I wish you a pleasant stay in this historical house and hope that everything runs very well for you.
Informations for your safety and for emergencies are at the end of this introduction and on the yellow paper.
I just want to give you some informations about this house, about our region and how to get around. It's a summary of what my guests asked before and what I like to do, when I'm going out.
The best and the most complete touristic overview to Appenzell is on the website at http://www.appenzell.ch/en (in English).
Restaurants and Shops in the Center
The center of Appenzell is only about 1 km2. Everything between the railway station, the parish church, the river Sitter and the supermarkets in the district of Ziel is reachable in 5-10 minutes on foot.
Restaurants in the center
Café-Hotel Appenzell, well-kept kitchen and patisseries, very good value for money price category: Hauptgasse 37, 9050 Appenzell
Restaurant Marktplatz, refined cuisine and Appenzellian ambience: Kronengarten 2, 9050 Appenzell
Restaurant und Hotel Säntis, well-kept kitchen, higher price, also has a bar: Landsgemeindeplatz 3, 9050 Appenzell
Café-Bäckerei-Konditorei Drei Könige, cozy and good; I regularly buy there. Hauptgasse 26, 9050 Appenzell
Bistro Appetito Pizzeria und Take Away is a little bit cheaper then other restaurants: Marktgasse 13, 9050 Appenzell , Mobile +41 78 893 56 76.
Restaurant in the Supermarket Migros. Good and cheap meals. Approximately 10 minutes on foot. Lower goal, 9050 Appenzell, open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 7 pm (on Friday until 8 pm, on Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm) Closed on Sunday.
Alpenkebab und Pizza delivery service. Cheap meals between 10 and 20 Swiss francs. Open Monday to Friday 10 to 13.30 and 17 to 22, on Saturday without break until 0:30 and on Sunday 10:30 to 22. It's located on the other side of the railway station at Bahnhofstr. 4, 9050 Appenzell, phone +41 71 780 10 69.
I love restaurants with nice views. There are many in the region, e.g. in Schlatt, Leimensteig, Alpenblick und Frohe Aussicht in Schwende, Eggli, Hoher Hirschberg, Oberer Gäbris oder Unterer Gäbris and many mountain inns.
There are eight recommended bakeries within a 4 minute walk from my house.
Café Laimbacher is probably still the best (and most expensive) pastry shop: Weissbadstrasse 3, 9050 Appenzell
Café-Bäckerei-Konditorei Drei Könige is my favorite bakery. If you are there, have a look as well at the room behind and at the cellar, which are in Medieval style.
Especially foreign tourists and I feel restaurants in Switzerland quite expensive. If I want to eat something good and cheap, I buy a cheese or vegetable cake in a bakery. They usually warm it there, if you ask for. But you may take it to my home as well and warm up in the oven.
In train stations and some pizzerias or Thai restaurants in Switzerland, there is food to take with you (Take-Away). I take it, sit by nice weather on a bench at a park or place and eat there.
I take my own coffee or tea in a thermos. I can lend you a thermos.
Special Shops in Appenzell
Handicraft building of Roger Dörig: The Handicrafts Building of Roger Dörig: Poststrasse 6 (house in the neighborhood), 9050 Appenzell.
Zunfthaus zu Appenzell with craftsmanship: Poststrasse 8, 9050 Appenzell.
Flauderei, the business location of the renowend mineral water “Flauder”: Hauptgasse 21, 9050 Appenzell
The visitor center Brauquöll of the successful brewery “Appenzeller Bier” runs a shop and a museum. There are about 30 different types of beer from this brewery and also some malt specialties, which can be bought there. The Audioguide in several languages is quite entertaining. Between April and October, a beer degustation takes place on Monday at 1 pm. Address: Brauereiplatz 1, 9050 Appenzell (4 minutes walk from my house).
Appenzeller Alpenbitter with shop and exhibition, Weissbadstrasse 27, 9050 Appenzell
Eine A butcher's shop with specialities from our region is located at Hirschengasse 4, 9050 Appenzell
Appenzeller cheese and many other cheese varieties from the region are available at the Chäslade, Hauptgasse 13, 9050 Appenzell and at Chäs Sutter at Marktgasse 8, 9050 Appenzell. If you really want to buy cheese, you usually get small samples of different varieties. You can have the purchased cheese vacuumed in plastic, so they do not smell too much in the luggage.
There are many bakeries and confectioneries as described above.
Other shops on the main street and nearby are antiques, drugstore, furniture shop, clothes, household goods, banks with ATMs, spirits, gallery etc.
