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Rapperswil, Switzerland

Rapperswil historical city at lake Zurich

The medieval castle, famous rosaries and the lakeside promenade as well as an interesting mix of fashion boutiques, art and book shops – all great reasons to visit Rapperswil, Switzerland. The old town of Rapperswil is car-free and invites for a stroll and a coffee in the various restaurants.

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Sorell Hotels in Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Hotel Speer****

In the heart of the city, on the shore of the lake and underneath a castle. More highlights in one location are highly unlikely. The Sorell Hotel Speer offers all of them and on top an impeccable and warm service.

Knie's Kinderzoo

Knie’s Kinderzoo, a zoo for children, lets you get close to the animals and even pet and feed a few of them. You can also find out all about our furry four-legged friends, gentle giants, inquisitive little rodents and many more. Teeny-tiny and gigantic, light as a feather and weighing a ton – the zoo is home to over 40 species from all over the world.

Open every day from March until October.

Oberseestrasse 36 | 8640 Rapperswil-Jona
+41 (0)55 220 67 60

RappiTrail

Digital scavenger hunt

Would you like to discover Rapperswil’s fascinating stories, beautiful places and coolest sights, but don’t fancy joining a classic city tour? Then the RappiTrail is just right for you. Your smartphone guides you through the city using an app and shows you where to go next on a digital map. For the more competitive among you, there are quiz questions to answer and maybe even a little prize at the end for those who’ve racked up enough points.

Every day from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Capuchin Monastery & Rose Gardens

The monastery in Rapperswil has a long history - the Capuchin brothers have lived here since 1602 and have also been accepting guests to live with them since 1992. On a guided tour with one of the brothers, you can take a look behind the monastery walls to learn about Franciscan history and ways of life. Around the Capuchin monastery are also the famous rose gardens, to which Rapperswil owes its name «City of Roses». More than 20,000 roses bloom here from May to October. A walk through the rose gardens is a real treat not only for the eyes but also for the nose.

Herzroute

Find your way over winding heights from the St. Gallen area to the Zurich region, look far across the lake and glide slowly along the harbour promenade of Rapperswil. Switzerland is not only known for its great hiking trails, but also has a lot to offer for passionate cyclists. The Herzroute is a cycling route consisting of 13 stages on which you can cycle from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva right across Switzerland on your two wheels. Each stage has its own special features and highlights in store for you.

Oberseerundweg Circular Lakeside Trail

A trail that tells a story: travel through seven municipalities and two cantons on foot or by bike on the Oberseerundweg trail along the upper shores of Lake Zurich. Ten to 20 points of interest are the perfect spots to relax and explore. They tell all kinds of historical, socio-political, zoological and mystical tales in a fascinating and entertaining way. Boat trips incorporate the lake and river into your journey.

Work on the Oberseerundweg trail is currently underway. The first section will open in spring 2021. Rapperswil itself will play host to three points of interest.

Wooden Bridge

From Rapperswil to Hurden

Thanks to the prehistoric pile remains, part of the Alpine region’s lakeside settlement, the wooden bridge from Rapperswil to Hurden is a UNESCO World Heritage site. What was once a winding, wobbly wooden bridge with loosely-laid boards, crossed as far back as the Middle Ages by pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela, is now a modern wooden bridge 2.5 m wide. At 841 m, it’s the longest wooden bridge in Switzerland. Follow in the pilgrims’ footsteps across the bridge from Rapperswil to Hurden.

Way of St. James

Rapperswil to Einsiedeln

If you would like to continue along the Way of St. James even after crossing the lake over the wooden bridge, you can follow the pilgrims' route to Einsiedeln Monastery. On a total of 17 kilometres, you walk through beautiful landscapes, past castles, chapels and churches, over the St. Meinrad pass to the famous Benedictine monastery of Einsiedeln.

Lake Zurich Cruise

You can take not one but two cruises from Rapperswil. There’s the upper Lake Zurich cruise through the Seedamm pass at Hurden to Schmerikon or the round trip in the lower lake basin to the old brewery in Wädenswil. Cruises to Zurich’s Bürkliplatz and the nature reserve on Ufenau Island, with its beautiful little hiking trails and vineyards, are also worth your while. Where better to soak up the sun’s rays than on board a cruise ship?

By the way: a range of cruise ship experiences, with themes including fondue, brunch, salsa and ’80s party, set sail from Zurich.

Enea Tree Museu

In Rapperswil, at the world’s only tree museum, 75,000 m2 of land is home to over 50 trees of more than 25 varieties – some of which are over a century old. The museum is surrounded by grounds which are home to another 100 species of trees and plants. Here, the power and beauty of nature meets all kinds of architecture, art and design – making it an outstanding venue for weddings and events, as well as the perfect daytrip destination.

Open all year round, except Sundays and public holidays, and from 24 to 31 December

Buechstrasse 12 | 8645 Rapperswil–Jona
T +41 (0)55 225 55 55

Rapperswil City Tours

A castle, a bunker, a rose garden, a wooden bridge, a picturesque old town and vibrant, exciting stories and anecdotes – Rapperswil has a lot to offer. Get to know the Town of Roses and its highlights on a guided or themed tour.

Public city and themed tours take place on specific dates (city tours from April to October, themed tours once a month all year round). Groups can also book private tours and experiences on a date of their choice.

Kunst(Zeug)Haus

At the Kunst(Zeug)Haus, art and architecture combine to bring together past and present. The former armoury plays host to temporary exhibitions by Swiss contemporary artists all year round. The Kunst(Zeug)Haus also offers a development platform for artists under 30 and one of the world’s largest Robinson libraries, with around 4,000 publications inspired by Robinson Crusoe. Books of all kinds – plus drawings, games, films and portfolios – tell the story of Robinson Crusoe and his adventures.

Open from Wednesday to Sunday

Schönbodenstrasse 1 | 8640 Rapperswil-Jona

Stadtmuseum

Rapperswil’s city museum isn’t just full of historical artefacts – it’s one in its own right. Consisting of a new building with an architectural bronze facade, the Breny-Haus dating back to 1492, and the mighty medieval tower, the museum in the heart of the old town is the perfect place to discover the 800-year history and culture of Rapperswil-Jona. Enjoy a guided tour of the temporary and permanent exhibitions or explore the museum’s 18 rooms for yourself.

Open Wednesday to Sunday

Herrenberg 30/40 | 8640 Rapperswil

Alpamare

Discover the jungle in Europe’s largest indoor water park, and swim and slide among tropical plants and Mayan ruins. There’s plenty of fun and action to be had on 12 different water slides. If you’re still full of energy after whizzing down the slides, you can work it off in the fitness area. But if you prefer a little peace and tranquillity, Alpamare has got you covered: various swimming pools and a spa area with saunas and steam rooms are ideal spots to rest and recharge. For little ones, there’s a baby and toddler zone with mini slides, splash pools and water fountain play areas. A daytrip destination with something for the whole family.

Daily open

Gwattstrasse 12 | 8808 Pfäffikon
T +41 55 415 15 15