture perfect village Gruyères, stop by the Maison Callier museum if you want a real life Willy Wonka experience. Located just a 10 minute drive from Gruyères, you will find the famous Callier museum with exhibits and workshops for both adults and children alike.
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