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Annecy

Travel Guide Europe France Rhône-Alpes Annecy

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Introduction

Annecy is one of the most beautiful towns of France, with a well preserved medieval architectural heritage. It is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the Alps due to the canals and the tiny bridges all along the way. Annecy is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department of the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France and is the capital of the arrondissment with the same name. The city itself has approximtely 60,000 inhabitants.

Located on the shores of Lake Annecy, the town is just 35 kilometres from Geneva. The city is the official candidate for France for holding the Olympic winter games in 2018.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Palais de l'Isle, or sometimes called the "old prison".
  • The Château d'Annecy (Annecy Castle).
  • The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, built in the early 16th century.
  • The rue Sainte-Claire and its romantic arches dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • The rue royale: the center of the commercial and political activities in Anncey.
  • The Musée de l'Histoire d'Annecy (historical museum of Annecy).
  • The church of Saint-Maurice.
  • The European Gardens.
  • The Pont des Amours (Lovers' Bridge).
  • The Impérial Palace.
  • The Basilique de la Visitation, with tremendous views of the town.

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Events and Festivals

The International Animation Film Festival is being held in Annecy since 1960. This is a prestigious event showcasing the best in the animation industry. Besides the competition in the various categories of animation films, the festival also features film premieres, exhibitions and screenings by the lakeside on a giant screen.

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Weather

Located mostly at an elevation of around 500 meters above sea level, it doesn't get particularly hot in summer here, though temperatures can reach over 30 degrees Celcius during some days. Most days from June to September are around 25 degrees though, and heavy rainshowers and thunderstorms are recorded on some days during summer as well. Winters last from December to March with frost at night and snow up the mountain slopes, though temperatures in Annecy itself (lower areas) are averaging slightly above zero during this time of year.

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Getting There

By Plane

The airport of Annecy is located just 7Kms from the city centre. Regular Taxis are available from the airport to the city centre.
The international airport at Geneva in Switzerland is another convenient one as it is just 35kms away. The Geneva Cointrin Airport has many flights, including lots of flights to places outside Europe. It also has many flights with lowcostairlines like Easyjet. A shuttle bus service is available from the airport to the Annecy city centre.

By Train

High speed TGV trains connect Annecy to most of the major towns of the region. SNCF operates the rail network in France.

By Car

Annecy is located just west of the A41 highway which runs between Chambery and north towards Geneva. There are more beautiful roads to approach Annecy though, which travel across mountain passes, for example from the east (Grand St Bornand).

By Bus

Regular bus service connects Annecy to Geneva, Paris and Lyon. Bus service is cheaper but it can be a bit uncomfortable as the seats are cramped and there can be numerous stops on the way.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Nouvel Hotel37 rue vaugelasHotel84
P’tit Dej Hotel SamhotelImpasse Des Glaises Sortie 18 A41 et A410Hostel-
Annecy Hostel32 Avenue de LoverchyHostel78
Hotel Residel20 chemin des Aires SEVRIERHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.

Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.

France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.

Post

La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).

Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 45.8996243
  • Longitude: 6.1284548

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This is version 13. Last edited at 7:30 on Sep 20, 13 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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