A Travel Price Comparison for France Saint-Etienne vs. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc for Hiking, Couples, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. 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 authentic, historic, and park-filled city. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the hiking, museums, and nightlife.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a awe-inspiring, epic, and majestic mountain town. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the hiking, skiing, and nightlife.

Saint-Etienne and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Mont Blanc


Is there more to do in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc than Saint-Etienne, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is better known for its skiing, food, nightlife, resorts, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Saint-Etienne is more popular for its museums and shopping. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is more touristy than Saint-Etienne and is known for its world famous skiing, stunning natural beauty, and access to Mont Blanc. Also, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is famous for Mont Blanc. Saint-Etienne is well known for its industrial and manufacturing past.

Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc

How is Saint-Etienne different from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Skiing?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is an amazing mountain town to visit for skiing. However, Saint-Etienne is not a skiing destination.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a top destination for snow skiing, and it attracts visitors from around the world. It is one of the most famous and best ski areas in the world. There are 5 ski resorts in the area (Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent) and many options for expert skiers. You can take the Aiguille du Midi cable car from the middle of town to the top of the 3840 meter peak.

Saint-Etienne is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Saint-Etienne is a good destination for its museums and history. However, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc does not have museums and landmarks.

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.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is great for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Regional food is wonderful and hearty, making for a great energy boost for all of your hiking or skiing. Dishes often include a lot of cream and cheese as well as local meats and potatoes. Local specialties include Crozets (buckwheat pasta), Fondue, and Galette des Rois (cake).

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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Nightlife?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is great for nightlife and partying. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its evening party scene.

Many people head to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc for the nightlife scene. The town offers a great après-ski scene with many places to grab a drink or listen to live music. It's a tourist area with many young and adventurous vacationers who are out to have a good time.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Saint-Etienne. The nightlife is centered around sipping wine or visiting one of the clubs in town.


Is Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Resorts?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is an amazing mountain town to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Saint-Etienne is not a resort destination.

Vacationers flock to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc for its luxury resorts. The region has 5 ski resorts (Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent), making it an excellent ski destination.

Saint-Etienne is not a resort destination.

Is Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Hiking?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is an amazing mountain town to visit for hiking. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for the nearby hiking options.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is well-known for its hiking and trekking. Filled with panoramic views and breathtaking natural scenes, the hiking is among the best in the world. Some of the best hikes in the area include Plan de l'Aiguille - Montenvers Train Mer de Glace, Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve Hiking, and any of the "Glacier Views" Hikes.

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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Saint-Etienne is a decent place to visit for its shopping opportunities. However, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

If you're looking to go shopping, Saint-Etienne has some nice offerings. Shopping malls and several boutique shopping areas make up the city's shopping scene.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Families?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is very family-friendly. The mountains are the perfect playground for families. Kids will love the gondolas, chairlifts, and kid-friendly hikes that take them over rocks and to spectacular viewpoints. This is the perfect addition to a European family vacation.

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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Couples?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is an amazing mountain town to visit for its romantic activities. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for couples.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Nature-lovers, skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts will love a couples vacation to Chamonix. The setting is romantic and filled with adventures for thrill-seekers.

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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is great for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. You'll find a nice selection of hostels with affordable dorms and fun atmospheres.

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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is an amazing mountain town to visit for times when you don't have a car. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its public transit.

Public transit in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is top-notch. It's easy to explore the region by public transport. There are buses and trains available, most of which are free with a local transport card.

Saint-Etienne has a few public transit options. There are tram and bus options available in town.

Is Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc a more walkable city?

Saint-Etienne
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a very walkable mountain town. It's generally walkable and there are plenty of walking trails outside of town.

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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or Saint-Etienne?

How long in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Both Saint-Etienne and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc than in Saint-Etienne. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Saint-Etienne, and 4-7 days is enough time in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.


  • How many days in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc? Ideal Length of Stay
    Saint-Etienne 1-2 
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 4-7

One day in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

In Saint-Etienne, many people enjoy the nightlife and museums that this destination offers. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the food and skiing when visiting the spectacular destination of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Many people visit Saint-Etienne for a weekend. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Saint-Etienne, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Five days in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

The destination of Saint-Etienne offers nightlife and museums. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the epic destination of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This mountain town offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A week in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Saint-Etienne. This city offers something for everyone. One week 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.

Many travelers enjoy the food and skiing when visiting the beautiful mountain town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. 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, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is €235. 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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint-Etienne 46
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 90
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint-Etienne 92
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 180
Compare Hotels in Saint-Etienne and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Looking for a hotel in Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc? 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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc


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: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint-Etienne 44
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Also for Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer Chamonix and Morzine to Milan Malpensa Airport: $229
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chamonix to Milan Airport: $170
  • Courmayeur Ski Club to Linate Airport (LIN) - Departure Transfer: $161
  • Courmayeur, Italy to Malpensa Airport (MXP) - Departure Private Transfer: $153
  • Chamonix-Morzine-Avoriaz to Geneva Airport GVA-Departure Transfer: $147
  • Courmayeur to Milan Malpensa Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $136
  • Chamonix (FR) to Geneva Airport (GVA)- Departure Private Transfer: $131
  • Courmayeur to Turin Caselle Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $87
  • Chamonix to Turin Caselle Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $71

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Prices for flights to both Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

For Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Private Food Tour in Chamonix: $444

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint-Etienne 25
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 80

Tours and Activities in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

For Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Altitude experience above Chamonix by eBike: $299
  • Bespoke Private Chamonix Experience: $218
  • Chamonix: Private Guided Walking Tour: $308
  • Fly in Paragliding! Paragliding experience over Chamonix!: $171
  • From Geneva: Chamonix Mont-Blanc Private Guided Tour: $427
  • Geneva: Private Chamonix Mont Blanc Day Tour: $553
  • Live an eBike Mountain Bike Experience in the Heart of Chamonix Mont-Blanc: $217
  • Monte Bianco Skyway Experience : $143
  • On an adventure with Rosalie - Nancy-sur-Cluses: $5.46

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint-Etienne 10
    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 9.64

Sample the Local Flavors in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Also in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Wine Tour with private driver - 10 hours: $910


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint-Etienne and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, we can see that Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Saint-Etienne or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc?

Saint-Etienne has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. When comparing the sizes of Saint-Etienne and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, 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.