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Best Things To Do In St. Gallen, Switzerland: 7 Great Places To Visit

Camila
Published Mar 30, 2017

If you are looking for a place to spend a complete holiday, full of attractions and entertainment, then check out the city of St. Gallen, in Switzerland. From cultural activities, nice walks, discovering unique spots or hiking in the Swiss mountains, you can do it all in this one region.

This guide will help you choose some of the best things to do to make your stay in St. Gallen simply perfect.

1. From the 8th century to the present - the Abbey of St. Gall

Added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1983, the Abbey of St. Gall is a major landmark in the city. Feel the history that began in this religious complex in the 8th century.

The architecture of the Abbey is mind blowing. It is a Baroque-style cathedral, composed of several buildings surrounding the Abbey’s main square. This building represents the most important architectural periods, starting with the High Middle Ages.

A visit to this site should include the featured Abbey Library of Saint Gall, that, in the year 937 survived a fire that consumed the Abbey. It’s also a Unesco World Heritage Site. The over two thousand manuscript collection is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to the 8th century.

If you are interested in visiting a one of a kind place, the Abbey of St. Gall is something you just can’t leave out.

Abbey of Saint Gall

Address: Klosterhof 6B, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland

Price: from 12 CHF (12 USD)

Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Contact: +41-712240550

Near by Food: Lansin

Website: Abbey of Saint Gall

See our full list of recommended Hotels in St. Gallen (area) and also compare the prices with airbnbs in St. Gallen (area)

2. Walk the streets of history - Old Town

If you are in the mood to spend the day outdoors and walk around, the perfect place to do so in St. Gallen, is the historic Old Town. It’s a great place for a stroll because vehicles are almost fully prohibited in the area, so it’s mostly pedestrian only. Feel safe to walk around with children, because the only thing that could happen is that they have too much fun.

Marvel over the architectural history of the buildings that make the Old Town of this city so special. On your way through the narrow stone streets, you’ll find plenty of coffee shops and pubs to sit for a while and enjoy a Swiss delight or simply a cold beer.

But keep going - you really want to make of this place and absorb every detail. For example, the 111 oriel windows that decorate the houses - these windows not only are perfectly preserved, they also have their own names. If you don’t want to miss out on the little details that only locals know, the best option is to go around with a guide or group tour. That way you won’t only enjoy the pretty scenery, but also learn a lot about this city, its history and the secrets that are hiding in every street.

You can include interesting stops if you want to make a complete tour, like the Textile Museum or the abovementioned Abbey of St. Gall - both located in the Old Town. But, if you prefer to go on your own and without the help of an experienced guide, don’t worry, you’ll still have an amazing time.

Old Town Tours

Address: Tourist Information, Bankgasse 9 (across from the Cathedral)

Price: from 25 CHF (15 USD)

Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Contact: +41-712273737

Website: Old Town Tours

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3. Fashion never expires - Textilmuseum

Posted by Textilmuseum St.Gallen on Thursday, 8 December 2016

St. Gallen is a very interesting city for fashionistas. The city has been the center of the Swiss textile industry for centuries and the Textilmuseum is the result of this. Founded in 1878, the rotating collections date back to the Middle Ages, and the goal of the inauguration of the museum was to be an inspiration of good taste to the textile industry.

Located in the Old Town of St. Gallen, the Textile Museum is a source of inspiration for many artists and designers today.

Textilmuseum

Address: Vadianstrasse 2, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland

Price: from 12 CHF (12 USD)

Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm. Closed on January 1, Good Friday, August 1 (national holiday), December 24, 25, and 31.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Contact: +41-712280010

Near by Food: ha chà - Thai Positive Eating

Website: Textilmuseum

See our full list of recommended Hotels in St. Gallen (area) and also compare the prices with airbnbs in St. Gallen (area)

4. Rock and pop are alive in St. Gallen - OpenAir St. Gallen music festival

Foto: Rita Seixas

Posted by OpenAir St.Gallen - official on Sunday, 3 July 2016

Switzerland is becoming very popular among young tourists for the number of festivals that take place annually in different cities around the country. St. Gallen is not discluded from this and brings rock and pop fans the OpenAir St. Gallen festival, every June.

