Montreux is a beautiful Swiss lakeside city in the canton of Vaud. In this article, we’ll guide you through the 15 best things to do in Montreux while visiting the city.
Located at Lake Geneva, Montreux is known for its mild climate and is the main reason why the city is a favored destination during summer. During winter, you’ll reach several ski resorts within an hour from the city as well.
Montreux is mostly famous for its Jazz Festival and the fact that Queen singer Freddie Mercury spent part of his time in the city. Today, you’ll get a glimpse of the group’s history by visiting the Queen Studio Experience (further down the article) or simply enjoy the memorial statue at the lakeside.
Let’s jump right in and have a look at the 15 best things to do in Montreux based on tourist reviews and ratings – regardless of the season!
15. St. Vincent Church
Whether you are religious or not, visiting the Church of Saint-Vincent will be a pleasant experience. Most likely built in the 15th century, it was dedicated to St. Vincent in 1524. But only in 1536, it became a Protestant church, and it continues to be today.
It is a lovely structure and sits on a hilltop. You can view the town, the lake, and the mountains. If lucky, you may even hear the choir singing.
You can reach the church on foot or by bus. According to tourists, it is worth visiting and one of the loveliest locations.
So, plan a holiday to Montreux and when you are there, check out all or some of the beautiful locations mentioned above. Be assured that you will cherish every moment.
14. Corniche Lavaux Vineyards
The Lavaux Vineyards is something that you should see during your vacation. Not only is the scenery beautiful, but the area is vast.
It stretches about 30 km long and is spread across 830 hectares of land. The terraced vineyards produce some of the most delicious wine.
You can go on a guided tour or alone and enjoy the experience with Lake Geneva on the other side. You might also get a chance to take part in wine tasting.
The Corniche Lavaux Vineyards is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is undoubtedly a place not to be missed on holiday.
13. Christmas Market in Montreux
If you visit Montreux in the last week of November, you will witness the grand event. The Christmas Market in Montreux usually starts from the last week of November till 24th December.
Most residents and visitors consider it to be the most exciting occasion during the holiday season in Montreux. So, being a part of it would be a wonderful experience.
With over one hundred and seventy stalls featuring local cuisine, handicrafts, flowers, and many other items, visitors will truly enjoy the outing. Take a tour, taste new dishes, and purchase souvenirs for loved ones at home.
12. Caux Palace
A magnificent building situated in Caux village just above the city of Montreux, it has played host to celebrities from around the world. Inaugurated in 1902, it has seen the worst of times as well the best.
It became derelict over the decades, especially after World War II due to looting and negligence. However, it has had renovations over the years. It is now the center of the Swiss Hotel Management School and also a base for international conferences.
If you are a history buff inclined towards splendor, you should go for a quick visit.
Official website: www.cauxpalace.ch
11. Dent de Jaman
Climbing and hiking enthusiasts should visit Dent de Jaman; a mountain overlooking Montreux. It lies to the north of the Rochers de Naye and stands at 1875 meters above sea level.
There are three ways to get to the location, and you pick whichever you like. You can walk, take a taxi or hop on the train as per convenience and availability of time.
If you visit during winter, you and your loved ones can enjoy taking part in various activities. With an elevation of 2,042 meters, it is the perfect place for a winter weekend getaway.
10. Montreux Museum
What good will it be if you don’t learn some history of the place you visit? Head to the Musee de Montreux when you go out. It is close to the railway station, so you don’t have to go out of the way.
You not only get to obtain historical details about the lovely place but can also view a fantastic collection of art, archaeology, sculpture, and other items from at least two hundred years back. Besides the permanent exhibits, it also holds temporary shows from time to time. Thus, you are sure to experience something unique any time you step inside the museum.
Official website: www.museemontreux.ch
9. Châtelard Castle
Switzerland is famous for many historical castles, and Chateau du Châtelard in Montreux is no less spectacular. It is an integral part of Swiss heritage and now serves as a popular tourist destination.
If you are up for some medieval royalty, you should visit it. Located on a hilltop in Montreux village, it is a great place to view Lake Geneva and the surrounding area. You can take a tour, learn some unknown facts from history and shoot videos and photos.
You must definitely visit the nearby vineyards if you have enough time. It is guaranteed to be a wonderful experience.
Official website: chateauchatelard.ch
8. Swiss Chocolate Train
If you crave chocolates, this activity is a must during your holiday. You hop on the train and get served with chocolate croissants and coffee. Take in the breathtaking scenery on the way and tour the chocolate and cheese factories.
