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Annecy

How many days should you stay in Annecy for?

The picturesque town of Annecy is packed with things to do, places to eat, and sights to see. But how many days in Annecy is the perfect amount?

Ultimately, the length of stay depends on the time of year you visit, what activities you want to do, your budget and the type of holiday you’re looking for.

That’s why we have created a range of itineraries with varying lengths, based on different types of trips including:

Read on to find the ideal itinerary and length of stay for your trip to Annecy…


A cultural voyage

⏱️ Recommended length of stay: 2 days

📅 Time of year to visit: September-June (to avoid summer crowds)

📍 Where to stay: Annecy Old Town

Annecy’s Old Town is steeped in a rich and fascinating history. Simply wandering around the cobbled streets and absorbing the stunning architecture is fascinating in itself, but there’s plenty more to see.

Here’s how we recommend spending a two-day cultural visit…

Day one: visit the museums

On day one, we’d recommend visiting Le Palais de I’Île and Musée-Chateau D’Annecy. These two historical monuments are the most iconic buildings in Annecy and are not to be missed.

With a joint fee of 7.20€ or 4€ for under-25s, you can purchase a combination ticket from either venue, granting access to both sites. Both are open every day throughout the year apart from Tuesdays.

If you’re still keen for more culture, head over to the Musée du Film d’animation, which is just a two minute walk from the Chateau.

Between visits, you could stop for lunch or a coffee in one of the many restaurants in the old town.

Le Palais de I’Île

Le Palais de I’Île was listed as a historic monument in 1900, with its oldest parts dating back to the 12th century. Originally housing the prison and the minting workshop of the Counts of Geneva, this renowned medieval structure is located in the heart of Annecy and has since become an emblem of the town.

Guided tours are available, or opt for an unguided visit costing 3.90€ for an adult and 2€ for a child. There’s free entry for children under 12 and group rates for more than 5 people. You’ll need between 30 minutes and one hour to visit.

Le Palais de I'Île, historic old prison in Annecy
Le Palais de I’Île is one of the most photographed spots in Annecy – photo by Mathias Reding on Unsplash

Musée-Chateau D’Annecy

Above the charming old town stands the Musée-Chateau D’Annecy, which became the residence of the Counts of Geneva in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Upon your visit, marvel at the authentic collections of traditional furniture and artworks and even pay a visit to the nature room where you can discover the local species and wildlife of the lake!

Entrance is 5.60€ and there’s free entry for children under 12 years. You’ll need approximately one hour to visit the site.

Musée-Chateau D'Annecy - an old chateau built with beige stone and brick set against a mountain landscape
Musée-Chateau D’Annecy – photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

Musée du Film d’animation

Annecy is renowned for its rich animation history and has been home to an international festival every June since 1960. The Musée du Film d’animation offers a free and immersive experience for film enthusiasts and tourists alike, providing insights into the art’s roots, techniques, processes, and equipment.

The exhibition is open year-round (apart from Tuesdays and Sundays), from 10 am to 5 pm (apart from June-September, when it opens at 10:30 am). Expect to spend up to one hour here.


Day two: cultural landmarks

On your second day, it’s time to take a stroll around the town and explore the following landmarks:

Depending on the weather forecast for your trip, you may want to swap the days around so you can spend the driest day wandering and exploring the architecture.

We’d recommend keeping four hours free if you’re exploring these sites at a leisurely pace.

You can also see the sights by taking a guided bus (1h) or segway (2h) tour around the town.

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An active holiday

⏱️ Recommended length of stay: 5 days

📅 Best time of year to visit: April-early October

📍 Where to stay: around the lake

Annecy is a brilliant place to base yourself if you want to explore a whole host of Alpine sports and activities. With both the mountains and the lake on your doorstep, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to work off some energy!

A good time to plan an active holiday is April-early October as these seasons are ideal for watersports and cycling. The city is also close to ski resorts, so if you’re looking for a ski holiday and city break in one, winter is a great time to go.

(The following itinerary is based on a five-day trip, however, you could easily extend your holiday if you wanted to try more of the recommended activities or take some rest days in between. You can book a wide range of these activities with operators such as Activ’ Annecy, Skiwake74 and Takamaka. Make sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment, especially throughout the peak summer months.)