The 2017 festival will take place from June 29th to July 2nd, with amazing stars and bands like Die Toten Hosen, ALT-J, Justice, Passenger, Lorde, Bastille, and many more yet to be confirmed. You can get your tickets through the official event website, starting with a one-day pass for 95 CHF (approx 95 USD), or passes for multiple days.

Check your calendar and start making arrangements!

OpenAir St. Gallen

Address: Billenberg St. Gallen Eingang West

Price: from 95 CHF (95 USD)

Access: The festival area is just a 10 mintue drive away from the St. Gallen main station.

Website: OpenAir St. Gallen

See our full list of recommended Hotels in St. Gallen (area) and also compare the prices with airbnbs in St. Gallen (area)

5. Your sweet tooth will need a good brush - Maestrani Chocolate Factory

Wusstest du, dass Schokolade im 16. Jahrhundert ein Luxusgut war? Der Adel liebte Kakao, der von spanischen Seefahrern nach Europa gebracht wurde.

Posted by Maestrani's Chocolarium on Wednesday, 15 February 2017

It might not be Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas, but the Maestrani chocolate factory in Flawil, 20 minutes away from St. Gallen by car, is full of magic!

Your jaw will drop as you witness the making of all the wonderful products this place has to offer. The company was founded in 1852, and since then has been coming up with amazing recipes to bring new flavors to the public.

This tour is a must if you want to go home with quality, regional souvenirs or if you just want to have a taste of real Swiss chocolate, yourself. Just don’t forget to brush your teeth after your visit!

Maestrani Chocolate Factory

Address: Toggenburgerstrasse 41, Postfach, CH-9230 Flawil 1

Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: Take bus no. 751 from Flawil Bahnhof (station) to Flawil Maestrani. The bus stops directly in front of the factory.

Contact: +41-712283811

Website: Maestrani Chocolate Factory

See our full list of recommended Hotels in St. Gallen (area) and also compare the prices with airbnbs in St. Gallen (area)

6. For curious and expressive minds - Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen


If you are into the arts, but not necessarily fashion, the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen museum of contemporary art might be what you’re looking for. The museum was founded in 1985 with the mission of using art as a reaction to polemic situations regarding urban developments. According to their mission statement, the museum can be described as “the smallest of the larger Swiss contemporary art institutions or, vice versa, as the largest of the smaller exhibition venues.”

Pay it a visit and discover if this is true!

Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

Address: Davidstrasse 40, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland

Price: from 7 CHF (7 USD)

Opening Hours: 12pm - 6pm from Tuesday to Friday. 11am - 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Closed every Monday, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, August 1st, New Year’s Eve.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: By rail: From the station, head south (towards Migros Neumarkt), then take the third turn to the right, into Davidstrasse (clinker buildings – Alte Lagerhäuser).

Contact: +41-712221014

Near by Food: Ristorante Acquarello

Website: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

See our full list of recommended Hotels in St. Gallen (area) and also compare the prices with airbnbs in St. Gallen (area)

7. To the top - Säntis

Now, if you are looking for a little bit more adventure, then the Säntis, a mountain and local landmark, it’s your true destination. Enjoy the magnificent views you’ll get at 2502 metres (8209 feet) above sea level, and enjoy one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in all Switzerland.

Just the experience of getting to the top of the mountain with the big Säntis cable car from Schwägalp, will be totally worth it.

Säntis

Price: from 45 CHF (45 USD)

Opening Hours: The cable car departs every 30 minutes and operates in summer (May to October) from 7:30am to 6pm and on weekends until 6:30pm. In the winter months (October to January), from 8:30am to 5pm.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: Cable car from Schwägalp

Contact: +41-713656565

Near by Food: Restaurant on the peak of Säntis.

Website: Säntis

See our full list of recommended Hotels in St. Gallen (area) and also compare the prices with airbnbs in St. Gallen (area)

This city has it all. You might want to come back...

From mountains to valleys, museums and old corners, music festivals and quiet activities. St. Gallen is becoming quite a tourist attraction in itself, with so many activities to offer all sorts of travellers. No matter if you are backpacking alone, on a road trip with family or looking for some romance or excitement - everything you are looking for, you’ll find it here.

See you soon!

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