Nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva at the foot of the magnificent Swiss Alps, Montreux is a beautiful lakeside resort with grand Belle Époque buildings, an array of cultural attractions, and breathtaking panoramic vistas. The charming lakeside town is renowned for its mild climate and mesmerizing views and offers a wealth of recreational and outdoor activities ranging from hiking and mountain climbing to water-based sports on the lake. The beautiful Château de Chillon, medieval island castle with ancient ramparts, vast halls, and a picturesque chapel with 14th-century murals rests just off the shores of the lake. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Château de Chillon
Resting on a small rocky island at the eastern end of Lake Geneva, Château de Chillon is a magnificent 13th-century fortress and one of Switzerland’s most visited sites. Originally owned by the House of Savoy, the castle is situated on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve with easy access to the Alpine valley of the Rhône, giving it both natural protection and a strategic position. The castle features circular towers, ramparts overlooking the lake, and a network of dungeons that inspired Lord Byron to pen his epic, 392-line poem The Prisoner of Chillon.
Avenue de Chillon 21, Veytaux / Montreux, Switzerland, Phone: +41-2-19-66-89-10
2.Montreux Jazz Festival
The Montreux Jazz Festival takes place every year on the shores of Lake Geneva in early July and is the second-largest annual jazz festival in the world. Founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the festival is famous for its diverse and renowned musical performances, which began as just a festival of jazz and has grown into a celebration of all kinds of music from jazz and blues to rock and other genres. The festival has seen performances from well-known artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, BB King, Nina Simone, and Pink Floyd throughout the years.
Fondation du Festival de Jazz de Montreux, Avenue Claude Nobs 5, Montreux, Switzerland
Running along the shoreline of Lake Geneva for over eight miles, the promenade is a popular gathering place for both locals and tourists alike who flock to the picturesque pathway to enjoy walking, jogging, cycling, and soaking up the beautiful surroundings. The promenade passes the magnificent Château de Chillon and features a diverse array of blooming flowers and sculptures along the way against a backdrop of the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps. The promenade ends at a lovely beach in Villeneuve, which is ideal for swimming in the summer.
4.Queen: The Studio Experience
The Queen: The Studio Experience is an exhibition of the legendary band based at the Montreux Mountain Studios. The studios are famous for being the place where the group created many of their most acclaimed albums and where Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury recorded his last songs. Established for fans and aficionados of the band, the exhibit features a wealth of memorabilia, including photographs, original handwritten copies of lyrics, signed artifacts, old music tapes, and some of some Freddie Mercury’s stage costumes. Visitors can enjoy an interactive experience in the control room, which is as it was in the days when the band used it.
Casino Barrière de Montreux Rue du Théâtre 9, Montreux, Switzerland
5.Gorges du Chauderon
© Ldgfr Photos/stock.adobe.com
The Gorges du Chauderon is a scenic gorge with wild natural landscapes just a few steps from the Old Town of Montreux. Formed by the La Baye de Montreux river, which flows from the foot of the Rochers-de-Naye into Lake Geneva, the gorge can be explored on several hiking trails that wind their way to and from Montreux’s quaint Old Town through woodsy enclaves and other spectacular natural landscapes. Hiking into the gorge is best done in summer as it can be dangerous in winter due to thick snow and ice.
Old Town, Montreux, Switzerland
6.Lantern Trail Of Les Pleiades
The Lantern Trail Of Les Pléiades is a unique winter attraction in Montreux in which locals and tourists alike flock to the lakeside town to walk through a magical wintry landscape by the light of the lanterns. The trail begins at the Les Pléiades train station and runs through the forests and snowy roads of the Pleiades, lined and lit with kerosene lanterns, creating a hushed, ethereal glow. End the evening with a dinner of traditional Alpine macaroni and steaming fondue at the restaurant of the Pleiades before catching the train back to Vevey.
Les Pléiades, Montreux, Switzerland
7.Festive Montreux (Montreux Noel)
The town of Montreux comes alive at Christmas time with a traditional Christmas Market and an array of activities for the whole month of December. Surrounded by the magnificent snow-covered mountains of the Swiss Alps, the town transforms itself into a magical Christmas haven with Christmas decorations, twinkling Christmas trees, Father Christmas meet-and-greets, medieval markets and a fairytale festival hosted at the Château de Chillon. The nearby village of Caux transforms itself into an authentic and charming portrayal of a Christmas village.
