There is a place in Switzerland where blooming apple trees, bubble hotels and bicycle routes converge. The canton of Thurgau with its unusually flat landscape is a stone’s throw from Zürich (and from many other places in Switzerland.)
An apple museum, a former monastery and a bicycle factory are just some of the reasons why you should grab your rucksack and head to the shores of Lake Constance. Here are seven fun ideas to make your Thurgau getaway perfect:
Schloss Hagenwil in Amriswil
Switzerland has very few castles that are surrounded by water. Schloss Hagenwil is one of these so-called "water castles".
A castle tour through the many chambers and halls is the best way to grasp the Medieval history. In the month of August, the castle is host to the Schlossfestspiele Hagenwil. Theater enthusiasts will come from all over to see the latest play within the confines of this historic castle.
Phone: +41 71 411 19 13
Kartause Ittingen for its monk museum and a hyper-local restaurant
The monastery in Ittingen has a history dating back to 1150 when it was founded by the Canons Regular. In 1461, the premises were sold to the Carthusians. After its destruction during the Reformation, the buildings were reconstructed with much thicker walls. You will see evidence of this fortification inside the museum.
Behind the entrance to the Ittinger Museum, you will see the church where monks used to pray every night between midnight and 2 AM. Solitude was counted as true devotion, therefore the monks would pray in silence.
(Photograph copyright Kartause Ittingen)
Within small rooms, the museum explains how the monks used to live, showing their lifestyle. Outside of the museum, there are lovely gardens full of herbs and an old house where monks used to live.
Interestingly, artists can rent this house on a weekly basis. (While it may look old from the outside, it is modern and cozy on the inside.) And those who would like to spend a night in an Instagramable bubble hotel are in luck, too.
Another highlight is Restaurant Mühle with its hyper-local menu. Thanks to the large farm, lots of locally sourced ingredients end up in the restaurant kitchen. The menu is called a “0-kilometer-menu” - it is farm to table at its best.
Phone: +41 52 748 44 11
Museum Momö, the Swiss Juice Museum, for its interactive museum
Have you ever tried apple Shorley? Most likely, it was sourced in Thurgau, Switzerland’s biggest fruit-growing canton. With more than 210'000 majestic apple trees and over 1'600 hectares of fruit orchards, large swathes of Thurgau are in bloom between April and May. For those curious to see the blossoms, hit up Madame Bluescht at +41 71 531 01 30 to find out which trees are currently in blossom.
Museum Momö is the Swiss Juice Museum in Arbon. It was opened in 2018 by the traditional juice maker, Möhl. This local family has been farming apples since 1895, producing juice, wine and now cider.
(Photograph copyright Mosterei Möhl AG)
The museum illustrates the unique delights of the Möhl family and brings Thurgau’s apple and juice-making trade to life. Peek inside a modern day apple juice production, learning about each step along the way! Thanks to interactive displays, the museum is attractive for children of all ages. (Adults enjoy the added benefit of tasting the various beers and wines...)
MoMö Museum - Mosterei Möhl AG
St. Gallerstrasse 213
Phone: +41 71 447 10 00
The railway Eldorado at Locorama in Romanshorn
The canton of Thurgau is a perfect destination for technology fans, too. Within sight of the harbor at Lake Constance, railway enthusiasts will find an Eldorado: Locorama in Romanshorn.
From historic engines to train simulators and miniature railroads, this hands-on museum has something in store for all ages. Every last Sunday of the month from May to October, the Locorama offers lakeside rides on a steam engine powered train.
Phone: +41 71 460 24 27
The car collection at Autobau Erlebniswelt
Within easy reach from Romanshorn is the impressive car collection of racing driver Fredy Lienhard. At autobau erlebniswelt, you can see the likes of Aston Martin and Bugatti from up close.
(Photograph copyright autobau erlebniswelt)
This museum for petrol heads showcases more than 90 classic cars. From American muscle cars to English legends, rally cars, dragsters and Formula 1 cars. There are two racing simulators and a micro car race track. And being able to sit in the driver’s seat of some of these cars makes for a great selfie moment…
Phone: +41 71 466 00 66
The bicycle factory of Tour de Suisse in Kreuzlingen
With its beautiful location at Lake Constance near the German border, Thurgau is perfect for bicycle trips. (We have previously covered the perfect overnight bicycle trip in Thurgau.) Would it surprise you to know that one of the most popular Swiss bicycle brands is headquartered in Thurgau?
At their plant, Tour de Suisse allows anyone to personalize a bicycle by choosing a style and color. During my visit, I received a factory tour. My prejudice of a factory being dark and dingy was erased immediately. In a sunny and green surrounding, a group of engineers is in charge of painting and assembling each bicycle, part by part.
(Photograph copyright Tour de Suisse Rad AG)
Tour de Suisse Rad AG
Phone: +41 71 686 85 00
The Saurer Museum Depot in Arbon
Thurgau even has a museum for commercial vehicles, engines, embroidery and weaving machines. All of the pieces on exhibit at the Saurer Museum Depot in Arbon were manufactured in this place at Lake Constance.
(Photograph copyright Saurer Museum)
Among the collection are about 20 historic buses, trucks, fire engines and yellow postal buses. Saurer vehicles were popular for their power, longevity and stunning design. Interestingly, this museum also showcases various generations of embroidery and weaving machines.
Saurer Museum Depot
Phone: +41 71 440 13 80
Some advice for a classy place to stay: Wellnesshotel Golf Panorama in Lipperswil.