Chamonix is a beautiful mountain town in the French Alps. Not too far from Switzerland, and right on the border with Italy, it’s easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe. Whether you are traveling in the summer or winter, with the whole family, solo, or with a significant other there are plenty of things to do in Chamonix.
Come winter, the town turns into something out of a fairytale as skiers and snowboarders flock here to ski epically steep lines. In the summer, Chamonix becomes a trail running capital full of outdoor enthusiasts. There are so many things to do in Chamonix, it will be hard to ever get bored. We spent an entire month here and still can’t wait to return again.
What we’ll cover in this Chamonix guide
- Where is Chamonix?
- Best Things To Do In Chamonix
- Where To Eat In Chamonix
- Where To Stay In Chamonix
- How To Get Around Chamonix
- The Best Time To Visit Chamonix
- How Many Days Is Ideal for Chamonix
- Is English Spoken In Chamonix
- Is Chamonix A Car Free Village
- Random Tips For Visiting Chamonix
- How to Save Money With Passes
Where is Chamonix?
Chamonix is a mountain town the heart of the Haute-Savoie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. The Valley of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924 and easily one of the best places to visit in France. It is a resort area in France, but just near the Swiss and Italian border.
It’s well known for being at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps. It’s been referred to as the birthplace of alpinism ever since Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard made the first ascent of Western Europe’s highest peak in 1786.
Chamonix is a popular destination in the winter for ski enthusiasts and popular in the summer among mountain lovers.
Best Things to do in Chamonix
Stroll Chamonix Village
Chamonix Village is at the center of this world-renowned ski destination. With luxury hotels, world-class restaurants, and an abundance of shops, it’s where you’ll find everything you need during your visit.
It’s a nice place to explore – as you wander the streets of this pretty little mountain village, admire the historic Alpine architecture, kick back at one of the charming cafes, or stop for dinner at one of the fabulous gourmet eateries. A few of our favorite places to eat in Chamonix are:
- JOIA by Pizzeria Des Moulins: Pizza on the River
- Cool Cats: Gourmet hot dogs – cheap eats
- Moody: Best Place for Coffee!
- The Dainty Pizza: Best take out pizza in Chamonix
- Le Cap Horn: Former Chalet with absolutely epic seating on the river.
- Location: Downtown Chamonix
- Tip: You don’t have to splurge on luxury accommodation as there are plenty of cozy boutiques in the village too.
- Price: It’s free to walk around and admire the views!
Montenvers Railway to Mer de Glace
Running from the heart of Chamonix, the Montenvers Railway has been operating since the early 1900s and riding on it is one of the best things to do in Chamonix. During a ride on this historic train, you’ll travel up the side of the Aiguilles du Chamonix to an elevation of over 1,900 meters and see incredible views of the valley, Les Drus, Les Grandes Jorasses, and Aiguille du Grepon.
The little red train will take you up to Mer de Glace. As one of the biggest glaciers in Europe, Mer de Glace, or Sea of Ice as it’s often referred to, is quite the sight to behold! At just over four miles long, the views of the glacier and nearby Les Drus and Les Grandes Jorasses peaks are incredible.
Onsite, you’ll also find the 100-meter-long ice cave that allows you to see inside the glacier and a museum about glaciers. This is one of the best things to do in Chamonix, especially with children who will be amazed by the ice cave.
It’s best to get on the train early as it becomes very busy come midday.
- Location: Montenvers Railway Station at 74400 Chamonix.
- Tip: The Bar des Glaciers is where you’ll find a variety of snacks, light meals, and beverages.
- Price: €35.50 per adult (return)
More stunning French Alp scenery awaits you at Le Brevent where the views of Mont Blanc from across the valley are the center of the scenery. To get there, you take a gondola that first stops at Plan Praz. Be sure to check out the amazing La Bergerie Restaurant where you can enjoy local cuisine.
From here, you can take another gondola to Le Brevent. If you didn’t get to have anything to eat at Plan Praz, you have another chance to enjoy a meal at Le Panoramic Restaurant. There are several hiking trails at Le Brevent, including Aiguillette des Houches.
