Rapperswil, City of Roses in the Canton of Sankt-Gallen
Did you know Switzerland has a City of Roses? We knew Morges was known for tulips, that Grimentz is known for its many geranium flowers, and that wild Narcissus grow above Montreux, but we didn’t know Switzerland had a City of Roses until we visited Rapperswil.
We recently had the chance to visit Rapperswil, located on Lake Zurich on a weekend. Rapperswil is a medieval small town with great views over the lake from the upper part of town. The town is also referred to as Rapperswil-Jona as the two towns merged in 2007.
Longest wooden bridge in Switzerland
Rapperswil can be reached by train, boat and car, but the best way to arrive in Rapperswil is by foot over the lovely wooden bridge. The Holzbrücke from Hurden on the other side of the lake is the longest wooden footbridge in Switzerland! The Holzbrücke from Hurden to Rapperswil is 841m long. It is not an old bridge, but there have been bridges connecting the two towns since about 3.500 years, and the Holzbrücke is located on the same spot as the older bridges were.
Walking towards Rapperswil on the bridge is a beautiful and peaceful walk, while enjoying the view on Rapperswil without being on a boat.
What to see in Rapperswil?
City’s Rose gardens
Rapperswil is the City of Roses and even has roses in its coat of arms. This probably means the town is connected to roses for a long time in history. There are rose gardens at several spots in town and the roses grow in many different colours. In total it is said that no less than 16.000 roses grow in the town. The biggest rose garden we saw was the one just by the castle walls while walking down from the castle towards the old town. The roses grow between June and October.
Medieval City Center
The cobble stone streets of Rapperswil are very nice for a stroll. There are plenty of little shops and many terraces and restaurants. We followed the streets and looked at the typically Swiss facades while walking up towards the castle. Of course walking by the lake on a sunny day is also very nice.
The castle is the landmark of Rapperswil and dates from 1229. It is located above the old town center. From up there, you will have a panoramic view over the town, Lake Zurich, and the surrounding mountains. You will also see that there are islands in the lake, which can apparently be visited.
Weekly market in Rapperswil
There was a nice second hand market when we were in Rapperswil but the town also has a weekly food market every Friday morning from March until November on the Hauptplatz.
Knie Kinder Zoo
We didn’t go to the Zoo, but if you like the Circus, the Zoo of probably the most famous Swiss Circus is located in Rapperswil. You can visit the Knie Kinder Zoo in Rapperswil from March until November.
More information: https://www.knieskinderzoo.ch/zoocute/homepage/
Boat tour on Lake Zurich
Rapperswil is connected to Zürich by boat, so it’s easy to come to Rapperswil if you are staying in Zürich.
Alpamare water park, on the other side of the lake
We went to Alpamare in Pfäffikon on our weekend trip for some family fun! Alpamare is a big water park with plenty of slides for all, lazy floating rivers, a big wave pool, and outdoor thermal pools. More information on Alpamare: https://www.alpamare.ch/en/