St. Gallen is a very nice Swiss town which is pretty close to Austria, Liechtenstein and just 84 kilometers from Zürich, so a St. Gallen day trip is a nice way to spend you weekend.
It is famous for it’s Abbey, Cathedral, ancient library and very beautiful oldtown. St. Gallen population is just over 75 000, so it’s not crowded and very easy to get around.
I have driven with my car to St. Gallen and visited as well couple of other places very close to St. Gallen: Appenzell village and Säntis mountain station.
My St. Gallen day trip consists of: trip to St. Gallen, trip to Appenzell and trip to Säntis.
Appenzell village is just 17 kilometers from St. Gallen, so it’s a very short drive and you get into this beautifull small village/town.
The easiest way to park there is under Migros and you get 2 hours of free parking. Migros is here: Unteres Ziel, 9050 Appenzell. There’s a big shop and as well some nice open coffee places, so it’s good place to grab a cup of coffee.
Appenzell center is very close, 5-7 minute slow walk and voila! you are in Appenzell center. The village is not that big, but it has quite many nice restaurants and you can actually smell the fondue and raclette from them even when you are just passing by.
I made quite a few pictures, so just have a look. Architecture there is very very Swiss, colorful and mostly old wooden houses, which I personally love.
Most of houses has those nice ornaments or something else attached, it really gives the house some character 🙂
This is a very cool toys shop in Appenzell. You can get there souvenirs and stuff, have a look at it: Bazar Hersche Appenzell.
Very beautifully painted house 🙂
This is the pharmacy, it looks like from good old times, like from 1920s 🙂 Don’t you think?
The village was already ready for Christmas 🙂 This picture was done in early November 🙂
So the whole tour of Appenzell didn’t take us longer than 1 hour and we decided to continue our trip to Säntis. It looked really promising as already in Appenzell we saw some fresh snow on the mountains around.
One thing I would like to mention before continuing our trip to Säntis: not that far from Appenzell, just 8 kilometers far is a very famous Äscher house, it is probably one of the most famous houses in all Switzerland as it is sitting on the rock with one house side completely touching the rock.
Check all the information about it right here: Äscher Berghaus.
Säntis mountain station
Säntis mountain station is just 22 kilometers from Appenzell, but the road is very beautiful, serpantines and plenty of places to make some stunning pictures. Just have a look at couple of them below:
It was a bit cloudy, but the snow made it up for the good wintery mood 🙂
Can you see the chimney up on the mountain? That is Säntis!
Totally fresh snow. There’s something very lovely and comforting about fresh snow, even hard to explain. It is much nicer than the old icy snow, fresh snow means that Christmas is coming 🙂 All you want to do: just sit on a comfy coach, drink your hot chocolate and read a novel 🙂
Once we got to Säntis mountain station, there was much much more snow and the parking was completely full: we literally found just one place 🙂 I think a lot of people smelled the snow and came there. We saw quite a lot of people with sledges all around.
We didn’t plan to take the cable car to the top, but wanted to visit that mountain station which is a starting point for the cable cars.
And I was blown away by that station. I don’t really know when it was built, but it is sooooo beautiful! Stylish. Modern. Amazing looking. Just have a look at couple of photos below:
This is a special huge modern artistic lamp design. You can see it right away you enter the station. It looks very cool.
I know it’s quite hard to give the feeling of the building from a simple picture, but the inside is very nice, very modern looking, lots of concrete and wood. Very very nice artistic touch. As well, there’s a restaurant, hotel, cable car service and a very cool souvenirs shop 🙂
Afterwards we went outside to check out all the surroundings. It was full of snow and actually, if I wanted to do a hike, I would have needed snowshoes.
Nice wooden houses/huts very close to the beautiful mountain station.
A colorful cable car 🙂 Very stylish.
You can see the station on the mountain from the parking lot.
If you want to go up, I highly recommend it. I didn’t visit it myself, but from all the pictures and videos it looks amazing. It’s huge. Very huge. I personally love huge buildings high in the mountains.
The cable car both ways is going to cost you 54 CHF. Please check all the time tables and latest prices right here: Säntis cable car.
There’s hotel, restaurant up there, so you can spend more time up there and enjoy the views to the peaks next to it.
After visiting Säntis and playing a bit with the fresh snow, we headed back to St. Gallen. It was time for dinner and walk around St. Gallen.
We went for a pizza and headed to the Abbey of St. Gallen. There’s a very very old library in there.
The Abbey itself looks very nice and you can actually visit the Abbey premises if you wish as well, but we went just to the library.
The ticket to the library costs 12 CHF and it wasn’t possible to make photos as it is strictly forbidden.
Now, I always do not want to recommend to people something that they may not like. As you know, the library ticket is 12 CHF and the library is actually one big room (ancient) with lots of very old books, some displays, one old big globe. If you are not into history and stuff like that, better spend money somewhere else than be disappointed.
I myself am a fan of history. The library is very beautiful, I guess one of a kind. The books are ancient there, some coming from 8th century! Can you imagine? It’s a treasure. As well, that big globe up there: it was made in the 15th century and a lot of information is not right there (this is how people understood the world then), but I found my home country with few cities mentioned on there 😉 That was a very cool thing. For example, second biggest city in Lithuania is Kaunas, bet then it was Cowno 🙂 I was so excitetd, it was like looking for WALDO 🙂 Our harbour then was called Memel – and it is on that globe! It was a cool experience for me.
And seeing all those old books – amazing.
BUT if you are not interested in history and none of that stuff is for you, you are going to enter library, walk through it in 3 minutes and out. 12 CHF is gone 🙂
So I suggest this Abbey library to the history nerds 😉
After the Abbey we went to a very nice Chocolaterie am Klosterplatz where they sell beautifully done cupcakes and bakery. I got the chocolate/nuts cookie which was delicious!
Please have a look at some pictures I’ve done in St. Gallen.
Next to cathedral there’s very nice meadow and all of the Abbey buildings.
It reminds me a bit of Great Britain old architecture:)
Some german style architecture seen in the back. Chocolaterie am Klosterplatz is seen there shining: first floor 🙂
German architecture definitely has a touch on the city’s landscape 🙂
St. Gallen is a very beautiful Swiss town and if you include the surroundings of it: you get a very nice and full of beautiful places day trip.
I personally like that St. Gallen has it all: it is full of nice restaurants, bars, history, architecture, but is calm and not crowded at the same time.
If you have a car and willing to travel around, there’s so much to see: you can even jump to Liechtenstein, you can visit the mountains: no joke, full scale Swiss Alps. All is reachable in minutes. I think St. Gallen is in a great location actually.
If you like the surroundings of St. Gallen, I have another offer for you, why not to visit Fälensee? It is a beautiful lake in the Swiss Alps, not so far from St. Gallen and Glarus. It’s a beautiful hike with couple of Swiss Alps lakes, some Swiss history, beautiful peaks and with a glimpse to Liechtensteni. Read about it right here: Fälensee hike.
If you have any questions about St. Gallen, please let me know, I will do my best to help you!
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