Bustling markets are in abundance in Montreux. Taste some mouth-watering local cheeses and wines at the covered market every Friday morning, or peruse the antique goods at the lakeside flea market, which also takes place on Friday. For a wonderful selection of clothing, head to Villeneuve on a Sunday.
Shopping Mall Manor, in Vevey, and Shopping Mall Forum, in Montreux, house various international and Swiss high-street brands, as well as more independent stores. There's also a selection of restaurants and cafés in the centres, where you can take a well-deserved break.
Near the waterfront, Avenue Claude, otherwise known as the Grand Rue, is where you'll find the more upmarket shops. Head here for brands like Cartier, Rolex and TAG Heuer, which sit alongside fine art galleries.
There's a plethora of wine cellars and bars in Montreux, with lovely intimate settings that are perfect for a romantic evening. The town is also dotted with theatres - like the Riviera Theatre, and Le Reflet in Vevey. You could also snuggle up in one of the cinemas to watch a range of international films.
Montreux is known for its love of jazz, so while you're here, make sure you pay a visit to the world-famous Montreux Jazz Café. Every summer, the town also hosts the amazing Monteux Jazz Festival that features a range of critically-claimed artists from across the globe. Other than its deep-rooted connection to music, the town also has a selection of casinos and lively bars along the waterfront.
When in Montreux, you’ll have to try at least one of the local delicacies. For lunch, have a rosti – filling enough if you add cheese, an egg or some ham – or perhaps tuck into some perch, which is caught straight from the Lac Leman and appears on loads of restaurant menus. However, you’ll also find everything from Chinese and Italian to American and French cuisine too.
Set a little way out of town is Le Pont de Brent, a pretty country house restaurant with two Michelin stars. The menu is imaginative and forever changing, and all the dishes are artistically and beautifully presented.
On Fridays in the market you’ll find a pizza van that appears near the Freddie Mercury statue. They sell large stonebaked pizzas for decent prices - ideal for a quick lunch before exploring the market further.
On the Avenue de Chillon is the tiny Tango, a casual Argentinian bar and grill with a very meat-oriented menu. It’s very popular so booking in advance is essential. Their Malbec wines are said to be good too.
Montreux has an area to interest everyone – whether you want to walk along a lakeside promenade, through lush vineyards, or around lively streets filled with shops and cafés, you’ll find it here.
You can hop on a boat or paddle steamer to travel across the water to the Chateau de Chillon, or past the vineyards to Lausanne. With your Riviera Card, you’ll get discount on CGN cruises.
As with most of Switzerland, there’s an excellent train service here. And take advantage of your Swiss Half Fare Card that you get as part of your holiday for up to 50% off Swiss train journeys during your stay. Destinations include Geneva (1 hour), Rochers de Naye (50 minutes), Interlaken (2 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours) and Gruyères (1 hours 15 minutes). Your Riviera Card will also give you discount on various trains.
Many buses are free with your Riviera Card or discounted with your Swiss Half Fare Card that you get as part of your holiday. A particularly useful one is the 201 bus, which runs to Vevey (20 minutes) and also to Château de Chillon and Villeneuve.
Your Ticket Combi will also give you a discount on some summer lifts in the area.
Whether you’re strolling along the famous promenade or wandering around the town, admiring its architecture, exploring Montreux is full of surprises. There’s a wonderful lakeside walk starting in Villeneuve and going all the way through Montreux to Vevey, a real must for anyone visiting the area. You can follow the promenade as far as the Chateau of Chillon, which takes around 45 minutes. There are also walks to and around the vineyards, on the sunny slopes of the hills that climb up from Lake Geneva.
A gentle walk that’s a great starting point. Follow the lakeside promenade all the way around until you reach the casino, then turn left. Head uphill, cross the train line and then turn left again into the old town, where you can explore 16th and 17th century buildings. Exit the old town by the Montreux Historical Museum and head back down towards the lake.
Take bus no. 201 to Villeneuve and follow this walking route over the train tracks and under the motorway. It’ll then wind through the vineyards, past the Paleolithic cave of Le Scex and a quaint little church – all with breathtaking views of Villeneuve. You’ll need to head back under the motorway to Munaz and then to Villeneuve to get the bus back home.
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