The Appenzell district is located in the north eastern part of Switzerland near the borders with Austria and is one of the country’s most historic cantons. The small town of Appenzell, with only 6000 inhabitants, is the capital of the canton and the most important city in the surrounding area. The entire region of Appenzell resembles a magical landscape that has sprung up through a fairy tale, with stunning scenery, mountains, lakes and small villages, that you will definitely love!
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What To See...
This very small town of 6000 inhabitants is the capital of the entire canton of Appenzell and is considered one of the most traditional towns of Switzerland. Traditions are in every corner of the city, making it even more beautiful. Appenzell is crossed by a small river and its main road is Hauptgasse, which runs across the city. This central pedestrian street is home to most of the city’s shops, cafés and restaurants as well as the town hall. Sure, if you walk this 500 meters road, you will have seen the largest and most beautiful part of the city.
Lake Seealpsee is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes we have ever seen! In a scenery, which whenever you visit it, you wonder if this landscape exists in reality! The beauty of the lake and the surrounding area, is something we can not describe in words, even photographs are poor to describe the beauties we have seen!
Seealpsee is just 9 km from the center of Appenzell and is very easily accessible by car. Spend a whole day at this magical place, hike around the lake and go to the Aescher Hotel that we will refer below. Surely Seealpsee is the most beautiful spot in the whole area and in our opinion if you have time to see only one place, then is certainly this Lake!
The Aescher hotel is literally built inside the Swiss alps and is a very popular attraction in the Appenzell district. This former hotel, since it is no longer possible to overnight here, serves only meals or coffee to guests, with stunning views of the alps. There is no road where you can reach the hotel by car or by other means. The only way to visit Aescher is by the Wasserauen-Ebenalp cable car, which costs 27 Swiss francs per person roundtrip. A much more difficult way to get to this amazing place is from lake Seealpsee through a quite difficult hiking path. Aescher operates from May to November.
Old Cheese Factory
This old cheese factory is located in the village of Stein only 8 km from the center of Appenzell and it will be a terrific experience if you want to visit it. Inside the cheese factory-museum you will see the secrets of producing the local, incredible cheeses and you will be touring at its facilities. Do not forget to try some cheeses at its restaurant, as everything we tried was really delicious. Although a little expensive is definitely worth a try and maybe buy some of them.
Appenzell is a relatively small area in Switzerland, and if you rent a car you will not need more than 2-3 days to see everything. The best excursion from Appenzell is of course, the Lake Seealpsee along with the Aescher Hotel, which are the most impressive sights in the area, of course, along with several hikes around the tallest mountain, which is called Säntis. The whole area is by itself an attraction and the scenery you see is really incredible, all you have to do is to drive around the district and discover its magic.
What To Eat
Appenzell is one of the most traditional parts of Switzerland and even Swiss people consider the residents who live here the most traditionals. The area is famous for its unbelievable cheeses and not unfairly, as everything we tried was incredible! You can get them from the few small stores or even better from the producers themselves. Most of them sell their products directly and the quality of the products is very high.
How to move
To discover the beauty of this canton of Switzerland, it is a good idea to rent a car, that will help you to see the relatively small area of Appenzell in a short period of time. Of course, even the choice of renting a bicycle is not bad at all, as the distances are not big and it is also an amazing experience. The nearest airport is Zurich and is about 95 km from Appenzell, 1:30 minutes by car.
Where to stay
Accommodation in Switzerland is generally very expensive as we have mentioned in previous articles, but the Appenzell district is slightly cheaper (not too much) for some reason than the other very touristic parts of Switzerland and its big cities. A very good double room in the greater area of Appenzell costs around 80-120 Swiss francs per night. You can make your reservations via Booking.com
Appenzell Through Our Eyes...
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