A Day in the City of Inspiration | Montreux, Switzerland
“We all came out to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline to make records with a mobile
we didn't have much time…”
You've probably already recognized these lyrics since they are the beginning of one of the most popular songs of all time. Yes, it is "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple and yes, the fire that was the inspiration for this evergreen song happened in this city, Montreux in Switzerland.
The band was playing in the famous Montreux jazz festival when the fire started, and that's how it all begun. The guys from Deep Purple are not the only artists that were inspired by this city. Freddie Mercury considered this town his second home, and the locals even built a statue of him to commemorate his greatness.
There is a reason why so many important events occurred here and why it’s one of the most crowded cities of Switzerland even today. It is a place that supports creativeness with their music festivals, and the Lake Geneva gives it a relaxing atmosphere. This beautiful city should definitely find its way on your bucket list.
The Heart of Swiss Riviera
Montreux is located on the shoreline of Lake Geneva in the canton of Vaus, and most of the people speak French. But, you can hear German or Italian as well. It is very convenient to get there, since you can arrive by a boat from any side of the lake, by a train or by a bus.
While taking a walk by the water alongside the long walkway, you can see the Alps over the lake, and it is just mesmerizing. A perfect view. This city must have one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen.
Montreux is a city with microclimate, so it’s slightly warmer here than in other places in Switzerland. You could even see palm trees and Joshua trees. It is kind of a protected area, so it feels and looks a little bit different than a typical Swiss city.
But, what is usual about it is the frequency of expensive cars and many, many stairs all over the city. In some parts, from one level to the other, it could be even three or four stories. To my surprise, you can even encounter on small elevators in the streets. So, there’s a more convenient option if you get tired or in a hurry. But, if you want to stay fit, a single walk around the city should do the trick.
The City of Culture
Montreux plays host to numerous music festivals and events. It is a cultural city in which a lot of well-known musical history was built. I’ve already mentioned “Smoke on the Water," and you can visit the monument by the infamous casino built to commemorate Deep Purple.
The most famous festival is Montreux Jazz festival, a global phenomenon that occurs every July at the Montreux Music & Convention Centre. Outside there are parks where they have concerts whole summer, and alongside the lake, there are numerous restaurants and coffee shops, so it’s always fun.
During the daytime, in the halls, there are some workshops where they organize musical competitions, so you can visit and enjoy high-quality music performed by famous or less famous artists. It’s a perfect place to sit down and refresh in the hot summer afternoons.
Château de Chillon is a 1000-year old castle built on the steep mountain on the lake where the water is very deep. It amazes me how they managed to construct it there. It looks beautiful, and it can be seen from each side of the city.
Well-organized Swiss Mentality Leaves You Care-free
What’s so great about Switzerland is that the locals are so well-organized and neat that everything is clean and easy to use. There is even free daycare to leave your kids when you want to go somewhere and have fun. It is very secure, and you get 4 hours of peace to visit some of the great events.
There is a kid’s card you can buy to travel all year long by train, bus, boat or any form of transportation. It is a cheaper and more convenient way if you plan on visiting for a long period.
In the supermarkets, you get a little scanner for the items you buy and then pay with a card by yourself, so you don’t even meet a salesclerk. But, be careful to go to the store on time, because everything closes early. And prepare yourself for the extremely high prices.
One of the Top Places to Visit in Switzerland
Montreux is one of the liveliest places in Switzerland. It has many interesting events, festivals, workshops, sightseeing spots, everything you would want to see in a city. Especially if you are a fan of rock music, this is a place you must see. The view of the Lake Geneva and the Alpes will make you fall in love with the place rapidly.
Check out our video from Montreux to see the shots we took all around the town about everything I wrote about and more! And don’t forget to let us know what you think about this beautiful city.