Hiking and other Sports
On the Internet and at the tourist office you will find numerous tips for sports activities. On the web:
The hiking trails in our region are numerous and usually well signposted. You can get printouts of hiking maps. Here are my personal preferences:
Sammelplatz – Appenzell (1 hour)
In the evening, about 2-3 hours before sunset, I travel by train from Appenzell two stops to “Sammelplatz” in the direction to St. Gallen (it takes only 7 minutes.) There is a stop on request: please take the red button on the train before the stop to press).
Then I walk from the station to Appenzell, which takes about 1 hour. There are different paths, all of which are beautiful and give a view of the mountains.
Walking along the river Sitter (¼ to 2 h)
I also love taking a walk along the River Sitter. After the bridge at the parish church you can go upstream as well as downstream. You'll find often a possibility to choose another way back to Appenzell. This walk can take 20 minutes to 2 hours.
Ebenalp, cliff house Äscher and the caves Wildkirchli
This area has now become world famous.
There are several beautiful hiking trails:
The most beautiful sporting hike to Wildkirchli is from Wasserauen (train terminus) via Seealpsee. This takes 3-4 hours.
It is more convenient to use the Luftseilbahn to Ebenalp . On the Ebenalp, there is another nice way towards Schäfler. After about 15 minutes there is a bench on the left with a nice view of the mountains. This is a suitable place to rest in a quiet place, perhaps to feed the mountain slopes with a piece of apple or bread, and to marvel at their flight and return to Ebenalp.
I also like to use the Publicar (a public call bus) from Appenzell up to “Erstböhl” on 1100 m. From there, the hike to Äscher and Wildkirchli takes only 1 hour.
Panoramic hike from Kronberg to Appenzell
By train we leave Appenzell three stops towards Gossau and get off at Jakobsbad. (It takes only 7 minutes, there is a stop on request: please press the red button on the train before the station).
Then we take the cable car to Kronberg. From there the path leads back to Appenzell. This hike takes 2½ hours.
Also the opposite direction from Appenzell to the Kronberg is beautiful. This hike takes about 3 hours. You can shorten the hike by taking the Publicar (a public bus) from Appenzell up to the parking at “Sollegg” to almost 1200 meters. From there the hike takes only 2 hours.
Eggli und Fähnern
I occasionally travel with friends by Publicar or by private car from Appenzell up to Eggli. There is a beautiful view of the mountains. There are hiking trails and the Restaurant Eggli. There up it winds more often than elsewhere; a wind jacket is recommended.
Breathtaking is the view of mountains in Switzerland and in Austria on the mountains called “Hoher Kasten” and “Säntis“. For Hoher Kasten, take the train two stops towards Wasserauen and change at Weissbad to the yellow bus bound for Brülisau. From there, the cable car runs up to the mountain "Hoher Kasten".
The “Säntis” is the highest mountain in the Alpstein. You take the train from Appenzell towards Gossau. At Urnäsch (takes about 15 minutes), you change to the yellow bus to “Schwägalp” (this journey takes about 30 minutes). From Schwägalp, the cable car goes up to Säntis. I prefer the old restaurant with a nice terrace, which is a 5 minutes' walk from the top station. (The Appenzeller Holiday Card is not valid for the cable car, only for the train and the bus to the base station).
Barefoot trail from Gonten to Gontenbad
Walking barefoot, as I used to do in my childhood, is a nice and healthy experience. I walk this barefoot trail with friends, putting our shoes in a plastic bag or backpack. From the station Gonten (5 minutes from Appenzell, there is a stop on request: please press the red button in the train before the stop). Halfway there is a wooden hut, which informs about the peat extraction in former times. Next door is a pond with moor, where we immersed our feet and calves really into the brown moor. Who can still enjoy this in our civilized society today? The well which is nearby allows us to wash off the natural mud pack again. In Gontenbad we take the train to Appenzell (stop on request, please press the button before the arrival of the train) or continue on to the home.
Other sports activities
I like the Wellness bath with 33°C in the Hotel Hof Weissbad on cool days. It is open for non-hotel guests between 9 am and 4 pm. Afterwards I spend some time in the restaurant, where occasionally a pianist plays. In the garden next door I meet kitchen herbs and healing herbs, which are well labeled and are used by the hotel kitchen. I return to Appenzell by bicycle, train or on foot. http://www.hofweissbad.ch.
In the summer, I like to swim in the river Sitter. A cozy, natural bathing place is located north of the village, about 20 minutes on foot. It also invites you to read and to meditate. Also a fire place is nearby, where I can grill with friends.
Otherwise, there is still the refreshing-cool wet of the mountain lakes and ponds in the region and (somewhat warmer) the public Outdoor pool in Appenzell.
