How to Spend 2 Days in Montreux in Switzerland
You are so pretty and you probably have the most beautiful promenade in all of Switzerland! Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Geneva, with the stunning Alps in the background, Montreux is one of the most charming places in Switzerland I have visited so far (and I have seen traveling to Switzerland regularly in the last 9 years, that is why you can find many more posts on Switzerland here).
If you have been to Montreux, then you probably agree with me.
If you have not, then you should add it to your Switzerland itinerary because it is definitely worth visiting. I am sure that the charm of this cute town (it actually is quite small) will make you fall head over heels in love with Montreux – at least, I was smitten within the first two minutes.
I had Montreux on my Switzerland itinerary last year, but then I lost my wallet, including my ID and cards, and had to end my trip earlier than planned – and I had to cancel my stay in Montreux.
I was close to skipping Montreux this time, too, because I thought the accommodation prices were out of line. Luckily, I did not, and I ended up staying not one, but two nights in the gorgeous region of Montreux-Vevey.
If you have 2-3 days for the region, I would recommend spending one day in Vevey and the vineyards, and one full day in Montreux itself. If you stay longer, I have one more tip for you towards the end of this post. Here is my itinerary for the French-speaking part, located at Lake Geneva (but first some more travel tips for Montreux).
How to Get to Montreux
Arriving to Montreux by Train
I arrived by train and took the famous panorama train, “Golden Pass Line,“ from Lucerne via Interlaken, Zweisimmen to Montreux, which is probably one of the nicest ways to arrive, as you pass rolling hills, pristine lakes, and cute, little Swiss towns before you come upon the vineyards of the region.
Another beautiful way to arrive in Montreux would be by boat, either via Lausanne or Vevey. It is no less spectacular, and you´ll see that boat cruising is on the itinerary as well.
Montreux is not a car-free town, so driving there in your own car, or with a rented one, is also a good way to arrive. However, parking is always the trickiest part of driving in Switzerland. If your hotel does not have parking spaces and is located in the “town center,“ you might have to pay a little fortune for parking.
Where to Sleep in Montreux
Unfortunately, as mentioned in the beginning, you cannot expect to get a bargain sleeping in Montreux. I paid about 200€ for a 4-star accommodation (picture below), though the Montreux Jazz Festival was over (for jazz fans, the first two weeks of July might be the best time to visit; for anybody else, I would advise skipping these weeks).
Here are a few well-rated hotels in Montreux:
Budget accommodation: 2* hotels are almost as expensive as the 3* hotels in Montreux, but if you are looking for cheaper accommodation you can check out Airbnb and if you use my link you can save $38 on your first stay or if you are mobile you can book an accommodation a bit further away).
Read more hotel reviews for Montreux.
Whichever hotel you opt for, I would strongly suggest a hotel close to the promenade – ideally, with a lake view, or (admittedly, it is more expensive) you can find cheaper hotels close by Montreux.
How to Get Around in Montreux
Montreux itself is pretty small, so it is easy to just get around by walking. Also, Montreaux – as it is in most parts of Switzerland – has superb public transportation, which makes it easy to get from one place to another. This include trains, buses, and boats.
What to Do in Montreux – 1 Day
I estimate that Montreux consists of 50% flowers and 40% promenade (I have neglected Lake Geneva in this calculation) and the rest of Montreux make about 10%.
Flowers, flowers, and more flowers, in all different shapes and colors, are lined up along the promenade. The clear water of Lake Geneva and the picturesque mountains make Montreux pretty perfect to me!
Start the day with a stroll along the promenade (though it is even more charming in the evening). Montreux has the most beautiful, gorgeous promenade I have seen in Switzerland in the daytime.
The region of Montreux makes it pretty easy for people to swim in Lake Geneva. There are so many spots that allow you to jump into the lake – sometimes there are even some loungers provided to the people for free.
Plan for some time to rest, swim, and enjoy this lovely atmosphere.
