28 Best Places And Things To Do in Chambéry, France

Chambéry, located in the Rhône-Alpes region of France, is a charming city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful natural surroundings. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, indulging in local cuisine, or enjoying outdoor activities, Chambéry has something to offer. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Chambéry.

1. Château de Chambéry

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Start your exploration of the city by visiting the iconic Château de Chambéry. This medieval castle was once the residence of the Dukes of Savoy and features a blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the castle and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the tower.

2. Old Town (Vieille Ville)

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Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of Chambéry’s Old Town to soak up its medieval charm. Admire the colorful facades of the well-preserved historic buildings, visit the Saint-François de Sales Cathedral, and explore the vibrant Place Saint-Léger, a lively square lined with cafes and boutiques.

3. Fontaine des Éléphants

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One of Chambéry’s most famous landmarks is the Fontaine des Éléphants, also known as the Elephant Fountain. This impressive fountain features four life-size stone elephants and was built in the early 19th century. It’s a great spot to take photos and learn about the city’s connection to the House of Savoy.

4. Musée des Beaux-Arts

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Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Housed in a former Franciscan convent, this museum showcases a wide range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from various periods. The collection features both regional and international artists, making it a must-visit for art lovers.

5. Parc Naturel Régional du Massif des Bauges

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Just a short drive from Chambéry, you’ll find the Parc Naturel Régional du Massif des Bauges, a stunning natural park. Embark on hiking trails that lead you through picturesque landscapes, enjoy picnics by the pristine lakes, or indulge in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, paragliding, and skiing during the winter months.

6. Lac du Bourget

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Chambéry is located near Lac du Bourget, the largest natural lake in France. Spend a day at the lake, relaxing on its sandy beaches, swimming in its crystal-clear waters, or renting a boat for a leisurely cruise. The lake is also surrounded by scenic trails, offering opportunities for walking, cycling, and enjoying the beauty of the surrounding mountains.

7. Savoyard Cuisine

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Indulge in the delicious local cuisine of Savoyard during your visit to Chambéry. Sample classic dishes such as fondue, raclette, and tartiflette, which are all hearty and comforting specialties of the region. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine or try a traditional liqueur like Chartreuse, produced by the Carthusian monks.

8. Les Charmettes

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For a cultural experience, visit Les Charmettes, the former residence of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This 18th-century house is set in a peaceful garden and offers insight into Rousseau’s life and work. Take a guided tour to learn about his influence on French literature and philosophy.

9. Les Halles de Chambéry

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If you’re a food lover, make sure to visit Les Halles de Chambéry. This bustling indoor market is filled with stalls offering a wide array of fresh produce, cheese, meats, pastries, and other local specialties. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, taste some regional delicacies, and perhaps pick up some ingredients for a picnic or a culinary souvenir.

10. Les Jardins de Ville

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Take a leisurely stroll through Les Jardins de Ville, Chambéry’s beautiful public gardens. Located near the Château de Chambéry, this green oasis is perfect for a peaceful escape. Admire the meticulously maintained flowerbeds, relax on the benches, and enjoy the serene ambiance. The gardens also host regular events and concerts during the summer months.

11. Maison des Charmettes

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Another notable residence linked to a famous figure is the Maison des Charmettes, once the home of the writer Madame de Warens. Located just outside of Chambéry, this charming country house offers insight into the life of this influential woman who played a significant role in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s life. Explore the gardens and explore the rooms that evoke the atmosphere of the 18th century.

12. Aix-les-Bains

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Chambéry is in close proximity to Aix-les-Bains, a popular spa town nestled on the shores of Lake Bourget. Pay a visit to this neighboring town and indulge in some relaxation and wellness treatments at the spa resorts. Additionally, you can explore the elegant Belle Époque architecture, visit the Casino Grand Cercle, or take a boat trip on the lake.

13. Les Marches

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For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the nearby village of Les Marches is highly recommended. This charming wine-growing region is known for producing excellent white wines, particularly the Apremont and Abymes varieties. Take a tour of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and savor the flavors of the local wines at one of the many vineyards and cellars in the area.

