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Welcome to Annecy, the jewel of the Haute-Savoie department. Between lake and mountains, between Italy and Switzerland, this city is blessed by a luxurious nature and bathed by a romantic light. The medieval streets and arcades of the old town will let you feel like walking around in a fairy tale. Even if it was founded in the Prehistoric times and expanded by the Romans, the asset we know today is mostly due to the influence of the Dukes of Savoy, from the 15th century. Annecy was also a centre of the Calvinist counter-Reform which lead the Catholic Church to increase its presence in the city: as a result, several churches were built and a monastery was founded. The Sardinian period, in the 19th century, led Annecy to its industrial revolution: a lot of factories were created, such as paper and clothing industries. Taken by France in 1860, the industrialisation kept on and the city started to become attractive to tourists. Nowadays, Annecy is an influential city, turned mostly towards tourism and culture: the International Film Festival for Animation and the International Film Festival for Italian Movies are organised each year and attract thousands of visitors.
Discovering Annecy is like wandering in a romantic fairy tale. The castle, the gates, the arches are a perfect setting to stroll around. The lovely canals leading to the purest lake of Europe and all the cultural events draw 2.5 million visitors each year.
Annecy is renowned in the region for the excellence and refinement of its cuisine. Whatever you budget is, you will find something to your taste: from the little cafes and brasseries to the Michelin-rated restaurants, flavours are influenced by the mountains and the lakes. Taste exceptional cheeses, great wines and some exquisite fish from the lake.
Take a break from the daily stress and sunbathe while sitting in one of the lovely cafes of the city. Whether you choose a view over the lake, or of the old town, one thing is sure: you will love it.
Annecy's night life offers you lots of trendy and popular bars. Good music, tasty drinks, all is gathered to make you enjoy your night out. From high-tech dance clubs to rock bars, there is always something that fits your mood.
Shopping in Annecy involves luxury stores but also local artists' works of art. From fashion stores to cheese and wine boutiques, small souvenirs shops and artisan workshops, all the finest goods in Haute Savoie can be found there.
Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit

No matter what time of the year you decide to visit this city, the "Venice of the Alps" will let you capture the beauty of its history and nature in each season. Many towns close to Annecy house winter sports resorts and open their doors in winter, so if you're interested in coming to the region for skiing on the French side of the Alps, you should definitely choose the cold season. Otherwise, if cold and skiing are not your thing, consider planning your trip in spring: even if summer means the best days in terms of weather (also, the lake is at its warmest), it is also when tourism is at its peak, so you'd do better coming in spring to enjoy the city on foot and admire the beautiful flowers blooming all along the canals. Annecy also has a bustling cultural scene, whose offer covers the whole year. The two main summer events are the Lake Festival (www.lac-annecy.com/fete-et-manifestation/1/209349-fete-du-lac.html), a spectacular pyrotechnic show over the lake, and the International Animation Film Festival (www.annecy.org), held respectively in August and June. If you come in the fall season, don't miss the chance to see the "Déscente des Alpages": every year in October, farmers take their livestock down from the mountains to the streets of the centre, where a number of artisans and farmers display and sell their products, and folk bands play all day. Another popular occurrence is the Venetian Carnival, which is very similar to the one in Venice and takes place between February and March. Finally, also in winter, the iconic Annecy Christmas Market (www.marchedenoelannecy.com) in the old town, held between the end of November and the beginning of January, is a must-see for visitors, who love to stroll along the canals in a magical atmosphere, and enjoy delicious local food or handicrafts.

Public Transport

Public Transport

SIBRA (www.sibra.fr) runs the local transport system and links, with an efficient bus service, the communes of the Grand Annecy. Tickets (www.sibra.fr/voyages-occasionnels) can be purchased from the stations, the tourist information office and in kiosks (www.sibra.fr/points-de-vente), and travel cards are also available in these shops. The Espace SIBRA (21 Rue de la Gare) is the main transport information office, it opens 6 days a week and is close to the SNCF station. The same company also offer a bike rental service, called Vélonecy (www.sibra.fr/velonecy): more than 200 bikes can be rented and used to move around the city in the respect of the environment. You can choose between classic bikes, electric bikes and folding bikes (very quick to set up), and even if renting one daily, weekly or monthly, depending on how much you want to stay in Annecy (more information: www.velonecy.com / [email protected]). An alternative to SIBRA to stroll around Annecy city centre is the rental company Roul'ma Poule (www.annecy-location-velo.com), with two shops (in Annecy and Annecy-le-Vieux). There you can rent not only bikes (classic, electric or tandem bikes), but also rollers (www.annecy-location-velo.com/en/roller-rental-annecy), kayaks (www.annecy-location-velo.com/en/kayak-paddle-rental-annecy-le-vieux) and paddle boards (www.annecy-location-velo.com/en/paddle-boards-rental-annecy-le-vieux), for an amazing tour of the lake. Roul'ma Poule (Annecy) 4 Rue des Marquisats, Annecy +33 4 50 27 86 83 / [email protected] www.facebook.com/RoulMaPouleAnnecy Roul'ma Poule (Annecy-le-Vieux) 47 Avenue du Petit Port, Annecy-le-Vieux +33 4 50 23 31 15 / [email protected]

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