A Travel Price Comparison for France Saint-Etienne vs. Annecy for Food, Couples, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Saint-Etienne and Annecy. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne is a park-filled, industrial, and undiscovered city. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the hiking, museums, and nightlife.

Annecy

Annecy is a breathtaking, quaint, and storybook alpine town. You'll find plenty of local activities in this small town. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the food, hiking, and shopping.

Saint-Etienne and Annecy: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Annecy than Saint-Etienne, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Annecy is more touristy than Saint-Etienne and is known for its charming old town and its beautiful, lakefront, alpine setting. Also, Annecy is famous for Palais de l'Isle. Saint-Etienne is well known for its industrial and manufacturing past.

How is Saint-Etienne different from Annecy?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Annecy and Saint-Etienne. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Saint-Etienne and Annecy.

Saint-Etienne offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are several great museums in town including the Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, Musée de la Mine, Musée des Verts, and the planetarium.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Annecy. The old town and lakefront setting is what brings the tourists, but there are several unique landmarks around town as well. Palais de l'Île is the most photographed spot in the old town. Also worth visiting are Musée-Château d'Annecy, Eglise Saint-Maurice, and Cathédrale Saint-Pierre.


Is the Food Better in Saint-Etienne or Annecy? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is an amazing alpine town to visit for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Eat your way through Annecy, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Fresh caught fish and local French specialties make this town a wonderful culinary destination. The old town is filled with restaurants, cafes, and markets where you can enjoy local ingredients. There are many local dishes to try with some of the most popular being Tartiflette, Raclette, and Gratin de crozets. Fondue is also popular. You'll find cheese is a common component in many dishes.

Saint-Etienne may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Try the many local cheeses which are a defining part of the cuisine in the area. You'll find some local restaurants around town where you can sample local flavors.

Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy Better for Nightlife?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

The vibe at night is notable in both Saint-Etienne and Annecy.

If you're looking for night time activities Saint-Etienne has a few options to choose from. The nightlife is centered around sipping wine or visiting one of the clubs in town.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Annecy. There are bars and pubs to visit with one of the most popular bar-hopping streets being Rue Sainte-Claire.

Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy Better for its Old Town?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is an amazing alpine town to visit for its old town. However, Saint-Etienne does not have a historic old town.

Annecy offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. This is among the most beautiful old towns in Europe. It sits along the banks of Lake Annecy and the water integrates beautifully into the setting.

Saint-Etienne does not have a historic old town.


Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy Better for Hiking?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is great for hiking. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Annecy for the hiking trails. There are a range of hikes just out of town that cover all ability levels. There are flat, waterfront strolls as well as more strenuous mountain treks. La Tournette is one of the most famous hikes in the area. Other options include Circuit des 3 Croix de Sevrier and Gorges du Fier.

Saint-Etienne is a good destination for hiking. You'll find several great hikes just outside of town. It's a great way to experience the surrounding countryside.

Is the Shopping Better in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is a good destination for its shopping opportunities. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for its shopping areas.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Annecy. Three times a week you can check out the Old Town Market. Another popular shopping street is Rue Royale.

Saint-Etienne has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. Shopping malls and several boutique shopping areas make up the city's shopping scene.

Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy Better for Families?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Annecy is very family-friendly. Families can enjoy getting out on the lake by renting a boat or going for a swim. Check out Wibit Water Park or let the kids play at Leisure Center Orange Montisel. There's also a great playground for kids right by the waterfront. Hiking and exploring are also fun for the whole family.

Saint-Etienne is a family-friendly place to visit. There are several kid-friendly museums as well as plenty of natural settings just outside of town. Your kids can run around and stretch their legs nearby at Crest of the Partridge or on a rainy day, the planetarium is a fun place to visit.


Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy Better for Couples?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is an amazing alpine town to visit for its romantic activities. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for couples.

Annecy is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. It's a romantic French mountain town with beautiful scenery and a wonderful lake. Couples can enjoy outdoor activities or wandering through one of the best old towns in the region. The beauty and natural setting make this a wonderful couples destination.

Saint-Etienne is not always the best place to visit for a couple. There are museums, parks, gardens, and beautiful architecture that make this a wonderful place for couples.

Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is a good destination for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Annecy. It's a world class mountain destination that attracts families and vacationers, but there aren't as many hostels around town as backpackers would like.

Saint-Etienne is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the backpacker trail, but there are hostels and plenty of activities to enjoy.

Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Saint-Etienne and Annecy both offer notable public transit to get you around.

While Saint-Etienne offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are tram and bus options available in town.

Annecy has a few public transit options. The Sibra public transport system offers buses that travel through Annecy and around the lake, stopping at many towns along the way.


Is Saint-Etienne or Annecy a more walkable city?

Saint-Etienne
Annecy

Annecy is great for its high level of walkability. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its ease of walking around.

Annecy is a very walkable alpine town. The old town is filled with pedestrian streets that are perfect to explore on foot.

Saint-Etienne is a somewhat walkable city. There are several walkable areas in the city.

For even more information, also check out Is Saint-Etienne Worth Visiting? and Is Annecy Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Annecy or Saint-Etienne?

How long in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

It's fun to spend time in either Saint-Etienne or Annecy. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Annecy due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Saint-Etienne, and 2-4 days is enough time in Annecy.

Families should spend more time in Annecy than Saint-Etienne. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Annecy, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Annecy than Saint-Etienne. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Annecy that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Annecy than Saint-Etienne if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Annecy.


  • How many days in Saint-Etienne or Annecy? Ideal Length of Stay
    Saint-Etienne 1-2 
    Annecy 2-4

One day in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Saint-Etienne. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

Even though Annecy is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Don't miss the food, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Saint-Etienne is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Annecy. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the food, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.