- Location: 29 Rte Henriette d’Angeville
- Tip: Refuge de Bellachat is a mountain hut where hikers can spend the night in a dorm room.
- Price: €35.50 for round trip ticket
Hike from Le Brevent, Lac du Brévent, down to Le Houches
At the top of Brevent, there are several hiking trails. You can hike down to Plan Praz on an easy dirt road, of you can hike down to Lac du Brévent. Lac du Brévent is a popular spot for hikers to escape the crowds at the Brevent top station and enjoy a quiet lunch. It’s about 400 meters down from the top station, so you’ll have to prepare to hike down and back out of it.
Alternatively, you can hike from Brevent, past Lac du Brévent, and continue on the trail to Merlet Animal Park and down to Les Houches. It’s a steep trail to descend, but the beauty the entire way is breathtaking. You’ll have unmatched views of Mont Blanc almost the whole time. We did this on a beautiful August day, and loved the trail.
Merlet Animal Park (Parc de Merlet)
There’s plenty of wildlife around Chamonix, but wild animals are so elusive, that they’re rarely spotted in the wild! The best way to see some of the animals that live in the area is to visit the Merlet Animal Park where you’ll meet local and many species from all around the world.
Animals roam freely in an outdoor area just like their natural habitat. As you make your way through the park, you’ll spot mouflon, deer, ibex, llamas, chamois, and several other species. It’s one of the best things to do in Chamonix with kids.
You can drive to Merlet Animal Park, but if you don’t have a car it’s possible to hike up from Le Houches, or hike down from Le Brevent.
- Location: 2495 Chemin de Merlet, 74310 Les Houches
- Tip: If you visit during the summer, be sure to check out the informative sessions hosted by staff and learn about the animals and their habitats.
- Price: €8.50 per adult.
Ski under Europe’s Biggest Peak
If you happen to be in the Chamonix during the winter, there’s no shortage of resorts to test your skills! There are five ski areas including Les Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tout Balme, La Flégère, and Brevent. However you likely know all of this if you are planning a winter trip to Chamonix, it’s one of the best places in Europe to ski and snowboard!
- Location: Chamonix and the surrounding region.
- Tip: Save some time and money and purchase the Chamonix Le Passe to enjoy access to all ski areas between 1,000 and 2,500 meters.
- Price: Starts at €67, and gets cheaper the more consecutive dates you ski.
Glacier des Bossons
Escape into pristine nature with a journey to Glacier des Bossons. Board a chairlift, or hike 400 meters) and pass over Alpine meadows before reaching another one of the biggest glaciers in the area.
Near the glacier, you’ll find a lovely cafe and a hiking trail that leads to the Chalet des Pyramides where you’ll enjoy even more spectacular views! You can also keep hiking to the junction of two glaciers (more on that later!)
- Location: The chairlift can be found at 320 route des Tissières.
- Tip: Instead of taking the chairlift, you can opt to hike 400 meters up
- Price: The chairlift ride is €10.60
Tramway du Mont Blanc
The highest cogwheel train in France. During a trip on the Tramway du Mont Blanc, you’ll see some of the most spectacular scenic vistas in the region. Along the way are two stops. The first stop is at Bellevue and during the summer, you’ll have the opportunity to keep going to the highest stop at Nid d’Aigle.
See incredible views of Mont Blanc and other nearby mountain peaks. At Bellevue, you can embark on a hike on the Bellevue Plateau or dine at a beautiful mountain restaurant. At Nidd’Aigle, you can take a trail to Bionnassay Glacier.
- Location: The tramway departs from Le Fayet or Saint-Gervais-les-Bains.
- Tip: If you wish to stay overnight, Refuge du Nidd’Aigle is a mountain hut offering dorm room accommodation.
- Price: €23.50 per adult, per ride.
Hike to Col de Balme
Whether you prefer easy or more challenging hikes, Col de Balme has both! Easy trails cross farmlands and gently rolling hills with chalets and picnic areas. The more challenging hikes are found in the hills leading to the Refuge Albert Premier.
