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Relaxed train adventures – possible thanks to SchweizerStädteTour

Discovering Switzerland by train is actually quite obvious. Sit back in your seat and relax, enjoy the scenery or read a good book. You may also combine several places at once and leave the stress of preparation to us.

Crazy and innovative – that’s us

Outsiders ask if we’re twins, but we only share the same interests and hair colour. We’re two 21-year-old friends from the Linth region. We’ve been exploring the most beautiful places in Switzerland by train for many years. Our highlight was when we explored all the main towns in Switzerland. But we hardly ever wore shoes, our most faithful companion was always our rollerblades.

Even at the main station, the two are on rollerblades ©SchweizerStädteTour

While eating pizza on Lake Lucerne, we had the idea of making our knowledge of planning train journeys available to others. That’s why we’re now planning customised train journeys to your favourite places and other surprise locations in Switzerland. Save yourself the tedious preparations and simply look forward to your departure. And with our many years of experience, you can enjoy every second of your tour.

You can visit the famous Kapellerbrücke on your tour ©SchweizerStädteTour

Why we love trains and why you’ll love them too

You’re adventurous and like to discover new spots? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Right now, many places in Switzerland are aglow with Christmas magic. Maybe you’d like to take a little Christmas market tour and indulge in some mulled wine and treats? With the train you’re prepared for any situation and can enjoy the time with your friends or family instead of being annoyed by traffic jams and red lights. And in no time you’ll be in the next city, where there’s plenty to discover all over again. Which Swiss towns have you always wanted to visit? Tell us and we’ll send you there.

The two have also already visited the most famous mountain in Switzerland ©SchweizerStädteTour

Our secret to saving time? Perfect preparation!

You can experience the most if you make the most of your time in your favourite places. The best way to do this is to catch the best train connections between the cities. With just a few clicks you can fill in the form on our website and within a few days you’ll receive the tour put together especially for you. This includes all connections and information on the cities visited. Entertainment on the train is of course also provided. We put together exciting games, puzzles and challenges especially for you, which can be solved alone or in groups. So follow our motto and enjoy your time to the fullest 😉

Extra kick on wheels

We’re known for always being on our rollerblades because it saves a lot of time in the cities. This way we can experience even more in a short amount of time. And rollerblading is just so much fun. Can you blade too? Then maybe we’ll see each other on rollerblades in a city sometime soon. But please remember that many old towns have cobblestone pavement. That’s not an obstacle, it’s an experience. Instead of rollerblades you can also use a skateboard, kickboard or something similar. An extra kick is guaranteed!

What are you waiting for? Visit our website schweizerstaedtetour.weebly.com and let us plan your personal tour. Because the best time to travel is now!

Satdttor_Bäckerei_Moser_Baden

The spa town of Baden in the beautiful canton of Aargau ©Adrian

Get a taste of city air

You love to discover the most different cities, but want a little inspiration in advance? We have already explored one or the other city in Switzerland for you and have the most diverse experience tips ready for you. Browse through our articles about the cities of Switzerland.

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From memories to tips for adventures

Black ice on Lago Bianco

 

Lago Bianco on the Bernina Pass transforms into a natural spectacle every few years. When freezing cold meets a lack of precipitation, the water of Lago Bianco turns into black ice. Tinu and Sabine were able to experience this spectacle first hand during their time in Pontresina.

Morteratsch glacier hike

 

Across the Pers to the Morteratsch glacier – a spectacular tour in the mountains of the Bernina Group that has it all. Moraines, crevasses and erratic boulders, there is a lot to be found in the eternal ice on the tour.

Autumn colours at Lake Staz

 

The Engadin is known for many things, especially the breathtaking play of colours in autumn. When the yellow larches are reflected in Lake Staz and the first snow lies on the mountain peaks, it’s obvious – autumn is here.

Biking on the Corviglia Trais Fluors

 

From flow to single trail to pump tracks to skills park. In summer, the famous Corviglia St. Moritz ski area becomes the perfect biking spot. One popular tour leads from the local mountain Piz Nair over the Trais Fluors to Samedan. Tinu and Sabine tested it out.

RhB in the Montebello curve

 

Everyone is familiar with the red train that winds its way through helical tunnels and over bridges up into the Engadin. But did you know that the perfect spot for a photo for RhB fans is in Pontresina? The Montebello curve with a view of the Morteratsch glacier makes all train enthusiasts’ hearts leap for joy.

Firn skating Roseg

 

7 kilometres of pure cross-country skiing from Pontresina to Val Roseg. If you ask Tinu and Sabine, they would say: «Firn skating is the crowning glory of the cross-country season. Untouched landscapes, solitude, transience and gratitude for the experience make firn skating unique».

Via Ferrata Piz Trovat

 

The Engadin is not only good for biking and cross-country skiing, it also offers great climbing options. Piz Trovat is the right place for those with a head for heights that are looking for action. The equipment for the adventure can be conveniently hired at the Diavolezza valley station.

