Top Places To Explore in St Gallen and Romanshorn In Springtime
It was supposed to be an e-bike trip from St Gallen (or Velo-Rallye Bodensee) all around Lake Constance, but the Springtime weather put a stop to that! A quick change of plan was required to cope with the onslaught of April snow, and so it meant that I got to discover the city of St Gallen and the area around Romanshorn on foot and via public transport instead.
Some photos of St Gallen under April Snow
You may have read our previous article “A Day Trip to St Gallen” – so today I’m touching on a few more things to do in the region. And if you visit in better weather, why not go on a self-guided biking tour? The area is relatively flat and you can even hire bikes and e-bikes from the St Gallen Tourist Office. You can check out the Biking Tour (Velo-Rallye Bodensee ) details here.
Beautiful Architecture in St Gallen
After a hearty breakfast at the centrally located Sorrel Hotel City Weissenstein I set off on a short guided tour of the Klosterplatz, the Gallusplatz and the Cathedral with local guide, Antoinette Corciulo. St Gallen was a thriving city during the textile boom and the merchants liked to show off their wealth with fine houses, lots of turrets and embellishments.
As you walk round the city you will see some beautiful buildings and some stunning architecture. Lovely squares and statues are to be found as well as lots of quaint half timbered houses.
The Cathedral or Stiftskirche St. Gallus und Otmar
The Cathedral or Stiftskirche St. Gallus und Otmar is the impressive Roman Catholic church in the centre of the city of St. Gallen.
Photos of the interior of the Cathedral
The interior is beautiful and even if you have visited before, it’s definitely worth seeing again.
St Gallen Abbey Library a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The whole area around the Abbey precinct was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983. The Abbey Library of St Gallen is a significant medieval monastic library and absolutely stunning. It’s full of wood and intricate artwork, especially on the ceiling. It is designated a “Class A” Swiss cultural property of national significance.
St Gallen Abbey Library
It houses some 170,000 documents. Many are hand written and some are over a thousand years old. It is said to have Switzerland’s most beautiful Rococo hall. The library is open to the public for a small entrance fee, but you need to wear over sized slippers to protect the beautiful wooden floors and unfortunately you aren’t allowed to take photos.
The fountain with the figure of Gallus is a tribute to the man who gave his name to the city.
According to legend, St Gall was travelling from Ireland to the continent of Europe when he ended up in Switzerland. He was a disciple and one of the traditional twelve companions of Saint Columbanus who made St Gallen his home. Once whilst St Gall was making a fire in the woods a bear emerged and starting charging towards him. St Gall managed to rebuke the bear which after retreating, came back with firewood for St Gall for the fire. From then on St Gall was followed around by his loyal bear.
Textile Museum St Gallen
Another great place to visit is the Textile Museum in St Gallen.
We didn’t have time on this trip but take a look at this article about the Museum and maybe build a visit into your itinerary.
Würth Haus Rorschach Art Museum Rohrschach
Next we headed for St.Gallen railway station where we took a train to Rorschach and visited the Würth Haus Rorschach. It’s a FREE art museum with 800 m2 of exhibition space. It displays contemporary art collections and has some very eye catching work on display.
There are 18,500 works in the museum and there are lots of temporary exhibitions.
After visiting the museum do stop for coffee at the restaurant which overlooks Lake Constance. On a sunny day the views across the lake are stunning.
Lunch at Restaurant Seehus Egnach
The next stop was Egnach where we walked to the Restaurant Seehus which has great views directly across Lake Constance. There are plenty of fish dishes on the menu and I had a delicious lunch there.
“MoMö” – the Swiss Cider & Distillery Museum
Suitable fortified, my next stop was “MoMö” – the Swiss Cider and Distillery Museum.
There are lots of interesting exhibits, many of which are interactive and fun for children and adults alike.
They explain all about the history of the Mohl brand and it’s a great destination for families with children. After watching a short film and going round the museum we stopped in the “Saftladen” to try out a variety of Apple Juices.