You’ll see forested areas, colorful wildflowers, and wide-open fields as you explore the area. This high mountain pass is also home to an Alpine lodge with dorms where you can stay the night if one day in the area isn’t enough.
There are plenty of hiking trails in this area. We hit several mountain summits in one day! Out of all our days in Chamonix, we thought the hikes in this area were the most beautiful and the quietest. At all times, we had the trail to ourselves.
The easiest way to start your day hiking here is by taking the Vallorcine cable car which takes you to 2270m. If you are seeking a longer day you can also hike down from this area instead of taking the cable car. Hike down to Montroc le Planet to catch the train back to Chamonix, you’ll pass a stunning glacial waterfall on your way down!
- Location: Grab the Vallorcine cable car in Vallorcine
- Tip: You can grab a delicious meal at the Chalet de Charamillon.
- Price: €20 (round trip) €16 (one way) if you take the lift there in summer.
Watch a Hockey Game
It’s only a small town but, believe it or not, Chamonix is home to a professional hockey team. The Pionniers of Chamonix-Mont Blanc play a handful of preseason games at the Centre Sportif Richard Bozon. You won’t find a huge crowd at these games, but you’ll find some dedicated fans who have the energy of a huge crowd!
- Location: 165 Rte de la Patinoire, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
- Tip: A bar serving local beer and snacks is on site.
- Price: Tickets are €11.50 – €14.50
Museum of Alpine History
If you’d like to learn about the culture and history of the French Alps, the Museum of Alpine History is a must-visit on any trip to Chamonix. The building that houses this fascinating museum was once a luxury hotel.
Inside this historic building, you’ll find many exhibits showcasing the history of Chamonix, Mont Blanc, notable mountaineering exhibitions, and the heyday of ski resorts in the area. There are photos, artworks, and antiques on display
- Location: 89 Avenue Michel Croz
- Tip: Check out the Maison de la Memoire et du Patrimoine at 90 Rue des Moulins where you can browse photo archives and perhaps catch one of the exhibitions that are held there throughout the year.
- Price: €5 per adult.
Le Petit Train
The Le Petit Train is a little red electric train that takes tourists around the city center. It’s a great way to get acquainted with the area and learn about the origin, history, monuments, and take in the views while the train does the work.
- Location: Website
- Tip: Look at the Circuit 1 and Circuit 2 routes to determine which is best for you!
- Price: €8 per adult.
Go Rock Climbing at Rochers des Gaillands
As far as extreme sports go in Chamonix, rock climbing is one of the more popular ones, in the warmer months anyway! While the main goal of many climbers is to climb the rock face of Chamonix, there are a number of popular rock-climbing places in the area such as Rochers des Gaillands.
The latter is where you’ll find a variety of climbing routes for all levels, and you can hire a guide through the Compagnie des guides to provide lessons or guide you along one of the routes.
- Location: About 1.5 km from Chamonix on Route des Gaillands
- Tip: Gaillands Cafe offers fast food items, ice cream and beverages.
- Price: Prices range from €250 – €350
Hike to Lac Blanc
One of the most well-known hikes in the Chamonix area is the one located near Lac Blanc. Lac Blanc is a beautiful Alpine lake surrounded by tall rock faces and has absolutely majestic views of the glaciers and the finest summits of the Mont-Blanc Massif. The hike is 7km with 500 meters of gain, from Flégère cable car, and takes about 3 hours to complete.
During this hike, you’ll see scenic vistas which are topped with snow most of the time and enjoy a serene, remote location away from the crowds.
It’s a great hike to do as a loop and hit Lac De Cheserys as well.
- Location: In the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve.
- Tip: Watch for local wildlife, including Ibex and marmots, as you explore the area.
- Price: Free, but €20 round trip cable car ticket on Flégère cable car.
