There are quite a few shopping streets in the Old Town. All tastes and budgets are catered for. Probably the busiest of all the shopping streets is Rue St Claire which is lined with many historical buildings some with arcades with clothing shops, gift shops, craft type shops not to mention cafes and ice cream parlours galore.
There are some very good little clothing shops which are not overly expensive. As a matter of fact when I was wandering around the shops in Annecy, I was quite surprised to find that there were many bargains to be had.
There is a street market selling fresh fruit and veg and some clothing items and such, that operates on Fridays that I know for certain, but probably other days as well. This however, is not the best street market to be found in France, sadly. Not by a long shot.
"Doing the shops" is a sure way to fill a few hours very easily.
We always walk through a town visiting the churches. There is always some amazing art hiding inside and you often get treated to music while looking. The stained glass is wonderful and if you look closely, it often shows you a history of the town.
Once in St. Pierre's Cathedral in Annecy while we were resting from an unseasonably warm day, we heard a clattering behind us. We turned to see two men climbing into the organ loft. Soon we were treated our very own recital of organ and trumpet as they rehearsed for the upcoming service.
We've attended weddings, heard string quartets, organs beyond counting and choral groups, both native and visiting. Churches are just plain fun.
In Annecy there are at least three worth a visit:
Cathedral St. Pierre
Corner of Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Passage de la Cathédrale
tel: +33 (0)4 5065-0045
6 Rue Brémontier 75017 Annecy, France
tel: +33 (0)1 4318-1515
Eglise Saint Maurice
2 Rue Saint-Maurice, 74000 Annecy, France
tel: +33 (0)4 5045-0856
This is yet another little nook in a backstreet in Annecy that catches the eye whenever you pass. I had no idea what the word meant or what it was doing over that archway, but I felt that it made another interesting photo of Annecy so I snapped it and went on my way.
I have since found out that "Chapellerie" is a name which is short for Chapeaux Gallerie, which of course is a French name for "Hat Shop" and through the archway is a designer hat shop of some repute.
Alright, alright, I admit that we had enjoyed a glass or two of vin rouge with our dinner but on the way back to the hotel we came across an ancient building with a crooked door! We all stopped to examine it and I couldn't resist taking a photo right then and there. Only problem was that when i got back to my room and had a good look at the photo, the door looked quite normal. Next morning I showed it to my friends who were just as disappointed as I was. So not to be beaten, one of my friends went back and took another photo in the cold light of day. And voila! one crooked door.
We came across this little indoor/outdoor bar in the backstreets where quite a crowd of people were enjoying a drink whilst being entertained by a wonderful group of street musicians. I'm told that the musicians move from one bar to another all night. I don't think that they are formally remunerated at all but depend on the kindness of the patrons.
The music was great so I was happy to throw a few euros in the hat.
There are a number of little alleyways and backstreets in Annecy's Old Town where you will find many buildings that are in disrepair especially where the paintwork is concerned. There would be many people who wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to renovate and restore, but I found them absolutely charming just the way they are.
I have been in other towns in Europe (Colmar and Erfurt come to mind) where the shabby buildings are in actual fact, in danger of being lost because of severe timber and foundation neglect but these in Annecy are different. They appear to be strong and safe in their construction. They just have had some of the paintwork age in the weather. I feel that they add a lot to the already marvellous atmosphere and ambience in Annecy
This is yet another "Shopping" tip which I see more as a "Thing to Do". I have no idea of what it is called but who cares. Stroll around the shopping streets of Annecy on the opposite side of the canal from the Castle and you won't miss it.
Even if you are not hungry and are not in the market for some fabulous food, this is still a must see, in my very humble opinion. Once again I will let the photos do the talking, but if you need a recommendation, I can sure you that the food is beyond compare.
These photos were taken from the outside of the shop, there is just as much to be found inside.
Jean-Jacques Humblot is an Artisan Florist of renown with one of the most fabulous flower shops that I have ever seen anywhere in the world that I have ever been.
If you are in the market for some flowers, you will most certainly be spoiled for choice here.
However, I view J J Humblot's shop as a "Thing to Do" just as much as a "Shopping" tip. I think the photo speaks for itself.
I have put this shop in Things to Do rather than Shopping Tips for two reasons. First of all I have no idea of the name of this establishment and secondly I did not buy anything there. This is a shop that I wandered into and found it extremely eye catching. It is a tea shop which also has a little cafe area outside. You can buy tea leaves to take home or enjoy a cup in the cafe. Either way there are literally dozens upon dozens of varieties from which to choose. I would have enjoyed a cup whilst I was there only there was absolutely no one to be found to serve me. So I just took my photos and went on my way.
It can found on the opposite side of the canal to the castle. I can't give you the correct street address. Not that this is an issue. If you are wandering around the Old Town of Annecy, you will definitely find it I'm sure.
There are so many wonderful sights to see in the Old town in Annecy. Here are some wonderful houses mainly residential, to be seen as you meander through the little streets and laneways. So wonderful in fact, that I could be tempted to live here even if only for part of the year. I particularly love the flowers that are so prevalent on the houses and surrounds.
Once again, you need to have that camera on standby every step of the way.
One of my most frequent tips in towns and cities in Europe is to go for a walk and see what there is to explore in more detail. With Annecy there are two different walks that I would suggest. The first one is to walk the Old Town and the second is to walk around the Lake area.
So let's have a look at what there is to see in the Old Town. I won't go into any sort of history lessons here. Anything you need to know you can find out on other sites. I just want to give you some idea of the picture postcard quality that is predominant in Annecy.
The area around the canal is particularly picturesque and is a photographer's dream.
SHOP'S! Plenty of them!
I really wondered if there were more outdoor Cafe's [rather busy!] than shop's.
The old town has plenty of shop's selling souvenir's and postcard's. I found this one with the Cat's for sale, I thought a rather different souvenir!
If you want a yummy Ice-cream in a Cone, then there is a shop here with umpteen flavour's to suit anyone's taste bud. Stop, and try one!
The former church of the Dominicans built in the 15th century, is located in the heart of the "old" town, and is always open.
There are nice stained glass window's behind Christ on the Wooden Cross, and some old Mural's and a lovely Pieta.
Something you must see, to the left of the choir, is the "trompe l'oeil" painting of the 15th century.
Annecy is one of those pretty old Town's that has canal's running through the city and old town, perhap's making it a little like Venice!
Just wander, get lost, well, you really couldn't, and enjoy the finds you have!
I saw many Archway's, Town Gates, old building's covered in Ivy, the Lake, plenty of shop's, and lastly plenty of People!!
This is one city, that I think you will find a lot of people at any time so be prepared!
We found a car-park at the Chateau on the hill, and from here, it was a short walk down the path and into the main part of the Old Town.
Have you ever known a River to be only 3.5kms in length?
I hadn't, that is, until I came to Annecy!
The River Thiou which runs through Annecy via canal's, is only 3.5kms long, and is one of the shortest rivers in Europe.
Not only is that historical, but so is the old city centre where it runs through, and it is such a pretty turquoise Blue!
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