The city of Chambéry is the prefecture of Savoie. With a population of nearly 60,000, it is located 50 km from Annecy and 15 km from Lake Bourget. Its rich historical heritage and cultural activities are appreciated by tourists.
History and heritage
Chambéry is located, nearAix-les-Bains, in the Northern Pre-Alps, between the Chartreuse and Bauges massifs, at the confluence of the Albanne and Leysse rivers. The town has had the “Ville d’art et d’histoire” label since 1985. Historically, the first human settlements on the heights of Saint-Saturnin date back to the Neolithic period, around 4,000 years before our era.
The Gauls, then the Romans, settled on the Lémenc hill. The influence of the city began in the 13th century with the installation of the Counts and then the Dukes of Savoy. Chambéry became at this period the capital of a sovereign state: Savoy. It was regularly invaded by French armies until it became part of France in 1792.
During the contemporary period, the city developed by building a collective housing and by proceeding to the embellishment of the various districts. Its geographical location between Lyon and Turin favoured its economy.
The historical centre of the city is made up of the following places:
The Castle of the Dukes of Savoy
This historical visit begins with the imposing entrance to the building, then the Sainte-Chapelle which received the Holy Shroud in the 16th century, the ramparts and the half-round tower which offers a beautiful panorama over the Bauges.
The Elephant Fountain
It is the symbol of Chambéry, it was built in 1838 in honour of the General-Count of Boigne, who made his fortune in India and was very generous with the city. The people of Chambéry nickname it “The Four without asses”.
The arcades of the rue de Boigne
This typical street has many shops and leads to the Place du Château. General de Boigne gave the town money to build this street. The work was completed in 1830. These Turin-style arcades are very popular with the population.
Located in the historic centre, this pedestrian square is lined with three private mansions. You can quench your thirst on its terraces. It allows you to cross the historic centre of the capital of Savoie on foot.
The private mansions
Built between the 15th and 16th centuries, they bear witness to the opulence of this period. A guided tour allows you to enter the inner courtyards and discover the architectural wealth of these buildings.
The narrow streets of old Chambéry
Similar to the traboules in Lyon, they allow you to pass from one urban axis to another. They are part of the charm of the city’s historic centre. Many shortcuts are possible to get to your destination in the old centre.
The Saint-François-de-Salle cathedral
Built in the flamboyant Gothic style, this building houses the largest set of trompe l’oeil painted walls in Europe. It is located in the historic centre of the city, between the rue de la Croix d’Or and the place Saint-Léger.
The Fine Arts Museum
It is located in the old grain market called “grenette”. After the Louvre, it is the second largest collection of Italian paintings in France. Donations from Baron Hector Garriod and King Victor-Emmanuel II have made it possible to bring together rare works painted from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century. Visitors can appreciate the various painting movements: primitive, renaissance, mannerism, baroque and neoclassicism. The museum is open every day except Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Price : €5.50, free for children under 25.Address: place du Palais de Justice, 73000 Chambéry. Price: 5,50 €, free for children under 25.
Top rated hotels
Depending on your budget, we have selected five hotels in Chambéry that offer excellent value for money and have very good customer reviews.
Hotel des Princes, Chambéry Centre
This beautiful hotel is located in the historic centre of Chambéry, near the castle of the Dukes of Savoy. The rooms are spacious and air-conditioned. The piano bar provides friendly entertainment in the evening. For an additional fee, you have access to a spa and massages.From € 69 per night.
Hotel le Cinq Hyper – Centre
Ideally located near the Saint-François-de-Salle cathedral and the train station, the hotel offers contemporary rooms with private bathrooms, a large indoor swimming pool and a bar. A coworking space allows you to work collaboratively on site.From € 88 per night.
Best Western Alexander Park Chambéry
Located 5 km from the centre of Chambéry, this 4-star hotel is certified with an ecological label. It features a beautiful outdoor swimming pool. The restaurant serves delicious à la plancha specialities. A massage service is available. The outdoor park is equipped with children’s games. Private parking is free of charge.From € 75 per night.
Mercure Chambéry Centre
The Mercure hotel in Chambéry is located near monuments, cinemas and theatres. It is opposite the train station. It is decorated in a contemporary alpine style. The bedding is particularly comfortable according to guests’ reviews. A private garage is available at an additional cost.From € 82 per night.
Chateau de Candie
Located 5 km from Chambéry, this luxurious 4-star hotel is set in a 14th-century castle. It is decorated with period paintings and antiques. Each room is uniquely decorated. There are 2 restaurants to choose from, one of which is gastronomic. You can enjoy a swim in the large outdoor pool.From € 198 per night.
The three markets
The city of Chambéry has three markets which are open all year round, except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They offer a wide range of quality manufactured goods and fresh produce.
- The Halles covered market: offers fresh produce all year round. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 7am to 12pm. Place des Halles.
- The organic market: sells organic products from around fifteen producers and processors in the Chambéry region. Open Thursday from 3pm to 7pm. Place du Palais de Justice.
- Le marché de Plein Vent: offers food and manufactured products. Open Place de Genève on Tuesdays from 7am to 12pm and Rue De Maistre and Rue Favre on Saturdays from 6am to 1.30pm. Manufactured products are only available on Saturdays, in the Place du Palais de Justice from 8 am to 7 pm.
Cultural and sports activities
The beauty and diversity of the natural sites make for pleasant walks:
The Picot walk
This walk allows you to discover the Chéran, which has been labelled a “wild river”, and its lakes. The walk will take you to the Picot suspended footbridge. Departure point: La Motte en Bauges lake, 73340 La Motte-en-Bauges.
The poets’ path
This signposted itinerary is only open during July and August. This path links the Bellevue loop to the Angle loop. There are signs with poems along the way. Starting point: Le Trappeur, 73100 Le Revard.
The Chéran Islands walk
This walking tour allows you to discover three bodies of water on the banks of the Chéran. You can fish, swim and eat on site. The circuit can also take you to the beautiful Pissieu waterfall. Departure point: Lescheraines lake, 73340 Lescheraines.
20 minutes from Chambéry, you can walk along the banks of this natural lake to admire its turquoise waters. Lake Aiguebelette also offers a variety of water sports activities on its beautiful sandy beaches.
This large venue hosts many cultural events such as concerts, comedy shows and handball and basketball tournaments. Open since 2009, many economic events, such as trade shows, are also regularly organised. Address: 800 avenue du Grand Arietaz, 73000 Chambéry.
The Chambéry town hall is located at Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 73000 Chambéry. It is open from Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Official website of the Chambéry town hall.
Chambéry Tourist Office.