Montreux Travel Guide

Montreux, Switzerland

Highlights and top attractions in Montreux

Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva with a dramatic mountainous backdrop, the location of Montreux could hardly be bettered. The town is located within a breathtaking area known as the Swiss Riviera, and Montreux has attracted visitors  for centuries. As well as tourists, creative types like writers and artists flock to this inspiring Swiss destination.

Montreux is famed for its attractive lakeside promenade, lined with flowers and palm trees. The relatively mild climate and convenient location also make it a favourite holiday resort. It is also well known for its superb medical clinics and thriving cultural scene.

The town is something of a microcosm of Switzerland as a whole, while the wider Montreux Riviera has something of Mediterranean air. The natural surroundings provide the perfect environment for walking, exploring and relaxation.

Food and wine are also big news here, as the climate and land are ideal for growing grapes and fresh produce that’s bursting with flavour.

Major events in Montreux

Montreux Jazz Festival

Certainly Montreux’s best known event, the Montreux Jazz Festival dates back to 1967. Since then it has dominated the town’s cultural scene for a fortnight every summer. 

There are free daily concerts, plus ticketed events featuring big name artists. In the past, these have included Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Massive Attack, BB King and Nick Cave. 

The festival is held in June and July, and features music of all genres rather than just jazz.

La Maison du Père Noël

Father Christmas returns to his house at the top of the Rochers de Naye each winter.  Tickets include the magical return trip from Montreux on the cogwheel railway. As it’s hugely popular, advance booking is essential.

How to get to Montreux

The famous GoldenPass Line is based in Montreux. This scenic train route operates between Lucerne and Montreux, passing through picturesque and typically Swiss landscapes. Along the route, travellers can enjoy magnificent views of eight lakes, three mountain passes and 4,000 metre Alpine peaks.

There are also good rail connections on standard trains to and from all major Swiss destinations. The journey from Zurich takes around 2 hours 45 minutes, or from Lucerne around seven minutes more. By train from Bern the trip takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes, or from Geneva about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Montreux is also easy to reach by car from major Swiss motorways. It takes around 2 hours and 10 minutes to drive from Zurich or just under two hours to drive from Lucerne. As it’s closer to Bern and Geneva, the car trip from either takes about an hour.

Montreux Info

Population: 26,000

Canton: Vaud

Average high temperatures: January – 4C / 40F;  April – 14C / 57F; July – 35C / 77F; October – 15C / 59F.

Christmas market dates: 21 November to 24 December (More info here)

Read all our articles on Montreux and the Swiss Riviera by clicking on the links below