I practice yoga and meditation in my house. I've already worked through a lot of books and audio-visuals. I like to use special background music as well to deepen my practise. On request, I offer Yoga mats, seat cushion and relaxation music with earphones and appropriate books.
Old customs and rituals
The region of Appenzell is rich in customs, rituals and folk culture, with which I regularly come into contact as a resident. The roots are not infrequent until the pre-Christian era. I think it is special that in our modern Western culture such a diversity and depth is still maintained. It is a cultural treasure which is worth visiting. A brochure in several languages in the tourist office and some museums in the area depict it lively >download pdf, e.g.
In health care, natural healing, faith healing, herbal teas and juices, well-anchored in our country, also small rituals and sayings, magical and spiritual support by humans, "För hitz ond Brand" or "För Hitz ond Brand" or the Herbal-garden and visitor centre A. Vogel.
Very ancient, almost magical customs are "Räuchle" at New Year, New Year's Eve, Funkensonntag, Blochumzug, Carnaval,
The artisans include goldsmiths, chuse-makers, embroidery, peasant painting, dulcimer, sennenumsartikel.
Appenzell peasant art
As a cultural property of our country, I would like to highlight Appenzell peasant art. In art history, it is called naive painting because, unlike modern art, it has remained simple and generally charming. This painting originated primarily in the field of agriculture, where agricultural implements, garments or parts were painted on house facades. A nice example is the house facades in the village center of Appenzell, which are sometimes quite simple and another time more refined.
I am especially touched by the art of Appenzell music and natural yodel. They are unique. The emotions in it ranges from very melancholic to cheerful and exuberant, sometimes even in the same piece of music. Listen to music online or ask me for examples.
A good overview can be found in the Roothuus in Gonten http://roothuus-gonten.ch/ , a research center with museum and practice room.
During the summer, every Thursday evening, music is played and sometimes sung in the town hall of Appenzell, just opposite to my house.
Some restaurants in the area occasionally or regularly offer Appenzeller music, which can be found on the Appenzell Tourismus website http://www.appenzell.ch in the event calendar and the list of regular music festivals.
At the cattle show (first Tuesday in October) and at festivals among the locals the natural yodel is sung in an authentic way.
The literature is also worth mentioning. On the ground floor of our house is a book shop with a well-maintained assortment. The women of this bookstore organize readings and reading groups. Thereby they contribute significantly to the maintenance of the literature in our region and beyond. Why not have a look at this bookshop?
Museums and exhibitions
A short description in English of all museums in our region: http://www.museen-im-appenzellerland.ch/en/museums/
Visitors' Center Brauquöll and sales area of the well-known brewery Appenzellerbier (Audioguides available in several languages): Brauereiplatz 1, 9050 Appenzell.
Appenzeller Alpenbitter: exhibition and sales location of this spirits manufacturer at Weissbadstrasse 27, 9050 Appenzell.
Energy spots, spiritual and magical places
I like to visit the places of power and magical places:
Monastery of Mary of the Angels (Particularly high geomantic vibrations were found in the church)
Stephans chapel under the parish church
Ahorn chapel, Ottilia chapel and other chapels in the area. There is even a signposted hike around Appenzell which visits many chapels.
The moor between Sollegg and Kronberg
The Kindlistein near Heiden
Excursions in the larger surroundings
A trip to St. Gallen is always worth a visit, especially if the weather is not so fine. There are many attractions, shops and events. The train ride is free with the Appenzell holiday card *. In the evening after 10 pm buses run instead of trains, on Friday and Saturday even until 02:40 o'clock at night.
In St. Gallen I think the Stiftsbezirk something special that belongs to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. It began over 1400 years ago and has been constantly changing over the centuries. From my point of view, the baroque cathedral and the Abbey library with museum are worth visiting.
Journey by train via Gais down in the valley to Altstätten
First we take the train from Appenzell to St. Gallen and after 10 minutes we change in Gais to the train bound for Altstätten. This second train drives down the valley with a gear wheel and gives a beautiful view of the landscape to Austria. (This route is free with Appenzell holiday map). The mediaeval town of Altstätten is worth a stay of 1-2 hours.
You can then take the train back to Appenzell
Drive via Trogen to Heiden
For this day trip (free with Appenzeller holiday card) we use the train to St. Gallen and Trogen. At Trogen we take the bus to Heiden. In St. Anton there is a breathtaking view of the Rhine valley. A stay of 1 hour is recommended, if there is a bus one hour later.
Heiden is an old air-cure with a very beautiful view of the Lake Constance up to Germany and Austria. The journey back to Appenzell is faster and more comfortable by bus to St. Gallen and from there by train to Appenzell.
