Chamonix, France

Nestled between the French Alps in the valley of Chamonix-Mont-Blonc, this commune will make your alpine fantasies come true.
Wanderlawyer Chamonix France

Oh Chamonix, what’s not to love! Nestled between the French Alps in the valley of Chamonix-Mont-Blonc, this commune will make your alpine fantasies come true. 

Chamonix is a mixing pot of European cultures and sits on the French/Italian/Swiss border (in fact, there’s a tunnel which can take you from Chamonix to the Italian Alps in less than an hour). Its unique location brings tourists from all over Europe to experience the incredible natural beauty. If you’ve never been to the Alps, then we guarantee you will be blown away by the sure magnitude of the peaks which tower over town. 

Despite being a ritzy, resort town Chamonix will not break your piggy bank. We’ve found that Chamonix is actually less expensive than other world class ski resort towns such as Aspen, Zermatt, and Whistler. That being said, Chamonix is not the most affordable location either and you should be prepared to spend a little money to fully enjoy all the region has to offer. 

As far as attractions, look no further than the ski-resorts. The entire valley has close to 10 different options for skiers and snowboarders of all different skill levels. The resorts are easy to access and the La Brevent tram takes skiers to the mountain directly from the center of town. We could write separate blog posts on each ski resort, so suffice it to say the skiing here is plentiful and world class. 

The feature attraction in Chamonix though, is the Aiguille Du Midi. This incredible mountain peak can only be accessed by a gondola and offers once in a lifetime views of the Alps that reminded us of a National Geographic documentary. At the top of the peak, sits an alpine museum and viewing deck of Mount Blonc, the tallest peak in the region. Be careful, though – the top of Aiguille Du Midi is more than 12,000 feet high – and you may experience altitude sickness, so please do not take this trip if you have a heart condition or trouble breathing in thin air.  

Here is our WanderLawyer rating for Chamonix: 

Accessibility 2.5/5 stars. 

Delicious food 5/5 stars. 

Affordability 2.5/5 stars. 

Work remote locations & internet access 2/5 stars. 

Weather 4/5 stars

Friendliness 4/5 stars

Nightlife 4/5 stars

Vibe 4/5 stars

Overall Score – 3.5/5 Stars 

Recommendations: 

Lodging

If you are looking for lodging that has all the amenities and a festive atmosphere, we recommend La Folle Douce. This world-class hotel features an incredible, kick ass discotech in its bottom two floors. Even if you stay elsewhere, the disco is worth checking out. 

However, if you’re trying to ball on a budget, skip the fancy stuff and stay at Hotel Chamonix or the Plan B. Hotel Chamonix is certainly the most affordable and provides all the basics in a bit of an outdated, but still cozy, atmosphere. Plan B is a bit more modern. 

Food

No trip to France can be complete without experiencing an authentic fondue restaurant. We recommend Le Monchu which offers delicious cheese and meat dishes that truly give you a flavor of France. If you would like to avoid a cheese-overload, then try Annapurna, a hidden gem which serves up surprisingly scrumptious Indian plates. 

Nightlife/bars

As mentioned, LA Folle Douce’s disco really reigns king. The disco offers a top notch club experience. If a dive bar is more your vibe, check out Bar Barracuda. Don’t forget to pregame at Les Caves for a truly subterranean experience.  

Remote working locations

All three hotels mentioned above offer great Wi-Fi and have dedicated working areas, but Plan B wins in terms of co-working/remote working locations. Plan B has cozy nooks, dedicated desks, and full service bar and cafe steps located adjacent to the work stations. Unfortunately, Chamonix does not have official co-working companies or locations, but there are numerous cafes and bars which will let you type away all day for the small price of 1 espresso. 

Transportation

Its a bit of a challenge getting to Chamonix as there’s no direct flights. The easiest way to travel to Chamonix is to fly into Geneva, Switzerland and then take the 90 minute bus to Chamonix. Fortunately, there are many different shuttle transfer buses from Geneva to Chamonix which depart frequently. The two most popular are FlixBus and SwissTours. We took SwissTours and found the ride pleasant and low stress. 

Once you arrive in Chamonix, there are some transportation options around the valley included numerous trams which can take you up and down the corridors to other different communes. 

If you booked a private vacation rental and do not have a car, be aware that there are not many cab companies and so you might have to walk up a steep hill to your chalet. If you are staying at a hotel in town, though, no need to worry as everything is a short walk from the bus station. 

VERDICT

Chamonix can’t be beat when it comes to tourism, vibe, and scenery. However, it can be a challenge to access if you do not have an automobile. Also beware that although Chamonix can be done on the cheap, the town caters to the uber rich and therefore is not very affordable for most. Despite these challenges, Chamonix still earns a nod for us because comparable destinations in the Alps can’t compete with Chamonix’s amenities and affordability. Prendre plaisir! 

-WL 

Authors

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat is a digital nomad attorney and WanderLawyer co-founder. Anthony believes travel unlocks potential and opens minds. He’s been wandering and lawyering since 2014.