Welcoming visitors to Annecy’s Old Town, the 12th-century Palais de l’Isle (also known as Palais de I’lle) sits right in the middle of Canal du Thiou on a prow-shaped islet between colorful canal-side streets. Over the years, the landmark building has served as a courthouse, mint, prison, military barrack, and ducal residence.
Annecy’s atmospheric Old Town (La Vieille Ville) is best explored on a walking tour, combining a visit to the Palais de l’Isle with other Annecy attractions such as the Château d’Annecy, Pont des Amours, and Annecy Cathedral. The historic landmark can also be admired on a cruise around Lake Annecy (Lac d’Annecy), visited on a half-day tour from nearby Geneva, or seen on a full-day excursion including a sightseeing tour of Geneva and an optional Geneva Lake cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Palais de l’Isle is a must-visit for anyone interested in history or architecture.
- Combination tickets are available for the Palais de l’Isle and Château d’Annecy.
- This destination is not wheelchair accessible.
- Some cobblestone streets may be uneven; wear comfortable shoes and watch your step.
How to Get There
The Palais de l’Isle is located along the Passage de l'Île in the center of Annecy’s pedestrianized Old Town. It can be reached on foot from anywhere in the city center. Although public transit does not run through the area, there is a parking lot at 10 Place Georges Volland from where it’s a short walk to the palais.
When to Get There
The Palais de l’Isle is open year-round, although entry times vary seasonally and it is closed on Tuesdays. The narrow streets of Old Town can get busy in July and August, so the best photo opportunities are in the early morning or in the evening after the day-trippers have left.
A Tour of the Palais d’Isle
As well as being Annecy’s most photographed landmark, the Palais de l’Isle serves as a museum with permanent exhibits on the history and architecture of the region, as well as a rotating display of local art. Other areas of the historic landmark that are open to the public include the Banches and Coin Mint wings, and the Tower Lodge.