Hike to Lac De Cheserys
Right before you get to Lac Blanc (or after depending on the direction you hike) from Flégère cable car you’ll arrive at Lac De Cheserys. Another stunning alpine lake with amazing views out to Mont Blanc. Enjoy a lunch here, and perhaps even take a dip!
- Tip: Bring a bathing suit and towel, this is a fantastic alpine lake to take a dip in.
- Price: Free, but €20 round trip cable car ticket on Flégère cable car.
Aiguille du Midi
If you want to witness 360-degree views of the Alps, head to Aiguille du Midi where you’ll not only see the mountain peaks that are in France, but you’ll also be able to see distant peaks of Switzerland and Italy. The highest viewing area is 3,842 meters. Aiguille du Midi is perhaps the most popular thing to do in Chamonix, and on a summer day you can expect it to be booked up.
Entry to the gondola is based on a timed system and must be pre booked. Often in July and August, weekends are booked up days in advance.
- Location: You’ll find the gondola station in south Chamonix.
- Tip: Situated at the Aiguille du Midi Summit, Restaurant le 3842 is a great place to enjoy local dishes.
- Price: €69. It’s expensive so best combined with the Mont Blanc Multipass
Step into the Void
Another popular attraction in Chamonix is Step into the Void but be aware if you’re afraid of heights! It’s a room made of glass, strategically positioned to stick out over the Mont Blanc Mountain range peaks at more than 1,000 meters. Feel as if you’re floating through the sky as you look down at the lower mountain peaks. You can easily do this when you get to the top of Aiguille du Midi.
- Location: The highest level of the Aiguille du Midi
- Tip: This attraction is open all year round and is the best place to get photos of the mountains surrounding the Chamonix region.
- Price: €69 per per adult (Price of Aiguille du Midi ticket)
Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster
The Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster is unique in that anyone who rides it not only gets the thrill of a lifetime, but they also get spectacular views of the Alps while riding in a mountain coaster.
- Location: 351 Chemin du Pied du Grepon
- Tip: Check out the other amusements that are on site at the Chamonix Amusement Park such as games, rides, and live entertainment.
- Price: €8 per ride.
Paragliding isn’t for everyone, but if you have an adventurous streak and aren’t afraid of heights or of flying, it’s something you may want to try while you’re in Chamonix.
Not only will you get the adrenaline rush of a lifetime, but you’ll also be able to see the views in a way you’ve never them before. A professional guide will walk you through it even if you’ve never done it before.
- Tip: Book a tour with Manawa, which will hook you up with one of the best companies in the region offering this service.
- Price: Prices start at €130
Try White Water Rafting
Another adrenaline-pumping activity to try in Chamonix is white water rafting. Instead of soaring through the sky, you’ll soar down the Arve River right through town and get soaking wet in the process – and it’s worth every second!
Pass through areas of spectacular scenery consisting of mountains and forest while you float along the raging river. Session Raft Chamonix offers an easier run along a Grade II River.
- Location: 73 Imp. de l’Enclume
- Tip: If you’re a more advanced rafter, you might want to embark on a higher-grade excursion with Dora Baltea.
- Price: Prices start at €40
Enjoy a Meal at The Needles Creamery (La Crémerie des Aiguilles)
If you like to sample local traditional specialties when you travel, La Crémerie des Aiguillesis the place to dine in Chamonix. The menu at this restaurant features a range of delicious options including soups, salads, and entrees such as cheesy tartiflette potatoes.
An extensive French wine menu is also available. However we recommend a fondue meal under Mont Blanc.
- Location: La Crémerie des Aiguilles
- Tip: Enjoy your meal outdoors on the beautiful terrace with amazing views. They have limited hours, so reservations are recommended.
- Price: The average price of a meal is between €23 and €44.
Musee des Cristaux
If you’ve never seen a collection of crystals, you’ll be awestruck by the stunning collection of locally mined specimens at the Musee des Cristaux. On display are a variety of beautiful samples including pink fluorspar and smoked quartz.
- Location: 615 All. RecteurPayot
- Tip: Check out the EspaceTairraz which is a mountaineering museum located right next door.
