Where to stay in north-east Switzerland

Where to stay in north-east Switzerland

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Glenn
Glenn
4 posts
new member
Jun 28, 2018 - 2:46 PM

I'm traveling this end of August to Switzerland for a couple of weeks.

My destination is the east, especially the north-east (Schaffhausen, Stein am Rhein, Appenzell Region),

but I also plan to go south.

I would like to have some recommendations for a place (or places) to stay.

My preference is a small town with lots of nature around.

I would rather to base myself in one place.

Thanks.

Glenn

Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 28, 2018 - 4:01 PM in reply to Glenn

Hi Glenn,

St. Gallen, while not small, is great for train connections in the area so it would be a good base to consider.

It will depend as well on where you will spend most of your time in that region. St. Gallen to Schaffhausen is 1.25 hours & 45 minutes to Appenzell. Appenzell and Stein am Rhein are both nice choices and a bit closer to your small town request.

Perhaps another member will chime in on their thoughts on a good town for you as well.

Last modified on Jun 28, 2018 - 4:02 PM by Lucas
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4740 posts
expert
Jun 29, 2018 - 10:57 PM in reply to Glenn

Hi Glenn-

There are many possible places that meet your criteria, but, if you are going to do a lot of traveling you may find a larger town with more rail connections is a better option.

If you are there on activities that require you to be somewhere at a particular time, St. Gall, Frauenfeld and Winterthur have excellent connections and not a whole lot of "Nature."

If you don't mind a bit of a rail ride to a major junction point...30 minutes or more, and are not tied to a schedule,then you have a wide range of options. Almost any village on the map willdo the job.

Next - what is "nature?"

I like to stay at Steckborn, on the wide part of the Rhine as it approaches the "Untersee" (a part of Lake Konstanz - theBodensee). Nature there is the river.

I like to stay in the midst of the vineyards of the :"Bündner Herrschaft' where some excellent wines are produced. My favorite in Jenins is not near a train station -

www.zurbuendte.ch/

Nature there is the vineyards.

If "nature" means mountains, Appenzell is worth a look.

None of those are near good rail connections.

What do you mean by " go South" ?

Chur? The Vorderrhein? Locarno? Chiasso? St. Moritz? Scuol?

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jun 29, 2018 - 11:05 PM by Slowpoke
JohnYorks
JohnYorks
30 posts
active member
Jul 1, 2018 - 3:37 PM

I stayed in Appenzell for two nights in late May as part of my 3-week Interrail trip concentrating on some of the quieter tourist spots as well as the honey-pots, and this little town was one of my favourites.

The countryside is stunningly beautiful and varies from the rugged mountain peaks around Wasserauen (15 minutes down the branch line from Appenzell) to rolling hills, superb green rural landscapes and small towns and villages where time often seems to have stood still - certainly in the number of old timber houses with their distinctive large square windows and painted walls.

Appenzell is a curiosity in that it is at the centre of not one tiny canton, but two - Appenzell Innerrhoden and Ausserrhoden, though much of the population commutes into St Gallen (another canton) by the astoundingly good rail network. It takes 30 or 40 minutes to get to major rail junctions at Gossau, Herisau and St Gallen; the trains generally run every half hour (Sunday no exception) and all around there is evidence of huge investment in the rail infrastructure - a new tunnel (the Swiss love new tunnels) taking shape between St Gallen and Gais to cut out a section of rack railway.

Appenzell town has a charming market square, with excellent cafés, restaurants, bars and - I can promise - ice cream shop. I stayed in a wonderful airbnb, a time capsule of ancient creaking woodwork in the market place bookshop, and for anyone with concerns about airbnb, this stopover (like my other three in Switzerland) was perfect.Everything is tidy and clean, and the shopkeepers polite and cheerful.

A particular treat on my Interrail ticket was taking the little train a few miles east from Gais to Altstätten. This snakes along the plateau high above the Rhine before plunging over the side on a very steep rack and pinion line. I hadn't realised that the Appenzell Railway Company laid on an open carriage on some of their trips. Attached to the front of the train (with another truck for bikes), the extra vehicles offered fabulous views of the descent to Altstätten, with the Austrian and Liechtenstein mountains forming a backdrop. The treat turned out to be free with my Interrail pass. Also free for holders, I was told by the Railway Company's helpful Customer Department, is the bus that plies between the two stations in Altstätten.

My photo shows the train's approach to lovely Appenzell from the Herisau direction.