On Lake Constance and in its cities around
Starting from St. Gallen I use the Euregio day ticket for less than 30 CHF and can ride a whole day with train, bus and ferry in the upper region of lake Constance. In one day we are able to visit three nations. A nice route is from St. Gallen to Konstanz (if you like with detours to Meersburg, the island Mainau or the island Reichenau) and on to Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen to the Rhine Falls. You can return by train via Germany and Austria. This is a fairly long trip for just 36 CHF.
My favorite route is from St. Gallen by train to Romanshorn, from there by ferry to Friedrichshafen. There is a restaurant on the ferry. If you make a short break in Friedrichshafen you can get to the view tower "Moleturm", visit the Zeppelin museum or browse through the shops. For 250-900 CHF you can even fly with the Zeppelin (30 up to 120 minutes, depending on the price and the daytime http://www.zeppelinflug.de/en/ ).
My favorite trip continues from the railway station "Friedrichshafen Hafen" to "Lindau Hbf" (a regional train runs every hour and takes 45 minutes to Lindau). I like the town Lindau very much, both on the promenade and in the old center. I count a 1-2 hours stay.
From Lindau Hbf every half an hour a train runs to Bregenz in Austria. Similar to Lindau, a short stay in Bregenz may be pleasant. From Bregenz there is every hour a train connection back to Appenzell (it takes 1½ hours).
Arrival or departure
Zurich Airport (ZRH), where many guests arrive is the biggest airport in the region. There is a train connection to Appenzell almost every half hour. The train station is right next to the airport building and can be reached in 5 minutes. A ticket ("Billet" in Swiss German) will be delivered at the blue ticket machines or at the ticket counter. Choose the connection via Gossau. The latest connection leaves at 22:51. The journey takes 1 hour and 40 minutes to Appenzell. First select the train in the direction of St. Gallen and change to the small red train in Gossau, which usually departs ten minutes later on track 11. The trip costs 34 CHF. The return trip with the Appenzeller Holiday Card * is cheaper, because the journey to Gossau is free. From Gossau ist costs only CHF 26 CHF to ZRH.
Continuing to Lucerne and Central Switzerland
I love the train journey to Lucerne because it leads through varied hill and lake landscapes. The journey from Appenzell to Lucerne via Rapperswil takes three hours. If possible, I spend half an hour or two in Rapperswil. This small mediaeval city on Lake Zurich is particularly beautiful, especially the far-sightedness on the castle hill and the strolling on the lake promenade.
More beautiful excursions are from my point of view Einsiedeln with the large monastery areal, the mountains Rigi, Pilatus, Stanserhorn, Titlis, Bürgenstock, all with breathtaking view, the Verkehrshaus (Swiss Museum of Transport) in Lucerne, a ride on an old paddle steamer on the Lake of Lucerne, Engelberg, Blausee.
Füssen and Neuschwanstein Castle
I already had guests, who continue to Füssen and to Neuschwanstein Castle. This fairy-tale castle from 1869 is a work of romanticism and historicism. Although it is not (yet) important for me as art historian, I still like it. I also appreciate the fact that it's a castle that has no military purposes. From Füssen you can continue to Garmisch Partenkirchen, Innsbruck, Munich, Augsburg, Nuremberg, etc.
Continue to Italy
I also like the trip to Italy. There are particularly nice connections over the mountains, which I always gladly use. It's especially beautiful via Davos, St. Moritz, Bernina, Poschiavo to Tirano and to the Lake Garda or to Milan. These are stunning world-class train routes such as the Rocky Mountains in North America or Cuzco over the Andes in Peru.
Further attractive variants lead over the Gotthard or over the Brenner.
Best transport and connections
There are good train connections to Germany via St. Gallen and Bregenz (eg Munich, Constance, etc.) and Austria (for example, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna, etc.). Online I buy the cheapest tickets on the following portals: www.bahn.de and www.oebb.at/en/ .
Particularly favorable connections are available with the Flixbus www.flixbus.de/ from St. Gallen to all countries of Europe and as a ride with private cars e.g. www.blablacar.de/ .
* The Appenzell holiday card
The Appenzeller Holiday Card is an offer from Tourism Appenzell, which I can give free to those guests who stay at least three nights in my house. This card entitles to many free trips and perks which can save up to 150 CHF per person, e.g. All routes of the Appenzell railway, one return trip with cable car to the mountains Ebenalp (with Äscher and Wildkirchli), Hoher Kasten and Kronberg each, Public busses the surrounding area, free entrance to the museums in Appenzell, beer degustation on Monday at 1 pm , One day free bike or e-bike hire, etc.