If you walk along the promenade, you´ll stumble upon the famous Freddy Mercury statue, which is located right next to the water. With the mountains in the background, it makes a great photo. After all these years, he still seems to have loyal fans, as I saw fresh flowers by the statue.
Once you have “done” all that you can visit the lovely Chateau de Chillon, which is one of the most popular sights in the region.
Chateau de Chillon is visible from Montreux promenade, and there are plenty of signs to direct you.
From the boat station (right next to the tourism office of Montreux), you can walk or take the boat – but I seriously recommend walking, as it is only about 3 kilometers and you´ll be walking on the promenade, which makes it a great walk.
There are enough seating options and reasons to take photos along the way, so even though it is only about 3km, it took me more than an hour to get there.
The chateau was quite busy when I visited, which did not come as a surprise given its fame and the very good weather. Dogs are not allowed inside and so my do and I just stayed outside (admission is about 12€ for adults, group tickets available).
Since the castle is pretty nice from the outside as well, I was not too sad, and I enjoyed the time walking around and resting.
If you plan to visit the castle, you might plan for about an hour to see it.
Right next to the castle is a pier, which brings you back to Montreux. But there are also buses and trains going back, or you can walk.
2 Day in Montreux
I would suggest taking a boat or a train to get to Vevey “early” in the morning (boats start operation around 9 or 10 am), and from there, see the vineyards.
Between Lausanne Ouchy and Chateau de Chillon are several routes overlooking Lake Geneva and the vineyards at the same time. I had only a few hours for the vineyards, so here is what I did:
I arrived in Vevey by boat (it is also easy to get there by train or bus) and got out, walked a few hundred meters to the train station, and took a train to Chexbres, where I got out.
How to Get to Chexbres to See the Vineyards
It depends on how much time you have and how much effort you want to put into it (yes, hiking there can be quite exhausting).
I did not have too much time, so I decided to walk to the first viewing point, which is Dezaley (though I am not 100% sure if I actually made it all the way there).
There are some signs along the way, though they are a bit irregular, so I was not the only one feeling a bit lost.
From the Chexbres train station, it takes about 20-30 minutes and the views are amazing. If you keep walking, you´ll head towards Eposes where you´ll probably have more gorgeous views – I did not make it there, though.
However, I was pretty happy with the views that I did catch along the way and headed back to the train (I had about 80 minutes in between).
There are enough seating options to enjoy the views (and free fountains with fresh drinking water). You could also go for a wine tasting. For that, ask at the tourism office in Montreux, or Vevey (the tourist office in Chexbres was closed when I arrived in the afternoon).
I, then, headed back to Vevey by train. You could also walk down from Chexbres, which should take about 1.5 hours.
What to Do in Vevey
Vevey is a small village by Lake Geneva, and it offers some beautiful spots to rest, chill, or swim.
You´ll find enough restaurants/cafes to have lunch.
If you are with kids and it is warm, you will love the free pools for kids. (Where else will you find free pools for kids right next to a lake that is so clear that you could swim there, too?)
Vevey also has a beautiful, old town, which is worth checking out, and some other attractions as well (for several reasons, I try to avoid Nestle products, but Nestle has their main office here, which you can visit).
The famous fork – Fork of Vevey – is also located in Vevey, so plan for at least half a day to see this cute town.
I took a boat back to Montreux (about 20 minutes) and recommend having dinner there, because evenings in Montreux are just lovely.
Day 3 in Montreux
If you have some more time, you could visit the famous Rochers de Naye.
On my last day in the region, the weather was lovely, but I could see the clouds up in the air.
So I decided not to go up, though I am a fan of getting up the mountains – and the best part is that, for the lazier ones, Switzerland has ways to get up the mountain without hiking (a.k.a. there is a funicular that gets you up).
If you get to visit Montreux let me know how you liked it! Stay safe and sound!
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