Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) is a medieval castle that is located on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva. This makes a fantastic day trip from Lausanne or Geneva and you can easily add in visit to Montreux and Vevey. In this article, learn how to plan your day trip to Château de Chillon.
Interesting Facts about Château de Chillon
This medieval castle began as a Roman outpost and its first construction began during the 10th century. It later became a castle and was used by the House of Savoy to control the road from Burgundy to the Great Saint Bernard Pass.
Since the end of the 19th century, Château de Chillon has been open to tourism.
According to the official castle website, this is Switzerland’s most visited historic monument.
Visiting Château de Chillon
Best Views of Château de Chillon
Start your visit with a view of the castle from the shoreline.
This is the view from the shoreline north of the castle. You can walk out to this viewpoint from the paved trail that connects Château de Chillon with the Veytaux-Chillon train station.
This is the view from south of the castle. There is wide paved path here with numerous photo spots.
Walk across the drawbridge and purchase your entrance ticket and your audio guide (optional) at the ticket booth.
Inside the Castle
Included with your entrance fee is a brochure that provides maps and details about each room you will visit. We used the brochure and for us, it provided enough information to get around castle and learn some interesting facts. If you prefer, you can rent an audio guide for CHF 6.
You also have the option to join a guided tour of the castle. Tours last 50 minutes and cost between 95 and 145 CHF. Learn more here.
We spent about an hour touring Château de Chillon. For us, the highlights were seeing the prison, walking along the wooden walkways, and the view over Lake Geneva.
The view from the castle over Lake Geneva. Montreux is the closest town you see in this photo. Vevey is farther in the distance.
Hours: April to September 9 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6 pm); October to March 9:30 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5 pm)
Cost: Adults CHF 13.50, Child (6 to 15 years old) CHF 7, Family ticket CHF 35; admission is free with the Swiss Travel Pass
Audio Guide: CHF 6
How to Get to Château de Chillon
You can get to Château de Chillon by train, boat, bus, car, or on foot.
TRAIN: The closest train station is Veytaux-Chillon. From here, it is a 500-meter walk along the shoreline of Lake Geneva (7 minutes). Check timetables here.
BOAT: The GCN boats dock right next to Château de Chillon. From here, it is a 350-meter walk (5 minutes). Check timetables here.
BUS: Take bus 201 from Montreux or Vevey. Get off on the “Chillon” stop right in front of the castle. Buses run every 10 to 20 minutes.
CAR: There is a parking lot in front of Château de Chillon. Get your free parking permit at the ticket window.
ON FOOT: From Montreux, it is a 3 km walk (about 30 to 40 minutes) along Lake Geneva to get to Château de Chillon.
Veytaux-Chillon Train Station
Places to Include on Your Day Trip to Château de Chillon
Montreux is a small town that sits on the shore of Lake Geneva, just a stone’s throw away from Château de Chillon.
Every July it hosts a world-famous Jazz festival. Numerous musicians have recorded albums in Montreux, including Deep Purple, the Dubliners, and Queen. One of the best things to do in Montreux, if you are a Queen fan, is to snap a selfie with the statue of Freddie Mercury.
Top Things to do in Montreux:
- Walk along the lakeside promenade
- Freddie Mercury Statue
- Queen Studio Experience (small museum about the band Queen)
- Montreux Jazz Festival (July)
Vevey is another small town that sits beside Montreux. Charlie Chaplin lived here for 25 years until his death in 1977. This is the location of the world headquarters of Nestlé.
Did You Know? Milk chocolate was invented in Vevey by Daniel Peter in 1875, with the help of Henri Nestlé.
Once every 20 years the Winegrower’s Festival (Fête des Vignerons) comes to Vevey. The most recent festival was in 2019.
Top Things to do in Vevey:
- Charlie Chaplin Statue
- See The Fork
- Swiss Camera Museum
- Alimentarium (museum about food)
3. Cruise Lake Geneva
Cruising from Lausanne to Vevey, Montreux, or Château de Chillon is the most scenic way to travel around Lake Geneva. Keep reading for details on how to do this.
View of the Lavaux Vineyards from Lake Geneva
Plan Your Day Trip to Château de Chillon
For a leisurely day on Lake Geneva, you can day trip to Château de Chillon and include a visit to Montreux and Vevey. This can be done from Lausanne and Geneva. Due to its location, you will have longer travel times, and thus a longer day, if you do this day trip from Geneva.
Here is a sample itinerary from Lausanne (get an earlier start if you are staying in Geneva):
- 8 am: Train to Château de Chillon
- 9 am: Visit Château de Chillon
- 11 am: Train, bus, or boat to Montreux
- Midday: Visit Montreux
- Afternoon: Train to Vevey, visit Vevey OR cruise on Lake Geneva to Lausanne
- Evening: If you visited Vevey, return to Lausanne/Geneva by boat or train
I recommend visiting Château de Chillon first, right around opening time, when crowds are low. Then, later in the day, you can have lunch and dinner in Montreux and Vevey.
I also recommend traveling one way by train and one way by boat, to maximize your time but to also enjoy the cruise on Lake Geneva.
Pro Travel Tip: With a Swiss Travel Pass, all of your transportation will be free. Plus, you will get free admission into Château de Chillon.
Organizing Your Transportation
Getting Around by Train
Here are travel times by train:
- Lausanne to Château de Chillon (Veytaux-Chillon): 35 minutes, trains leave roughly every 10 to 20 minutes
- Geneva to Château de Chillon (Veytaux-Chillon): 1 hour 25 minutes, trains leave roughly every 10 minutes, there will be one transfer in either Lausanne or Montreux
- Château de Chillon to Montreux: 4 minutes, once per hour, so check the timetable so you know when to be back at the train station (or take bus 201, 14 minutes to Montreux, every 10 minutes)
- Château de Chillon to Vevey: 14 minutes, once per hour (by bus it takes 25 to 35 minutes, check timetables on sbb.ch)
- Montreux to Vevey: 5 minutes, frequent
- Montreux to Lausanne: 22 minutes, frequent
- Montreux to Geneva: 1 hour to 1.25 hours, frequent
- Vevey to Lausanne: 15 minutes, frequent
- Vevey to Geneva: 1 hour, frequent
There is no need to book your train tickets in advance. If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, you can board the train and show the attendant your pass. If you do not have the Swiss Travel Pass, you can purchase your ticket in the train station.
Getting Around by Boat on Lake Geneva
It is possible to travel between Lausanne, Château de Chillon, Montreux, and Vevey by boat, but with slower travel times and infrequent service, getting around solely by boat will take up a big chunk of your day.
In order to maximize your time, travel one way by train and one way by boat.
It is possible to travel by boat from Geneva to Château de Chillon, but this takes about 6 hours, one-way, so you might want to rethink this option. If you are staying in Geneva and want to cruise on the lake, travel by boat between Montreux (or Vevey) and Lausanne. Use the train for the remainder of your travel.
Travel times on Lake Geneva:
- Lausanne to Château de Chillon: 1.5 to 2 hours
- Château de Chillon to Montreux: 10 minutes
- Montreux to Lausanne: 1 hour
- Vevey to Lausanne: 45 minutes
Check timetables and pricing on the GCN website.
Purchasing Tickets: You can purchase your ticket at the ticket booth at the dock, on board the boat, or on the GCN website.
If you have any questions about planning your day trip to Château de Chillon, let us know in the comment section below.
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