Destinations and sights in North-Eastern Switzerland


North-Eastern Switzerland - Lakes, hills and mountains

Eastern Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein are embedded between the lake of Constance (Bodensee) and the alps. This region offers a wide variety of holiday and excursion opportunities. Behind the lake, you can enjoy soft hills and gentle valleys, powerful snowy mountains with cable cars and hiking trails as well as skiing resorts such as the seven Churfisten.

In Thurgau, admire the apple plantations on the green hills as far as the eye can reach. Lovely vineyards in the Canton of Schaffhausen, exceptional embroidery and ancient manuscripts in St-Gallen or pure nature on a Belle Epoque paddle wheel ship on a lake await you. A special cruise starts at the famous roaring Rhine falls and takes you upstream to the lake of Constance. Families are most welcome everywhere, especially in Malbun and the Toggenburg mountain valley. You might enjoy going further up the Rhine valley from St-Gallen to see the Principality of Liechtenstein with its castle where the prince of Habsburg still resides, and eventually end up at Heidi-Land, lake Walensee or lake Zurich. We invite you for a trip across eastern Switzerland – come with us and get inspired.

The two cantons Appenzell

Welcome to this very special mountain region. Surrounded by tall mountains, it is a hilly countryside on a high plateau. Decorative houses, ancient traditional costumes and traditions like the Springtime ascension of the cows to the high pasture and the Autumn descent offer picturesque events. Here, tradition is not an empty word; the locals are passionate about it. For them, the world is still fine as they live in their delightful wooden houses. The very joyful folkloric music is quite special, different from other regions of Switzerland. And the locals are famous for their wit. There are even two trails where you can wander from one joke to the next. And who doesn’t know the famous Appenzeller cheese! In Stein, a demonstration factory offers you a unique occasion to discover some of their manufacturing secrets.

Herisau: The canton of Appenzell is split into two semi-cantons. Herisau is he capital of Outer Appenzell and has maintained the spirit of a village. Come and discover the charming streets, the delightful alleyways. South of the city is the Säntis mountain with its cable car or hiking trail if you feel climbing its 2503 m high (some 8250 feet). In the city of Urnäsch, as they still live by the Julian calendar, they celebrate New Year twice a year, on the 1st and on the 13th of January. Then, frightening characters haunt the streets.

Appenzell City: Appenzell city is he capital of Inner Appenzell. The mixture of tradition, sense of identity and innovation has generated many ideas and products, which have carried the name of Appenzell beyond its borders. In the center of the old town, cars are banned. So you can admire the painted houses undisturbed. In them, you can read their alp farming, religious and cultural lifestyle. Meet the cordiality of the locals and their genuine culinary products with one of our guides!

Glarus

What is so fascinating in the landscape of Glarus? If you have been there once, you’ll know it. Anyhow, the multiple facets you discover will impress you. With relevance, this little canton is also called Zigerschlitz, the crack of the Schabziger cheese (Sapsago). For more than 1’200 years, this kind of dried ricotta with very spicy herbs is produced in the narrow valley. When you come from the Linth plain in the north, you find yourself facing a narrow valley encircled by mountains. The Linth and the Sernf valleys are framed by massifs like the Glärnisch (2332 m), the Magerrain (2524 m), the Hausstock (3158 m) and Piz Sardona (3056 m). As the writer Carl Spitteler has so nicely celebrated, the Sernf or Klön valley with its mountain lake is «so beautiful that no dream could guess it». This valley holds the most famous geological sites of the Alps, the Lochsite. On the shore of the lake Walen and on the Kerenzen, remains of Roman houses have been discovered. Glarus also owns the oldest hunting domain of Switzerland and has become the most recent member of the UNESCO world heritage list. This grants you a fully natural and authentic region. In the country of Glarus, they still practice the tradition of the Landsgemeinde, the council of citizens in a public square. The touristic spots of Braunwald, Elm and Näfels are also very prized.

Glarus – the capital of the canton

After a huge fire in 1861, the town has been totally rebuilt in a check pattern, a rare model in Switzerland. The town hall and the neoromanesque church are worth a glance. The Reformer Huldrych Zwingli worked in this progressive church before being called to Zurich. Near the public park you will find the Kunsthaus or Art Museum and near the Südeck the Suworow Museum. A visit is a must in any case.

St. Gallen - St-Gallen, between Lake Constance and Alpine summits

The canton of St-Gallen is surrounded by three countries: Germany in the north, Austria and the Principality of Lichtenstein in the east. Parts of the lakes of Constance, Walen and Zurich are in the canton. Lake Constance is shared by Switzerland, Austria and Germany, which holds the biggest portion; Lake Walen is shared by St-Gallen and Glarus; the lake of Zurich is mainly bordered by the canton of Zurich, but also by St-Gallen and Schwyz. The mountain chain to the east of Bad Ragaz stands as a symbol of the Toggenburg. Hot thermal waters spout in the Tamina gorge near Bad Ragaz. The little and the big Heidi Path start from the nearby train station of Maienfeld, and take you from one discovery to the next.

St-Gallen – the metropolis of oriental Switzerland

The abbatial church and its adjacent library have brought the city to worldwide fame. The old town is just magnificent. The splendid gables decorate the many smart bourgeois houses. In the Middle Ages, St-Gallen cloth was much prized and expensive. Today, famous creators such as Armani, Versace and Gucci buy their material here. The abbatial library of St-Gallen is today listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The abbey church itself magnanimously overlooks the center of the city, whereas the not less famous library modestly hides in the cloister. It is considered as the most beautiful late baroque library hall of Europe. The city also holds a textile museum, which, among others, shows embroideries of the 14th century.

Schaffhausen - Welcome in the Pinot noir country

Schaffhausen – magic city with its 171 corbels – the Munot, eternally useless: The Munot tower is the unrivalled landmark of Schaffhausen. It was built for eternity and has yet never been used as a fortress. Discover the city of Schaffhausen with its painted facades, corbels and alleyways.

The Rhine Falls – the biggest of Europe: The primitive force of water shows itself here on the biggest waterfall of Europe. Learn more about geology, cleansing of rocks, river fishing, and exploitation of waterpower, navigable streams and tourism in the 19th century.

Stein am Rhein: This little town is a jewel on the lower part of the lake of Constance and the Rhine, a pearl of a little city. Its charm dates from the Middle Ages and enchants visitors immediately. Let yourself be taken back to the Middle Ages by one of our guides!

Thurgau

In the northeast corner of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Constance, lapped by the river Thur, is the canton Thurgau. One of its cultural jewels is no doubt the Carthusian monastery of Ittingen, an ancient monastery in the middle of vineyards. The wonderful site has been transformed into a seminary and meeting center and it hosts the art museum of the canton.

Thurgau is also rich in castles and fortified houses. The little commune of Salenstein alone counts five of them. The most famous is the castle Arenenberg in which Napoleon III spent his youth. Its museum opens a window on his life and actions as French emperor.

Frauenfeld

It is the capital of the canton, the regional center and a little city with national radiance. The gently undulating countryside surrounds it with its romantic vineyards, forests, lakes, ponds, streams and rivers, its natural sanctuaries of national importance and a unique holiday region.

On the sandstone rocks, the rebel castle overlooks the city center and the river Murg. Since 1960, a remarkable building hosts the historical museum of Thurgau. At the brewery of Frauenfeld, you can not only taste beers, but experience the whole diversity of the beer world. The demonstration brewery gives free access on 4 floors. Explanatory plaques tell the story which unfolds before your eyes.

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