Rapperswil radiates Mediterranean charm, with its castle, its riviera along the shores of Lake Zurich, and its abundance of roses.
Around 20,000 roses bloom in Rapperswil every year between May and October.
The pretty town is characterized by picturesque, history-steeped alleyways.
Traveling there by boat is especially enjoyable and popular.
The wooden footbridge between Rapperswil and Hurden is part of the Way of St. James.
Not far from Rapperswil is the Enea Tree Museum – a magical place.
An annual highlight at Christmas is the “Christkindlimärt”.
The Heart of Rapperswil
At the heart of Rapperswil is the Old Town. The weekly fresh produce market is held here, as well as music festivals or sports events. From the main square, 53 steps lead up to the castle, from where visitors can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of lakes and mountains. Fallow deer live in the deer park, while at the foot of the castle hill, the fragrant scent of roses emanates from one of the numerous rose gardens.
What was once an armory, or Zeughaus, now serves as a Kunsthaus, or art museum, hence its present-day name: Kunst(Zeug)Haus. Here, on the upper floor, contemporary Swiss art is shown in seven or so exhibitions per year. On the ground floor is one of the world’s largest Robinson libraries, which takes the form of an island in the Kunst(Zeug)Haus. A bar, a coffee roasting facility, and a small garden also invite visitors to explore the Zeughaus grounds.
The islands of Ufenau (also known as Ufnau) and Lützelau lie on a level with Rapperswil. Switzerland’s largest island, Ufenau, is owned by Einsiedeln Abbey, and is served by a scheduled boat service. Bathing is prohibited here, but instead visitors can enjoy wine from vines cultivated on the island and “Fischchnuschperli” – pieces of freshly caught, battered fish. Somewhat more lively and noisy is the smaller island of Lützelau, which can be reached by boat taxi, canoe, or pedalo.
Pack Your Swimming Gear!
Surrounded by water, Rapperswil is the ideal place to bathe. Particularly picturesque is the Seebad Rapperswil lido – a real gem and insider tip located below the castle. In the evening, it transforms into a pretty “Badi-Bar” – a great place to watch the sunset.
A Beastly Good Time
At the zoo of the traditional Swiss circus, Zirkus Knie, animal lovers of all ages can get up close and personal with their favorite species. What’s more, they can even ride on or feed some of them. Anyone who gets hungry themselves can find Thai specialties at the Himmapan Lodge, as well as other garden bistros in the zoo grounds.