10 Reasons Why Montreux Is A Must Visit Destination
What city can be more beautiful than the one closest to nature? In Switzerland, you can find several cities of this kind. Montreux is a good example.
You can find Montreux between the Swiss Alps and Lake Geneva in western Switzerland. From Geneva, the second largest city in Switzerland, Montreux is just an hour away. It’s effortless and convenient to visit.
But is Montreux worth visiting? What can be your reasons for visiting Montreux? In this blog post, I’ll explain and introduce some of Montreux’s events and attractions which can be why you’d travel to Montreux.
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We all have different preferences when we travel. I know a few people who travel only to relax. Some others want adventures, and others like to discover and try culture and cuisine.
This article should help you decide if your travel preferences match the experiences Montreux offers. To start the discussion, I’ll start by answering the question I think you’re here for:
Is Montreux Worth Visiting
Montreux is a charming small city where you can find tourist attractions that are well worth a visit for a day trip. Visitors enjoy a lovely cruise in Lake Geneva, a tour of the magical Chillon Castle, and tasting delicious wines from the picturesque UNESCO Lavaux Vineyard.
I think Montreux is an unmissable destination during summer when the second-largest annual jazz festival in the world occurs in the city!
Have a quick virtual tour of Montreux below to see how beautiful Montreux is.
If you want to visit Montreux, here’s where you can find the best hotel deals in Montreux. The link will open the hotel browser’s page in a new tab, which you can see later after the 10 reasons to visit Montreux.
Continue reading to know more about Montreux. 🙂
10 Best Reasons To Visit Montreux
In Switzerland, Montreux isn’t the only city established beside a lake (i.e., Thun and Lucerne). They are pretty and worth visiting too! But, of course, they are unique in their own ways.
A few of the things that make Montreux unique are included in the list of reasons why you should visit Montreux (see below):
- Chillon Castle
- Rochers de Naye
- Lavaux Vineyard
- Jazz Festival
- Queen band
- Belle Epoque structure
- Beautiful promenade
- More attractions & things to do
- Gateway to the Swiss Alps
Reason #1: Chillon Castle
Chillon Castle is one of Switzerland’s most visited historic buildings, and there should be a reason behind that. In Google Maps alone, it is evident that millions of tourists come to Chillon and see the place. There are just an epic 11,000 review comments posted on its coordinates.
The castle is perched on a small rocky island in Lake Geneva, situated in an incredibly scenic location. If you look at it from the north, it will seem that the castle is floating in the lake in front of the spectacular snow-capped mountains.
The people who love watching medieval fantasy movies will love visiting Chillon Castle. The view alone will make them feel that they are in a whole new world, back in history.
Speaking of history, history lovers will as well love visiting Chillon Castle. It was built as early as the 12th century, encompassing three ruling eras: Savoy, Bernese, and Vaudois.
Numerous artifacts, paintings, and other historical items will surely entice enthusiasts. Inside, the things to see range from furniture to weapons, murals, architectural features, and other temporary exhibits.
Although Chillon Castle is not really in Montreux, visiting it from Montreux is very simple and can be fun. Here are the ways you can see Chillon Castle:
If you are visiting Europe to see castles, I think there’s an alternative to Chillon Castle—Neuschwanstein Castle. You can find Neuschwanstein perched on one of the hills of the Bavarian Alps. Here’s how you can visit Neuschwanstein Castle on a 3 to 10 days trip in the Bavarian Alps.
Another alternative? Lichtenstein Castle, also in Germany. It’s one of Germany’s most beautiful places, listed by different publications. See Lichtenstein Castle and the nearby attractions here.
Reason #2: Rochers-de-Naye
One great thing about Montreux is its location: a lake on the west, a mountain on the east – a reason why you should visit Montreux. Lakes and mountains beside a city mean there will be fun activities that you can do in that city.
Guess what? In the case of Montreux, it is unquestionably true.
From Montreux’s city center, you can quickly go to a scenic peak called Rochers-de-Naye. It is a 2,042-meter tall (6699 ft) mountain climbable by train/funicular. You will see the staggering Swiss and French Alps at the peak, together with glittering Lake Geneva.
It will be an epic view, especially on a clear sunny day!
You don’t have to wait to get top of the Rochers-de-Naye just to get stunning views. The train coming from the city center will pass the shores of Lake Geneva before it rises to the mountains.
The train to Rochers-de-Naye will also pass by the picturesque fields and villages. You must prepare your camera’s storage before going to the top of Rochers-de-Naye as it will be filled with photographs, I am sure!
