Chambery is a beautiful town in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. Chambéry is the birthplace and historic capital of Savoie. Throughout history, it has been both Italian and French. It lies in a valley in the Alps surrounded by the Bauges and Chartreuse mountain ranges and provides almost 360-degree views of the French Alps. To the north, it is bordered by Lac du Bourget, the largest natural lake in France. Chambery has long been a "crossroads to the Alps" dating all the way back to the 11th century. For many years, it was ruled by the Duchy of Savoie before being annexed to the King of France. Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man (the French version of the Bill of Rights) while living in Chambery.
Chambery is a charming, peaceful place to visit with beautiful architecture, good food and wine, and friendly people. There are many vineyards in the area that visitors can enjoy, and on Saturdays, the city public market is abuzz with the freshest cheeses, meats, and local produce from the Alps. The area offers many recreational activities to choose from in all seasons, from skiing and snowshoeing, to sailing and rock climbing. The famous Tour de France bicycle race comes through the area in the summer. Chambery also boasts the Savoie Technolac research park and the Universite de Savoie, and a mountain research center.
Chambéry has direct TGV from Paris and other trains (TER, Train Express Regional) to all major destinations of the region. It takes 3.5 hours to get to Chambery on the direct TGV. Chambery is easily accessible to Lyon, Grenoble, Chamonix, Geneva (Switzerland), and Turin (Italy.)
It is linked by motorways to
- Lyon via A43 in the west
- Grenoble via A41 in the south
- Aix-les-Bains, Annecy and Geneva via A41 in the north
- Torino, Italy via … and the tunnel of Fréjus in the east
There is also a small airport, Aéroport de Chambéry-Savoie (IATA: CMF, ICAO: LFLB), 10km north of the city, next to Lac du Bourget, that is served by a number of cheap airlines, especially during the winter months.
Chambery is compact in size and is easily explored on foot. The medieval section of the town is quite well preserved. There are also local and regional buses. If you wish to explore the mountains or go on a wine tour, car rentals are available in town.
If you want a bit of exercise, you can also rent a bicycle and explore a bit further. Bicycles can be rented from the Vélostation in front of the train station: Agence Ecomobilité http://agence.ecomobilite.free.fr/ Only 3 euros for a half day and 5 euros for a full day. Open Monday-Friday 6:30 am to 7 pm and from 9 am to 7 pm on weekends and holidays.
Cycle paths: a cycle route goes from the centre of town north to the Lac du Bourget (mostly a cycle lane which is separate from the road) and another goes south into the vineyards (mixture of separate cycle lane and quiet country roads).
Activities ans Sightseeing
- The medieval quarter of Chambery holds many well-preserved streets and alleys. The most famous is the XIII-century Rue Basse du Château, which was tragically destroyed by a fire on January 1, 2001.
- The Chateau de Chambery, once the residence of the Ducs de Savoie and whose chapel once housed the Shroud of Turin, is now the department of Savoie government offices.
- Place du Palais de Justice
- Hotel de Ville
- Place St-Leger
- Cathedral de Chambery
- The Elephants Fountain (on lots of postcards, the fountain with these four elephant "busts" is affectionately called the "four buttless" by locals)
- Croix du Nivolet
- Mont Granier
- Lac du Bourget – Renting a paddle-boat for an hour or two is a cheap way to spend a sunny afternoon.
A light, yet sturdy knife from local company "Opinel"
Cheap shoes and clothing from the store Axo. Hard to find (ask the locals for directions) and terribly disorganized, but the prices are very good. A pair of ballerina flats usually goes for around 8 euros.
See the Listing of the Hotels in Chambery
BEST HOTEL CHAMBERY
Located: 9, rue Denfert Rochereau, 73000 Chambery
It is situated in the centre of Chambery near the Savoy University. It includes 40 soundproof bedrooms on three floors, which all include bathroom, telephone, satellite TV and car space in front of the hotel to deposit luggage. English, Spanish, French and Italian is spoken. The hotel also includes an indoor swimming pool, tennis, skating rink and an equestrian centre.
Hotel Facilities: Internet – wireless internet is available in all rooms and is free of charge, Guest Parking – Private parking is possible at a location nearby and cost roughly EUR 6.00 ($9.60) per day.
CHÂTEAU DE CANDIE + Restaurant, Address: 38, rue Bobby Sands, 73000, Chambéry-le-Vieux (5 km from Chambéry) (33)(4)79966310 Five minutes from the centre of Chambéry, this massive XIVth Century Château had its beautiful rooms elegantly renovated. The cuisine is inspired by its Savoy roots: sautéed mushrooms and crawfish, omble chevalier meunière, beef fillet seasoned with Szechuan pepper. Great cheeses and wines. All food served in the "Orangerie".
L'ESSENTIEL Address: 183, place de la Gare, 73000, Chambéry. Closed on Saturday Lunches & all Sundays. A contemparary decor and inventive regional cuisine, served with local Savoy wines.
L'HYPOTÉNUSE Address: Carré Curial, 73000, Chambéry. Closed on Saturday lunches & all Sundays as well as July 15th~August 15th. In a space full of silence and fresh air, this restaurant offers a seasomal cuisine created with locally grown products at a reasonable price.
AUX PIÉTONS Address: Place Monge, 73000, Chambéry. Closed on Sundays & Tuesday nights. Gearty local specialities: cheese fondue, tartiflette and brasérade.
LE TONNEAU Address: 2, rie Saint-Antoine, 73000, Chambéry. Closed on Sunday evenings & all Sundays. An elegent restaurant with a shaded terrace for summer dining. Great s
ervice and food.
LE SAINT REAL RESTAURANT Address: Place Pierre Dumas, 73000 Chambery Situated in the heart of the Old Town of Chambery, near the famous Fontaine des Elephants. Le Saint Real Restaurant caters for any occasion including; business meals, romantic dinners, birthday meals and family dinners, take your time to discover high quality food within an elegant and exquisite setting.
Menu Suggestions: – The fresh duck stove foie gras with the Victoria pineapple white rum and ice – Hazel nuts fried of roe deer Corsican juice to currents – Rack of lamb roasted in a nuts crust – Selection of fresh and refined cheese – Selection of delicious desserts
Aix-les-Bains, Annecy, La Feclaz