Ride to Bernina Suot

 

They say riding on the back of a horse is heaven on earth. And Pontresina has plenty to offer horse lovers. Tinu and Sabine can recommend a ride to Bernina Suot, on the railway line.

Fuorcla Chamuera with the MTB

 

As you probably already know, the Engadin is a popular spot for cyclists and hikers. A little insider tip: Hop on your bike and make your way through Val Chamuera. Untouched nature, majestic cliffs and a unique experience.

Women’s Race/Night Race

 

Everyone is familiar with the Engadin Ski Marathon, but many people don’t know that there are other races in addition to this hobby race. Before the official race, the Women’s race and the Night race. Sabine has already taken part, how about you next time?

Ibexes in the village

 

When the last snow melts in the valley and the first meadows turn green, the Graubünden heraldic animal comes right up to the outskirts of Pontresina. From the end of April to the beginning of June you can admire the ibexes as they graze.

Via Ferrata La Resgia

Action, adrenaline and mountains as far as the eye can see. Via Ferrata La Resgia is not for the faint-hearted – it spans from steep ascents to wobbly cables all the way to Alp Languard.

Betriebsleiter_Pontresina

Tinu, Tina, Sabine and Patric at the handover of Pontresina Youth Hostel.

After 12 years, Tinu and Sabine are turning their backs on the Engadin and the Swiss Youth Hostels. In future, you’ll find them both in Fricktal. Their love for the hospitality industry is still just as essential to them as sustainability. Tinu will take over as head of catering at FiBL, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Frick. Sabine will act as head of service in the restaurant of the Sunnhalde senior citizens’ centre in Untersiggenthal.

Have you already taken to cross-country skiing or would you like to finally try it out? Our sports cannon Olivier was out and about in the Engadine and made the cross-country tracks unsafe. Take a look at his article and let yourself be inspired.

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Swisstainable, Swiss sustainability in tourism

In the food industry, food and beverages have long been certified and their quality standardised. When shopping, we’ve already become accustomed to the various labels and certifications, which also leads to certain shoppers basing their purchases on these labels, among other things. Because ecological production, economic action and social responsibility are important to them.

Finding your bearings among all the labels thanks to Swisstainable

«ibex fairstay, TourCert, Travelife, myclimate, Blue Swallow» – All labels from the tourism industry that we encounter again and again and have already seen on many websites. But, just as with food industry labels, it’s difficult to keep a good overview of the large selection of certifications. Moreover, observers often don’t know which aspect of sustainability the certification is based on.

With Swisstainable, Switzerland Tourism has developed a new sustainability strategy together with the tourism industry. It supports various tourism stakeholders in making sustainability, which has already been practised for a long time, more visible to their guests. Another advantage of the programme is that communication on sustainability is coordinated throughout Switzerland and also gains international appeal.

Three dimensions of sustainability for one goal

Three dimensions provide the basis for the sustainable commitment of the Swisstainable programme: Society, the economy and the environment. The programme is suitable for newcomers to the topic of sustainability as well as for tourism stakeholders who are already actively involved. The aim of Swisstainable is to make the efforts of tourism businesses towards sustainability visible and to simplify the process for guests and increase transparency when booking sustainable tourism offers. With this, the Swiss tourism industry wants to start an effective movement with the vision of Switzerland becoming the most sustainable destination in the world.

St. Moritz Youth Hostel ©Switzerland Tourism

Only benefits for the guests

The Swisstainable programme does not aim to create a new certification, but to offer guests guidance on the subject of sustainability. In addition, it aspires to support the tourism industry and emphasise visibility for sustainable experiences and offers. This means that businesses that are committed to sustainability but have not yet received certification can also demonstrate their efforts to guests thanks to Swisstainable.

Lago Di Saosee ©S©Switzerland Tourism

Tourism businesses that are just starting to address the issue of sustainability also receive support from the competence centre. This joint commitment is intended as an obligation as well as a motivation. Swiss tourism is becoming more sustainable and this should also be appreciated more. Swisstainable reduces the various efforts and commitments to a common denominator, making it easy for guests to understand and find their bearings.

The three levels of the Swisstainable programme

The Swisstainable programme uses three levels to show how committed a tourism provider is to sustainability.

Level I – committed

• No certifications (yet)
• No other sustainability certificates (yet)
• BUT act sustainably and continue to develop it

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Level II – engaged

• Commitment to sustainable corporate governance
• Ongoing development
• ONE certification or other proof in at least one area of sustainability

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Level III – leading

• certifications that cover all dimensions of sustainability and are regularly externally audited
• Comprehensive, recognised sustainability certification

Youth Hostels receive Swisstainable Signet

The Swiss Youth Hostels were one of the first to receive the Swisstainable Signet from Switzerland Tourism. Of these, 44 were awarded the level leading and four the level engaged. Sustainability and responsible business have been part of the Swiss Youth Hostels DNA since 1994 and are firmly anchored in our philosophy. In our mission statement, which is lived every day at around 50 locations, we create the basis for balanced economic, social and ecological business.

