The old town of Appenzell.

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Northeastern Switzerland

Set against a backdrop of rolling hills that rise to rugged mountains, Appenzell's Altstadt is Grimm fairy-tale stuff. The carved gabled houses that grab the attention in the compact historic centre are liberally covered with frescoes and ornate shop signs. The centrepiece square is Landsgemeindeplatz, but you'll also find rows of photogenic houses and shopfronts on Hauptgasse, which is presided over by the village church.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northeastern Switzerland attractions

1. Appenzell Museum

0.04 MILES

This heritage museum gives the inside scoop on rural life and folk traditions in Appenzell. Occupying seven floors, it displays beautifully painted wooden…

2. Pfarrkirche St Mauritius

0.08 MILES

Looking back on almost 1000 years of history, Appenzell’s church is easily identified by its whopping great late-Gothic bell tower, embellished with a…

3. Landsgemeindeplatz

0.08 MILES

Appenzell's main square is rimmed with elaborately painted hotels and restaurants. It's a striking backdrop for April's Landsgemeinde cantonal assembly.

4. Hauptgasse

0.17 MILES

Appenzell's main pedestrian drag is a stunner, lined with lavishly muralled facades and shops selling everything from folk costumes to local cheese and…

5. Brauquöll Appenzell

0.19 MILES

Pure local spring water goes into the refreshing Appenzeller Bier that's brewed here. The hands-on visitor centre whisks you through brewing history and…

6. Kunstmuseum Appenzell

0.22 MILES

In a town as deeply traditional as Appenzell, this startlingly modern gallery, with its metallic facade and zigzag design, comes as quite a surprise…

7. Appenzeller Volkskunde Museum

4.13 MILES

This folklore museum, its collection spanning everything from pastoral paintings to embroidery, provides an insight into rural Appenzell life. From April…

8. Appenzeller Schaukäserei

4.28 MILES

Cheese-lovers won't want to miss out on a visit to this dairy, where an iPad tour gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the cheesemaking process,…