Everything was organised for our long weekend: We had booked a two-night stay at the newly renovated Montreux Youth Hostel and pinpointed many ideas to help make the three days interesting for the whole family in Google Maps: Some great destinations were now our radar, including the cool playground, the best coffee bar, one of the oldest funicular railways and the educational museum. All we had to do was keep our fingers crossed for good weather.
Montreux – a journey into the past
We enjoyed a very relaxing journey from Bern to Montreux. From the moment we first caught sight of Lake Geneva surrounded by many beautiful vineyards out of the train window, we knew that this was the right decision for our long weekend away. As soon as we left Montreux station, we felt like we were transported back in time due to the beautiful buildings dating back to the Belle Époque era. Our backdrop comprising Lake Geneva and the snow-capped Swiss Alps were picture-perfect – a blue sky would have been the icing on the cake. Before exploring the lakeside promenade, we took the short but steep climb up to the old town known as the “vieille ville”. The children still had plenty of energy, which we wanted to make the most of. The climb was definitely worth the effort. This picturesque part of the town affords breathtaking views of the lake and the promenade. This was to be our next destination.
The Freddie Mercury statue is certainly the most famous tourist magnet along the lake. However, our son was more captivated by the pretty, colourful flowerbeds and the wide walls that lined the promenade which proved to be great for balancing along. He also loved the playgrounds, which appeared at regular intervals.
Youth hostel – feeling at home from the very first moment
We were warmly welcomed to the newly renovated hostel and were able to get settled quickly into our ultra-modern family room. Guest tip: As a guest, you will receive the Montreux Riviera Card free of charge for the duration of your stay. This allows you to use public transport free of charge as well as numerous discounts on admission tickets.
After we had rested our tired legs a little, we spent the time until dinner playing games in the youth hostel. Fortunately, we had pre-booked our dinner at the hostel and were treated to with a delicious 3-course menu. This turned out to be a good decision because the weather was awful that evening. Vegetarian and vegan options are also served in the restaurant every day.
Vevey – the town with lots of charm
The next day, feeling well rested and replenished by the hostel’s extensive breakfast buffet, we took a short walk along the lakeside promenade to catch the boat from Montreux to Vevey. The crossing on the CGN (Compagnie Générale de Navigation) paddle steamer was an absolute highlight for the whole family and the short trip flew by.
Once in Vevey, the Jardin du Rivage playground had to be thoroughly tested – and the first ice cream stands have already been spotted. Afterwards, we explored the old town with its narrow streets, colourful buildings, many cafés and shops. This is when we came across the Alimentarium, which can be found in a prime location. The interactive food museum, housed in a historic building, is right on the promenade. The museum is highly recommended for families. We were impressed by its varied interactive displays, which invite you to experiment, look, touch and learn. In order to process the many things we had seen and experienced, we then took a stroll along the promenade to the Jardin Roussy, where the next playground awaited us. After a small snack and a delicious coffee at Brew Society, we took the train back to the youth hostel.
Glion – fantastic views from way up high
After a short break, in the late afternoon we took the funicular railway from Territet to Glion. The station was only a stone’s throw away from our accommodation. Once at the top – you can hardly believe it – another playground awaited us! The dizzyingly steep trip is well worth it. The views are breathtaking from Chillon Castle across the Alps and Lake Geneva. The views were great even though the weather was cloudy again. For dinner, we took the cogwheel railway back down to Montreux. On the promenade, we enjoyed pizza, pasta and wine in the fresh air.
Chillon Castle – the royal pièce de résistance
The two nights at Montreux Youth Hostel passed by at a rapid pace. Soon we found ourselves checking out on the third day. But a final highlight was waiting for us! This was just a short walk along the lakeside promenade from the hostel. Walking past sculptures, vineyards, pretty houses our destination is always in sight: Chillon Castle, a majestic building which was built on a rocky island over a millennium ago. The kids can enjoy their own special tour of the castle – the Drako Tour – where dragons can be found throughout the castle. The historic walls, secret passages, old armour and the wonderful views from the castle keep make this excursion a real highlight and a wonderful end to our long weekend on the Montreux Riviera.
Our former intern Katrina (now Marketing Specialist) also tested the region around Montreux Youth Hostel. Find out what she experienced and what insider tips she has ready in her blog article.