Rapperswil-Jona is a municipality located in the German-speaking canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. It is situated on the Zurich Lake, on the opposite end from Zurich and can therefore be easily reached either after a pleasant boat ride on one of the boats cruising on the lake as part of the public transportation system (leaving from Zurich Bürkliplatz) or by the less exciting train or bus.
The most significant sights are all to be found in the medieval centre of Rapperswill. A stroll around the atmospheric streets where time seems to have stopped should definitely include a visit to the castle with its magnificent rose garden and the Capuchin Monastery as well as the romantic lakeside with all its swans swimming around peacefully. The area boasts with an impressive number of Medieval churches as well -- with some of them dating back to even the ninth century -- which are all worth a visit.
Rapperswil is linked to Hurden -- which is situated in canton Schwyz, on the other side of the lake -- with an impressive reconstructed wooden bridge, the original of which dates back to the sixteenth century. This path has been a part of old pilgrimage routes for centuries, with the nearby bridge chapel of Heiling Hüsli being a common destination of pilgrims and visitors alike. Moreover, the lake is ideal for bird watching and for observing the unique flora and fauna of the area. This area is also home to four prehistoric pile-dwelling settlements, which are listed amongst the fifty-six Swiss sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Site's Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps.
However, a visit to Rapperswil cannot be complete without sitting down on the terrace of one of the many centuries-old cafes the main square has to offer and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this truly traditional place. A stay at a hostel in Rapperswil-Jona is a great place to base yourself so you can participate in everything the area has to offer.
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