10+ Things To Do in Evian-Les-Bains, France

Welcome to Evian-Les-Bains, a small and charming SPA town famous for its mineral water. Together with a scenic location on the shores of Lake Geneva, close proximity to the Alps, many hiking and cycling trails around, and a really lovely old town you’ll end up with a great destination for… well, everybody. Stay with us and we’ll show you all the best things to do in Evian-Les-Bains, France.

Best things to do in Evian-Les-Bains, France
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Evian-Les-Bains, France FAQ

Where is Evian-Les-Bains located?

Evian-les-Bains is located in eastern France, on the southern shores of Lake Geneva (fr. Lac Léman) in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The town lies at an altitude of 380m a.s.l, directly opposite the Swiss city of Lausanne

Is Evian-Les-Bains worth visiting?

Oh yes, definitely yes. Evian-Les-Bains is a town with a great charm and vibe that will keep you entertained. Whether you are into history, architecture, good food, outdoor activities or just staring at breathtaking views you’ll find something for yourself there. Evian is a great destination for holidays, weekend getaways, as well as a home base for digital nomads who want to discover the area. 

What is Evian-Les-Bains best known for?

Evian-Les-Bains is best known for its world-renowned mineral water evian®, luxurious spas and thermal waters, its stunning location on Lake Geneva shores, as well as for the very charming colorful old town perfect for a lazy stroll. 

Things to do in Evian Les Bains in France
Evian-Les-Bains in France Old Town Mural
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Evian-Les-Bains short history

It all started in 1789, when a French aristocrat, Marquis de Lessert, got thirsty during a walk, and took a drink from a natural spring. The Marquis found the Evian water to be “light and easily drinkable’, and he started to drink it regularly. After some time, it turned out that problems with his kidney stones went away and it supposedly happened because of the water itself. Soon word got out, the source became very popular, and Monsieur Cachat (land owner) began selling the water. Not that long after, in 1806, the first thermal spa was opened, followed by the first bottling facility opened in 1826. In the following years, casino, many hotels, and restaurants were built, to cash in on the numerous, often aristocratic, visitors. The town of Evian became an official spa town in 1864, by adding “Les-Bains” to its name.

Frankenstein Monster in Evian-Les-Bains

The spa town of Evian not only hosted a long list of celebrities but also… Frankensteins! For a very short period of time, but it still counts. In Mary Shelley’s book, Evian-Les-Bains is a place where Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to spend their honeymoon. During the stormy night, while Victor left a room for a while, a monster broke in and… strangled the new bride and escaped. Dreadful!

Ok, now you know a little bit of town history and one scary fun fact so it’s finally time to discover all the best things to do in Evian-Les-Bains, France.

Evian-Les-Bains Rue Nationale in Colorful Old Town
Evian-Les-Bains The best things to do

Best things to do in Evian-Les-Bains, France

Evian-Les-Bains Old Town

Is there a better way to get to know the town than to take a nice, long walk in it? Don’t hesitate and take a stroll among charming Evian streets filled with colorful well-preserved old buildings, intertwined with scenic views of Lake Geneva and Switzerland.

In Evian Old Town, you can’t miss places like:

  • Rue Nationale – Evian’s main street full of various shops and restaurants
  • Rue de l’Église – narrow street behind the Our Lady of the Assumption Church, leading to Place Charles de Gaulle
  • Place Charles de Gaulle – big lively square located at the end of the Rue Nationale, right next to the Hôtel de France
  • Buildings and monuments: Villa Lumière, Palais Lumière, Casino, Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, and Source Cachat
Evian Les Bains Rue Nationale Old Town
Evian-Les-Bains in France Old Town Building
Evian Les Bains Colorful Old Town Rue de l'Eglise
Book shop window in Evian Les Bains on Rue Nationale
The best things to do in Evian Les Bains, France
Stylish shopping window in Evian Les Bains on Rue Nationale
Evian Old Town with a Lake Geneva view
Evian Old Town Street

Evian-Les-Bains lakeside promenade

Only a few steps down from Evian Old Town, on the Lake Geneva shores, you’ll find a tree-lined promenade that is perfect for walking, running, cycling, skating, making picnics, and other activities. We don’t think we need to mention (again) all the wonderful views you can enjoy from it?