With our implemented structural renovations as well as the planned further projects in addition to the consideration of environmental aspects, we can also ensure the quality of our offer, economic sustainability as well as socially responsible youth and family tourism.

Swiss Youth Hostels as pioneers of sustainability

Sustainability is now considered a competitive advantage and at the same time offers real added value for guests. For example, the correlation between employee and customer satisfaction is undisputed. Because not only ecological sustainability with structural measures, but also social sustainability with good working conditions and economic sustainability with long-term financing plans are essential for a well-managed sustainable company. Something that the Swiss Youth Hostels recognised early on. After all, in addition to all the labels and certificates, it is the actions of each individual – people and companies – that count.

The St. Moritz Youth Hostel is equipped with a solar system. ©Switzerland Tourism

The Swiss Youth Hostels are consciously fulfilling their role as role models. René Dobler, CEO of the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism, was actively involved in the development process of Swisstainable and knows the advantages for providers and guests first hand: «I would recommend every tourism business to participate in the programme. Level I is deliberately kept low for newcomers. Of course, it still takes a lot of commitment, but this is where the competence centre offers free assistance. And those who are already committed and live sustainability in their business will benefit from joint communication, nationwide marketing and the motivation and support of the common goal with minimal effort.»

Switzerland Tourism and the Swisstainable programme aim to make sustainable commitment more present and visible to guests. Set out for a new way of travelling and use the Swisstainable label as a guide for your future bookings.

Text: Barbara Materna

The topic of social sustainability is playing an increasingly important role, and the OK:GO Initiative is committed to this. Learn more about the accessibility thanks to the OK:GO initiative at the Swiss Youth Hostels.

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Schaffhausen: Get a great night’s sleep at the Schlössli.

Rapunzel, let down your hair! This is the castle where we’ll slumber. ©Adrian Reber

Wonderful weather at the weekend allows us to discover the Rhine starting the youth hostel. The bathing culture in the «Rhybadi» has been around for 150 years. The lido opens its doors in early summer and also offers culinary delights. An Aperol Spritz and a serving of fries later, we drift along the Rhine with the current.

«Splash!» –how about a dip in the cool water? ©Adrian Reber

What the locals recommend

The locals at the lido recommended to follow up with a visit to the ice cream hotspot of Schaffhausen: El Bertin – all flavours are self-created and handcrafted with much love and attention. Don’t be discouraged by the long queue in front of the shop! It’s worth it.
Sea buckthorn, chestnuts, cheesecake: El Bertin creates exceptional ice creams.

Sea buckthorn, chestnuts, cheesecake: El Bertin creates exceptional ice creams. ©Adrian Reber

A spontaneous visit: Schaffhausen weekly market

The old town of Schaffhausen invites you to linger. On a whim, we visit a flea market followed by the weekly market, which takes place every Saturday and surprises us with its diversity. Asparagus, cheese, bread, flowers and fresh organic eggs – the old town is full of stalls from local producers.

At the Schaffhausen flea and weekly market: There are still real bargains to be had here. ©Adrian Reber

How do you get to the «Munot»?

The Munot dominates Schaffhausen’s old town as an undisputed landmark. Visitors reach the 16th century fortress via small stairways. We doubled our time budget from two hours to four without further ado – the castle offers unique views. Balls, salsa evenings and guided tours take place here all year round.

Saved from embarrassment: Munot is pronounced without the «t». ©Adrian Reber

On Saturday evening, business is booming in the restaurants. I recommend that you make reservations early. We didn’t find shelter in Güterhof until 9:00 p.m. We bridged the time with an aperitif at the bar – the interior with the thick, old wooden posts makes an imposing impression.

In the beautifully restored Güterhof, I highly recommend the veggie burger. ©Adrian Reber

Walking to the largest waterfall in Europe

At the end of our stay with the hostel pass, we took a leisurely walk to the Rhine Falls. The hike takes a little over an hour and is easily doable with sneakers. What luck at the Rhine Falls: The week before, it had rained a lot in Switzerland. Over 6000 bathtubs of water thunder down the rocks every second. An impressive picture, which we see once again as we leave on the train. Ciao Rhine Falls, so long Schaffhausen.

About the author

junger Mann sitz auf Stein in Crans Montana

About me:
Adrian here – I’m 28 and appreciate the little escapes from my everyday life. Especially on weekends, I want to get out of the home office and into the experience. The Swiss youth hostels convince me on my excursions with their central location, the new acquaintances and let’s be honest: reasonable prices ;-)!

