Chamonix Ultimate Travel Guide and Tips – What to Do, Where to Stay, What to Eat
As the winter holidays are approaching, you may be looking for an exciting and fun destination in the French Alps. Well, here is an Ultimate Travel Guide in Chamonix during winter as well as summer.
You can discover the story of my travels in Chamonix. And this time, we are offering you a more detailed travel guide to Chamonix from our experience.
How to get to Chamonix
There is no airport in Chamonix, and Geneva is the most convenient and accessible airport for travelling to Chamonix. You will either take a car, train or bus.
However, the car rentals from France don’t usually supply winter tyres for free. It may cost as much as €22 per day or €110 to get winter tyres fixed to your car. So you may want to consider renting cars from Geneva instead.
Parking is not very easily available at the city center of Chamonix but, you have a comprehensive transport network of public buses. These buses takes you to the ski cable car stations.
From Geneva to Chamonix
From Lyon to Chamonix
The car rentals from France don’t usually supply winter tyres for free. It may cost as much as €22 per day or €110 to get winter tyres fixed to your car.
From Paris to Chamonix
Note: Fuel prices are lower in Switzerland than in France. However, the cost of diesel is almost similar. Check out here for more information.
From Geneva – If you are flying in from Geneva. Don’t bother taking a train to Chamonix. Either rent a car or book a mini bus transfer to Chamonix. It is easier this way.
You may want to consider taking a flight to Geneva and from there transfer to Chamonix. Because a train ride from Paris takes 6 hours to 7 hours, and at least 1 to 2 transfer.
Check train schedules
Another popular option is to take the hired bus or vans from Geneva. It takes less than 2 hours and ranges about €19 - €30.
List of Bus Operators
Here is a list of Chamonix Bus operators that you can take from Geneva.
Getting around Chamonix
By Public Bus
The public bus network extends over the town of Houches, Servoz, Chamonix, Argentière and Vallorcine. The bus main station is located in Chamonix Sud and all buses run around the city center.
For the bus routes and services – Refer here
The use of Chamonix Bus is completely free (except Chamo'Nuit and special buses) with these passes
- Available to guests staying at least one night at an official hostel.
- The card is valid for the staying time during the season (less than 5 months).
- All ski pass allowed you to use the Chamonix Bus lines for free.
Free Shuttle Bus – The Mulet
This free shuttle service enables you to move freely around the Chamonix centre. The "Mulet" operates every 10 minutes in Winter and Summer and every 15 minutes in mid season. It has connection points to the main bus service that continues up and down the valley to the main lift areas and villages.
Check out the route map here
What to see and visit in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?
Mer de Glace.
This glacier is one of the largest in the Alps. It is over 7 km long. To access it, it is possible to take the Montenvers tram The view of the glacier, the Drus, the Grand Jorasses, and the surrounding landscapes is quite spectacular. Caves and ice sculptures are something for you to discover, it is free access. You need to take a cable car down and climb down a flight of stairs for 20-30mins.
Aiguille du Midi
This is the highest needle of Chamonix (over 3,800 meters). The cable car arrives at this peak, in about 20 minutes from the center of Chamonix. From the Aiguille du Midi, it is possible to observe a superb panorama of the Vallée Blanche, and the Aosta Valley.
The Step In The Void
"The Step In The Void" is a glass box, on 5 sides, which offers an impressive panorama, more than 1,000 meters of vacuum under the feet. The Mont Blanc also has many other worthy of interest: the needle of Argentière, Bionnassay or Grands Montets.
The Bossons Glacier.
The panorama is very pretty. It is possible to take the cable car Bossons to discover this place.
The Church Saint-Michel.
It dates from the 18th century. It is located in the city center of Chamonix, at the Triangle-de-l'Amitié. His organ is to see!
The Alpine Museum currently offers an exhibition on the heritage of Mont Blanc. It is also possible to discover the museum Montagnard des Houches. Several traditional 18th-century living rooms are to be discovered.
What to do in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?
Interestingly, Chamonix is busy all year round. After the winter activities, when the snow melts, you have mountains for greens for hiking.
And the cable cars will take you up a height to do your hiking or snowboarding.
The Mont-Blanc is an ideal place to indulge in one's passions: skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and all winter sports in general. Whatever its level and expectations, there are many tracks, which allows you to choose a suitable station. For the more experienced, it is possible to join Helbronner Point in off-piste skiing. The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix can accompany visitors during these activities.
Hiking in summer.
The Mont-Blanc has many interesting mountain lakes to discover. Lac Blanc and Lac des Gaillants, for example, offer very beautiful landscapes.
By taking the Brévent cable car, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Mont-Blanc mountain range, including Lake Breve and Lake Cornu.
