This festive season, discover Switzerland’s lesser-known gem, St. Gallen, for a memorable winter getaway. You will find St. Gallen tucked away between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland in Eastern Switzerland. The “city of stars”, as it is known during the festive season, is a UNESCO world-heritage protected region with a charming car-free city centre. St. Gallen comes to life during the winter holiday season with Christmas markets, carols, and exciting events happening all across town. Take a look at our list of the five top reasons to add St. Gallen to your festive bucket list. Pack your warming winter clothes and we will see you there!
1. See the tallest Christmas Tree in Switzerland under 700 stary lights
Visit St.Gallen this Christmas to see it sparkle under the 700 festive lights illuminating its historic Abbey. The locals have nicknamed their city, the “city of stars” during the Advent season due to its spectacular seasonal decorations. The entire district of the Abbey is decorated with 18,000 lights, although the enormous Christmas Tree, in front of the town cathedral, is the real showstopper. The tree is actually the tallest Christmas tree in Switzerland! Go for the extravagant festive decorations, stay for the unbeatably jolly atmosphere.
2. Visit the «Christkindli» Christmas Market with over 150 stalls
Venture to the city’s charming Christmas Market to soak up the festive atmosphere at the historic town centre. Imagine picturesque huts against a beautiful snowy backdrop. Browse the stalls of local craftsmen to find unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones. And, if the cold weather gets to you, warm up with some spiced mulled wine or a decadent hot chocolate. Also, make sure to try delicious local delicacies such as a warming raclette or a hearty bratwurst. This festive market is the perfect way to discover St Gallen’s local culture and get into the spirit of the season.
3. Join the season-special St Gallen Christmas Tour
Throughout the month of December, the city hosts a series of seasonal walks to help you soak up the city’s festive spirit. Learn about the festive past of this history-steeped town from a trusted local guide. Touring the tour, you will find yourself strolling through the town’s snow-covered picturesque streets while listening to local anecdotes. The tour also includes a stop for local goodies, including some warm mulled wine and spiced biscuits. And, if you are more excited by the goodies than the history, you can also join the special Festive Tasting Tour of St. Gallen that takes place around the 15th of December.
4. Go on a scenic snowy hike for an authentic winter wonderland experience
St Gallen’s unique location between Lake Constance and the mountains of Appenzell makes it unbeatable when it comes to scenic wintery hikes. Put on your cosiest winter coast and venture to St Gallen’s beautiful hiking paths to experience an authentic winter wonderland. We recommend taking the 1-hour panoramic route that leads up to the three ponds. On a clear day, you can see lake Constance and even Germany on the other side. The path then leads you through the Mühlebach gorge into the old town of St. Gallen where more festivities await!