Activities in Montreux
Find things to see and do near Montreux
3 must-do's in Montreux
If your time in Montreux is limited, try to do at least these 3 activities:
- Stroll along the beautiful lake boulevard.
- Make a short boat ride.
- Visit the Chillon Castle. Even if you don't have time to enter the castle, the site is still pretty and the quick journey from Montreux is pleasant.
Visit cities near Montreux
Montreux is a good base to explore these Swiss cities and towns:
The Lavaux vineyards
The Lavaux is a region west of Montreux, on the northern banks of Lake Geneva. It's full of terraced vineyards, through which you can make easy walks. They're prettiest from mid-May to October.
Our insider sightseeing and hiking tips
We greatly enjoyed the below activities:
- hiking from Montreux to Glion through the fairy-tale like Chauderon gorge;
- the funicular ride from Vevey to Mont-Pèlerin, where we walked to the Plein-Ciel lift and enjoyed the amazing roundabout view from the observation platform. We ended this great day with a warm lunch in Chardonne;
- the pleasant train ride up to Blonay and Les Pleíades, where we had coffee and tea in the restaurant;
- the scenic hike from Haut-de Caux to Glion, both stops on the mountain line to Rochers-de-Naye.
Christmas activities in Montreux
Montreux is home to one of Switzerland's prettiest Christmas markets. There are many other Christmas activities that are attractive for children: an elves’ square, Santa’s house at Rochers-de-Naye and a House of Wishes.
Christmas shopping and visits to Christmas markets in Lausanne or Yverdon-les-Bains are options too.
Ski holidays in Montreux
Snow in Montreux doesn't fall often. You'll have to travel to ski resorts at higher elevations in the mountains north of Montreux. Examples are:
Apart from Glacier 3000, these areas are not at very high altitudes, so snowfall doesn’t occur during the entire winter season.
Montreux travel tips and map
How to reach Montreux by train
The train is the easiest way to travel to Montreux. The station is right within the town center and there are frequent connections from the Swiss airports and major Swiss towns. Even a trip from Paris takes under 5 hours.
Examples of traveling times:
- 1h10 from Geneva Airport, 1h00 from Geneva
- 2h55 from Zurich Airport, 2h40 from Zurich
- 3h10 from Basel Airport, 2h45 from Basel
- 1h40 from Bern
- 2h40 from Lucerne via Fribourg and Lausanne, or 6h05 via the GoldenPass route
- 2h15 from Interlaken via Spiez and Visp, or 3h15 to 3h45 via the GoldenPass route
- 2h40 from Zermatt
- 4h15 to 4h55 from Paris
How to reach Montreux by car
Montreux can be reached by car, using
- the A2 and A1 from Basel, Bern and Fribourg in the north;
- the A1 and A9 from Geneva in the west;
- the A9 from the Rhone Valley in the south-west.
We recommend to park your car once you've arrived, and to get around in Montreux on foot and by public transport.
How to travel in Montreux
The actual center of Montreux is compact. The station is right in the center, so you can explore the shopping area and lake promenade on foot.
Buses and local trains get you to further districts and nearby sites, for example to Veytaux where the Chillon Castle is located.
From the dock "Montreux (lac)", which is a 5-minute walk from the train station, you can make boat trips. Common routes are those to the Chillon Castle, Villeneuve, Vevey, Lausanne, and St. Gingolph on the southern French coast of the lake.
Free local trips for hotel guests
The hotels provide a free Montreux Riviera Card when you check in. The card allows free local traveling, discounts on traveling in the region, and discounts on local attractions.
Montreux on a map of Switzerland
When to visit Montreux
The best time to go to Montreux
The best months to visit Montreux are early April to late October and late November to late December.
- Nature and outdoor activities can be enjoyed from April to October.
- The holiday season in Montreux is appealing from mid-November to December.
Montreux in April, May and June
April to June are spring months in the Montreux area. The hills north of Montreux look green and fresh.
You'll still see snow on the higher mountain tops surrounding the Rhone Valley toward the east: a view we were impressed with during our stay in the nearby village Corseaux in late April and early May.
The Montreux boulevard is already adorned with colorful flowers.
Boat trips on the lake can be made year-round. They operate according to a spring timetable up to mid-June, with fewer options then in summer. But even this spring schedule offers plenty of boat rides on eastern Lake Geneva.
The Lavaux vineyards west of Montreux are starting to grow by late April or early May. This is when we visited: the vineyards looked pretty but definitely weren't blooming yet. Late May and June usually provide better vistas with flowering vines, the lake and the hills.
