People drink coffee near the River Thiou in Old Town, encircling the medieval palace perched mid-river - the Palais de l'Isle in Annecy, France.


Vieille Ville


It’s a pleasure simply to wander aimlessly around Annecy’s medieval Old Town, where emerald-green canals flow beneath stone bridges and pastel-painted 16th- and 17th-century buildings bask in sunlight. This jumble of narrow pedestrian-only streets and pretty canals gave Annecy its nickname 'Venice of the Alps'.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Annecy attractions

1. Église St-Maurice

0.06 MILES

A pale sandstone church, Annecy's oldest, made all the more dazzling by the turquoise Canal du Thiou running alongside it. Step through the 15th-century…

2. Palais de l’Isle

0.07 MILES

Sitting on a triangular islet surrounded by the Canal du Thiou, the Palais de l’Isle has been a lordly residence, a courthouse, a mint and a prison,…

3. Église Notre Dame de Liesse

0.08 MILES

Largely built during the mid-19th century after its 14th-century predecessor was damaged during the French Revolution, the Church of Our Lady of Liesse…

4. Cathédrale St-Pierre

0.08 MILES

A former Franciscan chapel consecrated in 1535, Annecy's cathedral has a Renaissance-meets-Gothic style. Drawing attention from the unadorned walls are a…

5. Église St-François de Sales

0.09 MILES

Inspired by the design of Rome's Church of the Gesù, this Catholic church is also known as the Church of the Italians (and hosts mass in Italian). Dating…

6. Château d’Annecy

0.15 MILES

With commanding views across the ochre rooftops of the Vieille Ville (Old Town) to the Massif des Bauges, the Château d’Annecy is at once imposing and…

7. Waterfront

0.21 MILES

On the tree-fringed lakefront, the flowery Jardins de l’Europe are linked to the grassy Champ de Mars, a popular picnic spot, by the poetic iron arch of…

8. Château de Menthon-St-Bernard

4.51 MILES

Twenty-three generations of the De Menthon family have lived within 1000-year-old Château de Menthon-St-Bernard. The birthplace of St Bernard in 1008 –…