- Price: €5 per adult.
Hike to Cascade du Dard
Cascade du Dard is a lovely 20-meter-high waterfall with views of the surrounding mountains. The trail leading to it is about 5 km return with under 400 meters of gain, and it’s a fairly easy uphill hike.
This is a classic Chamonix hike right out of town, and is popular since you don’t have to pay for a gondola to get to it. You can easily hike to and from the waterfall in under 2 hours.
- Location: Just outside Chamonix near the Tunnel sous le Mont Blanc.
- Tip: This hike is best done from March to October.
- Price: Free
Go on a Hydrospeeding Adventure
The word hydro suggests this activity has something to do with water and the word speeding speaks for itself. No, it’s not white-water rafting but it’s similar except that you don’t have much of a raft.
Just imagine floating down a river using your body as your raft – that’s hydrospeeding. In Chamonix, there are several companies offering this exciting venture on the Arve River.
- Location: 130 Rue des Moulins
- Tip: Hydrospeeding Chamonix is just one of the companies offering this experience with professional guides.
- Price: €56
Visit Mock Ruins
While they look like old chapel ruins, these mock ruins near Lac a l’Anglais were actually built there in the late 1800s by an eccentric man from Scotland to mimic the place where he grew up. Even the lake is manmade, but the steps leading to different areas of the “ruins” make it a fun place to explore!
- Location: Le Lac l’Anglais in Les Gaillands.
- Tip: You’ll get some incredible photo ops here so have your camera ready!
- Price: Free
Les Houches is a village only a short drive away from Chamonix and is a great place to visit with many attractions and scenic viewpoints. This ski resort village is home to The Bellevue Chairlift, The Musee Montagnard, Parc de Merlet, Gorges of the Diosaz, and Prarion cable car.
- Location: About four miles away from Chamonix. You can take the free train there with the Carte d’Hôte (Guest Card)
- Tip: Hiking is popular in this area too, and you’ll find trails at Aiguillette des Houches and Col de Voza.
- Price: Free
There are over 100 fun activities at this huge adventure park including ziplining, a monkey bridge, and several obstacle courses of varying levels. This is a fun adventure near Lac Gaillands, especially for kids!
- Location: Rte des Gaillands
- Tip: Start at the easiest course and work your way up to the hardest on to challenge yourself!
- Price: Prices start at €28 per adult.
Pointe de Vue Hike
This hike starts from the top of the Plan Joran gondola in Argentiere. From the top, you’ll be able to hike a beautiful viewpoint of Glacier de L’Argentière. If you have never gotten up close to a glacier, this is easily one of the easiest to access in the world.
Via Ferrata des Evettes
If you are looking for one of the best things to do in Chamonix for the entire family consider a via ferrata. The Via Ferrata des Evettes is a great half day via ferrrata that is free of change (you just have to purchase a lift ticket). You can find the full route details here.
Lac Cornu and Lacs Noirs
The hike to Lac Cornu and Lacs Noirs and is one of the most popular in Chamonix. To access these lakes you’ll have to take the cable car up to Planpraz. From Planpraz follow the signs to Lac Cornu, which you’ll reach after about 300 meters of gain and 3.5 km. Continue on to Lacs Noirs after 1.5 km and another 150 meters of gain.
Round trip you can easily see these two beautiful lakes in a half day, depending on your fitness. For a long day out, you can connect these lakes via trail to Lac Blanc.
La Jonction Hike
If you are up for a big day out and eager to get up close to a glacier you can’t miss the La Jonction hike. Walk or take the chairlift up to Glacier des Bossons (we recommend taking the chair, because you have a big climb ahead of you).
Once at the top of the chairlift, follow the signs to La Jonction. Along the trail you’ll pass Chalet des Pyramides, and walk along glaciers. The hike ends at the joining of the Bossons and Taconnaz Glaciers.
You’ll climb 1250 meters, and the trail is steep, but the reward is fantastic views of Aiguille du Midi, the Dôme du Gôuter as well as the Aiguilles Rouges. Without the chairlift, expect the to climb 1,650 meters, the chairlift costs €10 and cuts off about 400 meters.