Five days in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Saint-Etienne. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Annecy is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This alpine town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

A week in Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and museums when visiting the historic destination of Saint-Etienne. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Annecy is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Paris, The Best 10-Day Tours from Paris, The Best 2-Week Tours from Paris, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to France.


Which place is cheaper, Annecy or Saint-Etienne?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint-Etienne is €108, while the average daily cost in Annecy is €178. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Saint-Etienne and Annecy in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint-Etienne 46
    Annecy 92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint-Etienne 92
    Annecy 184
Compare Hotels in Saint-Etienne and Annecy

Looking for a hotel in Saint-Etienne or Annecy? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Saint-Etienne


Hotels in Annecy


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Annecy Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint-Etienne 44
    Annecy 37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Annecy

Also for Annecy, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private transfer from Geneva airport to Annecy: $294

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Prices for flights to both Annecy and Saint-Etienne change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Saint-Etienne 34
    Annecy 58

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Annecy

For Annecy, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Annecy Traditional Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience : $104
  • All Inclusive Food Tour of Annecy Old Town with Local Guide: $148
  • Private Market Tour and Modern French Cooking and Meal with a Local in Annecy: $200
  • Private Walking Food Tour: $369

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint-Etienne 25
    Annecy 41

Tours and Activities in Annecy

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Annecy.

  • ANNECY | Private Walking Tour of Annecy's Historical Center: $201
  • Annecy 2-Hour Segway Tour: $64
  • Annecy Segway Tour - 1h: $44
  • Annecy Segway Tour - 1h30: $54
  • Annecy Segway Tour - 2h: $65
  • 1-Hour Segway Discovery Tour: $43
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.41
  • City Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $5.35
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Private Guided Walking Tour: $335
  • Self-Guided Walking Tour with Smartphone App: $12
  • Traditional Food Group Walking Tour: $102

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint-Etienne 10
    Annecy 34

Sample the Local Flavors in Annecy

Also in Annecy, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Wine Tour with private driver: $851


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint-Etienne and Annecy, we can see that Annecy is more expensive. And not only is Saint-Etienne much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Saint-Etienne would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint-Etienne and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Annecy would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Annecy than you might in Saint-Etienne.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Saint-Etienne Expensive? and Is Annecy Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Saint-Etienne has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Annecy. When comparing the sizes of Saint-Etienne and Annecy, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Saint-Etienne or Annecy?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Saint-Etienne or Annecy in the Summer?

Both Annecy and Saint-Etienne are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Saint-Etienne for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Annecy in the summer for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

Saint-Etienne is around the same temperature as Annecy in the summer. The daily temperature in Saint-Etienne averages around 22°C (71°F) in July, and Annecy fluctuates around 22°C (71°F).

It's quite sunny in Annecy. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Saint-Etienne. Saint-Etienne usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Annecy during summer. Saint-Etienne gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Annecy receives 285 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Saint-Etienne usually receives around the same amount of rain as Annecy. Saint-Etienne gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Annecy receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Saint-Etienne 22°C (71°F) 
    Annecy 22°C (71°F)

Should I visit Saint-Etienne or Annecy in the Autumn?

Both Annecy and Saint-Etienne during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Saint-Etienne in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Annecy for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Saint-Etienne is around the same temperature as Annecy. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Saint-Etienne in October average around 14°C (56°F), and Annecy averages at about 14°C (56°F).

In the autumn, Saint-Etienne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Annecy. Saint-Etienne gets 127 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Annecy receives 127 hours of full sun.

Saint-Etienne usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Annecy. Saint-Etienne gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Annecy receives 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Saint-Etienne 14°C (56°F) 
    Annecy 14°C (56°F)

Should I visit Saint-Etienne or Annecy in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Saint-Etienne and Annecy. Most visitors come to Saint-Etienne for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Annecy because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Annecy can be very cold. Saint-Etienne can be very cold during winter. In January, Saint-Etienne is generally around the same temperature as Annecy. Daily temperatures in Saint-Etienne average around 4°C (39°F), and Annecy fluctuates around 4°C (39°F).

Saint-Etienne usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Annecy during winter. Saint-Etienne gets 62 hours of sunny skies, while Annecy receives 62 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Saint-Etienne usually receives around the same amount of rain as Annecy. Saint-Etienne gets 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Annecy receives 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Saint-Etienne 4°C (39°F) 
    Annecy 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Saint-Etienne or Annecy in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Saint-Etienne as well as Annecy. The spring months attract visitors to Saint-Etienne because of the natural beauty. Additionally, the small town charm and the natural beauty are the main draw to Annecy this time of year.

Saint-Etienne is around the same temperature as Annecy in the spring. The daily temperature in Saint-Etienne averages around 11°C (53°F) in April, and Annecy fluctuates around 11°C (53°F).

In the spring, Saint-Etienne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Annecy. Saint-Etienne gets 174 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Annecy receives 174 hours of full sun.

Saint-Etienne usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Annecy. Saint-Etienne gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Annecy receives 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Saint-Etienne 11°C (53°F) 
    Annecy 11°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Annecy and Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne Annecy
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 55 mm (2.1 in) 4°C (39°F) 55 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 6°C (42°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 11°C (53°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 11°C (53°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 85 mm (3.4 in) 15°C (60°F) 85 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 75 mm (3 in) 19°C (66°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Jul 22°C (71°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 22°C (71°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 21°C (70°F) 75 mm (3 in) 21°C (70°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Sep 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in) 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Oct 14°C (56°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 14°C (56°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Nov 8°C (46°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 8°C (46°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Dec 4°C (40°F) 57 mm (2.3 in) 4°C (40°F) 57 mm (2.3 in)