It doesn't take too long to fall in love with such a beautiful place, and within a day, we were won over by Annecy's charm. We wanted to give you guys some useful information on what to do here on a short stay, since we had so much fun during ours. One big thing we want to point out is that Airbnbs book out very quickly since there aren't too many options in such a small town. There is also only one hostel (Annecy Hostel) that is hard to find beds in during peak seasons, so book in advance!
Go on a boat ride around Lac d'Annecy
Lac d'Annecy is perhaps the biggest tourist attraction here, and there is no doubt why. The crystal blue-green water and picturesque landscape is all you need to wish you could stay here forever. Our advice is to stroll along the lake in the early morning or early evening, when it's not too hot in the summer. The lake is actually the third largest lake in France, so obviously it is nearly impossible to walk around the complete circumference of the lake, and therefore it's up to you to decide how far you want to go before turning back. There are boats and paddle boats for rent at the dock with rates for the half hour, 3/4 hour and 1 hour mark. Prices vary depending on the number of people as well, but all are very reasonable. We took a 45 minute pedal boat ride and it was our favorite thing we did here in Annecy since its was so serene to just be on the water surrounded by a scene from a dream.
Shop at the Local Farmer's Market It's pretty difficult to miss this food market in town, since it's pretty much right in the heart of the old city, and lines multiple streets during the mornings from Tuesday through Sunday (7am - 1pm). You can find everything from fresh fruits and produce, to cheeses and dried fruit and we recommend coming as early as possible since the food does start to run out around noon. It was so interesting to see the locals do their daily grocery shopping at this markets, rather than a grocery store. We definitely got bitten by the "market bug" and will probably be hitting some markets up when we return to NYC later this summer. We had some of the best strawberries ever here, and ate them all by the lake. So grab a baguette, some cheese, and fruit, and head over to the lake for a cheap and delicious picnic during your stay!
Visit the Old Prison/Old Town Of course you have not truly been to Annecy without paying a visit to the Old Town and its' Old Prison. Most places have a "classic shot", as we like to call it, which is the postcard scene you think about when you hear the name of the place (ex. Effiel Tower for Paris). For Annecy, the Palais de I'lsle is THE picture that most tourists take during their visit here. Unfortunately, the prison has been under repair for quite a while now, so it looked a little bit like a construction zone. Regardless, it was so cool to finally see this place in real life because an image in your head can never compare to seeing it for yourself.
Check out more pictures of the Old Town and the Old Prison in our other Annecy post here.