I recently visited Annecy upon the recommendation of a friendly French guy I met while climbing the towers of Notre Dame in Strasbourg. I said I like mountains, he said I should visit Annecy.
Budget Accommodation in Annecy
I booked myself into one of the two only hostels in Annecy – Annecy Hostel which was probably the worst hostel I’ve stayed at on this trip (to be fair the bar has been set pretty high by other hostels) but it was definitely necessary to stay in the cheapest accommodation as Annecy can be an expensive place. By the way, the other hostel is halfway up a mountain and the ratings aren’t great. Fortunately, I befriended a Canadian girl called Sara on day 2 and this very much improved my stay in this godforsaken hostel (I am being a tad dramatic okay haha).
Eating on a Budget in Annecy
If you visit Annecy on a budget, it is essential that you buy most of your meals from a supermarket. We had 3-course home-made dinners with wine for 5-10 ($7.90 – $15.75AUD) euros and on two occasions had Subway footlongs for 6.50 euros. If you are keen to go to a restaurant here, the prices made me react physically – like 17 euros (nearly $27AUD) for a pizza. You can, however, quite easily go to a decent cafe and buy a coffee and a sweet for less than 4 euro ($6.30AUD).
Eating Vegetarian or Vegan in Annecy
This part of France isn’t easiest to be vegetarian or vegan in especially when trying to eat out cheaply, pork or fish is seemingly added to almost every savoury dish (for example: trying to find a sandwich without meat or fish in a cafe is almost impossible). Subway is unfortunately one of the best options for vegetarian takeaway. You definitely want to have access to kitchen facilities if you are vegetarian or vegan especially if you are on a budget and the supermarkets are well stocked so you can easily prepare a nice, balanced meal.
What makes Annecy special (and budget-friendly at times)
The beauty of Annecy is you can just walk forever around the old town, the lake and even climb the mountain nearby (it is a 6-hour total hike) and it is free.
Lake Annecy has super clear, clean water which is fed by mountain streams. The lake itself had boaters, canoers and many ducks. We even saw one man taking a dip. The surrounding area of the lake is bustling, with people walking around or simply sitting to enjoy the view.
I can imagine the lake would be incredibly popular in Spring and Summer.
My Final Thoughts About Annecy
Overall, I highly recommend visiting Annecy. The medieval old town and the alps enclosing the beautiful clear lake make it one of the most enchanting places I have ever visited.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my new mate, Sara, it was so nice to have such a wonderful friend for a few days, I was very sad to leave you. See you in Canada ;).