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).
For a gorgeous perspective in every direction, stand at the intersection of arcaded rue de Boigne and long, handsome place St-Léger.
Once home to aristocrats, rue de la Croix d’Or hides the Hôtel du Châteauneuf’s rose-draped courtyard, with intricate wrought-iron grilles affording fine views of the castle. Winding to the base of the château's massive walls, 14th-century rue Basse-du-Château is most atmospheric when the afternoon sun warms its caramel-coloured façades.