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My apprenticeship at the Swiss Youth Hostels

Well settled in at the Swiss Youth Hostels

I started in Marketing, which I really like. In my first few weeks of work, I already managed to get many new experiences. For one thing, I’m in the best of company here among all the friendly coffee junkies. The working atmosphere is very enjoyable. In my opinion, the environment is relaxed, but still professional. It was easy for me to settle in. I was also warmly welcomed by my two mentors, in the second and third year of their apprenticeships.

My favourite place at the service centre @Leonie

Support for sports and school

In my spare time, I play floorball and train four times a week. On the weekends, I also play matches all over Switzerland. In addition to my hobby, which takes up a lot of time, I also have to study for vocational school. My working day therefore starts before 8 am. That way I finish on time and can get to training on time. Wednesday afternoons are free for studying and doing homework. I am very grateful to the Swiss Youth Hostels for letting me do this and appreciate their support very much.

No matter if we win or lose, we can profit from every game. ©Claudio Schwarz

My relationship with the Swiss Youth Hostels

I have only been to a youth hostel once before. I stayed one night in Lucerne with my team. I enjoyed my stay very much, but I know that there is much more to discover. The wellnessHostel3000 in Laax is on top of my wish list. Sustainability and simplicity are at the forefront of Swiss Youth Hostels. I see a lot of potential in them to convince young and old to explore new places in the near future in an environmentally friendly way and experience unforgettable things in the process.

Not to be missed on my bucket list: the wellnessHostel3000 in Laax

My tasks

There are some tasks I prefer to do more than others – that’s just natural. Personally, I didn’t find creating and editing Excel spreadsheets that exciting, that’s just part of the job. But, I had much more fun editing the Swiss Youth Hostels website. I find the backgrounds, which you don’t get to see as a guest, really fascinating. I also find it exciting to deal with different marketing strategies. I was explained how things link up to each other in a way I could understand, and I can ask questions at any time. Since coffee is enjoyed here in large quantities every day, I now also know how to clean a coffee machine thoroughly ;).

My training

I will actively support the Marketing department for one semester. After that, my apprenticeship will continue at the Booking centre. That’s where my French is needed, among other things, to give customers information on the phone. For this purpose, we have a French teacher on site who teaches us students individually for one hour every Monday. After the Booking centre, I will work in the Accounting department and in Administration.

Nicolas and I at our weekly French lesson @Leonie

My professional goals for the future

After my three-year E-profile apprenticeship, I would like to take the vocational baccalaureate. As I am interested in medicine, I would love to complete further training as a medical secretary afterwards. I would also be interested in becoming a sports physiotherapist. Until then, I’m looking forward to the rest of my time at the Swiss Youth Hostels and the emotionally charged table football matches ;).

The hospital – my dream workplace

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More than “cute”: Off to Stein am Rhein!

First stop: Lido

You can take that literally. The “Strandbad” bus stop for the lido is right next to Stein am Rhein Youth Hostel. After Baden, this is our second stop on our Hostel Pass trip. The journey from Baden to Stein am Rhein takes about 1.5 hours. Then it’s a good 15-minute walk across the pretty old town from the station to the youth hostel. Laziness pays off for once: make yourself at home at the Stein am Rhein lido! Admission is free of charge.

Table tennis, diving board and delicious food: Why are we only staying here for two days? ©Adrian Reber

The restaurant “Uferlos” spoils its visitors with delicious wraps, paneer and burgers – vegetarian, vegan or with meat? There’s something for everyone. Here the seasoning is good. In addition to delicious food, the restaurant also offers canoes for rent. Alone or in pairs, the trip takes about 90 minutes to Diessenhofen – for 20 francs, the canoe is even brought back for you. We enjoy the sun and a homemade dessert at the lido

My recommendation: the moist carrot cake. I won’t forget that in a hurry. ©Adrian Reber

The youth hostel that serves up big

After splashing around in the pool, we went straight to dinner at Stein am Rhein Youth Hostel. Our hosts Daniel and Susanna spoiled us with a three-course meal. The starter buffet consisted of over ten different salads!For CHF 18.50 you can book dinner individually. Over a round of after-dinner table tennis, we made friends with a class of German students – typical hostel life.

“Feel free to go back for more”: In Stein am Rhein, people are generous. ©Adrian Reber

Wandering back into the Middle Ages

Early in the morning we were tempted by the walk to Hohenklingen Castle. My travelling companion was not very happy at first – “After all, I’m not a Middle Ages freak! On the way, fresh blackberries and raspberries and at the end a wonderful panoramic view rewarded our morning drive. The castle restaurant opens at 11.00 am.

Free admission: The view from the top of the tower is magnificent. ©Adrian Reber

The old town charms its visitors

After two days, we were finally drawn to the town. The cliché is true: Stein am Rhein is picturesque. The many tourists either cycle here themselves or arrive in Stein am Rhein on one of the many boat connections. The many frescoes on the house facades thrilled us, even though we consider ourselves art philistines.