This is one of the best things to do in Chamonix if you are looking for a long day out. Expect the hike to take you anywhere between 6-9 hours (round trip) depending on your fitness.
Hike to Chalet des Pyramides
If you don’t feel like hiking all the way up to La Jonction, you can stop off for lunch with a view at Chalet des Pyramides. Chalet des Pyramides sits on the slopes of the Montagne de la Cote and offers stellar views.
From the top of the Les Bossons chair lift it is about 400 meters of gain to reach the chalet. If you are a strong hiker you can easily make it in under an hour. From the Les Bossons chair lift car park you can expect a 2-3 hour hike.
Argentière to Le Tour Hike
If you are looking for an easy to moderate hiking day there is a path linking Le Tour to Argentière on the north side. You get incredible views of the valley below you and get to experience both charming towns!
Many know Chamonix as the “trail running capital of the world,” and if you are into the sport you likely already know that. Trail runners descend on this place year-round, but especially towards the end of August for the world-famous Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), which is 170-kilometer of running through forests, up high mountains, and next to glaciers.
There is lift access all around to get you high so you can start your run with beautiful views in the alpine. The town even has the “vertical kilometer,” which is exactly what it sounds like – 70 switchbacks upwards for a kilometer.
Have a Picnic at Lac des Gaillands
Lac des Gaillands is just a 15 minute walk from Downtown Chamonix and is one of the best places to relax along a beautiful lake. There are multiple picnic sites here to bring food and a bottle of wine and enjoy the views.
Where to Eat in Chamonix?
There are so many delicious places to eat in Chamonix, you’ll never go hungry. From crepes to fondue you can find plenty of dishes here. A few favorites are
- Cool Cats: Gourmet hot dogs – cheap eat
- Moody: Best Place for Coffee!
- The Dainty Pizza: Best take out pizza in Chamonix
- Le Cap Horn: Former Chalet with absolutely epic seating on the river.
- Josephine’s: Classic French restaurant in the heart of Chamonix
- Satsuki: Best Sushi in Chamonix
- Poco Loco: Burgers, crepes, and a great budget friendly place to eat.
Where to Stay in Chamonix?
There are a wide range of places to stay in Chamonix. From hostels and hotels, to boutique guesthouses, Airbnbs, and swaggy chalets many only dream about. We personally booked an Airbnb for a month in Chamonix for the summer. We booked it almost six months in advance because Chamonix gets booked up and is expensive in the summer. It’s best to book your accommodation as soon as your trip is down on the calendar.
- Budget Options for Chamonix: Chamonix Hotel
- Mid Range Options for Chamonix: Heliopic Hotel & Spa, Alpina Eclectic Hotel, Pointe Isabelle
- Luxury Options for Chamonix: Hotel Mont Blanc Chamonix
How to Get Around Chamonix?
Unlike places like Zermatt and Saas Fee, Chamonix is not a car free town. Though it’s possible to get everywhere you need to go without a car. We didn’t have a car our entire month in Chamonix and utilized their efficient train and bus system (and walked A LOT).
The Mont Blanc Express is a scenic mountain train route that runs from St Gervais/Le Fayet, with a steep climb to the Chamonix valley, all the way through Chamonix and Argentiere, under the Col des Montets and down the other side into Martigny in Switzerland and runs all day long. Timetables of the Chamonix Valley Trains: TMR SA
There is also a bus that runs through the valley. This bus runs in the winter and summer. You can see the bus schedule here.
If you are staying in Chamonix, ask your hotel or host for a “Carte d’Hote.” This card gives you free access on the trains and buses.
When is the Best Time to Visit Chamonix?
Chamonix has two high seasons. In the winter, between December and March for skiing and in the summer, between June and August for hiking, trail running, and all outdoor pursuits.
These are easily the best times to visit Chamonix, though if you are looking for a quieter and cheaper time it’s best to travel to Chamonix in the shoulder season. This is April, May, mid-September, October, and November. However this is when you may get more unpredictable weather.