Day one: get on your bike

Cycling around Lake Annecy is an incredible way to make the most of your time there, in any season.

There are various rental shops where you can hire a bike for the day, and if you want a more leisurely ride, many now offer e-bike rentals too. However, in summer they can get extremely busy, so it’s best to aim to get there early and head out on your ride before the queues kick in.

In summer, why not pack a picnic and stop off at one of the beaches to enjoy your lunch with a view? If you’re leaving from the centre of Annecy, Doussard Beach is a great pitstop along the way.

Keen cyclists can also head further afield into the Aravis mountains if they’re after some more challenging routes, such as the Col des Aravis and the Col de la Croix Fry, which regularly feature in the Tour de France. 

Two bikes parked on the shores of Lake Annecy
Cycling around Lake Annecy is a must-try activity on your active holiday

Day two: try a new watersport

There’s a fantastic array of watersports on offer in Annecy. If you’re not keen on the cold, summer will be the best time to have a go, as the water temperature will be milder.

Some of the activities you can try include:

  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Sailing
  • Diving
  • Wakeboarding/wake surfing/waterskiing
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
Young man wake surfing on Lake Annecy
Wakeboarding and wake surfing are great ways to test your more adventurous side!

Day three: head to the tennis courts

Annecy Tennis Club is based at the foot of the mountains, just a short walk from the lake on Rue des Marquisats. There are seven courts outside, so it’s a great way to spend a sunny day whilst getting your exercise in! And if the weather’s not so good, there are also four covered, heated courts to enjoy a game. The court rental is 20€ per hour.

If you want to try something new, why not challenge yourselves to a game of padel, too? Combining tennis and squash, this high-intensity game is quickly growing in popularity with racket sports enthusiasts, so now’s your chance to practise!

An image of someone wearing tennis shoes, holding a racket and a ball on an orange court
Enjoy an afternoon of tennis or padel next to Lake Annecy – photo by Valentin Balan on Unsplash

Day four: take a hike

If you’re still feeling energetic on day four, it’s time to explore the mountains! There are endless hiking trails near Annecy, but options may vary depending on your ability and whether or not you have a car. Here are our top picks:

  • The Cascade d’Angon (The Angon Waterfall) – easy/moderate
  • The Roc de Chère – easy/moderate
  • Mont Veyrier loop – difficult
  • La Tournette – difficult
  • Annecy Crest Trail – difficult
A view over Lake Annecy
Breathtaking views are guaranteed when hiking around Annecy – photo by David Barros on Unsplash

Day five: go paragliding

Many Alpine locations offer paragliding as an activity, and Annecy is no different! This is the perfect way to end your holiday whilst you enjoy a bird’s eye view of the cleanest lake in Europe and its surrounding peaks.

From March-November, you can enjoy this experience from 85€ per person (depending on the weather). It’s definitely one to tick off the bucket list!

Other aerial activities include hang-gliding, sky diving, hot air balloon and gyrocopter rides.

A paragliding launch pad overlooking Lake Annecy
Take off from the top of Col de la Forclaz for a unique experience – photo by Tor Stryger on Unsplash

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A family break

⏱️ Recommended length of stay: one week

📅 Best time of year to visit: summer

📍 Where to stay: around the lake

Families looking for a fun and varied destination for their next summer destination will find all they need in Annecy!

We recommend staying in a larger property a little further out of the town centre, close to the lake. That way, you can avoid the busy crowds of the city centre, easily cool off in the lake and spend more time enjoying the facilities and equipment at your rental property if you’re not in the mood to go out.

You might want to also consider hiring bikes to cycle into the centre – this way you can avoid the heavy traffic heading into town.

With so much to see and do, you can easily spend a week in Annecy on a family holiday. Here are the must-try activities to try with kids and teens:

A man sits with his two children on a pier on the edge of Lake Annecy
There’s so much to explore together as a family in Annecy – photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Day one: explore the town

Simply strolling around the scenic Old Town of Annecy is fascinating in itself. With its stunning medieval architecture and meandering canals, you’ll be spoiled with family photo opportunities!

While you’re out and about, there are plenty of cafes, ice cream shops, and restaurants to stop and grab something to eat or drink.

