Life in 2020 continues to be shocking and unpredictable, but there is something we can all turn to for inspiration and security…history. Fascinating exploration awaits in these lovely Swiss Cities less than 2 hours from Zurich. Why not work remotely in a city close to home for the week, answering calls and emails between museum visits and local delicacy tastings.
We asked our friends at Switzerland Tourism to share a few insider tips in these three cities we enjoy, and hope you do too!
This destination was home to the French ambassador to Switzerland from 1530-1792. Nestled between Jura and the Aare, consider a tour of the car-free Altstadt (old-town) of Solothurn to discover all the fascinating history and unique superstitions.
The restaurants in Solothurn welcome filled terraces on a sunny day, as well as cozy interiors. Be sure to pick up an original Solothurner Torte at Suteria, made there for the last 100 years according to the original recipe by Albert Studer who perfectly melted hazelnut meringue with a seductively light cream filling. Should you wish to make your own at home, we love this Solothurner Torte recipe by Helvetic Kitchen.
Bustling with local life year-round, the Solothurn Riviera is a great place to chill with an “Öufi” beer or glass of wine coming directly from a neighboring Solothurn vineyard while watching local life unfold along the Aare.
Just walking through the historic streets of Solothurn, you may not realize it, but the number 11 is significant throughout the city. There are 11 museums, fountains, chapels, churches and a clock with a dial that only shows 11 hours. The locals even call their beer “Öufi”.
You are invited to stay overnight at the Klosterhotel – Porta Secunda, complete with antique furniture and new heavenly beds.
Immerse yourself in the realm between nature and culture at the «Kapuzinerinnenkloster» where 400 years ago a religious community of Capuchin women were allowed to build a monastery, financed by their own dowry. These courageous women survived wars and diseases, dedicated to their faith and surviving from agriculture, education and the sales of natural remedies produced themselves.
→ 2 nights
→ Deluxe breakfast
→ Exclusive guided tour of the monastery and garden
The offer is available from 1 October – 30 December 2020 from CHF 140 per person, per package. You can find the details of the offer and request your overnight in Solothurn here.
Dating way back.
12,000 years with continuous settlement for the last 5,000 years, the car-free Altstadt of Chur is one of the oldest and complete with red signs leading visitors to the most beautiful sights. Treat yourself to our favorite artisanal Evviva Gelato while there!
The Rheinschlucht – locally known as Ruinalta – is an impressive gorge between Ilanz and Reichenau carved out by the Rhine for the last 10,000 years. What remains is commonly referred to as the “Swiss Grand Canyon” best viewed on foot, bike or the Rhine Gorge Adventure Train.
You may know the Giger Museum in Gruyères, but were you aware that HR Giger was born the son of a pharmacist in Chur? It was his sculpture “Torso with long skull shape” that first attracted us to the garden of the Graubünden Art Museum which is a perfect destination to spend a few hours on a cold or wet day in Chur.
Hiking in Chur.
In 2018 we stayed in the affordable Hotel Sommerau, recommended by SHC, walked out the front door and hiked the 2174m Brambrüesch. The hike is challenging, but you can also take the gondola to enjoy a meal and cider at Battagli Hütte.
You are invited to stay overnight at Hotel Chur, centrally located for an immersive weekend getaway just 1h22 from Zurich. Here, you can live like a local with this special autumn offer. The location is just a 7 minute walk to the Kunstmuseum and this budget friendly property has a lovely restaurant serving Graubünden cuisine from a local organic farm.
→ 3 nights
→ Breakfast buffet
→ 60 minutes entrance to the wellness facility per person per stay
The offer is available from 1 October – 30 November 2020 from CHF 390 per double room. You can find the details of the offer and request your overnight in Chur here.
Gateway to the Alps.
Discover Thun by ship through December. Begin your day with brunch on the Thunersee and keep your eye on the schedule because once Corona relaxes, you can be your own ship captain or take the kids to a Globi-Party.
We first explored and shared our Guide to Thun 2 years ago detailing how this historical city has remained preserved since the 1200’s with rich architecture gifted by the Dukes of Zähringen. The iconic castle, Schloss Thun, is now a museum spread across five floors where visitors of all ages are welcome to discover 800 years of Thun, Bern and Swiss history while soaking in the majestic views from all 4 towers.
Little family members are bound to have fun in Thun! Within the castle, there are 14 little “Minatte Wurmli” hiden throughout to keep them entertained while you soak in the medieval stories that occurred right there at your footsteps.
Located directly on Rathausplatz built in 1500, you will enjoy unwinding in the cozy Atelier Classic Bar after a long day of exploration. This cozy atmosphere is known for their award-winning cocktails and friendly staff.
You are invited to stay 1-2 nights at any hotel of your choosing in Thun and you will receive access to a special Pamper Package, allowing you access to one of five gorgeous wellness destinations.
→ 1-2 nights
→ Breakfast in your hotel
→ 1 Wellness Voucher redeemable at the Parkhotel Gunten, Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage Interlaken, indoor & outdoor pool Bödeli Interlaken, Dorint Resort Blümlisalp Beatenberg or SALZANO Spa at the SALZANO Hotel – Spa – Restaurant in Interlaken-Unterseen.
The offer is available from 1 September 2020 – 30 April 2021 from CHF 100 per person, per package. You can find the details of the offer and request your overnight in Thun here.
This article was graciously sponsored by our friends at Switzerland Tourism so that we can get the local scoop and share with you insider tips about these short trips from Zurich.
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