Montreux, considered the French Riviera of Switzerland, is a beautiful town that sits along the eastern part of Lac Léman. Here you will find a crystal clear blue lake with a mountain backdrop, stunning architecture, and dozens of palm trees, giving off a tropical feel in the heart of French-speaking Switzerland.
WHERE TO STAY
There are many options for a lovely stay in Montreux, anywhere from the classy and extravagant Fairmont Le Montreux Palace to the waterfront Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic. If you are traveling on a budget, consider staying at the new Hotel D Bulle, located just under 15 miles away from Montreux for a fraction of the price but still modern and stylish.
THINGS TO DO
Montreux is most famous for being in such close proximity to Chillon Castle, a famous waterfront castle encompassing history between the 12th and 19th centuries. Walking around the castle is a great way to spend the day to learn more about Swiss history as well as enjoy the unique architecture and lake views!
If you’re a Queen fan, Montreux is home to the famous Freddie Mercury statue! If you’re a fan of music in general, consider visiting Montreux in July for the annual Jazz festival, which is an iconic event each year with hundreds of thousands of visitors, as well as many free concerts!
During a sunny day, stroll along the Promenade sur les quais de Montreux. The promenade is lined with unique statues, as well as beautiful flowers and palm trees along the waterfront. Each year there is a theme for sculptors and gardeners to follow, paying careful attention to accentuate the beauty of the lakefront. On the land side is where you’ll encounter city views with colorful and extravagant buildings.
If you’re looking for a swim during summer time, head over to Chillon Castle beach, Montreux Corniche, or Montreux Plage for a day of sun tanning and swimming in the beautiful lake. If you want to enjoy the water from a different perspective, there are several different riviera cruises that can be booked, many of which include lunch and dinner cruises!
If you happen to visit during the winter and have some extra time to explore, Montreux is just a 35 minute drive from the famous town of Gruyères. This is a perfect place to warm up with an authentic fondue in the mountains. There are also many ski resorts in close proximity less than 1 hour away, including Eraisis remontée ski, Leysin, and Crans Montana.
WHAT TO EAT
One of my favorite places to eat in Montreux is Les Boucaniers. This is such a quirky and fun place from start to finish. The place is small with just one waiter who is entertaining and passionate that his customers have a unique dining experience. There are endless games to play if you’re just sitting for a drink. The food is primarily quick bites like burgers, yet so delicious! This is definitely a fun place for a date or with friends.
Molino is another favorite for a delicious Italian meal for lunch or dinner. Molino is a Swiss “franchise” found in several different cities. I hate to call it a franchise because the food is so fresh and nothing like a US dining franchise! At Molino, you’ll have the option for outdoor seated in all seasons with gorgeous lakefront views. I highly recommend the pasta carbonara or the pizza if you’re craving a piece of Italy while in Switzerland!