The fun does not stop after you reach the summit and finish picture-taking. Other activities await you there: exploring the Grottoes de Naye (caves) and strolling in the La Rambertia (Alpine garden).
From Rochers de Naye, you can spot the French Alps. Like Montreux and the Swiss Alps, the French Alps is also a beautiful destination, especially for nature lovers.
In the French Alps, you can find Chamonix—the town closest to Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. You should also consider visiting Chamonix if you want to travel to western Switzerland and Eastern France. Here are the 10 reasons why you should visit Chamonix.
In the French Alps, you can also find Annecy, which can be an alternative to Montreux. It also has a castle, lake, and scenic views. Learn more about Annecy from my Post, 10 Reasons To Visit Annecy.
Reason #3: Lavaux Vineyard
Lavaux Vineyard is another beautiful place you can visit from Montreux – proof that Montreux is worth visiting.
The vineyard is growing in a terraced landscape, facing Lake Geneva and the snow-capped mountains on the other side of the lake. Expect to have a very delightful view when you come!
Lavaux Vineyard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has existed for more than 600 hundred years. It is also Switzerland’s largest vineyard, with an area covering around 800 hectares of land.
Visiting Lavaux Vineyard will not only be about the view but also about learning the history of wines and vineyards. It can also be a romantic excursion if you plan to bring your special someone with you.
Lavaux Vineyard will let you explore the terraces and taste the wine they gather from the vineyards. You can come here with your partner and drink together and create a memorable moment with each other!
However, before you visit Montreux for Lavaux Vineyard, know that other places can offer equivalent experiences. And they are not too far from Switzerland, only in eastern France.
What are these cities? They are Reims, Colmar and Strasbourg.
Reims is the place where the kings of France held their coronations. You can visit Reims for its stunning cathedral and the UNESCO site Champagne region. Here are more reasons why you should visit Reims.
However, Colmar and Strasbourg are on the Alsace Wine Route. Thus, you can also find good wines there. Here are the 22 reasons why you should visit Strasbourg and 10 reasons why Colmar is worth visiting.
For “non-wine enthusiasts” like me, the apparent advantage of Lavaux Vineyard over other vineyards is its scenic views of Lake Geneva. Here’s how you can explore Lavaux Region:
Reason #4: Montreux’s Wine
With the vast vineyards out there, it is expected that Montreux has the best wines to taste, yet another reason to visit Montreux.
In Lavaux Vineyards alone, they present more than 300 wines that your taste buds will enjoy savoring. The wines range from “powerful” reds to specialty whites and dessert wines.
Winemaking has been practiced in Montreux and nearby towns since the 11th century when Cistercian monks started building terraced vineyards.
With the tradition and centuries-old experience in winemaking, wine lovers could expect the best sensations their taste buds could ever have. It is a paradise for wine lovers, indeed.
Wines from Lavaux are not exported and cannot be purchased anywhere. So if you want to taste it, you must come here!
Frankly, there are a lot of places in Europe where people grow wine. In Italy, there is Verona, a romantic city where the story of Romeo and Juliet is set. Here’s why you should visit Verona.
In Germany, there is the winemaking region of Franconia. You can try visiting Wurzburg. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a fairytale town stuck in the medieval ages, even has its wine festival. You must see all the reasons why you must visit Rothenburg.
To the south, in the South of France, the spectacular double-fortified medieval town of Carcassonne also has vineyards around its city (see how beautiful Carcassonne is)!
You have a lot of options, of course.
Reason #5: Montreux Jazz Festival
Montreux is really a special place! It’s not only the view and history but also the experience. Tasting wine is a deal, but wait until you learn about the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Perhaps, it is the reason why many come to Montreux during summer. Music can be a motivator, ecstasy, and energizer. With everything I’ve learned about Montreux Jazz Festival, I suggest you don’t miss it in your Switzerland itinerary!
Quincy Jones even said, “You can’t describe it; words don’t do it justice. You just have to come and experience it.” – This made me so eager to come and join Montreux Jazz Festival.
The festival takes place every year, every summer, in Switzerland. It lasts for 2 weeks – two weeks of legendary performances and incredible musical experience.
The Jazz Festival started in 1967, initiated by Claude Nobs. Today, it is the second-largest annual Jazz festival, next to Canada’s Montreal International Jazz Festival.
