At a glance
- Largest city: St. Gallen (43'000 inhabitants)
- Specialties: Appenzeller beaver, Appenzeller cheese, Schüblig, OLMA bratwurst, Rheintaler Ribel
- UNESCO World Heritage: Abbey District of St. Gallen, Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona
- Hotel industry: 459 hotels (8'948 rooms)
- Overnight stays/year: 1.9 million
Varied eastern switzerland
Regions such as Ticino, the Bernese Oberland, Valais and Graubünden may have a greater tourist appeal than eastern Switzerland, but the latter shines with a diversity and a wide range of landscapes that hardly any other Swiss region does.
At Lake Constance, for example, you can feel like you're in the Mediterranean in summer. Swimming, walking, and above all cycling along the beautiful cycle paths along the shore create an attitude to life full of freedom and light-heartedness. From the lake you can already see the hilly landscape of the Appenzellerland in the background. With the over 3,000-metre-high Ringelspitz in the Glarus Alps, the Hohen Kasten or the Säntis, there are also really big mountains in the region. Then there are cities such as St. Gallen, Schaffhausen or Rapperswil-Jona at the eastern end of Lake Zurich.
Swimming, skiing, hiking, city trips
As varied as nature is, so are the leisure activities in Eastern Switzerland: from the bathing fun at Lake Constance it is only a few kilometres to the hike at over 2,000 metres. The larger cities, above all St. Gallen with its Abbey District, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are also in the immediate vicinity.
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Eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein in summer
Full moon ride on the Säntis
From Säntis, at over 2,500 metres the highest peak in the Alpstein, six countries can be seen in good weather: Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany, France and Italy. At least as worth seeing is the visit to the mythical mountain at full moon: Every full moon evening you can take the Säntis cable car up to the summit and enjoy a full moon buffet accompanied by music. Definitely try it out!
Place: Schwägalp Säntis
By bike around Lake Constance
Lake Constance, surrounded by Switzerland, Austria and Germany, is considered one of the top pre-regions in Europe. There are numerous signposted cycle paths around the lake. From the challenging 165 km long circuit around the whole lake to shorter routes such as Konstanz - Insel Mainau - Konstanz (16 km), there is at least one suitable route for every performance level and every taste.
Place: Lake Constance
Ride with the legendary Älplibahn
The Älpli cable car in the region of Heidiland is a real insider tip: so much so that you even have to book in advance by telephone for a ride on the cable car built in the 1940s. Originally constructed for military purposes, the small cable car leads from Malans to the Malans Älpli. In a length of only 3.5 km, it overcomes 1,200 metres in altitude - more than any other Swiss cable car without an intermediate station. Once at the top, you can enjoy the view from the restaurant or go for a short hike.
Eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein in winter
FFUNESCO World Heritage Site Abbey District
The Abbey District of St. Gallen, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, is one of the most beautiful and largest monasteries in Switzerland. The monastery's own library is one of the oldest and richest in the world. From June 2020, if the Corona pandemic permits, a highly interesting exhibition entitled "Gallus and his monastery - 1400 years of cultural history" will open. The exhibition is dedicated to the rich, 1,400-year-old history of the abbey district.
Place: St. Gallen
Aviation and Vehicle Museum
The Altenrhein Aviation and Vehicle Museum is located on the grounds of St. Gallen Altenrhein Airport, just a few metres from the shore of Lake Constance and the Austrian border. It is the only museum in Europe where you can see aircraft that are still regularly in the air up close. Visitors can even take a seat in an original Hunter cockpit.
Drive a dog sled yourself
In Flumserberg you will become a sledge dog driver yourself. An experienced guide will introduce you to the world of huskies (sledge dogs) - after that it's off. You may lead your own dog team through the dreamlike winter landscape. One round is about 2.5 km long, the ride takes a quarter of an hour. For sporty guests there is even the possibility to go on a two-day trip with the huskies. This husky tour leads to the Spitzmeilenhütte (SAC), where you will stay overnight.
Places in Eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein
The small town of Appenzell has not even 6,000 inhabitants, but has an amazing amount to offer. Even the journey with the narrow-gauge railway of the Appenzeller Bahnen is a highlight. In the village itself, you should visit the Landsgemeindeplatz, where the traditional Landsgemeinde (rural community) is held on the last Sunday in April and has been since 1378. Other attractions are the church of St. Mauritius, built in 1513 and the Holy Cross Chapel from 1561. The Capuchin monasteries of St. Anthony Mary of the Angels are also extremely worth seeing.
When you visit Arbon on a beautiful summer's day, you sometimes forget that you have landed in the canton of Thurgau or at Lake Constance. The ambience in the small town has a very Mediterranean feel to it, especially if you stroll along the lake promenade or take a dip in Lake Constance to cool off. But also the medieval old town is worth seeing. Arbon Castle was first mentioned in 720. In August Arbon is transformed into a festival hut when the open-air "Summerdays Festival" takes place - directly on the lake, of course.
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Malbun lies at the end of the day of the same name in the east of Liechtenstein. Behind the mountains is already Austria. The village has been settled since the 13th century, when the Walser settled there. With 23 km of slopes, Malbun is the most important winter sports resort in Liechtenstein. In 1985 even Prince Charles and Princess Diana went skiing there. From spring to autumn, beautiful hiking routes such as the one to the Augstenberg (2,359 m) or the Galinakopf (2,198 m) attract visitors.
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