Get some cheese samples at Le Gruyère and watch how they make cheese. The next stop is the Gruyères village which is just like a place from a storybook. Don’t forget to tour the Chateau de Gruyères.
Finally, tour the chocolate paradise Maison Cailler, and feast on the treats. Cailler is the oldest brand of chocolate in Switzerland, and it makes some of the most heavenly treats and snacks. Enjoy eating, looking, and bring back some for loved ones.
7. Gorges du Chauderon
The Chauderon Gorges is a hiking area in Montreux, Switzerland. It is suitable for all ages, but kids have to be guided all along the way. If you love to hike, then include it in your itinerary.
The trail starts at Les Planches and then to Glion, and finally, you can walk the telegraph path back to Les Planches. It may take around two hours of walking to complete the hike. You can enjoy walking and see the pristine clean water flowing throughout the gorges. The slithering waterfalls with cold and clear water are also a sight to behold.
If you feel fit and robust, the walk would be one of a kind on your trip. If you take kids with you, check out the goat reserve on the way. When you are on an elevated area, view the enchanting Lake Geneva and Montreux down below. All in all, you will not be disappointed with the experience.
Nature lovers would find the visit to Rochers-de-Naye very exciting. A part of the Swiss Alps, it simply means “Rocks of Naye.” You can go by train and once at the station; you can ascend the top on foot. If you don’t want to go by train, driving is another option. However, it will take at least two to three hours hike to arrive at the summit.
Besides walking, there are a lot more things that you can do. The nature park has a lot of marmots from across the globe. Skiing is another activity that you can try out. You can also visit some caves and take up climbing.
5. Montreux Promenade
Who doesn’t love to walk the shores of an ocean? It may not be as big as the ocean, but the Montreux Lakeside of Lake Geneva is equally mesmerizing. The area is one of the most popular locations for residents and tourists alike.
You can enjoy the lovely smell of the flowers along the path, which extends up to seven kilometers. You can walk in either direction according to convenience. If you are a fitness freak, jogging along the lakeside can be energizing and refreshing.
The area also holds an annual sculpture exhibition. So, be ready to see impressive statues and other figures if you happen to go during the festival. You will also notice one of the permanent structures in the area, Freddie Mercury’s statue.
4. Golden Pass Railway
If you love to look at the splendid panorama, you must get on the Golden Pass Railway at least once. The railway is specially made for tourists and is based in Montreux and goes till Lucerne.
It goes past at least eight lakes and several inhabited areas. While on the journey, you will witness the incredible scenery of Switzerland. You can also visit Lucerne on a single day and return the next day.
But with so many lovely locations in between, you can visit more than one place and enjoy the locals’ culture, food, and tradition.
3. Queen Studio Experience Montreux
Earlier, you read about how and where you can find Freddie Mercury Memorial. When you go there, you can also take part in the Queen Studio Experience Montreux. Though you may not be a fan, checking out the band’s memorabilia will be a moment to cherish.
The studio contains plenty of items, including costumes, handwritten notes, and drum sets, among others. If you are up for some music, you will find a visitor’s area with a recording desk. There you can create remixes using Queen’s most popular tracks.
It remains open all year round, and visits are free. Visitors can go and stay from 10 am till 10 pm.
Official website: www.mercuryphoenixtrust.com/studioexperience
2. Chillon Castle
There must be only a few people who don’t have much interest in history. For those of you who are, Chateau de Chillon should be on your itinerary. The magnificent fortress from the Middle Ages is about forty minutes away by foot or just fifteen minutes far if you take the bus.
It opens from 9 am to 7 pm in summer (April-September) and from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm in winter (October-March). The castle has about forty rooms, and each one is well-maintained to this day. Explore the place and click some pictures if you like. If you go in the afternoon, don’t forget to view the chateau from outside, especially during sunset.
1. Freddie Mercury Memorial
Being the landmark of the city, the Freddie Mercury Memorial (statue) has become one of the most visited locations and is the most popular thing to do in Montreux. The sculpture erected in 1996 is a shrine to all the fans who visit it. You can easily find it when you walk along the lakeside.
If you happen to visit during the time of his birth anniversary, you might get a chance to take part in an annual event. If you are an ardent fan, you can also participate in walking tours dedicated to the late musician.
Even if you are not a die-hard fan, you are sure to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.