Temperatures are usually pleasant, although heat waves may already occur in June.
Montreux in July and August
July and August are the top tourist months in Montreux. The town attracts visitors from many foreign countries, and the Swiss themselves enjoy school holidays too.
The town can get especially busy during the Jazz Festival in late June-early July.
These are also the warmest months. You can escape the (possible) heat by traveling into the mountains north of Montreux and by cooling down at the lake.
Montreux in September and October
September and October are less touristy months in Montreux. By October, you'll see the first signs of fall, which can result in beautiful colors on the hills of Lake Geneva. It's a perfect time to explore the town in peace and quiet.
Montreux during winter holidays>
Montreux is a great place for winter holidays from mid-November to December. It’s home to one of the best Christmas markets in Switzerland, called ‘Montreux Noël’. The market is located on the lakeside promenade.
Montreux is not an obvious destination for a winter sports holiday. The town itself has mild temperatures, so snowfall isn’t likely.
You'll have to travel a bit to reach ski resorts in the mountains north of the town. If snow is your main reason to visit the surroundings of Montreux, travel in January or February.
Weather in Montreux
Temperatures in Montreux
Day temperatures in winter in Montreux range from 5°C to 10°C. It can freeze, especially during nighttime. Severe frost isn't likely though.
Average summer temperatures are between 20°C and 30°C. Higher temperatures can occur as well.
Average rainfall in Montreux
Most rain occurs from May to August. On warm summer days, thunderstorms and rain showers in the late afternoon and evening are more common than continuous rain.
5-day weather forecast for Montreux
Where to sleep in Montreux
Montreux has excellent high-quality hotels. Some are directly on the boulevard and provide brilliant lake views. Cheaper alternatives close to the rail station are available too. You can look into holiday rentals as well.
This is what Montreux is like
Montreux is classy
Montreux can be classified as a stylish, elegant town. The location on Lake Geneva guarantees lots of sunshine (on average!). There’s plenty of nightlife with the oldest casino in Switzerland, nightclubs and bars.
Montreux is also known for the medieval Chillon Castle.
Location and scenery
The town has the feel of a small city, but actually Montreux isn’t that big. The mountains, forests, and of course the lake are close by. You can start hiking directly from town. Boat trips on the lake start from the boulevard of Montreux.
In the town center, architecture from the Belle Époque era is mixed with modern buildings.
A mild, sunny climate
The mild climate, and the atmosphere in Montreux and neighboring town Vevey, are the reason that this region is often referred to as the ‘Swiss Riviera’.
Vineyards and cuisine
The Lake Geneva region is known for its vineyards in the Lavaux area, and for the wide choice of very good restaurants. You’ll find plenty of fine dining options, as well as cheaper restaurants, in Montreux.
The Jazz Festival and more music
The pleasant atmosphere in Montreux lends itself to festivals. The town is well known for the annual Jazz Festival in July, which is among the best in the world. Another example is the Septembre Musical, a classical music festival.
The Freddy Mercury statue on the lake boulevard is a must for fans of the rock band Queen. We too couldn’t resist taking a picture of ourselves next to the statue.
Where is Montreux located?
Montreux is located on the north-eastern shore of Lake Geneva, in south-west Switzerland. It’s a 1-hour train ride from the city of Geneva, at 2h40 from Zurich, and at approximately 4h30 from Paris in France.
In which Swiss canton is Montreux?
Montreux is located in the Swiss canton of Vaud. It borders on the cantons of Fribourg in the north, Bern in the east, and Valais in the south-east.
Is Montreux worth visiting?
Yes, Montreux is absolutely worth a visit. The vibrant lake promenade is one of the prettiest in Switzerland.
A visit is also highly recommended if you ride the GoldenPass train line.
Montreux: how many days to spend there?
Spend at least 1 full day in Montreux to get a nice glimpse of the town and lake boulevard. In 1 day, you can stroll along the promenade, make a short boat trip, and visit the nearby mountain Rochers-de-Naye or the Chillon Castle.
Spend at least 3 days in Montreux for a genuine exploration of the town and its surroundings. This allows you to enjoy the restaurants and museums of Montreux, and to visit the Lavaux vineyards west of town.
Other websites of interest
- www.montreuxjazzfestival.com: Montreux Jazz Festival
- www.septembremusical.ch: Septembre Musical
- www.montreuxriviera.com: restaurants in and near Montreux
- www.montreuxriviera.com: museums in and near Montreux