If schnapps is more your thing, don’t worry, as you can also do a schnapps tasting instead!
Restaurant The Pinch St Gallen
After a very interesting exploration of the museum it was soon time for dinner and we went to the The Pinch in St Gallen. It’s an American restaurant featuring an eclectic mix of international food. We tried some very tasty beef and belly pork dishes as well as a delicious deconstructed poke bowl.
It’s very popular and has a great buzz in the evenings. Reservations are recommended!
Autobau Erlebniswelt Romanshorn
The following morning we arrived at the Autobau Erlebniswelt in Romanshorn for a guided tour with Hansruedi Zürcher. Autobau Erlebniswelt is a privately owned museum all about cars.
It occupies a unique location on Lake Constance and has an incredible collection of wonderful automobiles of all types. It features everything from Formula One racing cars to sports cars to a wonderful “Bubble car” and even some go carts. Our guide, Handruedi is passionate about cars and told us fascinating anecdotes as we toured the museum. During the Summer months they even bring out some of the cars for rides around the museum grounds. It’s definitely a cool place to visit for anyone with even the slightest interest in cars.
Restaurant Hafen in Romanshorn
We had a lunch at Restaurant Hafen in Romanshorn. Ideally situated right on the water, this stylish restaurant also boasts an idyllic backdrop of Romanshorn’s harbour.
The restaurant specialises in fine fish from Lake Constance and regional delicacies.
Biking and E-Biking in The St Gallen – Appenzell – Thurgau Region
So unfortunately, we were unlucky with the weather for our planned “Velo-Rallye Bodensee”. However, don’t let our April snow put you off planning a bike trip or an e-bike adventure. There are a number of great routes you can choose going from St.Gallen to Appenzellerland and the Thurgau region. The terrain is mainly flat so is ideally suited to all bike riders, even novices. The trails take you past farms, orchards, Lake Constance itself as well as charming restaurants and interesting museums. There are a total of six different bike tours.
Where To Stay
We stayed at the newly renovated Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein at Davidstrasse 21 in the heart of St. Gallen. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the main railway station and all the sights of St. Gallen.
Photo courtesy of Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein
The rooms are bright and all newly modernised and the breakfast buffet offers a wide choice of hot and cold dishes.
Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein, Davidstrasse 21, St Gallen. You can book the hotel here.
Restaurants We Visited
Restaurant Seehus Egnach
Address: Wiedehorn 28, 9322 Egnach
Restaurant The Pinch St Gallen
Address: Davidstrasse 20, 9000 St.Gallen
Visit the Pinch website here.
Restaurant Hafen Romanshorn
Address: Friedrichshafnerstrasse 55, 8590 Romanshorn
Interesting Places To Visit in the Region
Abbey Library of St Gallen & The Cathedral
Address: Klosterhof 6D, 9000 St. Gallen
Würth Haus Rorschach
Address: Churerstrasse 10, 9400 Rorschach
Autobau Erlebniswelt Romanshorn
Address: Egnacherweg 7, 8590 Romanshorn
MoMö – the Swiss Cider and Distillery Museum Arbon
Address: St. Gallerstrasse 209, 9320 Arbon
Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein St Gallen
Address: Davidstrasse 21, St Gallen. You can book the hotel here.
Bike Tours In The Region
Why not interrupt your bike tour (Velo-Rallye Bodensee) with a leisurely picnic or grill a St Galler Bratwurst at one of the many barbecue sites. Take a look at the suggestion in the website links below:
You can find out more about St Gallen by visiting the Tourism website here
Yo can find more information on Romanshorn and Thurgau by visiting the Tourism website here
You might also be interested to know that there is a fun competition you might like to enter with cool prizes to be won. It’s a digital Collecting Contest which costs CHF 9 per person to enter. (Please note that during the month of April 2022 it is free of charge!) So whilst you’re on your bike tour through St Gallen you can have fun, create memories and have a chance of winning a great prize. Take a look (in German) at the contest here.
Whatever you do in St Gallen have fun! 🙂
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