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10 Beautiful Towns Near St. Gallen

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Darla Uhl

St. Gallen is the eighth largest city in Switzerland. St. Gallen lies among the rolling green hills of northeast Switzerland, famous for its Abbey Quarter. St. Gallen has a lot to offer, but you may prefer to see other pretty old towns. Here is a list of the most beautiful towns around St Gallen that you can easily reach.

Without further ado, here are 10 beautiful towns near St Gallen. There are many within an hour or two of each other. 

10 Beautiful Towns Near St. Gallen

1. Romanshorn

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Romanshorn boasts the largest shoreline along Lake Constance in Switzerland, providing a perfect spot to capture stunning sunset pictures. The city is well-connected with trains, ships, ferries, and bike routes extending in all directions. Notably, the Romanshorn-Friedrichshafen Ferry facilitates the transportation of cars between Switzerland and Germany.

A visit to Romanshorn wouldn’t be complete without exploring Seepark, a beautiful lakefront park ideal for relaxation. Adjacent to Seepark is the Hotel Schloss Romanshorn, a castle-turned-hotel, and the Museum am Hafen, offering a glimpse into the city’s history.

Romanshorn takes pride in its long promenade, well-maintained facilities, and a popular swimming area called Freibad Romanshorn, featuring three pools, a slide, a whirlpool, a current basin, and a diving platform, making it one of Eastern Switzerland’s top bathing spots.

Car enthusiasts can delve into the Autobau Erlebniswelt Romanshorn, a museum founded by ex-racer Fredy Lienhard. Open year-round on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 8:00 PM and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the museum showcases over 80 cars, including brands like Ferrari, and offers a professional racing simulator—an exciting destination for fans of automotive history and technology.

Don’t miss these attractions in Romanshorn
* Biggest Shore on Lake Constance
* Seepark
* Autobau Erlebniswelt Romanshorn
* Museum am Hafen
* Freibad Romanshorn

How do you get from St. Gallen to Romanshorn?

To get from St. Gallen to Romanshorn, take the S1 train, running twice an hour with a 27-minute travel time. Alternatively, there’s an RE train covering the route in 18 minutes.

2. Lichtensteig

Image of Lichtensteig by

Nestled in the scenic Thurtal region, Lichtensteig beckons visitors with a variety of natural wonders. From the picturesque chimneys to the enchanting Äulischlucht Gorge, a cascade of waterfalls, and serene gravel banks, the town is a haven for those seeking both tranquility and outdoor exploration.

Steeped in history, Lichtensteig was established by the Toggenburgers around the year 1200. Its charming historic small village center reflects centuries of Swiss heritage, with well-preserved buildings and a timeless atmosphere. As visitors wander through the cobbled streets, they can soak in the authenticity of the town, experiencing a glimpse of its rich cultural past. In 1975, the Council of Europe honored the town for the preservation of its historic site.

While Lichtensteig shares a similar name, it is crucial not to confuse it with the principality of Liechtenstein. Lichtensteig’s appeal lies in its unique blend of natural attractions and historical charm, making it a delightful destination for those seeking an authentic Swiss experience.

Don’t miss these attractions in Lichtensteig
* Town Center
* Äulischlucht Gorge
* Kägi Chocolate Shop
* Fredy’s Mechanisches Musikmuseum
* Toggenburg Museum

How do you get from St. Gallen to Lichtensteig?

To reach Lichtensteig from St. Gallen, catch either the S2 train (toward Nesslau-Neu St. Johann) or the S4 train (toward Uznach). Trains depart hourly, taking approximately 27 to 28 minutes.

3. Arbon

Arbon, one of the beautiful towns near Zurich
Image of Arbon from the ship by

Along the shores of Lake Constance is the charming, historic port city of Arbon in Thurgau. It is not only an excursion destination but also a holiday region. It also offers lots of possibilities for biking, hiking, and water sports.