© Michal Ludwiczak/stock.adobe.com
Covering an impressive 830 hectares between Lausanne and Montreux, Lavaux is a magnificent wine region and UNESCO World Heritage site. Stretching almost 19 miles along the shores of Lake Geneva, this beautiful region has been producing wine since Roman times, but has become famous for its stepped terraces that were cut into the 1100-foot-high slopes around the lake by the 11th-century Benedictine monks to create more usable land and stop soil erosion. Home to some of the world’s steepest vineyards, which are held together by 250 miles of medieval stone walls, the vineyards of Lavaux can be explored on well-trodden hiking and walking trails or the Lavaux Express or the Lavaux Panoramic tourist trains.
Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Puidoux, Switzerland
The Narcissus Trails are a network of walking and hiking paths that run through Les Pléiades and are famous for being filled with Narcissus flowers, the native emblem of the region, in the spring and summer. The area attracts both locals and tourists alike and is popular with hikers, walkers, and photographers.
Les Pléiades, Montreux, Switzerland
, Michigan beaches
10.Water Sports on Lake Geneva
© Roman Babakin/stock.adobe.com
Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) is the largest body of freshwater in both France and Switzerland and France and offers a wealth of water-based and recreational outdoor activities throughout the year. Swimming the lake can be enjoyed from June to September, along with boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, stand-up paddling, sailing, water-skiing, and more. The shores of the lake have lovely beaches and picnic areas with plenty of shade, and activities such as hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching, and winter offer snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, and snowshoeing.
Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland
11.Montreux Jazz Cafe
© Montreux Jazz Café
Based at the Fairmont Hotel, the Montreux Jazz Café is an elegant, laid-back jazz lounge and café that serves an internationally-inspired menu with a focus on fresh seafood and an extensive selection of fine wines. Established by Claude Nob, founded of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Café brings music and fine cuisine together in an inviting setting, where music-lovers can dine on made-from-scratch contemporary cuisine against a backdrop of jazz and blues music. Visitors also have access to the music archives and can listen to some of the most striking concerts from the Festival’s history.
Avenue Claude Nobs 2, Montreux, Switzerland, Phone: +41-0-21-9-62-13-00
12.Caveau des Vignerons
© Caveau des Vignerons
Caveau des Vignerons is a cozy, intimate restaurant tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds high on a hill above the town that serves traditional Swiss food such as fondue, raclette, and rösti. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming atmosphere with mountain chalet-style décor, and the menu features a variety of fondues with Swiss cheeses such as Emmental, neuchâtel, and gruyere, along with meat and vegetables. The cuisine is accompanied by a range of casual and fine European wines, craft beers and brews, and a selection of fine spirits.
30 bis Rue Industrielle, Montreux, Vaud, 1820, Switzerland, Phone: +41-02-19-63-25-70
© Il Brigantino
Located close to the Château de Chillon, Il Brigantino is a warm, family-friendly restaurant that serves a menu of authentic Italian cuisine made from fresh locally sourced ingredients. Age-old family recipes are used to create appetizers of bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, heaving plates of parmigiana, lasagna, and other pasta, fresh seafood and meat dishes, and decadent desserts like cannoli, Bavarian chocolate cake, and specialty cheesecakes. A selection of casual Italian wines from all regions of Italy accompanies the food, along with craft beers and high-end spirits. Il Brigantino is open for lunch and dinner.
Avenue des Alpes 102, Montreux, Switzerland, +41-02-19-63-35-28
© Confiserie Zurcher
Confiserie Zurcher is a confectionary and traditional Swiss tearoom that serves an array of sweet treats, cakes, cookies, handmade Swiss chocolates, and light lunch fare. The café is open for breakfast and lunch and serves an array of healthy fare such as Bircher Muesli, freshly baked, mouthwatering pastries, and egg plates for breakfast, along with gourmet sandwiches and fresh salads for lunch. Confiserie Zurcher also hosts several art exhibitions throughout the year.
Avenue du Casino 45, Montreux, Switzerland, +41-02-19-63-59-63
© Eurotel Safran
Based in the four-star Hotel Montreux, Restaurant Safran is an award-winning restaurant with spectacular views of the Alps and Lake Geneva. The restaurant features designer interiors with comfortable seating and long glass wall that opens onto a large terrace for summer dining and serves a menu of globally-inspired cuisine with exotic, international flavors. Sip aperitifs and cocktails on the patio before tucking into fresh seafood, Thai curries, and Asian tapas. The cuisine is accompanied by a range of fine European wines, craft beers and brews, and a selection of fine spirits.