Take a walk in the center of Chamonix.
This city is very busy during the winter. It is enjoyable to soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the town. It's nice to stop for coffee or hot chocolate at the foot of the slopes.
Shoppers will also be satisfied; big brands welcome holidaymakers in their shops. There is also the Christmas market from mid-December.
What to Eat in Chamonix
There are numerous restaurants in Chamonix. Ranging from French cuisine, Italian to Asian. So many options that you can choose from.
Most of the time, those top rate ones are always fully booked. So before you make your way for your meal, remember to call them beforehand to make your booking.
1-2 days prior will always be good. If not, your last option is having Mcdonalds.
Top Asian Restaurants in Chamonix
For Singaporeans, it is always comforting to get some Asian food in winter or sometimes during summer. There are limited Asian restaurants in Chamonix, but we bring you some of the few recommendations.
Where to Stay in Chamonix?
The best place to stay where it is the most convenient is the city centre of Chamonix. However, if you are driving, parking may be an issue.
The transport network is so comprehensive that you may not even need to drive to the cable car stations for your activities. If you still want to drive, you can check out the other options.
Accommodations in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?
This big ski chalet in Les Praz was voted "the coolest chalet on the slopes" in 2012 by The Times and we understand why. It allows big groups of guest of up to 12 people and a panoramic view of Mont Blanc, as well as an outdoor jacuzzi, an indoor spa with sauna more enjoyable, a massage room and gym.
Top tip: Perfect for both skiers and non-skiers thanks to its proximity to a golf course and the villages of Chamonix and Argentiere.
Located at the foot of the lifts and accommodating up to 14 people, the Chalet Drosera is the perfect accommodation for large groups of skiers. After a day spent on the slopes, this chalet offers an indoor pool and a place to relax the sore muscles! In full board - including 6 gourmet meals - and served by very competent staff.
Top tip: Packages and ski equipment, as well as bookings for different types of activities, sports or recreation.
Les Granges D´en Haut
Located in the heart of the ski area, this elegant hotel is a true nugget of the French Alps. The views of the Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc are breathtaking! And if that's not enough, a luxury spa and gourmet food to die for are waiting for you.
Top tip: Chamonix is only a ten-minute drive, but if the sun is the rendezvous, instead take your camera, lace up your shoes and enjoy a pleasant ride and beautiful scenery at any time of the year!
Auberge du Bois Prin
This sumptuous alpine hotel is located only 300 meters from the Brévent ski lift and is also very close to the city center! From the large balconies, enjoy the magnificent views of Mont Blanc. The spa area, sauna, jacuzzi and various beauty and wellness treatments will fill you with happiness!
Top tip: To start the day off right, have breakfast served right in your room on the balcony! A real treat!
Hôtel Mont-Blanc Chamonix
This charming hotel in the center of Chamonix is simply lovely, both inside and out. The rooms are comfortable and the services are unmissable: spa by Clarins, fitness area and beautiful indoor pool to stay in shape, and of course, tasty gourmet dinners!
Top tip: After skiing, looking for a quiet place to have a drink without having to go away? The hotel bar offers delicious drinks in a cosy atmosphere that will welcome you for a drink.
Chalet Hotel Le Prieuré
This magnificent hotel is only three minutes walk from the gondola to the Aiguille du Midi, something to delight both skiers and non-skiers alike. The superb restaurant will take great care of you, at breakfast with a huge buffet, and in the evening with a wide variety of tasty menus.
Top tip : The hotel offers ski rentals so that you can travel more freely!
A hundred meters walk from the hotel to the center of Chamonix and the bus while the shuttle to the slopes leaves directly from the hotel's doorstep! The hotel has its spa and fitness center, from which you can try climbing!
Top Tip: Not all rooms have a balcony. If you want to enjoy beautiful views, be sure to book a room with one.
La Chaumière Mountain Lodge
This charming Alpine hotel offers one of the most attractive prices in the Chamonix ski area. Perfect for a relaxing stay as for a more active holiday thanks to its secluded location and its proximity to the beautiful Lac des Gaillands and rocks that are difficult to climb.
Top tip : The hotel is located 10 minutes walk from the center, but the bus stop and train station are only about fifty meters!
How to prepare more for your trip?
The hotel offering in Chamonix is quite comprehensive. There are large chalets welcoming a few visitors, as well as larger ones.
A tour on the site of Booking.com allows you to get an idea of the hotels available in Chamonix. In terms of prices, it takes about € 100 to € 300 per night in Chamonix, during high season.
The destination is very popular, which explains the fairly high prices per night.
In order to maximize the enjoyment of your trip to Chamonix, I advise you to go to the website of the tourist office where it is possible to get more valuable advice.