While visiting Arbon, you can begin by strolling in its historic old town. The Arbon Castle is a regional historical and cultural museum with a 33-meter-high tower.

The Gallus Chapel from the 12th century was built in honor of the Irish messenger Gallus. The St. Martin’s Catholic Church is probably the oldest Christian community in Lake Constance.

Once you are done visiting the historic sites, you can also ride the Lake Constance Ship, go to the swimming pools, or cycle along the famous Arbon terrain overlooking Lake Constance. For old-timer fans, the Saurer Museum presents 20 historic vehicles produced in Arbon (trucks, buses, military vehicles, and fire trucks).

Don’t miss these attractions in Arbon
* Arbon Castle
* Arbor Felix
* Gallus Chapel
* St. Martin’s Catholic Church
* Saurer Museum

If you want to read more about Arbon, check out our article The Historic Town of Arbon, Switzerland.

How do you get from St. Gallen to Arbon?

Numerous buses (210, 201, 200, 211) depart St. Gallen for Arbon, with travel times ranging from 30 to 50 minutes. Opt for the quickest option, Bus 201, for a 30-minute journey. Alternatively, you can take the S1 train and transfer at Wittenbach station for the bus to Arbon.

4. Appenzell

Image of Appenzell Village by

Appenzell, though not as widely recognized as tourist hotspots like Interlaken or Lucerne, holds its unique charm, making it a worthwhile stop in Switzerland. Positioned south of Lake Constance, the village is smaller than major cities like Zurich and Bern, characterized by quaint streets and the nationally significant Hauptgasse. While it might not top everyone’s travel list, Appenzell becomes particularly appealing if you are based in St. Gallen, en route to another location, or exploring the broader Appenzell Region.

The village itself offers a stroll-worthy experience, with landmarks such as the Convent of Mary of the Angels, Appenzell Castle, Löwen Pharmacy, and the Rathaus contributing to its cultural richness. The Landesgemeinde Platz, where locals gather annually for voting, adds a touch of tradition, while the Museum Appenzell delves into the canton’s folklore, hand embroidery, and arts. The Roman Catholic Parish Church of St. Mauritius, dating back to 1069, stands as a testament to the village’s historical continuity.

Appenzell’s allure extends to its local activities, including strolling through the village, experiencing the Landsgemeinde event, exploring the Museum Appenzell, visiting the Parish Church of St. Mauritius, and indulging in shopping at charming boutiques and bakeries. The Appenzeller Art Museum, dedicated to artists Carl August Liner and Carl Walter Liner, adds a cultural touch to the village, making it a multifaceted destination for those seeking a genuine Swiss experience.

Don’t miss these attractions in Appenzell
* Appenzell Village
* Museum Appenzell
* Appenzeller Art Museum
* Parish Church of St. Mauritius

How do you get from St. Gallen to Appenzell?

Two direct trains run from St. Gallen to Appenzell every hour, taking 39 minutes on the S21 line.

5. Kreuzlingen

Situated on the Swiss-German border, Kreuzlingen, with its roots dating back to 1928 when three villages were integrated, has evolved into a thriving business and residential community.

Although tourism takes a back seat compared to neighboring Arbon, Kreuzlingen still boasts a medieval town center and a hidden gem known as Seeburg Castle. This castle, originally serving as the summer residence of the Augustinian Abbey and constructed in the 16th century, underwent reconstruction in 1870. Today, it stands as a charming restaurant, Seeburg, offering a stylish venue for events like weddings or family gatherings.

Kreuzlingen invites visitors to explore various historical and cultural sites within its borders. The Kreuzlingen Abbey, once the abbey church of Saint Ulrich and Saint Afra, reflects the town’s rich religious history. For those intrigued by firefighting history, the Fire Brigade Museum showcases a collection of artifacts, including helmets, axes, nozzles, lamps, ladders, pictures, and documents.

