Delve deep into the heart of one of Switzerland’s most traditional areas at Appenzell. This quaint village sits peacefully in the Appenzell Innerrhoden canton, a region famous for cattle farming and cheese making. Admire the artistic flair of Appenzell while wandering the historic village streets. Experience farming and folk customs at lively festivals and enjoy outdoor adventures in the surrounding Appenzell Alps.
The car-free village center is an ideal place to explore on foot. Peek inside boutiques and galleries and marvel at the artistic façades of the buildings on Hauptgasse. One example is the Hampi Fässler House, which is decorated with shutters painted by Adalbert Fässler. Other impressive landmarks are the Appenzell Castle and Heiligkreuzkapelle church. Learn about regional history at Appenzeller Museum and visit Landsgemeindeplatz, a square where regional parliamentary elections are held.
Cross the river and visit the Appenzell Brewery. See how beer is made using spring water, browse displays of historic brewing equipment and sample various styles of beer. English audio guides are available.
During the summer, the meadows, mountains and valleys of the Appenzell Alps provide the perfect setting for hikes. Ride in a cable car from Wasserauen to 5,380-foot (1,640-meter) tall Ebenalp, one of the Alpstein peaks. Kick off your shoes and walk barefoot along the pristine trails around Gonten. Find more hiking routes and exquisite views over the Rhine Valley at 5,885-foot (1,794-meter) tall Hoher Kasten.
Come in winter to explore a network of 124 miles (200 kilometers) of cross-country ski terrain. Ebenalp-Schwende Ski Area and Kronberg Ski Area are two well-equipped resorts popular among skiers and snowboarders.
Be sure to try Appenzeller cheese, a spicy brine-cured cheese that has been made for over 700 years. Sample other local delicacies at rural restaurants spread out along the Alpstein trails.
Appenzell is just a 2-hour train ride from Zurich and a 30-minute journey from St. Gallen. Have a fun visit in August, when the Ländlerfest offers a celebration of folk music and dance.