A mecca for art connoisseurs: Dozens of coffee shops invite you to linger and talk shop. ©Adrian Reber

With all the wonderful facades and historic buildings, we were keen to explore the inside of one. We found what we were looking for in the monastery of St. Georgen. We were particularly impressed by the 16th century cloister – the monastery garden is a great place to relax.

Take a deep breath in the monastery garden – and enjoy the aroma of fresh herbs. ©Adrian Reber

We stumbled across one last insider tip in Stein am Rhein at the very end of our stay: Boats! Exactly – right by the Rhine bridge you can get a cheap supply of air, rubber boats or stand-up paddleboards. So you can also reach the nearest youth hostel in Schaffhausen by water. Stein am Rhein surprised us with its variety – for us it is rather a pearl on the Rhine.

Pump once, please: In addition to compressed air, beer is also available for the boat trip at the Rhine bridge. ©Adrian Reber

About the author

junger Mann sitz auf Stein in Crans Montana

About me:
Adrian here – I’m 28 and appreciate the little escapes from my everyday life. Especially on weekends, I want to get out of the home office and into the experience. The Swiss youth hostels convince me on my excursions with their central location, the new acquaintances and let’s be honest: reasonable prices ;-)!

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Ladies’ weekend on the High Rhine

The time had come once again – the planning of a ladies’ weekend was on the agenda. After some toing and froing, the choice was made to stay at Schaffhausen Youth Hostel. So it all started on Saturday morning. Within 35 minutes of leaving Zurich we were in the city on the High Rhine.

High altitude hike for wine lovers

We locked up our luggage at Schaffhausen train station and took the bus directly to the start of our route. Our destination was the Blauburgunderland Panoramaweg, which starts at Siblingerhöhe (20 minutes from Schaffhausen station). From there, we hiked almost 15km through the heart of Schaffhausen’s Blauburgunderland ahead of us. You roam through the enchanting landscape with a far-reaching view, through vines and past the mountain church of St Moritz.

The landmark of the village of Hallau – the mountain church of St Moritz ©Katrin

The trail is very leisurely with only 260m of ascent. Various stops along the route at mountain farms for wine and a snack add to the entertainment. Trasadingen, a small town right on the German border, is the destination of our hike. From there we took the train back to Schaffhausen.

Our feet were smoking when we arrived at the station. We grabbed our luggage and jumped on the bus to the youth hostel, which stops right outside the front door. It doesn’t get any more comfortable than this…

Strahlend blauer Himmel und Reben soweit das Auge reicht – was will man mehr? ©Katrin

Of course, a good drop of wine is essential at any ladies’ weekend ©Katrin

A mild summer evening

In the evening, we were drawn back to the city by bus. Here we were spoilt for choice – from Italian to Asian to African restaurants. Schaffhausen really has a lot to offer here. In the end, we agreed and decided on a pizza on the market square.

We ended the summer evening on the market square. Fortunately, the bus brought us back to the youth hostel again, despite the late hour. Given our heavy legs, we would not have made it back on foot otherwise. Arriving at the Schaffhausen Youth Hostel, we were shocked to find that a youth group had checked in on our floor. Our concerns that it would be a noisy night were completely unfounded – as it was quiet until morning.

Schaffhausen’s market square bears the name Fronwagplatz

Action, adventure and adrenaline

The next morning after breakfast, we had to return home – unfortunately. But we still had lots of ideas for other activities, because Schaffhausen offers a lot more than just a visit to the Munot or the Rhine Falls. Incidentally, the Rhine Falls can be reached easily on foot from Schaffhausen in only 45 minutes. You can admire it on foot or from a boat.

However, we would be tempted by a bit more action, so we will be coming back again to experience the “Adventure Park Rheinfall” climbing park. Here, for CHF 40.00, adults can enjoy three hours of fun on various courses and get the adrenaline pumping. The highlight is certainly the panorama course, where you float over the Rhine Falls.

As an alternative to our chosen hike, we still had the combination of a boat trip and hike in mind. So maybe that’s an option for next time…maybe starting off at the Stein am Rhein Youth Hostel.

Enjoy the best view of the Schaffhausen Rhine Falls from the ropes of the Adventure Park

About the author

Frau schaut in die Ferne

Katrin is our sports enthusiast department manager of the Swiss Youth Hostel Booking Center. When she’s not in the office, you’ll find her in a hostel or on hiking trails.

You like this post? Read more by Katrin here “Why the Bernese Oberland instead of the Baltic Sea”

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Immersed and relaxed: A city trip to Baden

From November onwards, I recommend that all visitors to spend at least one extra day in Baden. The spa town will soon complete the construction of its newest attraction. But let’s start from the beginning…

Over the cobblestones to the youth hostel

With my little rolling suitcase in hand and hostel pass under my arm I ‘rattled’ from the station straight to the youth hostel. It was a ten-minute journey past cosy restaurants, small squares and historic towers. At the Rebstock Restaurant turn left and cross the covered wooden bridge to the youth hostel. I took a short break at the Rebstock – the Sauvignon Blanc from Aargau tastes excellent.