Museum Rosenegg delves into the local population’s history and the monastery’s evolution. Additionally, Seeburgpark offers a recreational space along the shores of Lake Constance, featuring a playground, a small zoo, and mini-golf. For those with a curiosity about the cosmos, the Sternwarte Kreuzlingen, a planetarium, provides an opportunity to delve into the mysteries of the galaxy.

Don’t miss these attractions in Kreuzlingen
* Kreuzlingen Abbey
* Fire Brigade Museum Kreuzlingen
* Museum Rosenegg
* Seeburgpark Kreuzlingen
* Sternwarte Kreuzlingen

How do you get from St. Gallen to Kreuzlingen?

For a journey from St. Gallen to Kreuzlingen, you have two options. The RE train, departing once per hour, provides a quicker ride in 41 minutes. On the other hand, the S1 train, departing twice hourly, takes a bit longer at 55 minutes.

6. Eglisau

Eglisau, one of the beautiful towns near Zurich
Image of Eglisau by

Eglisau, nestled in Canton Zurich along the scenic Rhine River, is a charming town surrounded by vineyards, making it a delightful destination near St Gallen.

The old town of Eglisau boasts the Gothic-style Church of Eglisau, a historical gem erected in 1716. Recognized as a national cultural asset, this church stands as a protected monument, adding to the town’s rich heritage.

At the heart of Eglisau is the Weierbachhus, the largest and most beautiful house in the region, dating back to 1670. This historic dwelling now houses the local museum, providing a captivating journey through the town’s history and lifestyle. The museum showcases various aspects, including maritime activities, fishing, salt trade, and more, offering visitors a glimpse into the diverse facets that have shaped Eglisau over the years.

Don’t miss these attractions in Eglisau
* Historic Center of Eglisau
* Cruise on the Rhine
* Eglisau’s Viticulture
* Walks and Hikes in Eglisau

If you would like to read more about Eglisau, you can check out this article: Eglisau, Switzerland: The Best Of This Wine Village.

How do you get from St. Gallen to Eglisau?

The fastest route from St. Gallen to Eglisau involves taking a train to Winterthur, transferring to another train bound for Bülach, and finally catching a train to Eglisau. This efficient connection takes a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can opt for a route that includes a change in Zurich, but be aware that it will extend the travel time by approximately 30 minutes.

7. Steckborn

Image by Patrick Nouhailler from flickr

Steckborn is a beautiful Swiss town on Lake Constance worth exploring. It is a municipality in Frauenfeld District in the canton of Thurgau. It is in the southwestern area of Untersee, Lake Constance.

Steckborn has a picturesque old town. Its distinctive landmark is the Turmhof Museum. Built back in 1282, the museum was once the seat of the abbots of Reichenau. In 1614, it underwent an expansion. It has also an integrated foyer that serves as a restaurant. Nowadays, it shows the culture and history of the Untersee area. The exhibitions include but are not limited to the following:

  • The prehistoric finds of the region beginning from the Neolithic period
  • Civic and rural furniture from the 17th to 19th centuries
  • The room of Minister Johann Konrad Kern
  • A collection of handicraft tools from blacksmiths and woodturners

You can also visit the baroque church or participate in sewing courses in Bernina.

Don’t miss these attractions in Steckborn
* Old Town of Steckborn
* Turmhof Museum
* Baroque Church

How do you get from St. Gallen to Steckborn?

There are two direct trains per hour from St. Gallen to Steckborn, both on the S1 line, with a travel time of 1 hour and 13 minutes.

8. Stein am Rhein

The idyllic town on the Upper Rhine is full of medieval buildings with painted facades and half-timbered houses. Stein am Rhein owes much of its preserved beauty to the Windler Foundation, which provides yearly financial support to maintain this beautiful town. Its location is right where Lake Constance flows into the Rhine River.

Worth visiting is Lindwurm Museum – the only Empire House in Stein am Rhein which dates from 1279. The lovingly completed reconstruction of this bourgeois house from the middle of the 19th century showcases the upper-class lifestyle of small towns.

