Where exactly is the Chamonix Town Centre?
I was confused, like most travelers as to where exactly is the Chamonix ski resort and is this place on the map, Chamonix Mont Blanc somewhere close by or is it the same place? Where indeed is the town centre for the resort of Chamonix.
Isn't this building, the la Mairie, just lovely. The town centre has retained its charming olde-world French character.
It's a little confusing because the world class ski resort of Chamonix is in fact a collection of little villages, each of which services an extensive ski region. The ski resort of Chamonix, France is in fact a commune of villages with the largest commercial centre at the township of Chamonix Mont Blanc.
This town is about a little more than half way down the valley from the Swiss border and quite close to the entrance to the Mont Blanc Tunnel.
Whilst the other villages in the valley are lovely and have their own charm, there's no question, Chamonix Mont Blanc is the happening place for Apres' activities with lovely tea houses, coffee shops, fine dining restaurants, a lively bustling atmosphere and fabulous shopping catering for the very high end shoppers and most of it is located close to or around the Chamonix town centre at Place Balmat, Chamonix Mont Blanc. The town square is centered around the large Post Office building.
The centre of town is unquestionably the most attractive with buildings having retained their old world charm, with clever 3-D trompeil paintings on buildings, lovely stores and a busy, cheery atmosphere along the pedestrian only paved mall of Rue du Docteur Paccard which runs through to Place Balmat.
Place Balmat, Town Centre, Chamonix Mont Blanc
You'll find this fountain at Place Balmat, at the main square in the town centre. The fountain celebrates Jacques Balmat who with Paccard, were the first men to conquer Mont Blanc.
You'll find that the best stores, restaurants, cafes, clubs are in this charming section of town, situated north of the River L'Arve. Here's just some of the wonderful retail stores in the town centre.
Chamonix - The Bustling Town Centre
Bus and Train Stops
The Chamonix Town Centre is well serviced for free public transport being close to the Chamonix Sud train stop, several stops for the free shuttle, the "Mulet" and the free buses for skiers is just a street away along Allee Recteur Payot.
Located conveniently at the end of the pedestrian mall Rue du Docteur Paccard is the secondary train stop, Chamonix Sud, which takes you to the Le Gare or the main train station which would otherwise be a 10 to 15 minute walk away.
The bus hub for the Ski Bus, is just a street behind close to the Tourist Office.
Just as conveniently, stops for the little village shuttle, the "Le Mulet" are on the bridge just at the end of the pedestrian mall, close to the train stop, Chamonix Sud.
There's another stop at the Casino.
Outdoor Fun At the Main Square
As this area gets the sun most of the day in winter, it is simply delightful to sit out on the square at one of the coffee shops. When the World Cup Downhill championships are held at Les Houches, the outdoor parties, entertainment and demonstrations with live music are held here, at the main square, Place Balmat.
Luxury Hotel Les Alpes
Right in the Town Centre
If you want to be where it's happening in the resort, you'll find it at the Chamonix Town Centre.
More to help with orientation: