Situated in the Rhine Valley of St. Gallen, at the foot of the Appenzellerland hills, Altstätten is a market town with a long tradition and has kept a lovely historical town centre.


Located in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley at the foot of the Appenzell hills, Altstätten is rich in market town traditions and has preserved a beautiful village centre.

You won't discover this small, somewhat out-of-the-way town if you take the motorway from St. Gallen up to Lake Constance and back down to Graubünden, following the course of the Rhine along the Austrian/Liechtenstein border.

But cross the Appenzell hills towards the Rhine plain and, as the road begins to descend into this wide valley, you will see Altstätten and gradually make out the old village core in the heart of this modern town of some 11,000 inhabitants.

Take the time to stop by, the visit is worth it. The village centre is well preserved, with its beautiful painted houses and picturesque main street.

A market place and large fairs, which still exist today, Altstätten was for centuries a wine-growing village, but the 19th century, vine diseases and the greater profitability of embroidery changed things, and the arrival of the railway brought a new industrial vocation.

Seen from afar, Altstätten is therefore not a very attractive town. From the hills of Appenzell, its charms are not really apparent; you have to get closer to begin to guess its hidden beauties.

Once in the old town, the charm works, even outside the highlights of the February-March carnival (renowned far and wide) and the big markets (the biggest of which takes place in August).

This guide features more places in the same region, check them out!
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