Last modified on Jul 1, 2018 - 3:57 PM by JohnYorks
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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4740 posts
expert
Jul 1, 2018 - 7:17 PM

Hi John-

<<"A particular treat on my Interrail ticket was taking the little train a

few miles east from Gais to Altstätten. This snakes along the plateau

high above the Rhine before plunging over the side on a very steep rack

and pinion line. I hadn't realised that the Appenzell Railway Company

laid on an open carriage on some of their trips. Attached to the front

of the train (with another truck for bikes), the extra vehicles offered

fabulous views of the descent to Altstätten, with the Austrian and

Liechtenstein mountains forming a backdrop. The treat turned out to be

free with my Interrail pass. Also free for holders, I was told by the

Railway Company's helpful Customer Department, is the bus that plies

between the two stations in Altstätten.">>

I have looked many times at that trip, but only on a map. I was concerned about the distance between the two stations. And, I did not realize just how nice the jpurney is.

Thanks for adding it to my list of nice trips that I have neglected so far, but not for much longer.

Slowpoke

JohnYorks
JohnYorks
30 posts
active member
Jul 1, 2018 - 8:17 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Yes, Slowpoke, a lovely trip. Glenn - hope you get to visit Appenzell.

It's about 1.5 miles / 2 km between stations in Altstätten - the bus, like everything else, is regular and only takes a few minutes. Handy if you want a quick connection to Chur, Buchs for Austria, etc.

For some reason I couldn't attach more than one image to my previous reply, but your comment gives me a chance for another! (I've emailed to ask for advice).

Here's the lovely market place in Appenzell. My airbnb bookshop is on the right. Absolutely everybody in this part of Switzerland was charming - but then again absolutely everybody in Switzerland was. Keep replying and I'll post some more!

John

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4740 posts
expert
Jul 1, 2018 - 8:44 PM

Hi John -

<<"t's about 1.5 miles / 2 km between stations in Altstätten - the bus,

like everything else, is regular and only takes a few minutes. Handy if

you want a quick connection to Chur, Buchs for Austria, etc.">>

By hindsight, I should have known that there would be a bus between the two stations. It is Switzerland, of course. I guess I was not diligent enough in my looking.

Re: posting pictures.

They must be less than 1 Mb in size.

Slowpoke

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 2, 2018 - 2:12 AM in reply to JohnYorks

>> the little train a few miles east from Gais to Altstätten.

Fantastic tip, thank you! Lovely photo too.

Alpenrose

Glenn
Glenn
4 posts
new member
Jul 3, 2018 - 9:10 AM

Hi,

Thanks for all the answers!

I decided to make a route of Appenzell-st. Moritz.

I look for nature such as mountains and open spaces, and I think this area is more of what I want.

John, your info is very helpful.

Slowpoke, thanks to you- Bündner Herrschaft is on my plans.

I also decided to skip Schaffhausen and Stein am Rhein.

Is that "O.K"? Or is that really worth to spend there a day or two?

Is stein am Rhein very different from Appenzell?

I would like to have answer!

Thanks

JohnYorks
JohnYorks
30 posts
active member
Jul 3, 2018 - 11:07 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Here are two more pics of the Appenzell area from my trip in late May- from the attractive little train that descends from Gais to Altstätten.

The first shows the drop from the Appenzell plateau to the Rhine Valley, with Austria beyond - apparently over a cliff edge! The second the steep descent into Altstätten town.

A Sunday treat!

Glenn - glad to see that you hope to visit Appenzell. Can't comment on Schaffhausen - the only Swiss Canton I've not visited. I cheated a bit with Thurgau,as the Zurich - St Gallen train passes through a mile or two of its territory.

John

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4740 posts
expert
Jul 3, 2018 - 11:31 AM in reply to JohnYorks

Hi Jhn-

A old picture or two of another old train going down to the level of the Rhein from the plateau above. The Rheineck-Walzenhausen Line in 2003. No open cars, though.

Slowoke

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Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 3, 2018 - 11:35 AM in reply to Glenn

Hi Glenn,

To compare the towns you can look at the pictures I took on a trip to Stein am Rhein last year: https://www.myswissalp s.com/forum/topic/stei n-am-rhein-easy-day-trip-from-zurich

JohnYorks
JohnYorks
30 posts
active member
Jul 3, 2018 - 12:25 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Ha Ha Slowpoke!

I was keen to include the Rheineck line in my schedule (it runs now under the Appenzellerbahn banner, though is entirely divorced from the rest of system), but couldn't manage it. Another excuse (along with the lovely Stein am Rhein - thanks Lucas for those enticing images) to start planning another trip to the many gems of places unexplored so far in Switzerland.

John

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