Annecy Old Town photographed against a mountain backdrop
The Old Town of Annecy is just beautiful, with terracotta buildings lining cobbled streets and clear blue canals!

Day two: cycle around the lake

Cycling around Lake Annecy is a popular activity for both locals and tourists alike and is a must-do for anyone visiting the area. With stunning views of the surrounding mountains and crystal-clear water, what’s not to like?

The 42-kilometre route is relatively flat and suitable for all levels of cyclists. Along the way, riders can stop at quaint villages and enjoy local cuisine or take a dip in the refreshing waters. Plus, the cycling path is well-maintained, making it a safe and enjoyable experience.

If you haven’t already rented bikes for your holiday, there are many shops you can get them from. Take a look at our guide to cycling around Lake Annecy for more information.

Day three: hire a pedalo

Families of all ages will love spending a fun couple of hours on a pedalo boat. There are a number of different rental operators dotted on the lake’s shores, with prices starting at around 27€ per hour for a four-seater boat.

People ride pedalos on Annecy Lake
Fancy a fun few hours out on the water? Why not hire a pedalo from one of the many stands surrounding the lake?

Day four: try canyoning

Canyoning is an opportunity to test your inner thrill-seeker by jumping into pools and scrambling over slippery rocks to find hidden waterfalls and unrivalled views of the lake and mountains.

You can try this activity as a group of four with prices starting at 45€ per person. Some packages have a minimum age, usually between six and 14 years old.

A group of people watch as a man jumps into water from the rocks
For families with older children, canyoning is a great, active day out

Day five: mini-golf

At this point in the week, you may feel like having a more laid-back day. You could enjoy a lazy morning followed by a chilled afternoon at the 18-hole mini golf course at the Petit Port.

From there, you could go for a swim at Albigny Beach and head to one of the restaurants or bars nearby for an early evening drink or meal.

Day six: Les Gorges du Fier

We’ve already mentioned some of the fantastic hikes Annecy has to offer earlier in this guide. But, if you’re travelling with young kids, you may want a more gentle walk.

We’d recommend Les Gorges du Fier, which is an easy hike around 20 minutes drive from Annecy. You’ll walk along elevated boardwalks above a towering canyon, so it’s a bit more interactive and adventure-filled for kids.

People walk along a path on a rocky edge
This family-friendly walk is the perfect day out © Les des gorges du Fier

Day seven: go on a boat ride

Choose from a sightseeing cruise, water taxi or private boat excursion on day six. This is a great way to explore the lake a little further, and if you opt for a private boat, kids can enjoy jumping in the water and swimming in the crystal blue water!

Learn more about boat trips on Lake Annecy here.

The Lake Annecy ferry cruising on turquoise waters
A boat ride is a fun way to discover the lake as a family!

A romantic getaway

⏱️ Recommended length of stay: 3 days

📅 Best time of year to visit: any time outside of the school holidays

📍 Where to stay: Annecy Old Town

With its quaint charm and romantic scenery, Annecy is an ideal location for a couple’s retreat, with plenty to do year-round. Summer offers a plethora of date ideas from sunset cruises to picnics with a view, while winter is the perfect time for cosy hot chocolates and exploring the Christmas market.

We’ve created an itinerary that can be enjoyed in any season, but we do recommend visiting outside of the school holidays to avoid the crowds and the higher prices.

Day one: explore the town

You’ll find beautiful monuments and exquisite features bursting with character around every corner in Annecy’s Old Town.

A must-see on your romantic getaway is “Le Pont des Amours” or “Lovers’ Bridge”. Overlooking the turquoise lake on one side, and the tree-lined canal on the other, it’s no wonder this bridge is such a popular attraction.

For dinner, why not head to one of the luxurious Michelin-starred restaurants in Annecy, including:

Le Pont des Amours in Annecy, photographed with rowing boats and trees along the canal
Le Pont des Amours – photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

Day two: a day at the spa

A spa break is one of the best ways to relax and spend time together, and there are some first-class pamper spots in Annecy where you can do just that.

Les Tresoms, for example, is located just outside the centre, overlooking Lake Annecy. Home to thermal pools, saunas and hammams, the spa also offers a range of treatments including a couples’ massage.

