Annecy is surely one of the prettiest towns in France. I don’t exaggerate to say, it is one of the most beautiful towns in Europe.

If you plan a trip to France and skip Annecy, you will miss out. Though I cannot really remember, I am pretty sure that I first heard about Annecy on Instagram, and that must have been the trigger to wanting to visit it. And if you plan to do a day trip to Annecy, then this post will help you plan your one day in Annecy itinerary.

Annecy is located in southeastern France and is a picturesque town nestled between the French Alps and the shores of Lake Annecy. Known as the “Pearl of French Alps,” it charms visitors with its medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant canals. 

What is better than colorful medieval houses, clean, alpine air, and in the case of Annecy, proximity to a gorgeous, pristine lake that is set against the Alps?

Not much, and so I finally made my way to visit for two days. And I can easily say that this picturesque town was a pleasure to see! So, if you plan your one day Annecy trip (e.g. from Geneva), here is your go.

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Here is some important information for your Annecy itinerary!

How to Get to Annecy from Geneva

  • By Plane: The nearest airport to Annecy is the airport in Geneva.
  • By Car: Annecy is located close to the Swiss border. Though it is just a 30-minute drive from Geneva, the motorway toll for France is about 20€ (on return).

How to Get Around

  • Annecy itself is pretty small, so you can explore Annecy on foot.
  • You do not need any buses, etc.
  • However, you can rent bikes, take the bus, or drive easily by yourself to leave the old town.

Where to Stay

If you stay only for a few hours, you will not need accommodation. In case you stay overnight, I recommend booking a hotel in the old town of Annecy though. It might be tricky if you come by car to find parking, so double-check if the hotel offers (free) parking.

Tips for Solo Female Traveler

I visited Annecy with my little dog only, so I am not sure it is considered solo travel. Our accommodation was outside the old town, and we did not walk around at night, but I felt totally safe during the stay. Since it is quite busy in summer, I recommend watching your bag/purse, but other than that, I loved exploring Annecy as a solo traveler.


I suggest starting the morning by visiting the old town of Annecy.

Beautiful Annecy on a sunny day

Annecy Old Town

Since I was coming from “outside, “I “entered“ the old town, and strolled along the streets without any real plan (which is sometimes the best). And then there it was. The famous castle that I had seen many pictures of: Palais de L´Isle.

Palais de L´Isle 

This castle is one of the main tourist attractions in Annecy – Palais de L´Isle. It looks tiny but has a long history which makes it even more interesting to visit.

It was used as a prison, a courthouse, an administrative center, and now it is as an art and history museum. It is an original structure and the oldest parts of which date from the 12th century. According to the website of the castle, a visit takes about one hour.

Annoy is one of the most beautiful places in France

Even if you do not go inside, it is such a lovely setting with all the flower pots everywhere – indeed very Instagram-worthy (and something I did not see in Venice).

Get Lost in the Streets

Annecy is so pretty that I could have easily just strolled around for hours without a goal. It is such an unreal place that you should explore, so make sure to plan to explore the old town without a real goal in mind.

Annecy: one of the many bridges

The houses around the castle are so charming and reminded me pretty much of beautiful Italy, and after strolling around, I had lunch in one of the numerous restaurants.

Besides the many colored houses and flower pots, you´ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes – seriously. There are so many options to dine or grab a gelato (or real snacks) that you´ll definitely find something for every budget and taste.

If you don´t rush, take your time and have lunch/dinner. I guess it might take a few hours to see all the little narrow streets and souvenir shops.

Be warned: you´ll be only one of many tourists there, but it does not surprise that this is one of the most famous Annecy hot spots.

Cute, cuter, the cutest_ Annecy -annecy things to do

What to See in Annecy in 2 days - Lake Annecy things to do

Château d’Annecy

Château d’Annecy is a hilltop castle located right next to Lake Annecy in the old town’s heart. 

Castle in Annecy
It is one of the numerous beautiful castles in France, and though the castle was built many years ago, it was just in the 1950s when the town of Annecy rebuilt it.

It has become a popular tourist attraction and is now a museum: Le musée-château d’Annecy. The castle is also listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture in 1959.

My dog and I walked up (it is an easy uphill walk-up), but since dogs were not allowed to enter the castle (which is now a museum), we could not visit.

  • Prices are around 5,50€ for adults.

Lake Annecy

I cropped off the day at the stunning Lake Annecy. Lake Annecy is seriously beautiful and one of the top places to visit. I suggest planning in the afternoon (at least 3-4 hours if you do some activities in and around Lake Annecy).

I have been to Switzerland many times, and I am used to pristine lakes that make you want to jump in. Lake Annecy is equally clear and spectacular. In the sunshine, the water shimmers in several beautiful greenish/bluish colors.

Lake Annecy is the third biggest lake in France and the title of “Europe’s cleanest lake” is attributed to stringent environmental regulations implemented in the 1960s.

Annecy in one day, France Arzo Travels

Approximately 18,000 years ago, the lake originated as vast alpine glaciers melted. It is sustained by numerous small rivers from the adjacent mountains, including Ire, Eau morte, Laudon, Bornette, and Biolon. Additionally, a robust underwater source named the Boubioz, located at a depth of 82 meters (269 ft), contributes to the lake’s water supply.

Boat Tour

A boat tour is one of the best Annecy activities. It is a great way to cool off and see more of the beautiful lake and the Alps.

The boat’s audio guide was in French, which is a pity, but I still enjoyed my boat trip. The lake also offers options to rent pedal boats and do some other kinds of watersports activities.

A boat tour on Lake Annecy - annecy attractions

  • Boat tours cost about 15€ (no admission for dogs or children under 5 years)

A park surrounds Lake Annecy, so there are also enough other options to rest or chill (and Annecy is a great place to visit with kids).

Stroll the Lake

Also, take your time to stroll the lake. Even if you are tired. There are enough places to take a rest (including parks where you can lay down and have a picnic).

Lake d´Annecy in Annecy, France - what to do in annecy france

Chilling at Lake Annecy - what to see in Annecy in 2 days

Water Activities

You can do many activities on and in the water – go kayaking, swim, or enjoy other water activities on Lake Annecy.

Water activities in Annecy

Rent a Bike

After that, I´d suggest renting a bike and tour the lake. Though not all of it, most of the path should be pretty good to ride or just hike around in the area. With 1 day in Annecy, you should have time to do that.

Enjoy Outdoor Adventure

Though for me Annecy is mostly about the gorgeous old town with its colorful buildings and flower pots (in the summer months) and Lake Annecy, the area itself is also very well-known as a place for outdoor sports lovers.

Depending on what your focus is, you can also do some outdoor adventures. As mentioned, you can do a lot on Lake Annecy, including SUP and biking around the lake, but you can also go paragliding, hiking, via Ferrata, canyoning, and more.

It might be a busy itinerary with only one day in Annecy, but since Annecy is so small you could also add a little adventure to your list.


Annecy´s old town is probably one of the most beautiful places (in Europe) and, together with its lake, is probably the main reason to visit Annecy. 

I left Annecy with a good feeling. Despite the crowds, I loved the pretty Alp town, and I would be happy to return for another weekend in the summer. Though it is a small place with not THAT many attractions, it is still full of beauty. 

Discovering Annecy with Puppygak - Where to go in Annecy

I hope this post has helped you find out about the best things to do in Annecy in one day.

Safe Travels, Arzo


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