Top 10 things to see in Annecy, Haute-Savoie


Here is our selection of 10 Things to see in Annecy, the ‘Venice of the Alps‘. This is one of France’s most charming towns found in a picture-perfect setting. The charming old town of Annecy with its Piedmontese-styled houses lies on the shores of Lake Annecy which is surrounded by the Alps.

1/10 things to see in Annecy – the Castle

The mighty fortress overlooks the roofs of the old town of Annecy. It belonged to a junior branch of the House of Savoie, the lords of Geneva. Built from the 12th to the 16th centuries, it now houses the museum of regional art.

2/10 things to see in Annecy – Perrière Bridge (Pont Perrière)

Arguably Annecy’s most famous and photographed site. The bridge spans over one of the Thiou’s waterways which are bordered by colourful old façades with their characteristic Piedmontese touch.

3/10 things to see in Annecy – Palais de l’île

This castle is found on a small island at the heart of the old town. Built in the 12th century, the Palais de l’Île was used alternately a courthouse, a mint, and finally a jail. It houses the centre for urban and local patrimony which shows Annecy at different periods.

4/10 things to see in Annecy – Rue Sainte-Claire

The charming little pedestrianised street is bordered with old arcaded houses. It serves as the old town’s high street. It is ended by a fortified gate: the Sainte-Claire gate.

5/10 things to see in Annecy – Place Notre-Dame

The square is surrounded by fine Piedmontese-style houses, including the former town-hall from the 18th century and the Notre-Dame-de-Liesse church. In its centre stands an old fountain.

6/10 things to see in Annecy – Saint-François de Sales Church

Between the old town and the gardens bordering the lake, the church devoted to the former bishop of Geneva displays a Baroque façade from the 17th century.

7/10 things to see in Annecy – Saint-Maurice Church

Next to the church of Saint-François de Sales is the 15th century sanctuary of Saint-Maurice built in Gothic style. The architecture of its bell tower is typical of Savoie and has oddly been placed next to the chevet of the church.

8/10 things to see in Annecy – Jardins de l’Europe

The gardens were laid out just after the annexation of Savoie to France in 1863. The park lies on the shores of the deep blue lake and provides beautiful views over the lake and its surrounding mountains – and much closer – to the little Île des Cygnes (Swans’ island) and the mighty fortress of Annecy Castle. It is from the gardens that is found the embarkation point for the lake cruisers.

9/10 things to see in Annecy – Pont des Amours

This is obviously the most romantic spot in Annecy: the footbridge is placed where the peaceful Vassé Canal and its small wooden boats join Lake Annecy. The bridge is a fine example of the iron architecture of the Belle Époque.

10/10 things to see in Annecy – Parc de l’Impérial

Overlooking the lake and to the direction of Annecy-le-Vieux, the Imperial Park features a shady park, the lake’s main beach, and a former luxury hotel built at the Belle Époque which today houses a conference centre and the casino.

There is a lot more to discover in Annecy and its surroundings. The lake offers some of the most enchanting vistas in the French AlpsDuingtTalloiresMenthon-Saint-Bernard and many more.

Visit the Annecy Tourist Office website here.

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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