Montreux Riviera is near Zurich and the border of France, a picturesque lakeside oasis with palm trees, wineries, Alpine backdrops, and great dining. It is known for its warm hospitality, luxury services, fabulous weather, and history that included many famous poets who were inspired by the gorgeous surroundings.
As a vacation destination, it is wonderful. Here are some of the most unforgettable things to do in Montreux.
Explore the towns of Montreux and Vevey
Perhaps you’ve never seen a prettier place than the Montreux lakeside, aka Lake Geneva. You can walk around the edge of the lake, snapping photos of palm trees and flowers in bloom with the water in the background. As you follow the boardwalk, there are art sculptures to photograph, including a red UK telephone box created by Swiss artist Pascal Bettex. Music fans will gravitate towards the Freddie Mercury statue. The music artist lived there in his final years and recorded Made In Heaven, his last album in Montreux. His most loyal fans visit the statue and leave flowers and gifts in memory of the legendary singer. One of the best things to do in Montreux is the Casino and The Queen Recording Studio if you are a lover of his music. You can view the place where the band recorded seven albums and see the memorabilia. Entry is free.
Then wander into town to go shopping or grab a bite to eat. You might have a glass of wine with every meal since the area is famous for winemaking.
The historic castle dates back to the 12th century. In the past, it was a prison, residence, and toll station. Learn about the interesting history, photograph the well-preserved architecture and imagine what life was like in those days. Allow a few hours to take in the many rooms, courtyards, and medieval dungeons.
Vevey is another stunning town. You can catch the train there and arrive in less than 10 minutes. This gorgeous lake town is just as lovely as Montreux. You might have seen photos of a giant fork art sculpture that rises out of the water. It’s so Instagrammable and unique.
Discover Lavaux vineyards
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Lavaux is a charming part of the things to do in Montreux Riviera with endless vineyards and little villages. Sample fine wine, indulge in some fresh local produce, and take romantic walks through the rows of grapes that are turned into the best quality bottles that are exported all over the country and world. Take a bottle home after your wine tasting tour and rent a bike for a scenic ride around the local area.
A fancy meal or two has to be part of your trip because, in this part of Switzerland, the dining is divine. The local culture is geared towards long and leisurely lunches and dinners that stretch long into the evening. Add local wine and some epic Alpine views and who would want to rush a meal? There are hidden restaurants on hilltops with views that take your breath away. Ask the locals for recommendations on where to eat or other things to do in Montreux.
Cruise the Lac Léman
Imagine boarding a quaint steamboat that chugs along the most beautiful river for a few hours. At the beginning of the cruise, you can admire the interesting architecture then the mountains come into view. Go for a first-class ticket and enjoy the ride!
See Montreux from the air
Montreux Riviera even has something for thrill-seekers. You can go tandem paragliding and once you relax, look down on the lush landscape dotted with interesting features. Look for the magnificent Alps, blue lakes, and landmarks like Chillon Castle as you slowly descend back to the ground. It’s an exhilarating experience and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fly above this most beautiful place for about 20 minutes.
Fall in love with Saint-Saphorin
This town’s claim to fame is that it’s the prettiest village in Switzerland. It’s quite special and hard to argue that it is indeed the winner of the beautiful towns in Switzerland. So many towns and villages are easy to fall in love with. For sure, Saint-Saphorin will be one of your favorites, so don’t miss it.
Ride the train
Nothing is more romantic or relaxing than a train trip with guaranteed scenic sights at every moment. The journey can be as much fun as the destination. We recommend a ticket to Rochers de Naye, a mountainous spot with hiking trails and impressive views. Roam around, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the views, then catch the train back. If the weather turns bad riding, a train can be a nice way to pass the day.
A Day Trip To Gruyere
From Montreux, the train trip is about two hours, so set off early to make the most of the day. Your first stop should be Gruyere Castle. From the station, you can see the medieval castle and it’s a nice walk that takes most people 20-30 minutes, or you can catch a bus. There is also a Tibetan Museum near the castle that is well worth a visit.
In the town, there is a cheese factory called La Maison du Gruyère. You can take a tour and learn about the cheese-making process and, of course, taste a range of cheeses that will get your appetite primed for lunch. You can eat at the cafe there or choose from one of many tempting little places in the town.
Next, get back on the train bound for Broc Fabrique. This stop is for chocolate lovers who will gleefully eye up the Nestle Outlet shop at the train station. Keep going and it gets even sweeter with the Cailler Chocolate Factory. Like the cheese factory, you can take a tour and taste all the chocolate you desire. Can your day get any more blissful?
Book a night at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel
This uber-luxe hotel will set you back some dollars, but if you want to splurge, it is worth it just for the luxury rooms. Modern and stylish decor and views of the city, lake, or mountains combined with excellent service will make you want to stay forever. The Belle-Époque architecture is lovely and in the gardens, there are sculptures of famous musicians. Wandering around the grounds of the hotel is a joy and the spa is world-class. There are also aqua aerobics classes, bike tours and yoga and pilates to enjoy. At the front desk, they can arrange a visit to the Charlie Chaplin Museum or The Olympic Museum. Check out the Montreux Jazz Cafe which has outstanding seafood dishes.
Named in reference to its altitude, Glacier 3000 is a mountain station designed by the renowned Swiss architect Mario Botta. You can dine at several restaurants that will all likely exceed your foodie expectations. In winter, you can ride the highest toboggan track on the globe. The Alpine Coaster is a wild ride! Enjoy the views of spectacular mountains and take scenic walks or perhaps a dog sled ride. The suspension bridge that connects two mountains is a dramatic experience and you can hit the slopes for some of the best skiing conditions you’ve ever seen.
Sip tea at Confiserie Zurcher
It’s not all about wine if you are looking for things to do in Montreux. At this traditional Swiss tea room, you can sample hot drinks along with delicious pastries, hot meals and sandwiches. Always buzzing for breakfast because of the great Bircher Muesli, a common breakfast for the Swiss, it’s also busy for lunch and all afternoon. If your accommodation is nearby, this might become your favorite vacation food stop.
You can tell there are many great things to do in Montreux Riviera so make sure your trip is long enough.
Get a Swiss Rail Pass to travel around easily and get deals and discounts on mountain excursions, cruises and museum entry. If you are sightseeing a lot during your trip to Switzerland, you can make some significant savings with this card.
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