Must see attractions in Chambéry

  • Top ChoiceSights in Chambéry

    Ville Ancienne

    Chambéry's medieval Old Town reveals its beauty gradually. Rush through its lanes and you risk missing hidden courtyards, murals and well-preserved 14th- to 18th-century hôtels (town houses), many of which are inhabited by modern Chambériens. Streets worth wandering include tiny rue du Sénat de Savoie, cobbled rue Juiverie and boutique-dotted rue de la Métropole. To peep inside private residences and uncover lesser-known corners, enquire about walking tours at Hôtel de Cordon; usually at 2.30pm on weekends (€6, French only).

  • Sights in Chambéry

    Château des Ducs de Savoie

    Medieval walls, Gothic tracery, trompe l'oeil detailing…Chambéry's château has acquired a wealth of styles since its founding in the 11th century. Once home to the counts and dukes of Savoy, the stately stronghold has housed the Préfecture and Conseil Général of the Savoie département since 1860. The gardens and Cour d'Honneur (courtyard) are open free of charge; to see 14th- and 15th-century Tour Trésorerie (Treasury Tower) and stained glass inside Ste-Chapelle, built in the 15th century to house the Turin Shroud, take a tour.

  • Sights in Chambéry

    Cathédrale St-François de Sales

    All is not as it seems inside Chambéry's 15th-century Franciscan cathedral, decorated with 6000 sq metres of trompe l’œil painting. The largest such feature in any building in Europe, the decorations – created by 19th-century artists Sevesi and Vicario – deceive the eyes into seeing Gothic vaults, an ornate carved ceiling and a mystical labyrinth that leads believers to Jerusalem.

  • Sights in Chambéry

    Fontaine des Éléphants

    With its four carved elephants, this 17.6m-high fountain looks like the model for an old Indian postage stamp. It was sculpted in 1838 in honour of Général de Boigne (1751–1830), who made his fortune in the East Indies and was honoured posthumously with this monument for bestowing some of his wealth on the town. Locally, the elephants – whose front halves sprout from the statue – are lovingly referred to as the quatre sans cul (the rear-less four).

  • Sights in Chambéry

    Musée des Charmettes

    Geneva-born philosopher, composer and writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a key figure of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, lived the happiest years of his life in this serene country house between 1736 and 1742. It's laden with original features, like 18th-century wallpaper and fainting couches. Even those with little interest in the life of Rousseau might find their interest piqued by stories of his 'instruction' under Madame de Warens, who took the much-younger philosopher as her lover here.

  • Sights in Chambéry

    Musée des Beaux-Arts

    Occupying a former corn exchange, Chambéry's grand fine-arts museum exhibits mostly 14th- to 18th-century Italian works. There's a particular emphasis on Florentine and Sienese paintings from the Renaissance, including pieces by Caravaggio, Titian and Ghirlandaio; exhibitions are laid out in the light-flooded upper floor of this elegant 19th-century gallery. Also worth a look are the many dramatic landscapes of Chambéry and the Alps painted between 1799 and 1975.

  • Sights in Chambéry

    Musée Savoisien

    Due for a grand reopening in 2020, this museum housed in a Franciscan monastery was closed to undergo a massive renovation when we passed through. When it reopens its doors, visitors can expect a showcase of the turbulent history, rich culture and diverse ethnography of Savoie.

  • Sights in Chambéry

    Hôtel de Cordon

    This former hôtel particulier (historic private mansion) has interactive displays on local culture on its upper floor. It's also the starting point for tours of the Château des Ducs de Savoie and Old Town.