One Day in Annecy – The Ultimate Classic Itinerary

By now, you must have heard about Annecy – a city in the haute-savoie department that looks like a dream getaway. 

Annecy has become one of the top spots to visit in France, where people usually opt for a 1-day trip to Annecy, especially for family travel, as there are so many places to see and activities to do.

Annecy is a small city and very walkable as most places of interest are in the city center. 

In this Annecy Itinerary, I will show you how to spend one day in Annecy at your own pace with a self-guided walking tour and travel tips when visiting Annecy.

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One Day in Annecy: Self-Guided Walking Tour Itinerary

Pont des Amours 

Annecy - Pont Des Amours

Start your day trip from Gare D’annecy (Annecy Train Station) to Pont Des Amours (Lovers Bridge) for a scenic Alpine view, where the lake of Annecy and the inland Canal du Vasse are interconnected. 

There is a famous legend about the bridge – couples who kiss on the deck will likely be united for life – which explains why the bridge is popular among couples. Try to arrive at the bridge before noon to avoid the crowd, especially on a nice summer day. 

And take that infamous photo with the signage of Pont Des Amours over the beautiful lake for memory keeping.

Jardin de L’Europe & Lac D’Annecy

1 Day in Annecy

From the bridge, continue the promenade along Lake Annecy. It has been nominated to be the third largest lake in France.

The pristine lake is a great place to visit, especially during the summer, as there are many things to do around the lake.

For instance, you can walk along or rent a bike or segway around Lake Annecy.

Other way to enjoy the lake is to get out on the water. Compagnie des Bateaux du Lac d’Annecy provides 1-hour cruise tours which point out several beautiful towns surrounding the lake with breathtaking views of the mountains and castles. 

The cruise departs several times a day from the pier of the Old Town and is available throughout the year. 

The beaches and the shores of the lake are also perfect for picnicking, swimming, doing water sports, or even renting a pedal boat. 

 You will find jardin de l’Europe on your right. Stop by for a while for a picnic on the bench or the grass and enjoy the breathtaking views over the turquoise lake and the French Alps.

If you travel by car, head to Rue des Marquisats for more parking space.

Palais de l’ile 

1 Day in Annecy, France - Quick Guide Itinerary

The visit to Annecy is not complete without a stop-off at Palais de l’Île, an island situated in the middle of the Canal du Thiou in the old city of Annecy.

Once a medieval castle dating back to the 12th Century, it then served as a prison and a courthouse before being transformed into a museum. 

Consider visiting the museum if you are fond of history. The visit should take around 30-45 minutes. 

La Vieille Ville 

One Day in Annecy

Walking around La Vieille Ville, or the Annecy Old Town, which is just a few steps from the Palais de l’Île, is an absolute delight.

The Old Town of Annecy offers a variety of shops, cafés, restaurants with diverse cuisines, and churches can be found here.

You do not want to miss Rue Sainte-Claire, the main shopping street just a stone’s throw from the Old Town Annecy, where you can find some artisanal ice cream and chocolate shops. 

Enjoy the old town at your pace, and stroll along the streets to admire the quaint buildings with charming architecture.

Also, remember to try out their famous fondue and raclette, including the region’s comfort food, tartiflette!

Musée-Château d’Annecy

Annecy Itinerary

Our last destination is the Musée Château D’Annecy. Gear up for a 15-minute walk up to the castle from the Old Town and be ready to indulge yourself with a panoramic view of the town and the Alps. 

Dated back to the 12th Century, this lovely castle was built by the counts of Geneva and now serves as a museum. You’ll find inside paintings, artwork and various exhibitions to be noticed!

More fun things to do in Annecy

Do you want to enjoy Annecy with personalized activities? Check out the list!

Where to stay in Annecy?

If you think spending one day in Annecy is not enough and want to stay there for the night, check out these listings!

Budget: If you are looking for a homely and strategic place to crash in, then Hôtel des Alpes & Atipik Hôtel Alexandra best suit your needs. Both of the hotels provide spotless private en-suite rooms within walkable distance of all the places of attractions. 

Mid-rangeLe Boutik Hotel and Hôtel du Palais de l’Isle provide affordable stays in uniquely decorated bedrooms. What’s more the locations for both of them are terrific and with views of the lake and the canal, the castle or town.

Luxury – I recommend staying at Le Splendid Hotel Lac D’Annecy – Handwritten Collection if you want a lovely stay in Annecy. If you want to stay somewhere luxe on the edge of Lake of Annecy, staying at Impérial Palace would be a smart idea.

FAQ

1) Why visit Annecy?

Known as ‘Venice of the Alps’, Annecy is located in southeastern France and is the largest city in the haute-savoie.

This lake town received a total of 2.7 million visitors in 2019 (pre-covid). Annecy is glorious for its winding canals, picturesque Lake Annecy, and steeped culture and history. 

2) Where is Annecy and how to get there?

Annecy is neighbored by other big cities such as Lyon and Geneva. Annecy is easily reachable by train and bus, depending on your location. 

You should pick some of the earliest trains/ buses to Annecy to optimize your time to explore the city. The fares are estimated for an outbound journey from the selected departure city and may vary depending on the seasons.

Annecy from Lyon

By Bus 

Travel to Annecy cheaply from Lyon Central Bus Station to Annecy Central Bus Station by opting for the Flixbus (click to purchase the tickets online). The journey generally takes around 2 hours and the bus ticket costs around €27.

By Train

The trains depart from Lyon Perrache and are operated by France’s Rail Company, SNCF. The journey will take approximately 2 hours to arrive at Annecy and the train ticket fare ranges between €55 – €65. If you are on a tight budget, survey the chosen date and time to purchase the train tickets online in advance.

Annecy from Geneva

By Bus

Annecy is located in the south of Geneva and is only 42 km apart, so traveling to Annecy from Geneva is nearly effortless. From Geneva Central Bus Station, take the Flixbus to Annecy for only €8. You will arrive at the destination within the next 55 minutes. This option is more popular as the fare is low-priced than the latter.

You can travel to Annecy from Geneva Airport. However, it is not recommendable for a day trip as the earliest bus is at 1:35 pm. If you have a day to spare, opt to stay the night at Annecy and take the bus early in the morning for your flight the next day. The bus fare ranges from €15 to €20.

By Train

There is a direct train departing from Genève Cornavin to Annecy. The service runs every hour daily. The journey takes approximately 1h 29 m. The train ticket fare costs around €46.40.

3) Is Annecy worth visiting?

I couldn’t recommend Annecy enough – visiting Annecy is totally worth it! Visit the charming old town, the market and the churches, discover the local cuisine and paddle away in the lake… You should be able to cover Annecy on a short day trip but if you want to take it slow, spend a night and savor every moment in Annecy! 

I hope this travel guide is able to help you to plan your Annecy day trip!

You may find other things to do on GetYourGuide or visit Booking.com to find the best hotels deals to stay in Annecy.

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