On the terrace you can enjoy Baden’s cosy evening atmosphere ©Adrian Reber

After the Älplermagronen, it was off to the open-air concert

When I arrived at the youth hostel, I fortified myself with a portion of Älplermagronen. After dessert, I was drawn back to the city. But I didn’t get far: Less than a five-minute walk from the youth hostel, I stopped at the Frischluftbar Triebguet. Here, I ended the evening with beer and good music. The famous Grand Casino Baden, which I had really hoped to visit, will have to wait for my next visit to Baden. Incidentally, The Limmat is a wonderful place for a stroll. There are some lovely bars and cafés here. 

The most beautiful terrace in Baden: The ‘Triebguet’ restaurant regularly organises concerts and fondue evenings. ©Adrian Reber

One ‘Spanisch Brödli’ please!

I skipped the ‘z’Morge’ in the youth hostel and instead, I opted for a local speciality: Spanish Brödli. The sweet treat featured in the City Card I received when I arrived. The Bäckerei Moser indulged me with a latte macchiato with soy milk to match. 

Einmal «Spanisch Brödli» bitte! ©Adrian Reber

Did you know that the Spanish Brödli originally comes from Milan? These pastries were particularly popular with the people of Zurich, who regularly came to Baden to use the spa waters. It was forbidden to produce them in Zurich. Fortunately, Switzerland’s first railway line, running from Zurich to Baden, was inaugurated in 1847. The railway line was particularly popular because of the Spanish Brödli, which is why it is now referred to as the Spanish Brödli Railway.  

Soon there will be ‘proper’ bathing again

Baden has attracted spa guests from all over the world for centuries. In recent years, the bathing culture has declined somewhat. The bath district on the Limmat River will finally be reinvigorated as of November, when the new ‘Fortyseven’ public baths opens its doors. Celebrated architect Mario Botta has combined 2000 years of spa culture with a stylish ambience.  

I decided to stroll through the historic spa district anyway and enjoyed a relaxing, and free, foot bath. The atmosphere is truly unique.  

The free foot bath can be perfectly combined with a coffee or after-work drink. ©Adrian Reber

What the hell is this devil’s cellar?

Relaxed after my foot bath, I set off to discover the narrow alleys of Baden. Anyone interested in Baden’s history and culture will get their money’s worth at the Museum Baden. Outside its city walls, Baden offers wonderful walking and cycling paths. A local recommended that I explore the Devil’s Cellar. This forest reserve can be easily reached on foot. It is particularly enticing in autumn and well worth a trip. 

Postkarte aus Baden: «Soviel ist sicher, ich komme wieder.» ©Adrian Reber

My short trip to Baden Youth Hostel gave me one thing above all: lots of plans for my next stay. Baden, you have so much to offer! With my hostel pass, I’m off to Stein am Rhein Youth Hostel. Stay tuned! 

Die wunderschöne Bäderstadt zeigt sich von seiner besten Seite. ©Adrian Reber

junger Mann sitz auf Stein in Crans Montana

About me

Adrian here – I’m 28 and appreciate the little escapes from my everyday life. Especially on weekends, I want to get out of the house and experience life besides work. On my trips, the Swiss Youth Hostels appeal to me with central locations, new acquaintances and let’s be honest: reasonable prices ;-)!

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Laax Youth Hostel – my new favourite wellness hotel

Familiar with the dilemma?
You fancy relaxing for a few days but don’t have the budget or feel like a luxury hotel?
These two things usually kept me from taking a wellness holiday…until recently.
Because I was invited to enjoy a night at the recently opened wellnessHostel3000 in Laax

Memories of red and white checkered plastic tablecloths

I must confess that the last time I was at a youth hostel was while I was in school. They are positive memories, but still I associated attributes like «very simple», «old-fashioned» and «red and white checkered plastic tablecloths» with my last hostel experiences.
What I encounter at wellnessHostel3000 gives my youth hostel memories a complete reset.

The new gem directly on Lake Laax ©Thomas Andermatten

Boutique hotel at a hostel price

Even from the outside, the wellnessHostel3000 looks modern and inviting. Inspecting the lobby and the meeting areas, any boutique hotel can pack up and go home! Cool designer furniture, panoramic windows, a billiard and table football table and a large wall of books invite you to linger, and you can get the drinks you need at the bar opposite.

We stay in a double room with a priceless view of Lake Laax and a private bathroom. It captivates with its stylish simplicity. The beds are already made and only need to be stripped before check-out. An XXL wardrobe, a salon table with a stylish rocking chair complete the Scandinavian-inspired interior. We immediately feel at home.

