Updated September 2023
One of the most beautiful places in Europe, Annecy is nothing short of a dream. Canals lined with perfectly manicured flower pots lead to the stunning Lake Annecy, providing endless options for summer adventures.
With a history and rich culture centered in the Haute-Savoie region of France, Annecy is idyllic for a summer trip. Its cobblestone streets and old buildings provide a romantic setting for tasty regional food like raclette and fondue. There’s plenty to do in the nearby mountains or on the lake, making Annecy a destination that truly has it all.
Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in Annecy:
- Le Clos des Sens, for the best boutique hotel
- Rivage Hôtel & Spa Annecy, for the best spa resort hotel
- Les Loges Annecy Vieille Ville, for the best apartment stay
- Hôtel des Alpes, for the best budget-friendly hotel
The Summer Guide to Annecy, France
What to Know Before Visiting Annecy, France
- The town is easily reached by train from major cities like Lyon, Paris, and more.
- Once on ground, you can walk to most things if based in Annecy.
- A car would be needed to visit nearby villages and would be ideal for those wanting to explore the surrounding region more. I use Discover Cars to find the best rental car deals.
- I recommend three to four nights to truly enjoy the lake and surrounding area.
- Summertime is warm and can be busy. To beat the crowds, get up early to explore the town and spend afternoons along the lake.
- Euros should be carried for smaller purchases though most vendors accept credit cards.
Where to Stay in Annecy, France
Annecy has a wonderful array of accommodation options in both the Old Town and along the lake. I’ve included a short list of favorites below that covers a range of locations and budgets. For a more comprehensive overview of the top hotels in Annecy, check out my guide to the best hotels in Annecy!
If you’re looking for a luxury boutique experience, Le Clos des Sens is the spot to be. Set near the lake with a Michelin-starred restaurant on the property, it’s the perfect place for those looking for a secluded and relaxing stay. Book the best rates here.
Located on the lake, Rivage Hôtel & Spa is one of the best spa hotels in the area. If you want a space to unwind with modern design notes, great amenities, and dining on-site, look no further. Book the best rates here.
Les Lodges is a set of 5 delightfully designed apartments located in the historic center. The apartments are a perfect home base for exploring Annecy’s canals, shops, and restaurants. Book the best rates here.
If you’re looking for a well-located, budget-friendly stay, Hôtel des Alpes is a good option. The hotel is located around the corner from the train station, a 10-minute walk from the lake, and 5-minute walk into the heart of the historic center. The rooms are cozy and nicely appointed. Book the best rates here.
Where to Eat in Annecy, France
This is indeed the best restaurant in Annecy for local raclette and fondue. It can be tough to get a reservation, but often walk-ups at opening will get you a table. We loved it so much we ate here twice.
A wide range of food, the open space is really nice to have lunch or dinner in.
A classic French menu, this restaurant is uber-cozy and perfect for a relaxed meal.
What to Do in Annecy, France
- Rent bikes and ride around the lake.
- Stroll through town, and the winding canals.
- Take a boat ride around the lake for either an hour or two-hour tour.
- Take a boat to Talloires, walk along the lake and sunbathe near the lake. It’s the perfect thing to do on a hot afternoon — just bring drinks!
- Le Semnoz is around the corner and perfect for those looking to hike in the mountains.
- Rent a paddle boat or motorized boat to enjoy the lake.
- Shop the farmer’s markets which happen periodically though the best one is on Sunday.
- Climb to the top of the hill and tour the Château d’Annecy
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: