Switzerland Insider

Montreux, a city, right on Lake Geneva, is something special. It’s not just the pretty views of the lake and mountains that make it worth visiting (though, trust me, they’re pretty awesome, not to mention the amazing sunsets). Montreux is also all about music thanks to its famous jazz festival and historic spots like the Chillon Castle (Château de Chillon).

Montreux has a special vibe to it! Freddie Mercury, the legendary lead singer of the rock band Queen, famously loved this town by Lake Geneva. He found peace and inspiration in this picturesque Swiss city, which played a significant role in his life and work. So maybe with the following Top 5 activities you will have a special experience in Montreux also!

 

Spring in Montreux

Walk along the Lakeside Promenade

Taking a walk along the Montreux Lakeside Promenade is a lovely way to spend some time in Montreux. This path runs right beside Lake Geneva and offers stunning views that you won’t want to miss. On one side, you have the calm waters of the lake, and on the other, the impressive Swiss Alps. The promenade is lined with beautiful gardens, interesting sculptures, and old, grand hotels that give you a glimpse into Montreux’s past.

One highlight here is the statue of Freddie Mercury, which is a special spot for many music fans visiting Montreux, reminding us of his connection to this place. The promenade is great for a relaxed walk at any time, but it’s particularly beautiful at sunset when the colors in the sky make the lake look even more special. It’s one of my Top 3 spots for sunsets in Switzerland.

Visit Chillon Castle

Visiting Chillon Castle is like stepping straight into a history book and a must when you are visiting. This stunning medieval fortress sits on a small island in Lake Geneva, just outside Montreux, and it’s one of the most visited historical buildings in Switzerland.

As you explore the castle, you’ll wander through grand halls, peek into the old dungeons, and see the living quarters where the lords of the castle once resided.

One of the best parts about Chillon Castle is the view. From the towers and windows, you can look out over Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountains. And because the castle is so well-preserved, it’s easy to imagine being a knight or a noble wandering these halls back in the day.

Chateau de Chillon

Experience the Montreux Jazz Festival

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of those events that music lovers from all around the world dream about attending. Held every summer in the picturesque town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva, this festival has become a cornerstone of the international music scene since its inception in 1967. What started as a pure jazz festival has grown to embrace a wide range of music genres, making it a vibrant celebration of music and culture.

When you go to the Montreux Jazz Festival, it’s not just about sitting and watching concerts—though, with the lineup of world-class artists they get every year, you’d be perfectly happy doing just that (provided you can get hold of tickets, which is hard). But don’t worry! The whole town comes alive with music for two weeks. There are free stages along the lakefront where you can catch emerging artists, jam sessions in cozy bars, and workshops by some of the musicians.

Being there, you’re part of a crowd that’s as diverse as the music. You’ll meet people from all corners of the globe, each brought together by their love of music. And there’s something magical about listening to live music as the sun sets over Lake Geneva, surrounded by people who share your passion.

Conquer the Rochers-de-Naye

Going up to Rochers-de-Naye is a must when you’re in Montreux. It’s this awesome mountain right above the town that gives you the most amazing views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. The train ride up there is pretty cool too, with lots of great spots to take pictures. Once you’re at the top, there’s plenty to do. You can go hiking, check out the Marmot’s Paradise to see some cute little marmots (they’re like super size guinea pigs), or visit the Alpine Garden to see different mountain flowers. It’s the perfect spot if you love nature and just want to spend some time outside enjoying the views or if you want to cool off a bit on a hot summer day!

Visit the Lavaux Vineyards

Not far from Montreux are the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, and trust me, they’re worth the trip. This place is like something out of a postcard, with vineyards going down the hills right to the lake. It’s not just pretty; it’s also where some of the best Swiss wines come from. Walking through the vineyards is super relaxing, and you can stop at different spots to try the wine and learn a bit about how it’s made. You can then walk a bit more and learn some more, and walk some more and learn some more 😉 The white wine here is really good, especially with the local food. If you have learned a bit too much, then I recommend to eat a Saucisson Vaudois (its a fatty sausage) to balance your stomach a bit. Also, if you are in the region it’s okay to start learning around lunchtime!

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