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9 Beautiful Towns Near Winterthur, Switzerland

Winterthur, a city in the Zurich canton, is known for its rich cultural scene, strategic location near Zurich city, and beautiful old town. Thanks to its great transportation options and big hotels that suit different budgets, it’s a convenient spot for anyone visiting. From Winterthur, you can discover many beautiful towns nearby.

If you’re in Winterthur and fancy exploring some nearby charming old towns, take a look at this list of beautiful towns around Winterthur. They’re easy to get to, and most are just an hour or two away.

Without further ado, here is a list of beautiful towns near Winterthur

1. Eglisau

Eglisau, one of the beautiful towns near Zurich
Image of Eglisau by TouringSwitzerland.com

Eglisau sits in Canton Zurich by the beautiful Rhine River. It’s a lovely town close to Winterthur, surrounded by vineyards.

Eglisau’s old town features the Gothic-style Church of Eglisau, built back in 1716. This historical church is a national treasure, a protected monument that adds 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.

How do you get from Winterthur to Eglisau?  From Winterthur, take the train to Bülach. Transfer to the next train to Eglisau. The total trip from Winterthur to Eglisau takes 33 minutes including transfer time. You can get from Winterthur to Eglisau in just 30 minutes by car.

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.


2. Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein owes much of its preserved beauty to the Windler Foundation, which provides yearly financial support to maintain this beautiful town. This charming town near Winterthur is packed with medieval buildings sporting painted facades and half-timbered houses. Its location is along the Upper Rhine right where Lake Constance flows into the Rhein 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.

Image of St. George’s Abbey, Stein am Rhein by TouringSwitzerland.com

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.

How do you get from Winterthur to Stein am Rhein?  S29 Trains from Winterthur to Stein am Rhein run directly twice per hour. The total trip from Winterthur to Stein am Rhein takes 40 minutes. Stein am Rhein is accessible from Winterthur in 35 minutes by car.

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.


3. Romanshorn

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Romanshorn, a beautiful lakeshore town near Winterthur, has the largest shoreline along Lake Constance in Switzerland. Romanshorn boasts great connections through trains, ships, ferries, and bike routes reaching every direction. Plus, the Romanshorn-Friedrichshafen Ferry makes it easy to transport 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.

How do you get from Winterthur to Romanshorn?  The IC8/IC81 trains from Winterthur to Romanshorn run directly every hour. You may also take the S23 train if it is available. The total trip from Winterthur to Romanshorn takes 40 minutes. Romanshorn is accessible from Winterthur in 1 hour by car.

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

4. 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.

How do you get from Winterthur to Diessenhofen?  From Winterthur, take the train to Schaffhausen. Transfer to the next train to Diessenhofen. The total trip from Winterthur to Diessenhofen takes 44 to 51 minutes including transfer time. You can get from Winterthur to Diessenhofen in just 30 minutes by car.

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

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. It is one of the most picturesque towns near Winterthur.

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.

How do you get from Winterthur to Kreuzlingen?  You have two options: Catch the IR75 train departing once an hour. Alternatively, take the IC8/IC81 to Weinfelden, then switch to the connecting regional train S14/S44 heading to Kreuzlingen. The total trip from Winterthur to Kreuzlingen takes 42 to 60 minutes. Kreuzlingen is accessible from Winterthur in 33 minutes by car.

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

6. Arbon

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

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. It’s a lovely town close to Winterthur.

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).

How do you get from Winterthur to Arbon?  You have two options: Catch the IR75 train to Weinfelden, and then switch to the connecting regional train to Arbon. Alternatively, take the IC8/IC81 to Romanshorn, then switch to the connecting regional train S44 heading to Arbon. The total trip from Winterthur to Arbon takes 53 minutes. Arbon is accessible from Winterthur in 55 minutes by car.

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.


7. Rapperswil

Image of Rapperswil by TouringSwitzerland.com

Rapperswil, a charming town near Winterthur, lies about 40 km south of Winterthur. Nestled beside the lake, it boasts an old town, a castle, and a delightful lakeside promenade. Affectionately known as the “town of roses” (Rosenstadt in German), it’s adorned with beautiful rose-filled parks.

This lakeside gem straddles the borders of the cantons of Schwyz, Zurich, and St. Gallen, hosting around 26,000 residents. Despite its affiliation with St. Gallen, Rapperswil is closer in proximity, economy, and culture to Zurich. It’s a serene lakeside escape that seamlessly blends urban convenience with natural beauty, serving as the regional hub for Upper Lake Zurich, offering both tranquility and city life.

How do you get from Winterthur to Rapperswil?  To get to Rapperswil from Winterthur, the simplest route is via the direct train S7, which takes about 1 hour and 17 minutes. For a quicker journey, hop on the S8 to Effretikon, then switch to S3 to Wetzikon ZH, and finally, take the S5 to Rapperswil, cutting your travel time by around 20 to 27 minutes. The total trip from Winterthur to Rapperswil takes 50 minutes to 1 hour 17 minutes. Rapperswil is accessible from Winterthur in 50 minutes by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Rapperswil
* Rapperswil’s Old Town
* Lake Zurich
* Wooden Bridge to Hurden
* Children’s Zoo

If you would like to read more about Rapperswil, check out our article 8 Best Things to Do in Rapperswil, Switzerland.


8. Einsiedeln

Image of the Einsiedeln Abbey by TouringSwitzerland.com

Einsiedeln, near Winterthur, attracts both Catholics, pilgrims, and visitors eager to see the renowned Benedictine Abbey and the Black Madonna, a 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.

How do you get from Winterthur to Einsiedeln?  To get to Einsiedeln from Winterthur, take the next train to Zurich, then switch to IR35 to Wädenswil, then the S13 to Einsiedeln. The total trip from Winterthur to Einsiedeln takes 1 hour 18 minutes to 1 hour 24 minutes. Einsiedeln is accessible from Winterthur in 70 minutes by car.

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

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


9. Appenzell

Image of Appenzell Village by TouringSwitzerland.com

Appenzell Village located in the Appenzell Region (Appenzellerland in German) is an incredibly cute little town with pretty and colorful buildings, interesting boutiques, and sweet shops. It is located south of Lake Constance and surrounded by the Canton of Saint Gallen.

The village name comes from Abbot’s cell, referring to the abbot of the Abbey of Saint Gall.

The main street (Hauptgasse in German) is the epitome of the region’s traditional roots. You can buy some goods from the Convent of Mary of the Angels. Moreover, at the Museum Appenzell, you can delve into the region’s folklore, the art of hand embroidery, as well as its rich history in tourism.

How do you get from Winterthur to Appenzell?  From Winterthur, take the train to Gossau SG. Transfer to the next S23 train to Appenzell. The total trip from Winterthur to Appenzell takes 1 hour and 22 minutes including transfer time. You can get from Winterthur to Appenzell in just one hour by car.

Don’t miss these attractions in Appenzell
* Hauptgasse
* Convent of Mary of the Angels
* Museum Appenzell
* Landesgemeindeplatz
* Church of St. Mauritius

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Darla is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. 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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