We visited Chamonix in July and August, and while it was beautiful and sunny almost every day, Chamonix is hot and dry (and there is no AC anywhere). Crowds are high, and prices are extreme. If I were to redo it, I would have visited Chamonix in September when the crowds were slightly slower.
How Many Days Do You Need in Chamonix?
We personally chose a month in Chamonix! We were looking for a great place in the Alps to base ourselves for the month to work and play and couldn’t think of a cooler town than Chamonix.
We were able to do so much, as you can probably tell by this things to do in Chamonix article! That being said, you can see many of the highlights and Chamonix attractions in 4 very full days in Chamonix. Though if you want to slow down a bit and do more hiking we recommend six days in Chamonix.
If you are visiting for a ski trip in the winter, a solid week would be enough to get a feel for all the ski areas! Plus Chamonix Mont Blanch is included in the Ikon Pass, which gets you 7 days of lift tickets!
Do They Speak English in Chamonix?
Although Chamonix is a town in the French Alps, it is quite a touristy one, and English is widely spoken. Chamonix is known for attracting outdoorsmen and women from all around the globe. It’s a worldwide destination known for its ski, mountain climbing, hiking, and so much more. Many people can easily communicate in English, especially those that are younger.
French is still the official language and is what you will primarily here. It doesn’t hurt to pick up a few basic French phrases while in Chamonix.
Is Chamonix a Car Free Village?
Unlike nearby Zermatt and Saas Fee, Chamonix is not car free. However Rue Du Dr Paccard, is the main pedestrian thoroughfare in Chamonix village and this street only sees traffic from a few local shops.
Random Tips for Visiting Chamonix
- Always bring a jacket: Even in the dead of summer, temperatures in the Alpine can get rather cold. Most of my hiking photos from this post feature me wearing the Arcteryx Cerium down jacket. It was chilly on mountain summits.
- Prepare for siesta: Many restaurants and stores in Chamonix close down between 3 and 6.
- Things close early: We were surprised by how early many places shut down in Chamonix? Want to grow grocery shopping? Make sure you get there before 7am (and before noon on a Sunday). Want a coffee? To go shopping? Make sure all of this happens during the day.
- Buy tickets in advance: If you want to do all these best things to do in Chamonix, like Aiguille Du Midi or Mer De Glace during peak season it’s best to book your ticket in advance. These Chamonix attractions do sell out peak summer.
- Gondolas: If you plan to go hiking and to use the gondolas for getting up and down to the trailhead make sure to pay attention to their closing times. Many gondolas and cable cars seize operations around 6pm, so you’ll want to be back from your hike before then or you’ll be hiking all the day down a steep trail to the valley floor.
Save Money With Passes
If you plan on going up all the gondolas, cable cars, and cogways while visiting Chamonix it is definitely worth it to look into a Mont Blanc Multipass. The Mont Blanc Multipass is priced depending on the days you intend to use it. The more days you buy, the more you save.
The Mont Blanc Multi Pass includes Aiguille Du Midi, Montenvers, Telesiege Des Bossons, Tramway Du Mont Blanc, Brevent, Flegere, Argentiere, and Vallorcine. Pretty much all the gondolas you could take in the valley! Check prices here.
You Might Also Be Interested In
The Best Things to do in Grindelwald: Enjoy another charming mountain town.
The Best Swiss Waterfalls: Where are the best waterfalls to see in Switzerland?
Fancy the Italian Dolomites? One of the most beautiful areas in the world!
Go skiing at Grindelwald in the winter! Summer is one thing, but winter is a whole different ballgame in the Swiss Alps.
Book a stay in Saas Fee: A quieter Swiss mountain experience.
Don’t Miss Zermatt! One of the coolest mountain towns in the world!
Lauterbrunnen: The town with the Instafamous waterfall!
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Find Cheap Flights: Sign up for Going (formerly Scotts Cheap Flights) to get notified when prices get ultra low.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel worldwide for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card and how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.