14. Festivals and Events

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Chambéry hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. From music festivals and art exhibitions to traditional fairs and cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening in the city. Check the local event calendar to see if there are any events coinciding with your visit and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

15. Sports and Outdoor Activities

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Chambéry is surrounded by beautiful landscapes that offer numerous outdoor activities. Enjoy hiking and biking in the nearby Chartreuse Regional Nature Park or the Bauges Mountains. In the winter months, hit the slopes of the nearby ski resorts, such as Le Revard or La Féclaz, and indulge in skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing.

16. La Croix du Nivolet

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For breathtaking panoramic views of the region, venture up to La Croix du Nivolet. This mountain peak offers spectacular vistas of Chambéry, the surrounding valleys, and the majestic French Alps. Hike or drive up to the summit and revel in the beauty of the natural landscape.

17. Le Phare

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Explore Le Phare, a contemporary art center located in the heart of Chambéry. This dynamic cultural space hosts temporary exhibitions featuring works by emerging and established artists. Immerse yourself in the world of modern art and discover thought-provoking installations, paintings, and sculptures.

18. Maison des Jeux de Chambéry

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If you’re traveling with children or enjoy games, a visit to the Maison des Jeux de Chambéry is a must. This interactive museum is dedicated to the world of games, offering a wide variety of board games, card games, and puzzles for all ages. Spend a fun-filled afternoon challenging yourself and your companions to friendly competition.

19. Explore Chambéry’s Surrounding Villages

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Take some time to explore the picturesque villages that surround Chambéry. Visit places like Montmélian, known for its historic fortifications, or the charming village of Yenne, located along the Rhône River. These villages offer a glimpse into the rural beauty of the region and provide opportunities for scenic walks and cultural immersion.

20. Summer Music Festivals

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If you visit Chambéry during the summer months, you’ll have the opportunity to attend various music festivals. From classical concerts to jazz and contemporary performances, these festivals bring the city to life with music and offer a chance to enjoy live performances in stunning venues, such as the Château de Chambéry or the Jardin du Verney.

21. Les Gorges du Fier

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Take a short trip from Chambéry to Les Gorges du Fier, a breathtaking natural attraction. Walk along a suspended footbridge that stretches over the narrow gorge, offering dramatic views of the rushing river below and the towering cliffs. Explore the geological wonders and learn about the formation of this impressive natural site.

22. Chocolaterie Deletraaz

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Indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to Chocolaterie Deletraaz. Located in Chambéry, this artisanal chocolate shop offers a delectable array of handmade chocolates and confections. Take a guided tour to discover the chocolate-making process and sample some of their delicious creations.

23. La Rue Basse

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Wander along La Rue Basse, a charming street lined with picturesque buildings, boutiques, and artisan shops. This pedestrian-friendly area is perfect for leisurely strolls, browsing for unique souvenirs, and enjoying a coffee or a meal at one of the cozy cafes or restaurants.

24. Mont Granier

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Outdoor enthusiasts and hikers should consider exploring Mont Granier, an imposing limestone mountain near Chambéry. Embark on a challenging hike to the summit for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. The mountain is also known for its intriguing geology and the historical collapse of a portion of its face in the 13th century.

25. Musee des Charmettes

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If you have an interest in literature and history, visit the Musee des Charmettes. This museum is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and is located in the house where he lived with Madame de Warens. Explore the exhibits that offer insights into Rousseau’s life, ideas, and his connection to Chambéry.

26. Savoy Historical Railroad

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Experience a nostalgic journey on the Savoy Historical Railroad, Chemin de Fer Historique de la Savoie. Hop aboard a vintage train and travel through the scenic countryside, passing by charming villages and picturesque landscapes. This is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the region’s history and enjoy a unique mode of transportation.

27. Parc des Loisirs de Buisson Rond

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If you’re traveling with family or seeking outdoor recreation, head to Parc des Loisirs de Buisson Rond. This large park offers a range of activities, including walking trails, cycling paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas. You can also rent boats to paddle on the park’s lake or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens.

28. Savoyard Markets

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Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the vibrant markets in Chambéry. The city hosts regular markets where you can find fresh local produce, cheeses, meats, artisanal products, and more. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, interact with local vendors, and discover the flavors of the region.