The rooms feature stylish minimalism ©Jesca Li

By the way, if you are travelling with your family, there are also family rooms with private bathrooms. A youth hostel wouldn’t deserve its name if it didn’t still offer dormitories: At wellnessHostel 3000 you can also book a 4- or 6-bed room with a washbasin, which are no less aesthetically pleasing and fresh.

The family rooms shine with a real charm ©Laura Gargiulo

Five-star wellness area

The icing on the cake of the wellnessHostel3000 is the «Aua Grava» wellness area, which extends over 735 square metres. I’ve rarely seen such an aesthetic and versatile oasis of relaxation. We find everything our relaxation-seeking bodies desire: A Finnish sauna, an herbal sauna, a steam bath, a KESE micropeeling room, a sound room and feature showers. My favourite is the fire bath, which is illuminated by soft coloured light and a high window, and the ice bath next to it.

The wellness area is so generously designed that people hardly get in each other’s way ©Jesca Li

But I would also love to pack up the hammock chairs, which are reminiscent of Corbusier loungers, and hang them up in my home.
The setup of the whole landscape is so generous that we hardly get in the way of other guests, even when it’s busy.

May I have one of those chairs for home? ©Jesca Li

If you have more time than we do, there’s also an inviting 910 square metre pool area with a 25 metre swimming pool, a non-swimmers’ and children’s pool and a water slide.

As befits a «real» wellness hotel, you can also book various treatments, massages, facials and beauty treatments. The sporty among you can let off steam in the fitness room or sign up for yoga and Pilates classes.

If there was a beauty contest for indoor swimming pools, Aua Grava would definitely win 1st place ©Jesca Li

Charming morning atmosphere

As my time is rather short, I decided to have a morning yoga session on my own at the idyllic Lake Laax, and then to fuel up at the generous breakfast buffet at the in-house restaurant «BiBlau», which I can also recommend for lunch and dinner.

The early bird gets the worm, and is rewarded with a magical morning atmosphere on Lake Laax…. ©Jesca Li

By the way, wellnessHostel3000 is not only ideal for a relaxing wellness holiday, but also the perfect starting point for activities such as the world’s longest tree-top walk, the «Senda dil Dragun», various hikes or an exciting ride on the Rhaetian Railway. If you want to learn more about it, you can do so here

All information regarding prices and availability of WellnessHostel 3000 can be found here.

There is even more wellness at the Swiss Youth Hostels

Do you know Laax like the back of your hand and would rather go somewhere else for a wellness holiday? No problem, the Swiss Youth Hostels run a second wellness hostel, wellnessHostel4000 in Saas Fee.

The world’s first wellness hostel is located in Saas Fee ©Dominik Gehl

In any case, I’m already looking forward to my next wellness escape at the youth hostel, a place where I feel comfortable and that fits my budget.

About the author

29 Portrait für Vorstellung

Jesca Li is a blogger and journalist.

In her eponymous blog www.jesca.li, she tells stories from everyday life, takes readers on trips, gives fashion tips and conducts interviews with exciting personalities.

She gets her inspiration from traveling and observing people and nature.

Categories
Summer

Discover Interlaken in a different way by bike!

Adrenalin on different terrain

Our bikes were ready and so were we. We could hardly wait to get pedalling and decided to try out Bikepark Thunersee. Thanks to various routes around Lake Thun, this bike park promises a varied range of biking options for beginners to professionals.

The «Bikepark Thunersee» association is committed to promoting biking opportunities around Lake Thun. Thanks to their dedication, five trails are already in action and are regularly maintained by the association. In order to support the association in its maintenance and other projects, we bought a daily Daily sponsorship for 5 Swiss francs. This can be easily redeemed via Twint directly at the trail entrance.

Frau auf dem Bike fährt über den Waldweg

Over hill and dale, up and down steep trails – Interlaken has a lot to offer. ©Sina Candrian

Day #1 The Goldiwheel Trail ideal to get started

We put the Goldiwheel Trail near Thun to the test first and were not disappointed. The trail is flowing and rollable from top to bottom. This makes it ideal to get started or for beginners. A long jumpline (several jumps in a row) beckons in the lower section – a rarity in Switzerland! The «Prügu Jumps» jumpline consists of several rollable or avoidable jumps that get bigger and bigger. The tables (jump with flat surface between jump and landing) range from four to eleven metres. We particularly liked this line because of the numerous exit options and the uphill trail. In this way, you can work your way up from the smaller jumps to the big tables.

Schild im Wald mit Infos zum Trail

The Goldiwheel Trail offers the perfect introduction for big and small. ©Sina Candrian

Day #2 The Heartbeat Trail says it all

The next day we drove from Interlaken to the Niederhornbahn, 12 kilometres away. There, the new Heartbeat Trail was recently opened. The mountain railway transports mountain bikers to Beatenberg station for just CHF 18.60 with a half-fare card. This is especially worthwhile in summer, when the train runs until 7 pm. The trail has it all: Technical passages alternate with various gaps (distance between two elements) and drops (jump where the landing is lower than the jump). It’s worth taking a good look at the different sections on the first descent, because the name of the trail «Heartbeat» says it all.