As said by the creators of the festival:
“In Montreux, the artists are up close and personal with their fans, which encourages deeply memorable, and even legendary, moments. Here, music is experienced in a truly unique fashion, further enhanced by exceptional comfort and acoustics.”
Montreux Jazz Festival is really a compelling reason why visit this Montreux. It’s just that it doesn’t happen every day.
Speaking of festivals, did you know that in Avignon you can find the oldest existent festival in France? It’s a 3-week-long celebration in July, and it’s only one of the reasons why you should also see Avignon.
Reason #6: Queen Band (Freddie Mercury)
Even if Montreux Jazz Festival does not occur all year, Montreux still has Queen to give visitors a glimpse of what the music industry was like before the 2000s.
In Montreux, we can find the Queen: The Studio Experience, a museum dedicated to the British rock group Queen, especially Freddie Mercury. The museum is the actual studio where the rock group made their recordings. Inside, visitors can see the many memorabilia from the band.
The collection includes promotional materials, singles, costumes worn during performances, and even handwritten song lyrics.
The original musical instruments played by the band are still there too! Music lover-travelers must not miss seeing Roger Taylor’s drum set and John Deacon’s bass guitar.
The Studio Experience is inside the Casino Barrière Montreux. It is only a small museum, and you do not need to pay an entrance fee to enter.
Reason #7: Jewel of Belle Époque architecture
Though most buildings are modern in Montreux, we can still find one worth seeing. It is a reason to visit Montreux, especially if you are an architecture enthusiast.
One of the beautiful structures in Montreux is the Montreux Palace. It sits near the lakeshore, and it overlooks lake Geneva.
Montreux Palace is a 5-start hotel and a cultural property of national importance in Switzerland. It is regarded as a jewel of Belle Époque architecture.
Montreux Palace hosted many famous guests in the past. A few are Richard Strauss, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, and many others.
You may book a room if you want, but expect really high prices! However, you can just sightsee the palace by walking on the lakeside promenade – another reason you visit Montreux.
Reason #8: Montreux’s Lakeside Promenade
What’s great about visiting Montreux is, again, it has an excellent location. Montreux sits between a lake and a mountain.
At the lakeshore of Montreux, we can find Lungolago, a “popular” walkway/promenade along the shores of Lake Geneva. It may sound like just any walkway, but it’s kinda different.
The first reason is that, unlike any promenade out there, Lungolago has lovely views of beautiful mountains on the other side of the lake.
If it is a sunny day, I think I can spend hours just hanging out there in Lungolago. The sights of a lake and a mountain are a thing that gives me peace of mind.
Anyway, the second reason is that Lungolago has different outdoor sculptures that are fun to see. Strolling along the promenade could feel like you’re walking into a museum of artwork.
I just want to share that lakes always captivate me. There’s something in them that brings peace to my inner self. If you also like lakes, I suggest you try visiting the lakes in Europe listed below (they can be an alternative to Lake Geneva/Montreux):
- Lake Garda — is the largest lake in Italy and has picturesque towns, castles, scenic hikes, and more. You must see all the reasons why you must visit Lake Garda here.
- Lake Como — this is another lake in northern Italy, unique to visit because of the gorgeous villas built on its shores. Here are the 10 places to see in Lake Como.
- Lake Konigs (Konigssee) — it’s the most magical lake in Germany. It has a view which there’s a chapel built beside this lake with stunning mountains in the backdrop. Konigssee is one of the several reasons to visit Berchtesgaden.
- Lake Sainte-Croix — this lake is also a reason to visit the beautiful village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in southern France. It’s where the turquoise waters of the largest canyon in France settle.
Reason #9: More Things To Do In Montreux
Montreux is situated in an excellent geographical and strategic location for exploring western Switzerland.
Montreux will let you explore more cities to the north or visit the stunning Swiss Alps to the south. Nearby attractions can be easily by public transportation from Montreux.
Here is the list of attractions that you can reach from Montreux in less than an hour:
- Swiss Vapeur Parc – See all landmarks in Switzerland in their miniature version. Travel time from Montreux is about an hour. You will have 2 train rides to reach the park.
- Chaplin’s World – Visit an interactive museum rated 4.7/5 and learn the whole story of Chaplin’s life and work. The minimum travel time to this museum is 28 minutes with 2 train rides and 50 minutes with 1 bus ride.
- Blonay-Chamby museum railway – Travel back in time by seeing vintage steam and electric locomotives. Travel time is about 30 minutes, 1 train ride away.
