Top 3 tourist attractions in Vevey, Switzerland

Having previously blogged about our hotel stay at Le Mirador Kempkinski in Vevey, Switzerland, I thought I'd post a quick guide on the top 3 tourist attractions in Vevey, Switzerland.

1. Catch a ferry along the Montreux Riviera

The ferry costs CHF 6 to get from Lausanne to Montreux stop (two stops away), and the 30 minute journey is worth the money. The boat itself has a fancy restaurant on the lower level and a cafe on top, which allows you to sit at some of the tables without ordering anything, as well as outside seating for those who want to enjoy the sun on their faces.

The scenery is picturesque with pretty blue mountains, beautiful deep blue water, and blue sky.

2. Eat at the Montreux Jazz Cafe inside the Montreux Palace Hotel

As we wandered past this cafe tucked on the side of the Montreux Palace Hotel, my attention was caught by the hip decor, evident even from the outside - an eclectic nod to the jazz festival that the area is famous for.

On the wall towards the entrance is the certificate given by the United Nations stating the jazz festival's UNESCO certification, and the remainder of the cafe's walls are full of jazz memorabilia, including photos of famous jazz players and old gramophones, and Quincy Jones playing in the background. The decor is trendy with a Scandinavian touch, exuding casual elegance bordering on modern grandeur. 

My mother orders the foie gras, which is huge for an appetizer. Its exactly what we expect: creamy, rich and heady, with well toasted brioche chunks that are delicious.

I order the lamb shank cooked in a Tajine style with summer vegetables (tomatoes and brussel sprouts topped with crunchy almonds) and mash potatoes that come in a separate mini pot with a surprisingly delightful lemon tang (CHF 49). The lamb itself is very fleshy but perfectly cooked, and the sauce is beautiful with a nutty flavour that masks some of the gamey flavour of the meat.

We end the meal with a cheese cake that is decadent, and a rich and strong coffee that (to my surprise) comes with the soy milk that I request.

3. Visit the Chillon Castle

Chillon Castle is one of the main tourist attractions in Vevey (and apparently Switzerland), sitting neatly on Lake Geneva. Given its distance, I wouldn't recommend catching the ferry there because it would probably take over an hour from Lausanne, but it's all too easy to jump on a bus that will take you directly to the Chillon stop.

The castle itself consists of numerous different rooms including store rooms, dining halls, prisons, armory etc. It was once the summer home of the legendary Savoy family, and during the 16th century they used it as a prison (including Francois de Bonivard) - so there are a lot of slightly creepy looking cavernous rooms, including one that scared the bejesus out of us with a projection of a shadowed figure creeping up behind us with a knife in its hand.

  1. Your hotel may have a special coupon that will give you serious discounts around the town, including the ferry ride and the entrance fee to Chillon Castle, and free travel on buses. Be sure to ask them and whip out the coupon when you're purchasing tickets!
  2. Inside Chillon Castle, you can purchase things like real life swords, scabbards, and even chain mail - but if you're after something for the children (and something that won't get you into trouble at customs), then there's a small stand outside the castle that sells wooden versions of weapons for kids. Gotta admit, I was tempted to buy myself a wooden bow and arrow!
  3. While the ferry is a nice way to enjoy the scenery, if you're in a hurry, opt for a bus instead, which will halve your travel time.

xx Carmen

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