Welcome to St. Gallen, a charming city tucked away in the northeastern part of Switzerland that boasts breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. From its stunning cathedrals and abbeys to its impressive museums and serene parks, there are countless things to see and do in this picturesque destination.
Whether you’re a history buff, art lover or nature enthusiast, St. Gallen has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and let’s explore the top 10 must-see attractions in St. Gallen together!
St Gallen Cathedral
St. Gallen Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. Gallus and St. Otmar, is a stunning example of Baroque architecture that dominates the skyline of St. Gallen’s Old Town district.
Constructed in the 18th century by architect Johann Michael Beer, this grand cathedral features intricate detailing and ornate decorations both inside and out. Visitors can admire its impressive façade adorned with statues of saints and angels, while the interior boasts a richly decorated ceiling fresco depicting scenes from Saint Gallus’ life.
One of the highlights of a visit to St. Gallen Cathedral is its magnificent organ – one of the largest in Switzerland – which dates back to 1792 and has been expertly restored over time.
For those interested in history or religion, there are guided tours available that provide fascinating insights into this iconic structure’s past, including details about its connection to nearby St. Gallen Abbey.
Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful place to reflect and take in some beautiful scenery, St. Gallen Cathedral is not to be missed during your visit to this charming Swiss city!
St Gallen Abbey
The St Gallen Abbey is one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in the city. Built-in 719 AD, this magnificent structure has been an integral part of St Gallen’s history for centuries. With its stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage, it offers a fascinating insight into the spiritual traditions of Switzerland.
As you step inside this awe-inspiring abbey, you will be immediately struck by its grandeur. The intricate stonework on the walls and ceilings adds to its beauty and magnificence. It is also home to some of the finest examples of medieval art in Switzerland.
The library at St Gallen Abbey is a must-visit attraction for book lovers. Its collection comprises over 170,000 books dating back to ancient times. Among them are many priceless manuscripts such as a copy of Virgil’s Aeneid from around 820 AD.
A visit to this incredible site would not be complete without seeing the fantastic frescoes that adorn its walls. These vivid paintings depict scenes from biblical stories and provide visitors with a glimpse into life during medieval times.
Whether you’re interested in history or simply looking for an impressive architectural marvel, St Gallen Abbey should be on your list of things to see and do while visiting St Gallen!
The Old City
Nestled in the heart of St Gallen, The Old City is a picturesque area that will take you back in time. With its cobbled streets and charming buildings, you can easily spend hours exploring this historic neighborhood.
One of the highlights of The Old City is the Abbey District. Here, you’ll find the stunning St Gallen Cathedral and Abbey Library – both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Marvel at the intricate architecture and ornate decorations as you wander through these magnificent structures.
The Marktgasse is another must-visit spot in The Old City. This bustling street is lined with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants – perfect for a leisurely stroll or quick bite to eat. Don’t forget to look up at the colorful facades above!
For an even deeper dive into history, head over to Kornhausplatz square where you’ll find buildings dating back to medieval times. Take a moment to appreciate how much has changed (and stayed the same!) since then.
Visiting The Old City is like taking a step back in time while still enjoying modern conveniences. It’s no wonder it’s one of St Gallen’s top attractions!
The Market Square
The Market Square in St Gallen is a bustling hub of activity, surrounded by beautiful historical buildings and lined with vendors selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. It’s the perfect place to soak up some local culture and pick up unique souvenirs.
One of the highlights of the market square is the weekly farmers’ market, held every Saturday morning. Here you can browse stalls piled high with colorful fruits and vegetables, sample local cheeses and meats, and chat with friendly vendors about their wares.
But even if you’re not visiting on a Saturday, there’s still plenty to see at the Market Square. Take a stroll around the perimeter to admire the ornate facades of historic buildings like City Hall and the Waaghaus.
And don’t forget to look down – embedded into the cobblestones are brass plates marking out an ancient measurement system used for trading goods in centuries past.
Whether you’re looking for delicious snacks or unique gifts, or just want to take in some of St Gallen’s rich history and architecture, a visit to The Market Square is definitely worth your time during your trip!
The Art Museum
The Art Museum in St Gallen is a must-visit for any art enthusiast traveling to the city. The museum boasts an impressive collection of contemporary art, including works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
One of the standout pieces at the Art Museum is a massive installation titled “Bickering Children” by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. The artwork features two large screens suspended from the ceiling that display footage of children arguing and playing. Visitors can walk through the exhibit, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds.
Another noteworthy feature of this museum is its commitment to showcasing emerging artists. In addition to its permanent collection, it hosts rotating exhibitions featuring up-and-coming talent in various mediums.
Visitors can also take advantage of guided tours or attend one of many workshops held throughout the year. Whether you’re an avid art lover or simply looking for something unique to do in St Gallen, a visit to this museum should definitely be on your itinerary!
The Textile Museum
The Textile Museum in St Gallen is a fascinating attraction for anyone interested in the history of textiles and fashion. The museum showcases an impressive collection of fabrics, lace, embroidery, and garments from different eras.
Visitors can learn about the traditional methods used to produce these textiles and how they were used in everyday life. The displays are thoughtfully curated, with informative descriptions that offer insights into the various techniques employed.
One of the highlights of the museum is its extensive collection of Swiss lace. Pieces dating back centuries are on display alongside more modern examples. It’s incredible to see how this craft has evolved over time while retaining its intricate beauty.
