St. Gallen lies in the north eastern corner of Switzerland, in the midst of gently rolling hills and a short bus ride from the crystal clear waters of Lake Constance. Founded in the 7th century, the town has always been a centre for learning; indeed, the Abbey Library contains some documents which are over a thousand years old. The entire Abbey precinct with its Baroque cathedral and magnificent library has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest of the Old Town is simply charming, with colourful oriel windows in the old merchant houses, dating from when the town established itself as an important centre for textiles and embroidery.
Be sure to visit the villages on the shores of Lake Constance, maybe stopping for a leisurely lunch in Steinach, with its gorgeous lake views. The wider Thurgau region has plenty of idyllic farming villages, small castles and vineyards and is renowned for its cycling routes. The interesting medieval towns on the Rhine such as Stein-am-Rhein and Diessenhofen offer the visitor historic half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, cafés and boutiques - and of course sightseeing boat rides on the famous river.
Please call us on 0800 619 1200 for our tailor made service to Switzerland.
Where to stay
Our handpicked St. Gallen hotel
What to see and do
There are many delightful alpine spots to explore in Appenzellerland. The Wasserauen and Ebenalp cable car is the gateway to the hiking region of the Alpstein; highlights include the Wildkirchli cave chapel and the Aescher hostelry. Take the Brülisau-Hoher Kasten cable car for a revolving restaurant with a fantastic 360° outlook.
Toggenburg is another scenic region within easy reach. Try the Unterwasser Trail with its waterfalls, or the Säntis Trail which takes you to the area's most beautiful vantage point over Toggenburg and Lake Constance. You can take a day trip on the Pre-Alpine Express to historic Lucerne - perfect for experiencing the gentle foothills of the Alps en route. The Rhine Falls are the largest in Europe and a must see while you are in the area - you can stand on a platform jutting out over the Rhine and experience the spray of the Falls all around you. Please click here for a summary of the best the region has to offer.
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site
St. Gallen's Abbey District is a World Heritage Site in its own right. You can also visit the Old Town of Bern, with its distinctive red roofs and arcade, or travel to see the origins of the Alps at the Tectonic Area at Sardona. Find more Swiss World Heritage Sites here.
Explore the region with our great value travel passes
Our holidays include the Half Fare Card, which entitles you to a 50% discount on most rail, mountain railways, cable cars, boats and PostBuses across Switzerland.
If you are planning trips further afield, it can be well worth pre-booking the Swiss Travel Pass, as it saves you a great deal of money - and helps you avoid the queues at the ticket office! We will be delighted to help you choose the one that's right for you. Call us on 0800 619 1200 for more advice.
Scenic rail holidays from St. Gallen
Enjoy a fantastic two or multi centre holiday, with a scenic rail journey connecting your resorts.
St. Gallen is on the route of the Lake Constance Line to Zurich and the Pre-Alpine Express to Lucerne. From Lucerne you can also join the GoldenPass Line/Luzern-Interlaken Express or the Gotthard Panorama Express.
If you prefer to be based solely in St. Gallen, there are many lakes and mountains journeys to be enjoyed locally. We can tailor make any itinerary you choose, please contact us for details on 0800 619 1200.