Montreux is truly a resort town- once a village of farmers and fishermen, it is now home to the vacationing elite. You’ll see people from every imaginable country here, soaking up the sun and meandering down the river walk while taking in the view of Lake Geneva and the Bernese Alps. This is a town I would have loved to have spent more time in. Although I hate doing this, in this post I’m going to have to make some suggestions for activities that we were not able to do in the interest of time and money (but mostly money). Such pristine conditions attract the rich and the famous, and it shows. We seriously struggled to find anything affordable here. Food and lodging were pricey and we really couldn’t find many good ways to cut the cost down. Our only saving grace was a small street festival going on by the riverwalk that served burgers and Thai food – although we paid way more than we would have at a festival in the States it was still the cheapest food for miles. In spite of this, Montreux is definitely worth a visit. Here are some activities to consider while you’re here. If you need more info on any of them, visit Montreux Riviera Tourism.
-Chillon Castle: This gorgeous castle on the banks of Lake Geneva housed the Dukes of Savoy and is the most visited historic monument in Switzerland. Admission is 12.50 CHF per adult.
-Glacier 3000 Glacier 3000 Link: More than simply a glacier, this extravaganza includes a cable car ride, suspension bridge from one mountain peak to another, and the world’s highest bobsleigh track (yes, you can ride it down). This area is about an hour from Montreux, and the starting ticket is 64 CHF for adults. We were not able to do this but it is on the top of my list for the next visit.
-Riviera Tour Cruise: This cruise takes you around Lake Geneva for an up close view of some of the most gorgeous vistas you can imagine. Tickets start at 36 CHF. For further information, email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Montreaux Lakeside Walk: This 13 km walk is free, a must-see, and completely flat! It leads you to a beach and swimming pool in Villeneuve and if you keep following the walk to the trail’s end you’ll reach the Grangettes nature reserve. (This is also the walk that takes you right past the iconic statue of Freddy Mercury who recorded and had a residence here).
-Rochers-De-Naye: Another one we didn’t get to hit- this cogwheel journey to the summit of Rochers-de-Naye looked amazing- it is advertised along with access to an alpine garden, marmot park (what???) and possibility of an overnight stay in a Mongolian yurt. Only in Montreux. Prices start at 70 CHF.
-Chaplin’s World : This museum is dedicated, as you might guess, solely to the work of Charlie Chaplin. Tickets are 24 CHF.
-Lavaux (Vineyards) Lavaux Link : This UNESCO World Heritage Site technically covers 40 km along Lake Geneva, and if you want you can just hop off the train and walk around, or you can hang out at one of the wineries or restaurants. It’s just an incredible view from the vineyards down to the lake, and it’s worth at least taking a walk in the region before you leave.
Hotels: We paid about 130 CHF a night for our stay at the Hotel Bon Port Hotel Bon Port Link It was very close to the riverwalk, very clean, and the staff were helpful and polite. It was one of the cheapest places to stay in Montreux that we found. Beyond that, I can’t say much more about accommodation in the area, as most of it is high end and was out of our budget.
Hostels: There is one hostel in Montreux, the Montreux Youth Hostel. Here is the link to their site so you can check availability and prices. Montreux Youth Hostel In our travel-fatigued state, we saw the name “Youth Hostel” and immediately assumed there would be an age limitation. We never called to verify, and after we got back to the States I checked and found that there is, in fact, no age limitation to this particular hostel. They book up fast but are extremely reasonably priced.
Dining: Montreux defines gourmet dining. One place that was specifically recommended to us was La Rouvenaz, which we found to be a good deal more affordable than surrounding restaurants. The Montreux-Vevey Tourism foundation lists a remarkable 74 restaurants within the realtively tiny Montreux area and you can find a multitude of options simply by walking around the downtown area. Link for La Rouvenaz is found here La Rouvenaz.