81 Grand' Rue, Montreux, Vaud, 1820, Switzerland, Phone: +41-02-19-66-22-22
© La Rouvenaz
Nestled in the heart of Montreux overlooking the lake, La Rouvenaz is a cosmopolitan trattoria that serves gourmet Italian and Mediterranean fare made with locally sourced, farm-fresh, and the highest quality seasonal ingredients. Diners can tuck into small plates of antipasti, handmade pasta and thick and creamy sauces, and entrées of chicken, prime meat cuts, and hearty sides against a backdrop of breathtaking views. La Rouvenaz’s excellent food is paired with a selection of wine from the wine-growing regions of Italy, as well as imported liqueurs and spirits, and classic cocktails made with high-end spirits.
Rue du Marché 1, Montreux, Switzerland, Phone: +41-02-19-63-27-36
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© La Véranda
La Véranda is a Michelin-starred brasserie with a casual, relaxed vibe and an award-winning menu of globally-inspired cuisine. Tucked away in the elegant Grand Hotel du Lac in Vevey, the stylish restaurant features designer décor, crisply dressed tables with upholstered chairs and banquettes, and smart staff attending to every need. The acclaimed menu boasts gourmet dishes like Amuse-Bouche of White Tuna, Duck Foie Gras Terrine, and Rabbit Rillette with Walnut Ravioli, Risotto with Pumpkin Fritter and Mascarpone White Truffle, and Fawn Rib Steak Medallion with Berny Potatoes. An extensive wine list features excellent local wines, casual and fine European wines, imported liqueurs and spirits, and classic cocktails made with high-end spirits.
Rue d’Italie 1, Vevey, Switzerland, +41-02-19-25-06-06
© Maï Thaï
Boasting incredible panoramic views of the Montreux Riviera, Maï Thaï is an elegant Asian restaurant that serves authentic Thai food in a stylish, laid-back ambiance. The contemporary restaurant serves top-notch cuisine using passed-down family recipes and traditional Thai cooking techniques. Boasting a reputation for delicious, unique cuisine, the restaurant serves a menu of delicious dishes such as fiery green and yellow curries, pad Thai, noodle and rice plates, fresh seafood, and organic vegetarian options. The cuisine is accompanied by a range of casual and fine European wines, craft beers and brews, and a selection of fine spirits.
Rue du Lac 40, Montreux, Switzerland, Phone: +41-02-19-64-25-36
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19.Fleur de Pains
© Fleur de Pains
Fleur de Pains is a charming bakery and café opposite Gare Montreux that serves handcrafted pastries, cakes and sweets, gourmet sandwiches, and other farm-to-table fare. The cozy restaurant serves a variety of standard drinks like americano, cappuccino, macchiato, and espresso, as well as various teas, and other hot and cold beverages, along with made-from-scratch food like toasted sandwiches, fresh salads, bakery-fresh bread, and sweet treats like lemon cupcakes and decadent chocolate cake.
Grand Rue 32, Montreux, Switzerland, Phone: +41-02-19-61-29-16
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19 Best Things to Do in Montreux, Switzerland
- Château de Chillon, Photo: Scanrail/stock.adobe.com
- Montreux Jazz Festival, Photo: Urupong/stock.adobe.com
- Promenade, Photo: Aliaksandr/stock.adobe.com
- Queen: The Studio Experience, Photo: malkovkosta/stock.adobe.com
- Gorges du Chauderon, Photo: Ldgfr Photos/stock.adobe.com
- Lantern Trail Of Les Pleiades, Photo: so51hk/stock.adobe.com
- Festive Montreux (Montreux Noel), Photo: sonyachny/stock.adobe.com
- Lavaux Vineyards, Photo: Michal Ludwiczak/stock.adobe.com
- Narcissus Trails, Photo: djama/stock.adobe.com
- Water Sports on Lake Geneva, Photo: Roman Babakin/stock.adobe.com
- Montreux Jazz Cafe, Photo: Montreux Jazz Café
- Caveau des Vignerons, Photo: Caveau des Vignerons
- Il Brigantino, Photo: Il Brigantino
- Confiserie Zurcher, Photo: Confiserie Zurcher
- Eurotel Safran, Photo: Eurotel Safran
- La Rouvenaz, Photo: La Rouvenaz
- La Veranda, Photo: La Véranda
- Mai Thai, Photo: Maï Thaï
- Fleur de Pains, Photo: Fleur de Pains
- Cover Photo: 1989STUDIO/stock.adobe.com