Along the promenade, you’ll also find places such as:

  • Jardin Benicassim – Evian community garden featuring a beehive with windows, and many plants and herbs planted in the garden.
  • Japanese Garden of Evian-les-Bains (fr. Jardin japonais d’Evian-les-Bains) – very small, but beautiful and well-maintained garden full of japanese plants.
  • Barque La Savoie – the replica of an 1896 boat with lateen sails, built in 1997-2000. It sails every summer on Lake Geneva and is the largest lateen sailboat currently navigating the lake.
Barque La Savoie in Evian Les Bains, France
Jardin Benicassim - Evian-Les-Bains community garden
Evian-Les-Bains lakeside promenade

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Cachat Spring

Cachat Spring, once known as the Saint Catherine Fountain, was built in 1903 and is the most famous Evian water spring, promoted to have many health benefits. Water flows continuously every day, at a temperature of 11.6°C. The place got its name after Gabriel Cachat, the owner of the garden in which water flowed at the end of the 18th century.

You can go to Cachat Spring with your own bottle and taste delicious Evian water directly from the spring for free.

Cachat Spring in Evian Les Bains France
Cachat Spring in Evian-Les-Bains France
Evian mineral water source - Cachat Spring in France

Palais Lumiere

Palais Lumière was built at the beginning of the 20th century, 1900-1902. Until 1984 thermal baths were located there, and since 2006 it’s an Evian’s Culture & Congress Center, which showcases various art exhibitions. If you’re an art lover – Palais Lumiere is a place you can’t miss.

You need a ticket to enter Palais Lumiere: full price – €8.5, reduced price – €6.5, children under 16 years old enter for free (August 2023). Current opening hours and prices are available on the ville-evian.fr website.

Palais Lumiere in Evian Les Bains France
Palais Lumiere in Evian-Les-Bains France

Villa Lumière

Classic French-style Villa Lumiere is a former summer home of the Lumière family. Since 1927 it has been Evian Town Hall (fr. Hôtel de Ville). You can visit Villa Lumiere for free during the weekdays from 9-11:30 AM but it is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Interesting fact. Brothers, Auguste and Louis Lumière are the pioneers of cinematography. They constructed and patented a cinematograph.

Evian-Les-Bains Casino

Evian Casino was established in 1911, in the 17th-century castle that Baron Louis Ennemont de Blonay bequeathed to the town in 1877. The idea of building the casino was born after the success of a gaming house that was set up in 1873 on the outskirts of Evian. The casino is still working to this day, offering table games, slot machines, restaurants, bars, and even dinner shows. To learn more about the casino and its opening hours visit casino-evian.com website. So… Will you try your luck at the Evian Casino?

Villa Lumiere in Evian Les Bains France
Evian-Les-Bains Casino in France

Evian Funicular Railway

Evian Funicular (fr. Funiculaire d’Evian) is there since 1907 and transports guests from exclusive hotels located on the hill to the spa baths in town. It was closed in 1969. After restoration, it resumed working in 2002. Evian Funicular is listed as a Historic Monument.

Currently Evian Funicular runs free of charge from May to September. The lower station is located behind the Palais Lumière, and the upper one is right next to the La Grange au Lac.

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (fr. Eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption) was built in the second half of the 13th century in the Savoy Gothic style. The church was rebuilt and restored several times. The entrance is free.

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Evian France
Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption in Evian-Les-Bains, France

Evian Thermal Spa

In addition to drinking water, you can also take a bath in it. Les Thermes Evian is the only Spa with thermal waters, offering a wide range of toning, regenerating and relaxing treatments. To learn more visit their official website esthermesevian.com.

Activities around Lake Geneva in Evian-Les-Bains

Are you looking for more things to do in Evian-Les-Bains? No problem! Here are some propositions of various activities around Lake Geneva. You can go on a cruise on a steamboat, rent a motorboat, or choose from one of the watersports like paddleboarding, sailing, and water skiing.

Watersports around Lake Geneva in Evian France - sailing
Watersports around Lake Geneva in Evian France - cruise

Pré Curieux Water Garden

From May to October, you can visit the Pré Curieux Water Garden (fr. Les Jardins de l’eau du Pre Curieux), protected wetlands that can be accessed by solar-powered boat on a guided tour. Full price: €19, reduced price: €13; children under 3 years old go for €1 (August 2023). For more information visit evian-tourisme.com website.

Cycling & MTB biking in Evian-Les-Bains

There are many cycling and MTB lovers among French people. Personally, we can’t say much in this matter as we aren’t one of them but there are many cycling routes to choose from in and near, Evian-Les-Bains. If it’s something that interests you, check out komoot.com website to discover more.

Winter activities in Evian-Les-Bains

Evian-Les-Bains can also be a great base for winter sports fans. The closest ski resorts are located in Thollon-Les-Mémises and Bernex. Les Portes du Soleil, the largest ski area in Europe, is only 40 minutes away.