Frau auf dem Bike fährt auf Waldweg am See

With a view over Lake Thun, it’s much easier to bikt. ©Sina Candrian

Frau fährt einen Waldweg mit dem Bike hoch

First, however, you have to pedal hard. ©Sina Candrian

Day #3 Slow-paced fun on the single trails in Lungern

After two days in the bike park, the technical single trails of the region lured us to Lungern. A one-way trip on the Lungern-Turren cable car costs CHF 18.00 per person including your bike and saves you 860 metres in altitude. Up to the Schönbühl Restaurant we covered 500 metres in altitude under our own steam. Once at the top, we needed some energy, so we tried the house speciality. Don’t miss the 40 cm long nut croissant for CHF 6.50! Refueled, we enjoyed the view from the Gibel (2039 m) over Lake Lungern for a few minutes. We continued our journey along the winding hiking trail towards the Brünig Pass,
After another beautiful day on our bikes, we enjoyed the amazing meal in Restaurant 3a at the Interlaken Youth Hostel. I fell in love with this menu: Thai peanut curry with organic tofu straight from Frutigen. Of course we explored Interlaken for a bit in the evening. The front garden of the casino really piqued my interest. But we were too tired for a round of poker.

zwei Bikerinnen über dem Thunersee

High up, you always have the best view. ©Sina Candrian

After another beautiful day on our bikes, we enjoyed the amazing meal in Restaurant 3a at the Interlaken Youth Hostel. I fell in love with this menu: Thai peanut curry with organic tofu straight from Frutigen. Of course we explored Interlaken for a bit in the evening. The front garden of the casino really piqued my interest. But we were too tired for a round of poker.

Day #4 Hidden bike trails and real insider tips

On the fourth day, a regional bike guide accompanied us and showed us his biking grounds. We met Dario Küffer in Stans, where we parked the car and rode our bikes to the valley station of the Wirzweli cable car near Dallenwil. For CHF 11.20 we comfortably covered the first 700 metres in altitude by train. After covering another 400 metres of altitude by bike, the guide showed us one of his favourite trails, which we would never have found on our own. The demanding trail really challenged us again with its technical passages and jumps. If you also prefer to explore the area with a guide, then check out Trudy Bike bike school and guiding.

Frau auf de Bike im Wald

Just don’t fall – it gets tricky as soon as the path gets bumpy. ©Sina Candrian

Our conclusion: Thumbs up for the bike trails around Interlaken

One thing we can say for sure: Interlaken deserves five stars when it comes to biking! We found brilliant and varied bike trails that challenged us in different ways. Some of the trails are on hiking trails. But there are also professionally developed bike trails that are suitable for beginners as well as advanced bikers. One special plus is the breathtaking view of the Central Swiss lakes.

If you are looking for the pearls among the bike trails off the beaten track, you will find them with the help of the local bike guides. Since some of the trails are not easy to find, we would like to make a small recommendation: Before you set off, map your routes on Swiss Topo. As always: The mountains belong to no one. That is why we all have to respect and have consideration for nature and other alpinists. Don’t just drive cross-country, inform yourself about the route and trail rules beforehand. Often hikers and bikers use the trail network together, which can also lead to conflict. A friendly greeting can often work wonders and strengthens mutual understanding. The Swiss Alpine Club SAC has put together 8 tips for nature-friendly mountain biking.

What are you waiting for? Off to Interlaken and get biking!

Frau mit dem Bike auf dem Grad

Just step down and enjoy the view. ©Sina Candrian

Wegweiser über dem Thunersee

Many roads lead to Interlaken. ©Sina Candrian

If you are looking for the pearls among the bike trails off the beaten track, you will find them with the help of the local bike guides. Since some of the trails are not easy to find, we would like to make a small recommendation: Before you set off, map your routes on Swiss Topo.

As always: The mountains belong to no one. That is why we all have to respect and have consideration for nature and other alpinists. Don’t just drive cross-country, inform yourself about the route and trail rules beforehand. Often hikers and bikers use the trail network together, which can also lead to conflict. A friendly greeting can often work wonders and strengthens mutual understanding. The Swiss Alpine Club SAC has put together 8 tips for nature-friendly mountain biking.

What are you waiting for? Off to Interlaken and get biking!

About the author

Portrait von Sina Candrian

Sina Candrian is a professional snowboarder and ambassador of our wellnessHostel3000. In her free time, she can usually be found in nature, in winter on her board and in summer biking or climbing. Since 2020, she has been a part of the Schtifti Foundation and, together with the team, is committed to empowering young people.

Our partner Schtifti launched the Gorilla program in 2010. Read our blog article about this program and find out who exactly is behind the project.