Chamonix has a great selection of museums, and these museums often offer creative workshops or guided tours for children during the school holidays (the Tourist Office will have a list of those scheduled during your stay).
In Chamonix town itself you will find;
- the Musée Alpin;
- the Espace Tairraz (Musée d’Alpinisme et des Cristaux);
- the Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine Janny Couttet (see below for more details).
*And don’t forget that the Carte d’Hôte gets you a discount!*
In addition to the museums in Chamonix centre, there are often temporary exhibitions at the Médiathèque and at various hotels and restaurants/cafés in town.
In the Chamonix Valley, there are also museums in:
- Les Houches: La Musée Montagnard;
- Servoz: Le Musée de l’Alpage and Le Musée du Lieutenant;
- Vallorcine: Le Musée de Barberine;
And further afield, you have . . .
- Sallanches: there is the excellent Le Centre de la Nature Montagnards (Le Château des Rubins) which has the P’tits Experts de la Nature workshops during the school holidays.
And even further afield, you have in . . .
- Martigny, Switzerland: the Fondation Pierre Giannada (temporary art exhibitions, permanent exhibition of sculptures in the lovely gardens, and a permanent collection of vintage cars and Roman artefacts) and the Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard (excellent for children);
- Geneva, Switzerland: Geneva has an incredible selection of museums, with excellent workshops for children on Wednesdays, weekends and during the holidays (Natural History Museum, MEG Ethnographic Museum, MAMCO Contemporary Art Museum, the MAH Museum of Art . . . to name a few) / many of Geneva’s museums are FREE on the FIRST SUNDAY of each month;
- Aosta Valley, Italy: and through the Mont Blanc tunnel and down the Aosta Valley is the impressive Forte di Bard! This impressive fortess was entirely renovated a few years back, and visitors can now make their way to the exhibitions and museums at the top of the fortress by way of a series of funiculaires! Not only do you get art and culture, but adventure en-route! The views from the top are amazing, there is a lovely café/restaurant . . . an absolute GEM!
Here is a list of Chamonix’s museums:
Housed in the magnificent old Chamonix Palace (one of the three original “palaces” in Chamonix), this lovely museum traces the history of the valley, from the very first tourists who came to admire the mountains and glaciers through to “Chamonix the centre of winter sports”. There is a great collection of prints, photos and mountaineering objects to take you on this trajectory. There is usually a temporary exhibition, so do look out for this too.
Open every day except Tuesday from 14h to 18h;
CLOSED on Tuesdays and exceptionally on 25th December, 1st January and 1st May;
School holidays: open from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 18h;
Guided tours: every Wednesday at 14h30 (with reservation);
Adults: 5.90 €;
Children: FREE for under 18s;
Reduced entrance: (Carte d’Hôte, residents, season workers, seniors, students, disabled): 4,50€;
89 av Michel Croz
Tel: +33 4 50 53 25
Parking: the nearest car park (paying) is the Parking du Mont Blanc;
See here for more details.
Espace Tairraz – Musée d’Alpinisme et des Cristaux
Daily from 14h to 18h (closed on 25th December);
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: open from 10h-12h and 14h-18h;
July and August: from 1st to 7th July, every day 10h-12h and 14h-18h; from 8th July, every day 10h-18h;
* Guided visits on Thursdays during the school holidays at 14h30 and at 16h30* – see FB page for more details;
Children: FREE for under 18s (with family);
Reduced entrance: (Carte d’Hôte, residents, season workers, seniors, students, disabled): 4,70€;
615 allée du Recteur Payot
Website: see here
Parking: the paying car park of St Michel is very convenient as you can take the lift straight to the entrance of the museum (great for a rainy day!).
Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine Janny Couttet
This little museum, nestled among the cafés, bars and restaurants of the rue des Moulins, houses the archives of Chamonix’s “patrimoine” (heritage archives). The building that houses the museum was originally a 19th century structure; this was renovated and inaugurated as a museum in 2012. There are changing exhibitions, with some lovely photographic displays.
every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 14h to 18h;
CLOSED on 1st January, 1st May and 25th December;
July and August: open from 10h to 13h and 14h to 18h:
Workshops for children/Guided visits: there are sometimes workshops for children over school holidays/guided visits for families (see here for more details);
Reduced entrance: (Carte d’Hôte, residents, season workers, seniors, students, disabled): 2,50€;
90 rue des Moulins
Tel: +33 4 50 54 78 955
Website: see here
Parking: the nearest paying car parks are St Michel and Mont Blanc;