Watersports around Lake Geneva in Evian France - paddleboardingports around Lake Geneva in Evian France - paddleboarding
Watersports around Lake Geneva in Evian France - motorboats

How to get to Evian-Les-Bains, France?

Evian-Les-Bains is located about 10km from Thonon-Les-Bains, 45km from Geneva in Switzerland, 110km from Chamonix, and 85km from Annecy. The most convenient way to get to Evian-Les-Bains is by car or by train.

Where to park in Evian-Les-Bains?

There are a few parking lots available in Evian-Les-Bains, mostly paid ones. We left our car in this parking lot, close to the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and promenade.

Airports near Evian-Les-Bains

The closest airports to Evian-Les-Bains are in Geneva, Switzerland (50km away) and Lyon (205km away). Both airports offer direct trains and bus connections to Evian. To check the connections that interest you please visit rome2rio.com website.

To Evian-Les-Bains by train

France is very well connected by trains. For example, the journey from Paris to Evian-Les-Bains lasts about 4h45min (€85-150), from Geneva 50min (€21-40), and only 10min from Thonon-Les-Bains (€3-35), To learn more about train connections that interest you visit sncf-reseau.com or rome2rio.com website.

To Evian-Les-Bains by bus

You can also get to Evian-Les-Bains by bus. For example, the journey from Thonon-Les-Bains will take about 20min (€2-4), 1h from Yvoire (€10-19), and 2h from Annecy (€8-12). To learn more about bus connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.

To Evian-Les-Bains by ferry

You can also get to Evian-Les-Bains by ferry from Lausanne, Switzerland. The journey will take about 35min and will cost €19-24.

Camping in Evian-Les-Bains

If you’re traveling by camper you’ll probably be glad to know that there are a few camping sites near Evian-Les-Bains. Here are some of them, mainly located closer to Thonon-Les-Bains and Lugrin (all cost a bit):

Bottle of Evian mineral water. In Polish Carrefour, we found a 1L bottle for 8.39zł (~€1.8)

Things to do in Evian-Les-Bains, France – Summing up

No matter if you’ll be visiting Evian-Les-Bains only for a weekend or if you’re planning on staying a little longer – we’re almost sure you’ll fall in love with this place. Lakeside promenade with spectacular views, colorful old town, cozy restaurants, friendly people, tasty water, casino, thermal baths… What would you need more?

Our opinion about Evian, France

For us, a visit to Evian-Les-Bains was a one-day trip from nearby Thonon-Les-Bains where we lived for a few weeks. We visited the town in May and during that time there weren’t too many tourists and the town was still fairly quiet. And what can we say… In a split second, we succumbed to Evian’s charm and to this day we’re under its spell. Without a doubt, it’s one of our favorite places in France from which we have great memories. Believe us, wandering among its colorful old town streets and along Lake Geneva shores was a true delight. 

Restaurants, accommodations, and map

Check out various recommended places below.

Where to eat in Evian-Les-Bains?

Here are your best, high-rated options in Evian-Les-Bains:

Where to sleep in Evian-Les-Bains?

Hôtel Alizé in Évian-les-Bains, France

Hôtel Alizé

Hôtel Alizé is a modern and comfortable hotel in Evian-Les-Bains, with well-appointed rooms and a convenient location just a short walk from the town center and Lake Geneva. Its friendly staff and great amenities make it a popular choice for both leisure and business travelers visiting the area.

Zenitude Hôtel-Résidences in Evian-Les-Bains, France

Zenitude Hotel & Residences

Zenitude Hotel & Residences is a modern and well-equipped hotel with spacious and stylishly furnished apartments featuring a kitchenette and a balcony with mountain views. Its location in the heart of Evian-Les-Bains, close to the thermal baths and the lake, make it a great choice for those looking to explore the town's attractions.

Savoy Hôtel Evian Les Bains, France

Savoy Hôtel

Savoy Hôtel is a charming and elegant hotel in Evian-Les-Bains, featuring beautifully appointed rooms with lake views and a lovely garden terrace. Its prime location on the lakeside promenade and close to the town center make it a great choice for those looking to experience the best of the town's attractions.

Hilton Evian Les Bains France

Hilton Evian Les Bains

Hilton Evian Les Bains is a luxurious and stylish hotel offering spacious rooms and suites with lake or mountain views and a range of upscale amenities, including a spa, a fitness center, and multiple dining options. Its central location in the heart of the town and its beautiful surroundings make it a perfect destination for a relaxing and indulgent getaway.

Accommodations photos source: booking.com

Evian-Les-Bains, France - Map of places

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10+ Things To Do in Evian-Les-Bains, France

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