A couple getting a couples massage at a spa
Unwind together with a couples’ massage

Day three: take to the skies in a hot air balloon

What could be a more memorable way to end your romantic getaway than with a hot air balloon ride?

There are a number of operators who you can book this through, including:

A truly unique way to experience the stunning scenery, this activity will surely be one to write home about!

A couple on a hot air balloon ride
Create unforgettable memories on this unique experience!

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A foodie trip

⏱️ Recommended length of stay: 3 days

📅 Best time of year to visit: any time of year

📍 Where to stay: Annecy Old Town

If you’re a foodie, you’ll love staying in Annecy, which is well-known for its traditional cuisine. From tartiflette to delicate pastries, there’s something for every palate!

You can dine at one of the many restaurants in town, or try your hand at cooking with the local produce by visiting the bustling market. And of course, no trip to Annecy would be complete without sampling some of the region’s famous cheeses and wines.

With so much delicious food to discover, you’ll want to stay in Annecy for weeks. However, we’ve narrowed down an itinerary for you to pack into three days, so you can make the most of Annecy over a long weekend.

Day one: sample the culinary offerings of Annecy

For your first day, we suggest strolling through the town and discovering its numerous gastronomic delights. There’s a vast array of options, ranging from patisseries, bakeries, and creperies to well-known fromageries and popular ice cream shops. Take your time to explore and savour the experience!

If you are looking for a more organised experience, consider reserving a guided gourmet tour of the city to indulge in some of the local’s favourite cuisine.

Someone holds a Raclette sandwich on a bridge overlooking the Annecy canal
A Raclette sandwiche from Les Caprices d’Emilie is a must-try!

Day two: Annecy Market

The Annecy market runs year-round every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday between 7 am and 1 pm. So, depending on when you arrive, you may need to do this activity on a different day.

The market starts to get busy from 10.30 am, therefore we’d recommend arriving as early as possible so you can peruse the stalls with ease and avoid long queues. 

It spans the Old Town, with its main strip of stalls located on Rue Saint Claire. You’ll also find vendors on Rue de la République, Quai de Semnoz, Quai de l’Île and Rue du Pont Morens.

The Tuesday market is full of local produce, with a broad range of food stalls selling local delicacies. On Fridays and Sundays, in addition to food, vendors also sell manufactured and textile goods.

If you want to enhance your market experience even further, you can book a guided tour followed by a private dinner party with an Annecy local, to learn more about modern French cuisine.

Man with a pull along shopping basket at looking at a vegetable stall
Pick up ingredients for a picnic or a special dinner at your accommodation

Day three: cheese and wine tasting

Annecy is known for its stunning scenery, but it’s also home to some of the best cheese and wine in the world. So if you’re a foodie looking for a unique and delicious experience, then a tasting should definitely be on your agenda.

You’ll get to sample a variety of local cheeses, from velvety Reblochon to creamy Beaufort, paired perfectly with a selection of wines. And not only will you get to indulge in some truly incredible flavours, but you’ll also learn about the history and production of each cheese and wine. It’s the perfect activity for any food lover visiting Annecy!

1786 Travel offers three packages including:

A group of friends cheers with glasses of wine
Foodies will love learning all about cheese and wine and trying local specialities – photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

Restaurant recommendations

Whether you’re looking for traditional French cuisine or something more eclectic, you’ll find it all in Annecy. From quaint bistros to Michelin-starred restaurants, the city has something for everyone.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Annecy, be sure to bring an empty stomach and an adventurous palate, because the restaurant scene here is not to be missed!

Here are some more food guides to help you plan your gourmet trip:


Whether you’re looking for a cultural visit, an active holiday, a gourmet exploration or quality time with your loved ones, Annecy has it all.

Once you’ve decided on what kind of holiday you want to have, make sure to browse OVO Network’s range of partner properties in Annecy. From chic city-centre apartments in the heart of the action to luxury villas on the lake’s edge, you’ll find the perfect base for your next trip.

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About Author

Hi, I’m Amy. I am a Copywriter and Editor for OVO Network. I have lived between the French Alps and UK and love to share my knowledge of the area with readers!

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