Throughout history Chambery has been both Italian and French whilst serving as a crossroads to the Alps dating all the way back to the 11th Century.
There are plenty of things to do in Chambery from skiing, to visiting the famous Elephant Fountain to seeing where the political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
Chambery has direct rail access to Paris and all other major destinations of the region such as Lyon, Grenoble, Geneva, and Turin. Chambery Airport is a small airport designed mainly to get people to the ski slopes. Unlike the airports for the sunshine destinations which are much busier in summer, Chambery airport's busy time is definitely winter which is a shame because the scenery is stunning at any time of the year.
So What Can I See in Chambery?
Located within the town centre, a must see is the Fontaine des Éléphants. This monumental landmark was built in 1838 to honour Benoît de Boigne's feats when he was in India. The landmark has realistic sculptures of the head and forelimbs of four elephants in the base of a tall column in the shape of the Saroyan cross, topped by a statue of de Boigne.
If you have any interest at all in the political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, you should definitely visit the Musee des Charmettes as it once was his favourite retreat. Offering the insight into Rousseau, Les Charmettes also has picturesque gardens and views. Even though this hamlet is within walking distance from the town centre, you may want to consider hiring a car as it’s a steep walk to this scenic escape.
Also within the town is the Château de Chambéry. This was the former castle of the dukes of Savoy but now serves as a government building. Tours are available every half hour in the afternoon and even though it is not in English, it is still something you must see.
Day Trips From Chambery - Explore the French Alps
If you’re planning on skiing in one of the many ski resorts around Chambery, it is suggested that you rent a vehicle. Having one will provide you and your party flexibility to easily visit each of the resorts.
Just to the north of Chambery is Lac du Bourget, which is the largest natural lake in France. The largest town beside the lake is Aix-les-Bains and here you will find the Faure Museum.
You may alternatively want to go further afield. With Lyon just over an hour’s drive from Chambery, it's France’s third largest city and gastronomic capital, known for its historical and architecture landmarks such as the School of Building.