Stein am Rhein, one of the beautiful towns near Zurich
Image of Stein am Rhein by

One of the best-preserved Medieval monastery complexes St. George’s Abbey and the Hohenklingen Castle, built high above the town in 1225, are also worth visiting. The tourist office of Schaffhausen also provides a 75-minute guided tour of the old town. Click here for more information.

Don’t miss these attractions in Stein am Rhein
* Stein am Rhein Town Center
* Museum Lindwurm
* St. George’s Abbey
* Hohenklingen Castle
* Rhine Falls
* Schaffhausen

If you would like to read more about Stein am Rhein, you can check out The Pretty Town of Stein am Rhein, Switzerland.

How do you get from St. Gallen to Stein am Rhein?

There are two direct trains per hour from St. Gallen to Stein am Rhein, both on the S1 line, with a travel time of 1 hour and 24 minutes. Alternatively, you can opt for the Eurocity or IC5 train and make a transfer in Winterthur to the S29 regional train. The travel time remains the same.

9. Einsiedeln

Image of the Einsiedeln Abbey by

Einsiedeln is a town popular not only among Catholics and pilgrims wanting to see the famous Benedictine Abbey and the Black Madonna but also among all other visitors wanting to view this 300-year-old baroque monument. The interiors are splendid and culturally meaningful. A garden and a horse stable can also be found on the abbey grounds.

Guided tours of the monastery organized by Einsiedeln Tourism are available daily (except Sundays and public holidays) and cost CHF 18 per adult.

The town of Einsiedeln itself is charming and filled with small shops, hotels, restaurants, and bakeries. Our favorite is Bäckerei Schefer. There is also a national ski jumping center with four hills located in Eschbach, Einsiedeln.

If you would like to read more about Einsiedeln, check out our article: Einsiedeln – The Most Famous Monastic Village in Switzerland.

Don’t miss these attractions in Einsiedeln
* Benedictine Abbey and the Black Madonna
* National Ski Jumping Center
* Das Schafbock- & Lebkuchenmuseum

How do you get from St. Gallen to Einsiedeln?

The easiest way is to board the Voralpen-Express (IR train) in St. Gallen headed to Biberbrugg. Upon reaching Biberbrugg, switch to the S13 regional train bound for Einsiedeln. The VAE train leaves every hour at 5 minutes past the hour. The entire journey takes 1 hour and 28 minutes.

10. Diessenhofen

Image of Diessenhofen by Wikimedia

Diessenhofen, a picturesque village in the Frauenfeld District of Thurgau, Switzerland, beckons visitors with its rich history and captivating heritage sites. This charming locale, nestled on the scenic southern shore of the High Rhine and facing the German town of Gailingen am Hochrhein, boasts landmarks like Unterhof Castle, the Rathaus City Archives, and the Former Dominican Monastery of St. Katharinental. The town’s enchanting old quarter invites strolls amid centuries-old architecture and small, delightful museums.

Steeped in history dating back to 757, Diessenhofen seamlessly blends cultural richness with natural beauty. The surroundings offer opportunities for scenic walks and bike rides along the Rhine, while a 200-year-old covered wooden bridge connects Diessenhofen to Gailingen, adding a touch of historic charm.

The town’s cultural allure extends to museums like kunst + wissen, showcasing its dyeing and fabric printing legacy, and the former Dominican convent, St. Katharinental, with its acclaimed late Baroque church. For a delightful break, Rhein Café Katharina along the river provides a perfect spot to relax and soak in the ambiance.

Don’t miss these attractions in Diessenhofen
* Unterhof Castle
* Former Dominican Monastery of St. Katharinental and Baroque Church
* Museum kunst + wissen
* Wooden Bridge to Gailingen

How do you get from St. Gallen to Diessenhofen?

There are two direct trains per hour from St. Gallen to Diessenhofen, both on the S1 line, with a travel time of 1 hour and 37 minutes.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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