- Golden Pass Railway – Go somewhere using a tourist-orientated train route in the Swiss Alps. Here you can have 360 degrees view of the Switzerland countryside. The track starts at the heart of Montreux.
- Regional Park Gruyère Pays-d’Enhaut – See postcard landscape scenery, a beautiful castle, or even a hot air balloon ride! It is only an hour, and one train ride away from Montreux (Chernex station).
Reason #10: Gateway To The Swiss Alps
The last and final reason to visit Montreux is that it is a gateway to the Swiss Alps. How? Not only is Montreux at the foot of the Swiss Alps. But also, most roads and trains from western Switzerland pass through Montreux to the rest of the Swiss Alps.
Most Importantly, you can already visit some of the best ski resort towns and mountain attractions from Montreux without spending too much time on the road/train.
From Montreux, you can already see some of the best villages in the Swiss Alps, like:
- Champery in 40 minutes by car; slightly over an hour by train.
- Verbier in 1 hour by car; 1.5 hours by public transit.
- Saas-Fee or Zermatt in 1.5 hours by car; 2.5 hours by public transit.
You can also have a day trip to Glacier 3000 from Montreux. In Glacier 3000, you will experience walking on the only suspension bridge in the world that connects two peaks. You can also try dog sledding there.
Learn more about Glacier 3000 from the links below:
However, you must not stop at Glacier 3000 while visiting the Swiss Alps. There are more stunning places, engineering marvels, and natural wonders that await you in the Swiss Alps.
Anyhow, here are two destinations in Switzerland near Montreux:
- Gruyeres. A preserved medieval village in the Prealps. Come to taste authentic Gruyeres Cheese and unlimited chocolates! Discover: 10 Reasons to visit Gruyeres.
- Zermatt. An alpine village/ski resort/hiking destination where you can see the most famous mountain, the Matterhorn. Check these out:
Here are my other recommended tourist attractions in Switzerland (complete list: Beautiful Villages in the Swiss Alps):
Jungfrau Region. A top destination in the Swiss Alps with adventures, scenic trains, and remarkable mountaintop attractions. Check these out:
- Interlaken (with beautiful lake attractions)
- Lauterbrunnen (heaven on earth valley with rustic villages)
- Grindelwald (best destination for outdoor activities and adrenaline-pumping adventures)
- Kandersteg. A lovely village closest to Oeschinensee, one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Learn more: 10 Things to do in Kandersteg.
You might also want to discover the cities near the Swiss Alps. These cities are in proximity to the best tourist attractions in the Swiss Alps. They can be an alternative home base for Switzerland’s major cities.
- Sion. The capital of the canton of Valais with a hilltop church and hilltop chapel. Learn more about Sion: Best things to do in Sion.
- Thun. A picturesque city where you can find the oldest panorama painting and a few castles. Discover Thun: 7 Best things to do in Thun.
- Brig. The city gateway to Italy. Come here to see Stockalper Palace and the scenic Simplon Pass. See the Best things to do in Brig.
- Lucerne. It is a charming city with remarkable landmarks (Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument) and near Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus.
Do you need a Switzerland Itinerary? I have a post to give you an idea about how you can visit Switzerland in 3 to 14 days (Montreux included). You can use the Swiss Travel Pass to save money on public transportation if you plan to visit Switzerland for a week or longer.
Get inspiration to visit more places in Switzerland:
How to Visit Montreux?
Four cities in Switzerland have international airports. From those cities, you can start your journey to Montreux. See the table below for more information:
|Cities near Montreux
(Minimum number of rides)
|Geneva||1 train||1 hr|
|Bern||2 trains||1 hr 35m|
|Basel||3 trains||2 hr 45m|
|Zurich||2 trains||2 hr 40m|
Learn more about these cities here:
- Geneva: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Geneva
- Bern: 22 Best Things To Do In Bern
- Basel: 7 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Basel
- Zurich: 15 Reasons Why You Should Visit Zurich
The data above is gathered using Google Maps Schedule Explorer. The travel time and the number of transport rides depend on time, season, and demand.
Remember that these data are only approximated, and you should always double-check the directions for real-time data. Here are the links to each route on Google Maps for your convenience:
Photos to Inspire You to Visit Montreux
Here are some photos that might interest you in visiting Montreux. May it help you decide if it is Montreux is really worth a visit.
Discover more places!
Hello, before you go, I just want you to know that I have articles that can help you discover and visit different places worldwide. Mostly, they are about historical cities and scenic attractions. You may click the images below to find your next fantastic destination!
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