The museum also offers temporary exhibitions that explore contemporary textile art and design trends. These exhibits provide visitors with an opportunity to view cutting-edge works by emerging artists from around the world.
The Textile Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about Switzerland’s rich textile heritage. There’s something here for everyone – whether you’re a seasoned collector or simply intrigued by beautiful fabrics!
The Natural History Museum
Located in the heart of St Gallen, The Natural History Museum is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. This museum houses an extensive collection of exhibits that showcase the flora, fauna and geological formations of Switzerland.
The museum’s permanent exhibition features a wide range of interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about different ecosystems found in Switzerland, including alpine regions, wetlands and forests. It also has several specimens on display such as extinct animals like mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses and cave bears.
One exciting exhibit at the Natural History Museum is their mineralogy section which showcases various types of minerals such as quartz crystals from Swiss mines and meteorites. There are also sections dedicated to fossils where you can view dinosaur bones and ancient sea creatures.
The museum offers guided tours which provide visitors with deeper insights into each exhibit while catering to all age groups. The Natural History Museum is an excellent place for anyone interested in learning more about Switzerland’s natural heritage.
The Stadtgarten in St Gallen is a beautiful park located near the city center. It’s an ideal place for nature lovers and those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The park boasts a variety of flora with well-manicured gardens, walkways, ponds, fountains, and benches where visitors can relax amid the greenery. There are also plenty of open spaces where people can play sports or have picnics.
One of the highlights of Stadtgarten is its collection of sculptures that add artistic flair to the lush surroundings. Visitors can take their time strolling around while admiring these works of art.
During summer evenings, locals flock here for open-air concerts which create a lively atmosphere throughout the park.
Stadtgarten offers something for everyone – whether it’s relaxing on a bench with a good book or getting some exercise by playing frisbee or football – making it one of St Gallen’s must-visit spots!
The Abbey Library
The Abbey Library in St Gallen is a must-visit for any book lover or history enthusiast. This impressive library dates back to the 8th century and houses over 170,000 books and manuscripts, including some of the oldest texts in Europe.
Walking into the library feels like stepping back in time, as you are surrounded by ancient wooden shelves filled with beautifully preserved books. The intricate baroque architecture adds to the grandeur of this stunning space.
One of the most famous works found here is the St. Gallen Planetary Codex, which contains illustrations of planets that pre-date those made by Galileo. Another highlight is the Gospel Book from around AD 780, one of only a handful from this period still in existence.
It’s easy to spend hours browsing through these treasures, but visitors should also take note of the impressive frescoes on display which depict scenes from saints’ lives as well as allegories.
Whether you’re a bibliophile or just fascinated by history and culture, visiting The Abbey Library should definitely be on your list when exploring all that St Gallen has to offer.
St. Laurenzen Kirche
St. Laurenzen Kirche is one of the oldest churches in St Gallen, Switzerland. The church was originally built in the 12th century and has undergone several renovations over time to become what it is today.
The interior of the church boasts beautiful artwork, including stained glass windows that depict scenes from the New Testament. The ceiling frescoes are particularly stunning with their intricate designs and vibrant colors.
Visitors can enjoy guided tours of St. Laurenzen Kirche where they will learn about its history and significance within the community. It’s a peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and take in some spirituality.
One unique feature of this church is its location on top of a hill overlooking the city center, providing breathtaking views for those who climb up to visit it. It’s worth taking some time to sit outside on a sunny day and soak in the scenery while contemplating life’s mysteries.
Whether you’re religious or not, St. Laurenzen Kirche is definitely worth checking out during your trip to St Gallen – if only for its historical importance and impressive architecture alone!
Lake Constance is a freshwater lake that borders Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It’s one of Europe’s largest lakes and attracts visitors from around the world with its stunning scenery and range of activities.
The lake offers something for everyone: swimming, boating, fishing, hiking trails along its shores or in nearby mountains. The water is crystal clear and perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day.
Visitors can also explore the charming towns and picturesque villages that dot the shoreline. Meersburg is particularly popular thanks to its historic castle overlooking the water.
Foodies will appreciate the many restaurants serving fresh fish caught right from the lake itself. And wine lovers will enjoy exploring vineyards along the hills surrounding it.
Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Lake Constance has got you covered. Don’t miss out on this unique destination! It is merely 30 minutes drive from St Gallen and well worth a visit.
St Gallen is a charming city that offers an array of diverse experiences for visitors. From the rich cultural heritage to the stunning natural beauty, there are endless possibilities when it comes to things to see and do in St Gallen.
Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature or simply wandering around picturesque streets, St Gallen has something for everyone. The cathedral and abbey are must-visit sites for those who love architecture and history while the museums will delight anyone with an interest in textiles or natural history.
The old city’s cozy cafes and restaurants provide ample opportunities to indulge your taste buds while soaking up the atmosphere of this beautiful Swiss town. And if you want some fresh air, Stadtgarten and Lake Constance offer great spots for walks or picnics.
Visitors should not forget about Rosgarten Gate which provides excellent photo opportunities and also serves as another historical site worth visiting. In addition, Abbey Library with its impressive collection of books is sure to impress any bibliophile.
St Gallen is a destination that truly has something unique to offer each visitor. It’s no wonder why it continues to attract tourists from all over the world every year!